For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
press [at] dpo [dot] org
DPO calls out Walden for shirking responsibility to represent Oregon’s interests
PORTLAND – Oregon Democrats today demanded an answer from Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon’s only Republican in Congress, regarding his decision to vacate his seat on the committee charged with negotiating Congress’s effort at tax reform that, as currently designed, will substantially hurt Oregonians. Walden, a member of the Republican leadership, chose to abandon his seat on the committee rather than taking the opportunity to protect Oregon’s interests as the committee debates final details of the tax legislation behind closed doors.
“Congressman Walden walked out on the job,” said Jeanne Atkins, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “He could have used his powerful voice in Congress on this conference committee; he could have helped Oregon, but instead he chose to back away and do nothing.”
Gov. Kate Brown outlined all the ways that the Republican-scripted tax overhaul would affect the people of our state in a letter to the Congressional delegation. The bill eliminates state and local tax deductions, repeals key sections of the Affordable Care Act — with the result that 13 million Americans will see their health coverage disappear — and explodes the national deficit while setting the stage for budgets slashing vital services.
“Walden’s silence on this bill has been stunning and unaccountable,” said Atkins. “He can’t hide from the truth that as a leader in his own party, he has turned his back on folks back home in favor of mega-wealthy campaign donors and corporations. He refuses to lift a finger to challenge a whole slew of unrelated, dangerous policies that threaten our environment, endanger a women’s right to choose, and prolong the housing crisis. He has abdicated his duty to stand up for the people who sent him to Congress, knowing that this tax bill is harmful and deeply unpopular among Oregon voters. His refusal to demonstrate leadership is disgraceful.”
Atkins noted that in a official Congressional newsletter released , “Walden neglected to even mention the tax bill. He was quoted in The Oregonian as saying he wants to “improve” the tax bill, without saying how, and after giving up his best chance to do it by backing out of the conference committee that’s working on it.”