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Archive for the ‘GregWalden’ Category

Community Town Hall Meetings

News from Representative Walden
Dear Friend:

I wanted to remind you of the community town hall meetings I am holding near you next week. I need your input on the biggest issues facing our communities and our country, and hope you’ll join me at these town halls so that I can hear from you directly. The meeting locations and details are listed below, and I look forward to seeing you there.

In the U.S. House, I’m working hard — along with President Trump and his team — to roll back costly regulations created under the previous administration, relieve burdens created by government agencies in our rural communities, and create jobs in Oregon. Improving federal land management, protecting our Constitutional rights, and putting an end to mismanagement and mistreatment at the VA are also top priorities for me.

At these meetings, I’ll give an update on these issues and take your questions and comments. I regularly visit and hold meetings in each of the 20 counties in our nearly 70,000 square mile district. In fact, I held 27 town halls in 2016 alone (at least one in each county), and I’ve held 137 since 2012. While these town halls require a lot of “windshield time” in the car, I rely on the visits as one way to help me stay in close touch with local communities in Oregon.

Monday, May 8, 2017

What: Baker County Town Hall Meeting
When: 9:30am – 10:30am PDT
Where: Baker High School Main Gymnasium, 2500 E Street, Baker City

What: Union County Town Hall Meeting
When: 12:15pm – 1:15pm PDT
Where: Stella Mayfield Elementary School Auditorium, 1111 Division Street, Elgin

What: Wallowa County Town Hall Meeting
When: 2:30pm – 3:30pm PDT
Where: Wallowa Elementary School Cafeteria, 315 W 1st Street, Wallowa

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Thank you for considering attendance at these town hall meetings near you. You can reach my office in Oregon toll-free at (800) 533-3303 if you have any questions. I hope to see you next week. It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitterand Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clicking here.

RyanCare Bill Questioned

Many are not happy about the new Republican health care proposals. The “RyanCare” bill is receiving significant opposition from many sources who think this is just an amendment bill for politicians and not their constituents — for the purpose of keeping the Obamacare taxes rolling in.

Representative Mark Sanford (R., S.C.)

Repealing Obamacare is easy. Republicans already did it. Every GOP senator except Illinois’s Mark Kirk voted for H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015. This full-repeal bill passed the Senate 52–47 that December. The House approved the measure the next month, 240–­181, with 239 Republican yeas and only three GOP nays. Obama rejected this measure, alas, and then Congress failed to override his veto. “As Republicans, we decried the fact that Obama would veto it… Why would we now water down this same bill and send a new and weaker bill to President Trump?”

 

Greg Walden and Repeal of Obamacare

Chairman Walden said:

“After years of Obamacare’s broken promises, House Republicans today took an important step. We’ve spent the last eight years listening to folks across this country, and today we’re proud to put forth a plan that reflects eight years’ worth of those conversations with families, patients, and doctors. Simply put, we have a Better Way to deliver solutions that put patients – not bureaucrats – first, and we are moving forward united in our efforts to rescue the American people from the mess Obamacare has created.

“With today’s legislation, we return power back to the states – strengthening Medicaid and prioritizing our nation’s most vulnerable. We provide the American people with what they’ve asked for: greater choice, lower cost, and flexibility to choose the plan that best suits their needs. Today is just the first step in helping families across this country obtain truly affordable health care, and we’re eager to get this rescue mission started.

The Affordable Care Act turned out to be anything but affordable, both for families in Oregon and the federal government. Health insurance markets are in a death spiral. For families, average premiums this year increased by 27% in Oregon, following a 23% increase the previous year. And annual federal spending on Medicaid and Medicare will increase by nearly $1 trillion in by 2027 unless we right the ship — not to mention Medicaid’s estimated $36.3 billion in improper payments.

That’s why I’m proud to be leading the charge to repeal and replace Obamacare with a patient-centered solution that fixes our broken health care system. Our bill, which you can read at www.readthebill.gop, makes real conservative reforms to make health care affordable for families.

Entitlement reform — This bill represents the largest entitlement reform the federal government has undertaken in the last 20 years. Medicaid is a vital program for families across Oregon, but Obamacare put Medicaid on an unsustainable path. We need to make sure this critical lifeline is available not just for patients tomorrow, but also for patients 10 years from now. That’s why our bill bends the federal cost curve and refocuses Medicaid’s limited resources to the patients most in need. By responsibly winding down the Medicaid expansion, we are significantly decreasing the federal footprint in health care and giving patients who have benefited from the expansion a tax credit to spend on their health care the way they see fit — not as dictated by bureaucrats in Washington.

$1 trillion tax cut — Obamacare’s regulations alone have already cost the American economy more than $53 billion to date. The ACA also empowered the IRS to become the police of health care coverage through the individual mandate. The only problem being that the American people did not bow down to this federal government decree: just this past year, 19.2 million people either paid the individual mandate penalty or claimed an exemption, far more than the 10.3 million individuals who are signed up for plans on Obamacare exchanges. With taxes and penalties, Obamacare tried to coerce people into signing up for federal health care, when in reality what they need is more choice and freedom to find a plan that works for them. That’s why our plan repeals $1 trillion on Obamacare taxes, and returns control over health care back to patients and their doctors.

Defunding Planned Parenthood — In addition to the other reforms we’ve put into place, our bill will defund Planned Parenthood and get the federal government out of the abortion business once and for all. This is not about denying access to women’s health services — on the contrary, we are doubling funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which provide many of the same women’s health services as Planned Parenthood, but also preserve the First Amendment rights of employers and employees alike by not having their tax dollars subsidize abortions.

Returning control of health care to states — Oregon has always been a leading state in health care innovation. The Coordinated Care Organizations have done some great work in reducing the state’s cost curve while improving access to care, but those successes have not come without difficulties. Insurers have continued to flee Oregon’s individual market, and premiums have continued to rise, leaving patients with fewer choices and higher costs. That’s why our bill returns control over health care to states, which have long been the laboratories for successful delivery of care at a sustainable cost to the government. Your doctors are in Oregon, not Washington, D.C. — shouldn’t your health care decisions be made in Oregon, too?

