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DeGette: Spotlight the good, bipartisan work of Colorado’s delegation (Boebert aside) – The Denver Post

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s recent behavior is inexcusable. Her comments are bigoted, racist, hurtful, and unbecoming of the office she holds. And they are deserving of universal condemnation.
But, with all the very serious issues facing our country, the last thing any of us should be focused on right now is her childish, hate-filled behavior.
I was appalled last week — with the constitutional right to seek an abortion under attack and a potentially dangerous new variant of the coronavirus now spreading around the globe — that not one, not two, but four pages of the newspaper I opened were dedicated to Boebert’s outrageous remarks.
The power of America’s media to shift the nation’s collective attention cannot be overstated. And the decisions that are made daily in newsrooms across this country play an unrivaled role in determining what we, as a nation, are focused on at any given time.
It should be new ideas – those that have the potential to make life better for millions of people across this country – that are the center of our national debates, not the words of those looking to tear us down.
The rest of Colorado’s congressional delegation works hard through the legislative process to represent our constituents. We don’t always agree with each other across party lines, but we are focused on legislation, not on saying outrageous things for the sole purpose of gaining notoriety. And there are many bright spots of bipartisanship that are not covered nearly enough by the press.
When U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, and I recently introduced a major new piece of bipartisan legislation — known as Cures 2.0 — it was mostly ignored by the mainstream media. This legislation has the potential to transform the future of medicine in this country by, among other things, creating an entirely new advanced research agency to cure diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer and more.
When Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Aurora, and Mike Waltz, a Republican from Florida, recently put forth a bipartisan plan that would help alleviate the pressure our frontline health care workers are feeling as a result of the pandemic, it, too, was not mentioned.
When Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican from Windsor, and Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, introduced a bipartisan plan that sought to level the playing field by preventing major corporations from venue shopping for a favorable bankruptcy judge, crickets.
When Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Arvada, and Tom Emmer, a Republican from Minnesota, put forth a bipartisan proposal that would help protect our nation’s credit unions, which play a vital role in supporting our local communities, not a peep.
But when a lawmaker makes a racist, bigoted remark or says something that is ensured to inflame tensions throughout this country, it is often shared, repeated, reposted and reprinted by major news outlets across the nation.
The American people deserve better.
For the future sake of this country, we have to stop focusing on the extreme behavior of a few and start focusing on the growing list of very serious issues facing this country.
Just imagine what a world it would be if potential bipartisan solutions to our nation’s problems made headlines across this country when they were presented.
Imagine the progress we’d make if they — and not the hate-filled comments of a few — were suddenly catapulted to the top of every national news show, where they were dissected by analysts, flushed out by experts and quickly became the center of our national debate.
Imagine how much more we could get done if we simply shifted our focus – even just a little bit.
America is the greatest country in the world. We have shown, time and time again, that there is absolutely nothing we can’t do when we come together.
Now, is the time for us to come together and demand a higher standard — not only for those charged with leading this great nation of ours — but also those with the power to sway our nation’s focus and attention at any given time.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette has represented Colorado’s 1st Congressional District since she was elected in 1996.
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