Congresswoman DeGette Comes Home: Part 2

This is continuing coverage of Rep. Diana DeGette’s press meeting.

Click here to read part one.

Impeachment

During the course of the meeting, a member of the press asked a question about impeaching President Bush:

“Three hundred people at North Denver last night stood up and applauded the idea of impeaching President Bush for bringing false information which lead to the war,” explained the reporter. “What do you say about that, and why are we not pursuing that?”

“We really wanna have a proactive positive agenda that helps the American people, and right now it just doesn’t seem to us that our top priority is holding impeachment hearings for the president,” answered DeGette, who said she remembered the impeachment hearings for former-President Bill Clinton and described them as a “boldly political action.”

Immigration

DeGette mentioned that the “one bright spot” in Bush’s State of the Union speech was his immigration proposal.

“We need to have strong border enforcement, we need to have some kind of a temporary guest worker program so people who want to come here and work and then go home can do that legally, so we’re not taking advantage of that, and so [undocumented workers are] not having to live here under the radar screen,”  said the Congresswoman.

She also mentioned that there should be a process for undocumented individuals already in the United States to earn citizenship after meeting certain provisions.

According to DeGette, there could be reform very soon, and her local staff acknowledged that immigration issues take up 30-40% of their case work.

Technology

When asked about technology, DeGette said there would soon be a proposal to have Internet Service Providers (ISP) retain identifying data on users for a one year period, in an effort to aid law enforcement.

“The ISPs have to retain the identifying data only, not the communications, for a one year period,” DeGette said. “The way we’re drafting it, is the only way that would be available would be if a law enforcement agency went to court, showed probable cause… and then got a subpoena to get that data from the ISP.”

DeGette said the bill would serve the public by catching criminals and sexual predators.

Stem Cell Research Bill

After the passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act in the House, a bill that DeGette co-ponsored, she said she felt optimistic that the legislation would become law one way or the other.

“In the Senate we believe that we are very close to override a veto,” she said. “The bill now will go to the Senate where I’ve been told by [U.S. Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid that it will be coming up probably in February.”

DeGette said that if the bill fails to become law, then Democrats will look for appropriations bills to attach the stem cell language to.

“My view to the president is he can do this the easy way or he can do this the hard way, because if he doesn’t work with us it’s just gonna be the hard way for the next two years,” DeGette said.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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