Our work to empower patients and put them back in control of their health care is not done, but this bill is a good first step — again you can read it at www.readthebill.gop. Please know that I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and with the Administration to save our nation’s health care and repair the damage Obamacare has done.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clicking here.

Update from Rep. Greg Walden

News from Representative Walden

Click here to open this e-mail in its own browser window     Click here to open a plain text version of this email

Dear Jay:

My seventh in-person town hall of the year took me to Malheur County, a region that has felt the destruction of an extremely harsh winter. Unprecedented snowfall has collapsed hundreds of structures, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and great hardship for the people who live there. During my visit to Ontario, I saw first-hand the devastating impact this year’s snowfall has had on businesses, the area’s economy, and especially the local agriculture industry. I’ve called on the President to swiftly make a disaster declaration so the local communities can get the immediate assistance they desperately need, and I am hopeful he will act soon.

Click here or on the image above to view KTVB’s coverage of my recent town hall in Ontario, and my tour through the city to see first-hand the damage from this year’s winter.

At the town hall meeting in Ontario, I provided an update on my work in Congress to grow jobs in rural communities like Malheur County, cut unnecessary federal red tape, and fix our nation’s health care system. We also discussed reining in government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality, which have both burdened rural economies in Oregon with overregulation. I will continue my work in Congress to provide relief to our farming and ranching communities, who’ve felt the brunt of an overreaching federal government.

 Thanks to all who participated in the Malheur Country town hall where we engaged in a thoughtful and substantive discussion on improving the economy in rural communities, reducing burdensome regulations, and improving our nation’s health care system.

I encourage you to continue reading for more about my recent work as your representative in Congress, as well as Oregonians I met with in the past few weeks.

Meeting with Oregonians in the nation’s capital

Members of the Oregon Potato Commission updated me on federal issues affecting the agriculture industry in Oregon.

Paula Fong and Lee Juillerat of the Crater Lake Natural History Association discussed the importance of taking care of Oregon’s only National Park. I share Paula and Lee’s deep commitment to preserving and promoting the national treasure that is Crater Lake National Park.

Representatives who work hard to take care of our veterans who live in our Oregon Veterans’ Homes gave me important input regarding health care policy and funding issues they face.

Continuing the process of rebuilding our nation’s health care system

Click here or on the image above to hear my remarks on health care at a recent House Republican News Conference

The House Energy and Commerce Committee — which I chair — continues to be hard at work rebuilding our nation’s health care system. Recently, I provided a brief update on the committee’s health care work at a news conference with my fellow House Republicans. I spoke of providing Oregonians with access to affordable health insurance, and providing states like Oregon with flexibility to innovate when it comes to their individual health care systems.

I’ve heard from farmers, ranchers, and small business owners who are experiencing skyrocketing premiums, and who’ve not been able to keep their plan or doctor. After meeting with states and governors across the country, it is clear that this is not sustainable, and the federal government must allow states to innovate to solve this problem. Our state of Oregon has had quite a bit of innovation over the years, such as the Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) that have brought better health care outcomes to Oregonians at lower costs. These are the great ideas that are out there in our states, but right now they have to beg permission from federal bureaucrats to be able to do anything innovative.

We want to give states flexibility and provide all Americans with better health care. We will accomplish both goals in legislation we’ll be considering in the near future.

Protecting patients with pre-existing conditions

While we work to repair our nation’s failing health care system, patients remain the focal point of our efforts. At town hall meetings around Oregon, I’ve heard a clear message: we need to guarantee our health care system works better for all Oregonians. I am committed to protecting patients living with pre-existing conditions — period. By focusing on patient centered reforms, we will increase access to quality, affordable care and guarantee that all Oregonians are protected from unfair, higher premium costs simply due to how healthy or sick they may be.

That’s why I’ve introduced the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act. This legislation aims to reaffirm guaranteed health care access, ensure that enrollees cannot have benefits excluded from a plan due to a pre-existing condition, and that patients will not pay more based on their health care status.

This legislation is just another step toward keeping our commitment to fix the problems with our health care system and protect vulnerable patients from being treated unfairly. As I continue to work hard to rebuild our nation’s health care system, I will always aim to put what’s best for patients first.

I also appreciate the input I’ve received from people who have benefited from Oregon’s approach to providing care to those most in need. We need to give other state’s the flexibility we’ve had to innovate and work toward achieving better health outcomes.

To read more about this bill, please click here.

Modernizing Oregon’s energy infrastructure

Click here or on the image above to view my remarks at a recent hearing of the Energy and Commerce Committee regarding updating our nation’s energy infrastructure

At a recent hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I spoke of the importance of updating America’s energy infrastructure. As technology continues to change the way we go about our daily lives, we also have to rethink how we deliver and consume electricity. This is especially true in central Oregon, where an outdated power grid is preventing economic growth.

Last month, I convened a meeting with city of Prineville officials, the local power utility and representatives of the Bonneville Power Administration to discuss the lack of access to enough electricity to meet the demand of a potential, major new employer.  Most of us were surprised and disappointed to learn that the electrical grid in Prineville is not sufficient to support that proposed project, and it could take three years or more before the city could get the electricity  this community needs. That is not acceptable.

We need action to modernize America’s energy infrastructure, so that communities in Oregon — like Prineville — can reach their full economic potential. We can’t keep losing out on new jobs.  The Energy and Commerce Committee will be at the forefront of tackling this challenge head on.

Boosting Oregon’s transportation priorities

Recently, I called to congratulate Elaine Chao on becoming Secretary of Transportation.  I also took the opportunity to discuss our nation’s infrastructure needs and Oregon’s transportation priorities. During our conversation, she confirmed to me that — contrary to some reports — there is no list of the Transportation Department’s priorities that excludes Oregon. Period.

