Diana Louise DeGette (born July 29, 1957) is the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 1st congressional district, serving since 1997, and a Chief Deputy Whip. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is based in Denver.
Early life, education and career
A fourth-generation Coloradan, DeGette was born in Tachikawa, Japan while her father served in the armed forces. She graduated from Colorado College where she was elected to the Pi Gamma Mu international honor society in 1979, and earned a Juris Doctor degree from New York University in 1982. She then returned to Denver and began a law practice focusing on civil rights and employment litigation.
Long active in Denver politics, she was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1992. Voluntary Cleanup and Redevelopment Act, a model for similar cleanup programs.
She was reelected in 1994 and chosen as assistant minority leader. She authored a law that guarantees Colorado women unobstructed access to abortion clinics and other medical care facilities, also known as the "Bubble Bill". The United States Supreme Court found DeGette's "Bubble Bill" constitutional in Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703 (2000). She also authored the state
U.S. House of Representatives
DeGette serves as the co-chair of both the Congressional Diabetes Caucus and Pro-Choice Caucus, and is Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus. With the Democrats' victory in the 2006 midterm elections, DeGette briefly considered running for House Majority Whip, but bowed out in favor of Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.
DeGette received national attention in 2005, when the House of Representatives passed legislation she cosponsored to lift President George W. Bush's limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. DeGette, who had had been working on the measure since 2001, enlisted the support of Representative Michael N.
Castle (Republican from Delaware), who became DeGette's principal Republican cosponsor of the legislation. The DeGette-Castle bill passed the Senate on July 18, 2006. President Bush vetoed the bill the next day — his first veto.
In 2007, DeGette served as the House Democrats' designated whip on the bill reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (HR 3162). Although President Bush announced his opposition to the legislation, the House passed the bill on August 1, 2007 by a vote of 225 to 204. The Senate adopted a different version of the legislation the next day.
DeGette was also a cosponsor for the Udall Amendment to the House Energy Bill, which the House approved by a vote of 220 to 190 on August 4, 2007.
The Amendment creates a national Renewable Energy Standard that requires electric suppliers to produce 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources, 4 percent of which can come from efficiency, by the year 2020.
On September 12, 2007, DeGette announced that she would introduce the Colorado Wilderness Act of 2007 in Congress. The bill was unsuccessful and did not pass the committee level. She reintroduced the bill in 2009.
She is a cosponsor of legislation to provide the District of Columbia voting representation.
On January 24, 2007, Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Representative DeGette to the House Page Board.
On November 26, 2007, DeGette announced her endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton for president, and was named national co-chair of Clinton's Health Care Policy Task Force and adviser on stem-cell research. DeGette was a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August 2008.
DeGette was strongly critical of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which places limits on taxpayer-funded abortions (except in the case of rape, incest, or life of the mother) in the context of the November 2009 Affordable Health Care for America Act.
DeGette is married to Lino Lipinsky, a partner in the law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge, and she has two daughters.
On August 4, 2008, DeGette's first book Sex, Science, and Stem Cells, was released by The Lyons Press. In this book, DeGette writes that there are "110 million Americans suffering from diseases who stood to gain from potential applications" of stem-cell science. She writes, "Over time, I realized that the politicization of science by the Republicans and the religious right was at its most insidious over any issue relating to human reproduction....This brought me to the inevitable conclusion that too many of our elected officials are simply incapable of thinking rationally about sex. I could think of no other explanation."
October 3rd, 2011