House, Colorado , District #1
600 Grant Street Suite 202
Denver, Colorado 80203
Home Town: Tachikawa, Japan
Committees: Energy and Commerce
Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette is a fourth generation Coloradoan, educated at Denver's South High School and Colorado College. Rep. DeGette began her first term in Congress in 1997. She has served on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, an exclusive congressional committee with vast jurisdiction over health care, trade, business, technology and consumer protection, since her first term. In 2005, Rep. DeGette was promoted to leadership as Democratic Chief Deputy Whip. In addition, she is the co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, the largest congressional member caucus, and the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.
Democratic Chief Deputy Whip
Rep. DeGette was promoted to the House Democratic leadership as Chief Deputy Whip in 2005. She has risen steadily in the Whip organization since her first term in Congress, serving for six years as Regional Whip and two years as the Democratic Floor Whip. The Whip's job is to keep track of how Democratic Members of Congress plan to vote on important issues. As Chief Deputy Whip, Rep. DeGette will develop senior strategy and serve on the Democratic Caucus Steering and Policy Committee.
Energy & Commerce Committee
As a member of the Commerce Committee, Rep. DeGette has used her position to improve health care and expand medical research, reform corporate business and accounting practices and ensure our homeland is adequately protected. She serves on three leading subcommittees of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.
As a member of the Subcommittee on Health, Rep. DeGette is committed to expanding access to health care and improving public health. One of Congress' leading experts on stem cell research, Rep. DeGette has fought to increase federal support for expanding stem cell research in the United States. The Denver Post lauded Rep. DeGette's leadership in passing a plan to increase funding to hospitals, including Denver Health, that provide the disproportionate share of health care to low-income and uninsured patients. She also led efforts to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health insurance to low-income children up to age 18. As co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, Rep. DeGette has also been a longtime advocate for expansion of diabetes care and research, particularly for lower-income and minority communities.
On the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, Rep. DeGette has been a leader on a variety of investigations, including corporate wrongdoing, National Institutes of Health ethics guidelines and the safety of the diet supplement ephedra. She established a national reputation as a leader on corporate accountability issues during her committee's investigation of Enron, Arthur Andersen and other companies embroiled in the accounting scandals. As a result of these investigations, Rep. DeGette sponsored legislation which would establish tough new accounting and auditing standards.
As a member of the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, Rep. DeGette has helped lead hearings into the security of power plants, particularly nuclear facilities, and ports in the United States. These ongoing hearings have already been critical in identifying areas where the federal government and industry need to work more closely to improve security.
In the News
Rep. DeGette has been featured on a wide spectrum of news outlets, including ABC's Good Morning America, the NBC Nightly News, the CBS Evening News, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN and ESPN. Rep. DeGette is also regularly quoted in major newspapers across the nation, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post, as well as magazines including America Prospect, Newsweek, and The Economist.
Strong Leadership for Colorado
The First Congressional District, which includes Denver, Englewood, Glendale and Sheridan, is the economic engine of the West, as well as Colorado's most diverse and densely populated district. Rep. DeGette continues to be a leader in Congress on the issues of importance to her constituents. As a lifelong Westerner, she is committed to common-sense fiscal responsibility and is working with like-minded Members of Congress to reduce the national deficit.
As the First District's Congresswoman, Rep. DeGette has fought to expand her constituents access to affordable quality health care. She has also worked to expand mass transit and improve transportation in the Denver area, and clean up environmental waste sites and improve opportunities for small business. Rep. DeGette is also the author of the landmark Colorado Wilderness Act. The plan designates 59 pristine areas comprising 1.6 million acres of land across Colorado as protected wilderness. This would preserve a rapidly disappearing piece of our Western heritage for generations to come.
Rep. DeGette received her B.A. magna cum laude from Colorado College in 1979 and her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1982, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar and a recipient of the Vanderbilt Medal and the Jack Kroner Award. She served two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, where she served as Assistant Minority Leader from 1993-1995.
Rep. DeGette is married to attorney Lino Lipinsky and has two daughters, and a dog named Andrew.