Having known Elaine for years, I am confident that she will work closely with me on our district’s needs, and that Oregon’s initiatives will have the support of the Department of Transportation. I look forward to working alongside Secretary Chao as we seek to achieve Oregon’s long-term transportation goals and upgrade America’s vast infrastructure.

That’s all for this update. Remember, you can always keep in touch with me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clicking here. Click here if you would like to Unsubscribe.

Rep. Walden live telephone town hall

Dear Friend:

I’d like to invite you to join me in a live, telephone town hall discussion I will be holding on Monday, February 6, at 10:45am. During the meeting, you’ll get an update on my work to grow the economy and solve the issues confronting Oregonians, and you’ll also have an opportunity to ask questions. I look forward to hearing what issues are on your mind, and have gotten very positive feedback from people who enjoy the substantive discussions, and listening to what others from around our enormous district have to say. Some people prefer this way to communicate because it’s too difficult for them to attend the town halls in person. For others the travel distance is simply too far, or they just aren’t comfortable in that setting.

To register for the meeting, please click here to sign up to be called Monday morning. If you cannot make this meeting, but would like to register for future telephone town halls, please contact my office by clicking here or by calling 800-533-3303. This is my first telephone town hall of 2017, and you can be sure that I will hold more throughout the year. I also recently held my first in-person town hall of the year in Lake County, which marked my 130th since 2012. These events are effective ways to hear from Oregonians, along with Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, mail and email.

Again, to register for the telephone town hall meeting, please click here.

I’d also encourage you to sign up for my free, weekly E-Newsletter, like my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter for updates on the latest news from Oregon and Washington, D.C.

Thank you, and I look forward to you joining the telephone town hall on Monday! It’s an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me onTwitter and Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clicking here. Click here if you would like to Unsubscribe.

Putting an end to government slush funds

I don’t think it’s right that a government agency, such as the Department of Justice, (DoJ), can go after a private entity and basically extort money for activist organizations as part of a settlement agreement.  And yet that is what’s happening.

For example, over the past few years, DoJ has negotiated settlement agreements with banks who contributed to the mortgage crisis almost a decade ago. But instead of dedicating the entirety of this money to paying down our debt or improving public services, the Justice Department has allowed these banks to meet some of their settlement obligations by donating money to nongovernment organizations. This is, by definition, an appropriation of funds–as the Constitution clearly states, “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”

Furthermore, some of the groups that have benefited from these “donations” have no relation to the mortgage crisis, rather, they were chosen to receive these funds because they serve liberal and political objectives. Evidence even suggests that activist groups actually lobbied DoJ for this funding, indicating a clear political motive in the doling out of these settlement funds.

The Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) has directed nearly a billion dollars to activist groups entirely outside of Congress’s spending and oversight authority. This is wrong and the House just voted to stop this abusive overreach when it passed the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016 (H.R. 5063). This important bill ensures that settlement money goes either directly to victims, or to the Treasury where your elected representatives decide how it is spent. It’s time we rein in this President and the abusive tactics of the bureaucracy.

I will continue to work on legislation in the House that returns the proper balance of authority to our federal government, and prevents further abuse of power by the President and his administration.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clicking here. Click here if you would like to Unsubscribe.

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Keep in touch with Rep. Greg Walden on Facebook

Dear Friend,

From town hall meetings in Oregon (I’ve held 45 in just the past year and a half), telephone town halls, my websitee-mail, snail mail, and social media, I use many different ways to keep in touch with Oregonians in southern, central, and eastern Oregon.

Facebook is one of my favorite ways to share pictures and stories of my meetings around our state, and I regularly post updates on my work in the nation’s capital and problems I’m working to solve for you. Plus, it’s a great way to get feedback from you on legislation pending in Congress and other local and national issues.

I hope you’ll “like” my page to follow along. Click here or on the photo below to ‘”like” my Facebook page so updates come right to your newsfeed. 

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


 


House Select Committee on Benghazi releases final report

News from Representative Walden
On September 11, 2012, four brave Americans—including Ambassador Chris Stevens and Oregonian Tyrone Woods—lost their lives in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Their sacrifice in service to our country, and the selfless actions of many others on the ground that night, should be honored and remembered by all Americans. We owe it to them to learn the truth about what really happened so we can prevent it from ever happening again.Over two years ago, I voted to create the House Select Committee on Benghazi so that we can learn the facts and make sure that those responsible are held accountable. Chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the committee has interviewed over 80 witnesses and obtained more than 75,000 new documents. Today, it released its investigative report in full—800 pages detailing the events leading up to, during, and after the attack in Benghazi. Please click here to read the report in its entirety.

The American people deserve the facts, and the House will continue its work to get to the truth and to prevent a future attack from happening. Again, please click here to read the Select Committee’s final report.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitterand Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clickinghere. Click here if you would like to Unsubscribe.

Greg Walden: Abuse of Executive Power

 

Good news in the fight against abuse of executive power and Obamacare: a federal court has ruled in favor of the U.S. House of Representatives in a lawsuit against the Administration’s unconstitutional use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize health insurers.

The Obama administration has repeatedly abused executive power and flouted basic Constitutional principles. In November 2014, the House responded by passaging a resolution I strongly supported that empowered Speaker of the House John Boehner to file a lawsuit in making the case that the administration spent taxpayer money that Congress never authorized or appropriated for such purpose. Last week, a federal court agreed with our case and followed the plain meaning of the Constitution and upheld the rule of law.

While the Administration plans to appeal the ruling, know that I will continue to fight to protect our Constitutional rights and to rein in wasteful spending at every opportunity.  This decision sends a clear message that the executive branch must follow the Constitution and respect the role of Congress

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

 

Best regards,

Greg Walden

U.S. Representative

Oregon’s Second District


Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clicking here. Click here if you would like to Unsubscribe.

About Executive Amnesty

Dear Friend,
The House has taken an unprecedented step to stop President Obama’s executive overreach. We have voted to authorize Speaker Ryan to officially weigh in with the Supreme Court in a case that tests the legitimacy of the President’s executive amnesty.Filling this brief in the case U.S. v. Texas is a first-of-its-kind action. But the President’s drastic overreach calls for a tough response on behalf of the House. As Speaker Ryan said, “The president is not permitted to write law, only Congress is.” I couldn’t agree more.

 

It has been just over a year since President Obama announced his plans to use his executive authority to make sweeping changes to our immigration laws. The President took this step despite saying many times that he didn’t even have the legal authority to do so. Yet he moved forward anyway.

 

In response to the President’s actions, Texas has led nearly two dozen states in suing the Administration to stop it. Texas and the other states have won every round of court. The case is expected to be argued before the Supreme Court in April.

 

Our vote in the House allows Speaker Ryan to file a brief with the Supreme Court that officially states our opposition to the President’s blanket amnesty program in defense of Congress’s powers under the Constitution.

 

I have always believed that a nation that does not have control of its borders does not have control of its security. That’s why I have consistently worked to strengthen border security and enforce the law of the land.  I’ve also worked hard to defend our Constitution and speak out against the President’s executive overreach. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will do the same.

 

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

 

Best regards,

 

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


Obama’s extreme tax on oil: bad for Oregon

A Message From Representative Walden
Dear Jay:

President Obama recently outlined a proposal to levy a $10 tax on every barrel of oil that is produced here in this country or imported from other countries. I believe that this prioritizes a radical environmental proposal over the health of our economy. Please know that I, and my fellow Republicans in Congress, strongly oppose this proposal and will not allow it to pass the House.

According to a recent USA Today article about the President’s proposal, it is consumers, not energy companies, who will ultimately foot the bill for this tax:

“Energy companies will simply pass along the cost to consumers, Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, which tracks gas prices nationwide, said in an interview with USA TODAY… ‘Something like this would trickle down and be a $10 per barrel tax on motorists,’ DeHaan said. ‘This is not something oil companies are going to absorb.’”

Not only would this proposal increase costs at the pump by at least $2.76 per fill-up, or 25 cents per gallon, it would stifle growth in America’s booming energy sector and kill good-paying jobs. We should be improving our position in the global economy by supporting our energy sector, not diminishing it with excessive taxes and regulation. Unfortunately, that has become par for the course with this Administration.

Speaker Ryan recently laid out his opposition to the President’s proposal. You can find his statement here. Whether it’s the Waters of the United States rule that Congress recently voted to scrap, or more policies that hamper economic growth in the West and across the country, please know that I will continue to stand up for rural Americans against costly tax increases and oppressive new regulations from federal agencies. It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District

Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you have not already done so.

Greg Walden Round Table

Capture

Greg Walden on Armed Standoff in Oregon

Update — Obamacare in 2016

A Message From Representative Walden
 

Since Obamacare’s rollout almost six years ago, I have continued to look for ways to clean up the mess that’s impacted our nation’s healthcare system. We need to get back to a system that’s centered on patients, without putting big government in the middle.

 

Recently, a new bill was signed into law that funds the government through September but does not contain any new spending on Obamacare.

 

Moreover, the new plan cuts $15 million from the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), one of Obamacare’s most controversial features. That’s $5 million more than was cut from the IPAB in last year’s budget. The IPAB is an unelected board of bureaucrats that can ration Medicare spending with little oversight from Congress. That’s not right. Medicare is a promise to our seniors that must not be broken. This funding cut is an important step towards stopping this rationing board.

 

In addition, the House has taken steps to delay taxes on health insurance plans and medical devices that so many rely on. The delay of three cost-heavy, onerous Obamacare taxes is a win for patients, consumers, workers, and businesses. When combined, the delay of these taxes puts $35 billion back in the pockets of the American people this year.

 

Our budget for 2016 puts us on track to combat the worst abuses of Obamacare. Moving forward, you can be sure that I will continue to oppose this flawed law and advocate for solutions that return Oregonians to a patient-focused health system.

 

It’s an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

 

Best regards,

 

Greg Walden

U.S. Representative

Oregon’s Second District

 

Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clicking here. Click here if you would like to Unsubscribe.

Conservatives in Oregon

NE Oregon is a sad place to be if you believe in conservative principles. At least we have Ron Wyden who is rated as one of the best of the worst.

NE Oregon Conservatives

UNDERSTANDING THE LIBERTY SCORE®

The Liberty Score® grades members of Congress on the top 50 votes over the past six years. The rolling six-year window shows a more accurate picture of a lawmaker’s performance than the traditional one or two-year scoring methods. The Liberty Score® empowers conservatives to quickly determine if a politician is supporting conservative principles separating their rhetoric from reality. Members elected after to 2009 will have scores based on less than 50 key votes.
Scores are determined by points earned divided by potential points. Voting with the conservative position earns 1 point, voting against the conservative position earns 0 points. Missed votes are not included in a member of Congress’ score. A letter grade is assigned to each member to help you quickly determine if a lawmaker is supporting conservative principles. The Liberty Score® helps evaluate your Representatives and Senators, providing the tools necessary to separate rhetoric from reality.

GREG WALDEN AT A GLANCE  (by Conservative Review)

Greg Walden was first elected to Congress in 1998. Prior to serving in the House, Walden owned and operated various radio stations throughout the state of Oregon. From 1988 through 1995, Walden was a member of the Oregon State House of Representatives. In 1995, he was appointed to the state senate to fill a vacancy although he did not seek a second term.

At present, he is the only Republican representative from the state of Oregon.

Despite representing an overwhelmingly Republican district, Walden is not conservative by any stretch of the imagination. He is a member of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership, which was founded in the wake of the 1994 Republican Revolution to “further a centrist, pragmatic Republican agenda — one that could accommodate bipartisan legislative results.” (Republican Main Street Partnership)

During his time in Congress, Walden has consistently voted for bigger government. He voted in favor of both TARP bills and in favor of the 2008 “stimulus” bill. He has also consistently votes in favor of maintaining union wage subsidies by voting in favor of Davis-Bacon provisions; regulations that drastically drive up the cost of labor on federal projects.

In 2014, President Obama proposed making reforms to Social Security and Medicare systems. The changes would have restrained federal entitlement spending. Walden complained that the president was “trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors”. (CNN)

One bright spot in Walden’s record is his vote against ending the 2013 government shutdown. At the time he stated: “Every day, families throughout Oregon and the country sit down around their kitchen tables to balance their budgets and discuss crises and practical ways to resolve them.  It’s long overdue that Washington, D.C. do the same.”Unfortunately, Walden’s actions do not always reflect that view. One departure from that rhetoric came in 2014, when he voted in favor of the “CRomnibus” legislation that funded the president’s executive amnesty program.

As the Club for Growth pointed out, “We always knew Greg Walden had a liberal record, but he really cemented it with his public opposition to even modest entitlement reform. Greg Walden has voted for bailing out Wall Street, dozens of pork projects, and against cutting the spending from the Obama stimulus. He even voted against blocking taxpayer subsidies for Viagra. Greg Walden should be held accountable for his anti-growth voting record as well as his anti-growth rhetoric.” (Huffington Post)

Support for big government has benefited Walden personally. He has grown close to House GOP leadership and Speaker John Boehner has called Representative Walden his “go-to-guy”. (NPR) Following the 2012 general election, Walden became Chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee where he has worked to protect the GOP establishment from more conservative challengers. He was re-elected to that post in 2014 and currently sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

Keep in touch with Greg Walden

A Message From Representative Walden
Dear Friend,From town hall meetings in Oregon (at least one in every county so far in 2015), telephone town halls, my websitee-mail, snail mail, and social media, I use many different ways to keep in touch with Oregonians in the vast Second District.

Facebook is one of my favorite ways to share pictures and stories of my travels around Oregon, as well as information on problems I’m working to solve for you. And it’s a great way to get feedback from you on legislation pending in Congress and other local and national issues.

I hope you’ll “like” my page to follow along. Click here or on the photo below to ‘like’ my Facebook page so updates come right to your newsfeed.

Best Regards,

Greg Walden


ICYMI: Update from Rep. Greg Walden

 

Growing up on a cherry orchard in The Dalles, I learned the value of hard work and integrity.  I carried those lessons with me as my wife and I founded our small businesses in Oregon.  We worked long, hard hours and know what it takes to sign both sides of a paycheck.  And I bring those lessons with me as I work hard to serve Oregonians and solve problems in local communities.

 

But far too often it seems like parts of the federal government—from the IRS, to the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, to the Veterans Administration—have forgotten these lessons. And there’s no better example of this than the worst fiscal failure in our state’s history: Cover Oregon.

 

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on this broken website, and taxpayers have little to show for it. The leaders of this failed organization finally agreed to throw in the towel and scrap the whole thing, leaving taxpayers struck with the bill.

 

On top of that, the state continues to reward the people responsible for Cover Oregon’s failure by paying employees retention bonuses to stay on the exchange’s payroll.  And they’re spending $650,000 of your tax dollars to do it.  It’s time to stop this outrageous waste and get the truth!

 

That’s why I worked hard to seek and secure an independent investigation into the failure of Cover Oregon from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Taxpayers deserve answers, and those in charge of this expensive boondoggle need to be held accountable.

 

But the health care law is more than failed websites, continued confusion, and broken promises. It puts the federal government between you and your health care provider, further extending the government’s tentacles into the private lives of Oregonians.

 

And one way they are paying for this is raiding Medicare. There’s a provision tucked away in Obamacare that makes drastic cuts to home health providers—a total of 14 percent over the next three years. The board that sets Medicare rates predicts that the cuts will cause more than 40 percent of home health providers nationwide to operate in the red.  And that number jumps to 70 percent of home care providers in Oregon. According to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, over 15,000 Oregonians already utilizing home health services will lose access to their providers and 3,000 home health care workers in Oregon will lose their jobs.

 

Taking away this important access to care eliminates patients’ ability to control their own health care decisions. Home care provides a sense of comfort, familiarity, and normalcy for the patient and their loved ones.  I know this first hand, because it’s a choice my parents made.  And it’s not just a win for the patient. Home-based care benefits Medicare as a whole.  Having people recover at home is less expensive than in a hospital or nursing home.

 

That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to stop these harsh cuts to home health care, the Securing Access via Excellence (SAVE) for Medicare Home Health Act of 2014.  Instead of these sweeping, across the board cuts, the SAVE Medicare Home Health Act puts in place smart reforms that reward home health agencies that provide high value care to their patients while cutting payments to agencies that don’t meet certain performance and quality standards.  Government intrusion shouldn’t cost Oregon seniors the care they rely on.

 

Meanwhile, Americans are correctly outraged by the scandal at the VA.  As a nation, we owe our veterans the best care possible.  From World War II to Korea, Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ve all fought to defend our freedom, and we must ensure they receive the benefits and care they’ve earned.

 

That’s why the House has acted to clean up the mess at the VA. We’ve passed legislation to hold senior level managers at the agency accountable for the agency’s progress. And we unanimously approved emergency legislation that would allow veterans who have been waiting for an appointment more than 30 days the ability to get timely care outside the VA system. The Senate has passed similar legislation, and negotiators from both chambers recently completed hammering out a final version that is in the process of being sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

 

Besides working to improve health care for Oregonians, I’m continuing efforts to create jobs and change federal policy to better manage public lands. Last September, the House passed our bipartisan legislation to fix broken federal forest policy to create jobs in the woods, improve forest health, and provide revenue for essential local services like schools and law enforcement. As we enter what could be a very bad fire season, this legislation is more important than ever. The Senate should take it up and pass it as soon as possible before Oregonians are choking on smoke once more this summer. We can continue to build healthy communities and create a strong future for many generations to come.

 

Finally, I’m working hard on legislation to promote public access to our public lands. Whether it’s camping and hunting or fishing and picking berries with the grandchildren, recreation is part of our culture and heritage in Oregon.  That’s why I’ve introduced the Forest Access in Rural Communities Act- to ensure that federal government can’t restrict forest access without input from local communities.

 

I’ll continue to work hard to grow our economy, reduce wasteful spending, and stop growing government intrusion in your lives. So if you or a loved one needs help with Social Security, Medicare, veteran’s benefits, or any other federal agency, please call my office toll free from the 541 area code at 800-533-3303.  I will do everything I can to get results for you. It’s an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

 

Best regards,

 

Greg Walden

Member of Congress
P.S. To learn more about my work on behalf of Oregon, please feel free to visit my website at www.walden.house.gov. There you can sign up for my free e-newsletter to receive email updates with the latest news from Oregon and the nation’s capital.

 

Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter if you have not already done so.

Update from Rep. Greg Walden

greg_walden_banner

Growing up on a cherry orchard in The Dalles, I learned the value of hard work and integrity.  I carried those lessons with me as my wife and I founded our small businesses in Oregon.  We worked long, hard hours and know what it takes to sign both sides of a paycheck.  And I bring those lessons with me as I work hard to serve Oregonians and solve problems in local communities.

But far too often it seems like parts of the federal government—from the IRS, to the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, to the Veterans Administration—have forgotten these lessons. And there’s no better example of this than the worst fiscal failure in our state’s history: Cover Oregon.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on this broken website, and taxpayers have little to show for it. The leaders of this failed organization finally agreed to throw in the towel and scrap the whole thing, leaving taxpayers struck with the bill.

On top of that, the state continues to reward the people responsible for Cover Oregon’s failure by paying employees retention bonuses to stay on the exchange’s payroll.  And they’re spending $650,000 of your tax dollars to do it.  It’s time to stop this outrageous waste and get the truth!

That’s why I worked hard to seek and secure an independent investigation into the failure of Cover Oregon from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Taxpayers deserve answers, and those in charge of this expensive boondoggle need to be held accountable.

But the health care law is more than failed websites, continued confusion, and broken promises. It puts the federal government between you and your health care provider, further extending the government’s tentacles into the private lives of Oregonians.

And one way they are paying for this is raiding Medicare. There’s a provision tucked away in Obamacare that makes drastic cuts to home health providers—a total of 14 percent over the next three years. The board that sets Medicare rates predicts that the cuts will cause more than 40 percent of home health providers nationwide to operate in the red.  And that number jumps to 70 percent of home care providers in Oregon. According to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, over 15,000 Oregonians already utilizing home health services will lose access to their providers and 3,000 home health care workers in Oregon will lose their jobs.

Taking away this important access to care eliminates patients’ ability to control their own health care decisions. Home care provides a sense of comfort, familiarity, and normalcy for the patient and their loved ones.  I know this first hand, because it’s a choice my parents made.  And it’s not just a win for the patient. Home-based care benefits Medicare as a whole.  Having people recover at home is less expensive than in a hospital or nursing home.

That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to stop these harsh cuts to home health care, the Securing Access via Excellence (SAVE) for Medicare Home Health Act of 2014.  Instead of these sweeping, across the board cuts, the SAVE Medicare Home Health Act puts in place smart reforms that reward home health agencies that provide high value care to their patients while cutting payments to agencies that don’t meet certain performance and quality standards.  Government intrusion shouldn’t cost Oregon seniors the care they rely on.

Meanwhile, Americans are correctly outraged by the scandal at the VA.  As a nation, we owe our veterans the best care possible.  From World War II to Korea, Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ve all fought to defend our freedom, and we must ensure they receive the benefits and care they’ve earned.

That’s why the House has acted to clean up the mess at the VA. We’ve passed legislation to hold senior level managers at the agency accountable for the agency’s progress. And we unanimously approved emergency legislation that would allow veterans who have been waiting for an appointment more than 30 days the ability to get timely care outside the VA system. The Senate has passed similar legislation, and negotiators from both chambers recently completed hammering out a final version that is in the process of being sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Besides working to improve health care for Oregonians, I’m continuing efforts to create jobs and change federal policy to better manage public lands. Last September, the House passed our bipartisan legislation to fix broken federal forest policy to create jobs in the woods, improve forest health, and provide revenue for essential local services like schools and law enforcement. As we enter what could be a very bad fire season, this legislation is more important than ever. The Senate should take it up and pass it as soon as possible before Oregonians are choking on smoke once more this summer. We can continue to build healthy communities and create a strong future for many generations to come.

Finally, I’m working hard on legislation to promote public access to our public lands. Whether it’s camping and hunting or fishing and picking berries with the grandchildren, recreation is part of our culture and heritage in Oregon.  That’s why I’ve introduced the Forest Access in Rural Communities Act- to ensure that federal government can’t restrict forest access without input from local communities.

I’ll continue to work hard to grow our economy, reduce wasteful spending, and stop growing government intrusion in your lives. So if you or a loved one needs help with Social Security, Medicare, veteran’s benefits, or any other federal agency, please call my office toll free from the 541 area code at 800-533-3303.  I will do everything I can to get results for you. It’s an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden

Member of Congress
P.S. To learn more about my work on behalf of Oregon, please feel free to visit my website at www.walden.house.gov. There you can sign up for my free e-newsletter to receive email updates with the latest news from Oregon and the nation’s capital.

Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter if you have not already done so.

Greg Walden: Americans deserve the truth about Benghazi

 

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MEDFORD — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released the following statement today after Speaker Boehner’s announcement that the House will vote to create a new select committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attack:

“Just this week, the White House was forced by a court to release new documents that show the Obama Administration blatantly misled the American people in the days after the terrorist attack in Benghazi. For nearly two years, the Republican-led House has worked tirelessly to get the truth about that night—when four brave Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens and Oregonian Tyrone Woods lost their lives—and its aftermath. Time and time again, the Administration has stonewalled the House and the American people, and it’s time for them to come clean. I support the Speaker’s call for a select committee on Benghazi. This is an extraordinary step, but it’s needed to force accountability from the Obama Administration and get the truth.”

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Oregon’s Walden backs House speaker’s call for select Benghazi committee

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/31520459-76/attack-benghazi-committee-administration-boehner.html.csp

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner on Friday declared he would schedule a vote to create a select committee to investigate the Benghazi attack, escalating a political battle that has raged since the final days of President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Boehner said U.S. officials misled the American people after the Sept. 11, 2012, assault on the U.S. diplomatic post in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. He said emails released this week showed the White House has withheld documents from congressional investigators and asked, “What else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?”

“Americans learned this week that the Obama administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the people’s House,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen.”

Republicans have accused the Obama administration of seeking to deceive the public about the true circumstances of the attack during the final months of the 2012 presidential campaign — charges which the president and other U.S. officials reject.

Rep. Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, issued a press statement supporting Boehner’s call for an investigative panel.

“For nearly two years, the Republican-led House has worked tirelessly to get the truth about that night — when four brave Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens and Oregonian Tyrone Woods lost their lives — and its aftermath,” Walden said in the statement . “Time and time again, the administration has stonewalled the House and the American people, and it’s time for them to come clean.

“I support the speaker’s call for a select committee on Benghazi,” he said. “This is an extraordinary step, but it’s needed to force accountability from the Obama administration and get the truth.”

For Boehner, appointing a select committee raises the profile of one of the Republicans’ main points of attack against Obama ahead of November’s midterm congressional elections, and on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ahead of what may be another presidential campaign in 2016. It could also unify the Republican approach, which showed fissures Thursday as two powerful GOP committee chairmen sparred over whether the military was prevented from responding to the attack.

Republicans have pointed a finger at one passage in particular among the 40 or so emails obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request. Three days after the attack, Ben Rhodes, then the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications at the White House, stressed the goal of underscoring “that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader policy failure.”

The email is dated Sept. 14, the Friday before then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on the Sunday news programs and explained the Benghazi attack as a protest over a YouTube video that mocked the Islamic prophet Mohammed that was hijacked by extremists. Administration officials later changed their description of the attack and said references to a protest were inaccurate.

White House press secretary Jay Carney responded this week by saying the message was explicitly not about Benghazi but about the overall situation across the Arab world, where American embassies and consulates in several countries faced angry and sometimes violent demonstrations. U.S. officials insisted they’ve complied with subpoena requests.

Separately, the Republican chairman of the House oversight committee, one of several that have investigated Benghazi, said Friday he would subpoena Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about the administration’s response to the attack.

Rep. Darrell Issa said he wanted Kerry to appear before the panel May 21 to explain why the latest emails were omitted from previous administration submissions to Congress.

Issa has been the GOP’s most prominent investigator of the Benghazi attack. But his star witness at a hearing Thursday came under sharp criticism from a fellow California Republican, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, who heads the House Armed Services Committee.

Retired Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell told Issa’s panel that U.S. forces “should have tried” to get to the Benghazi outpost in time to help save Stevens and the other Americans. Lovell blamed the State Department for not making stronger requests for action.

McKeon responded by saying Lovell didn’t serve in a capacity that gave him reliable insight into the available options commanders had during the attack, and repeated his own committee’s conclusions that the State Department didn’t delay a decision to deploy military resources and that the military couldn’t have made a difference.

Boehner said the latest documents to be released showed “greater White House involvement in misleading the American people” and amounted to a “flagrant violation of trust.”

He praised the House investigations up to now but said lingering questions and the administration’s lack of respect for congressional oversight required an escalation of the level of investigation.

A separate investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee found the U.S. had insufficient security at the Benghazi post and spread the blame among the State Department, the military and U.S. intelligence for missing what now seem like obvious warning signs. It also faulted Stevens for not ensuring enough protection.

A senior Republican aide said Boehner was considering Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to chair the select committee. The aide wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity. It’s unclear when Boehner will schedule the vote.

 

 

Rep. Greg Walden’s Oregon Congressional Connection

 

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Dear Friend,

I just wrapped up town halls and other meetings in southern, central, and eastern Oregon, covering 1599 miles in nine counties (it was supposed to be 10, but transportation difficulties prevented me from getting to Lakeview on Friday).  Here’s the snow and rain over Mt. Hood as I headed from Bend to Hood River last week (taken from the passenger’s seat…): 

 A-HoodRiver

 

While on the road, we got word that the board of Cover Oregon voted to scrap the site and move to the federal insurance exchange.  Cover Oregon is the digital equivalent of the 1962 Columbus Day storm. It is the worst financial failure in information technology in state history—and it was completely avoidable. This admission of failure underscores the need to stop the waste and get the truth. How did this happen? Who was in charge? That’s why I’ve sought and secured a federal investigation into Cover Oregon.  The Government Accountability Office is already at work to get taxpayers answers and accountability.

 

Meeting with ranchers in Burns after BLM refuses to follow the law 

 

On Friday, I was in Burns for a meeting with ranchers on Steens Mountain and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) because the agency is clearly ignoring the letter and spirit of a law passed by Congress 14 years ago. Allow me to explain:

 

In the waning days of the Clinton Administration, the Secretary of the Interior at the time, Bruce Babbitt, made it clear that the President would use his power to designate national monuments to unilaterally lock up thousands of acres of Steens Mountain putting a noose around the neck of local ranchers who had been excellent stewards of this magnificent part of Oregon.  Before he could do this, I teamed up with local families and my colleagues in the Oregon delegation to write a law that worked for ranchers and the Clinton Administration.  That law prevented Clinton from declaring it a monument and put in place a lasting framework rooted in cooperation and local control. It facilitated land exchanges on the most fragile parts of the mountain and allowed local ranchers to continue grazing their cattle in other areas. The Steens Act was passed unanimously by the House and the Senate and signed into law in October 2000. 

 

The law contained a very clear sentence: “The Secretary [of the Interior] shall be responsible for installing and maintaining any fencing required for resource protection within the designated no livestock grazing area.” 

 

To me—and probably to you—that sentence means that the Interior Department and the BLM are responsible for putting up fencing around the cow-free areas. But the BLM of today is violating the letter and the spirit of the law. The BLM has made it clear they feel that the responsibility for building the fences falls to the ranchers. How could we have written the law any more clearly?! 

 

It’s not the first time I’ve had to educate the BLM on the intent of this law, because—like so many agencies—they continue to try to interpret it their way. Some in the agency think it’s their land, or the government’s land, not the public’s land. Now they have some high-priced lawyers running around, trying to interpret nuances to get to a result that they want. And I’ll be darned if I’m going to let them do that. I refuse to let them and their lawyers flout the clear intent of Congress and the law.

 B-Burns

 

I made this very point to the ranchers and the BLM representatives who came to Burns.  And I will continue to do everything I can to make sure the BLM respects the letter and the intent of the law. 

 

You can read more about this issue in The Bulletin here.

 

Better care for veterans in Grants Pass 

 

Last Thursday, I was in Grants Pass for the dedication of their new Veterans Administration (VA) clinic. For many years, the VA has operated a small clinic that mostly served veterans in rural Josephine County. That left most veterans in the area forced to drive 30 to 70 miles to White City or Roseburg for routine medical treatment. 

 

This new clinic, though, will bring the VA to veterans instead of forcing more veterans to go to the VA. Along with local veterans and other leaders, Senator Wyden and I worked hard for many years to prod the VA to upgrade their clinic. This upgrade will help about 1,000 additional veterans receive high-quality care closer to home. Men and women who served this country and fought for our freedom deserve nothing less. 

 

Time for more accountability at the VA 

 

I also met with veterans in Bend and Ontario last week. A major issue I heard about (and I hear about all too often) is the claims backlog at the VA. Over 725,000 veterans are currently waiting for a claims decision. The latest numbers from the Portland office show that about 62% of veterans’ claims are older than 125 days. That’s unacceptable.  It’s time for greater accountability at the VA. 

 

That’s why I support a bill working its way through Congress—the VA Management Accountability Act—to hold senior level VA managers accountable for the agency’s progress. Current law puts layers and layers of red tape in the way before a senior manager at the VA can be held accountable for their actions. This bill would cut away a lot of that red tape to give the Secretary the authority to clean up the agency.

 

As Speaker John Boehner recently said when talking about the bill, “The VA is failing our veterans and their families.  It’s time we hold these people accountable and get people in there who can fix this backlog once and for all.”

 

This week, the House will vote on funding legislation for the VA that continues our efforts to upgrade their computer systems and provide the personnel needed to solve this problem.

 

At the meeting in Bend, I had the chance to recognize three recent service academy appointees from Central Oregon, Emily Shunk (left) accepted an appointment to the US Air Force Academy; Tim Gorman (center) and Braden Bell (shaking hand) accepted an appointment to West Point. 

 C-Academy

 

Being nominated to one of our nation’s service academies represents years of hard work and discipline. It takes a special commitment to pursue the rigors of an academy education, and these young Americans are continuing a long line of patriotic Oregonians in their endeavor. To learn more about being nominated to a service academy, please click here

 

FDA pulls back on regulations that could harm brewers, ranchers, consumers

 

I’ve told you before about a new proposal from the FDA that could harm Oregon’s brewers, ranchers, and consumers. It is common for brewers to give or sell a byproduct of the brewing process—known as “spent grains”—to local ranchers for use as animal feed. But the FDA has proposed tightly regulating this practice to prevent food-borne illness, even though there’s never been a case we are aware of where spent grains from a brewery fed to cattle caused any kind of food-borne illness. It’s a solution in search of a problem. 

 

I met with brewers and ranchers from Central Oregon last week about this issue. If the rule were to go through, it could have a big impact on both these groups, and even force them to raise costs on beer and beef sold to consumers. No one wants that. 

 

After the meeting, the FDA announced they would rework the rules. That’s encouraging, but I will keep a close eye on the agency’s actions moving forward to make sure the final proposal doesn’t unnecessarily harm these small businesses or consumers. 

 

I was able to achieve a similar success when it came to proposed irrigation regulations the FDA drafted for onions that were also completely unworkable.  The FDA listened and pulled back those draft rules, too.

 

Promoting forest access in John Day 

 

On Friday, it was on to John Day for a meeting on forest access with Grant County citizens. I was joined by John Bastian of the Grant County Snowballers (local snowmobile club), Commissioners Boyd Britton and Chris Labhart, and other members of the community.

 

We discussed legislation I have introduced to stop the Forest Service’s travel management rule, the Forest Access in Rural Communities Act. This legislation would require the Forest Service to get input and consent from affected counties before any future road closure could take effect. It would help bring local input and needs back into the process and ensure that local citizens have a clear say on the management actions that affect the forests that surround them.

 D-JohnDay

 

For too long, the input and wishes of local citizens have been pushed to the backseat when it comes to decisions about access to our public lands. This common-sense bill will put local communities back in the driver’s seat in the Forest Service’s travel management planning process. 

 

Teaming up with Facebook to help small businesses grow 

 

Finally, thank you to Facebook for hosting workshops in Medford and Bend to help small businesses learn to use social media to better to reach customers. More than 200 people turned out for each session!  It was great to attend these two sessions to meet more Oregon entrepreneurs who are the real engines of job growth in our economy. 

 

Helping Oregon’s small businesses grow and create more jobs is essential if we’re going to lower our unemployment rate and boost the wages of workers.

 

That’s all for this time. Have a great week.

 

Best regards,

  

Greg Walden 
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District

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