Buehler comes up short in legislative session: Wrong on Issues and “astoundingly ineffective”
PORTLAND — At the conclusion of the 2018 session, with all eyes on presumed Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler, two things have come into clear focus: Buehler is an ineffective lawmaker and out of touch with Oregon voters.
“None of Buehler’s bills or priorities gained traction during the recent short session,” said Jeanne Atkins, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “For a guy who wants to lead the state and touts his bipartisan credentials, he is astoundingly ineffective. Buehler is good at making campaign speeches in committee hearings but clearly after three years as a legislator he still hasn’t figured out governing.”
Buehler’s out of touch votes this legislative session include:
- Voted NO on the HOPE Amendment, a referral that would have made cost effective and affordable health care a fundamental right. This vote is in line with Buehler’s efforts to reduce health care access, including advocating against Measure 101.
- Voted NO on legislation that would lower class sizes for Oregon students. (HB 4113)
- Voted NO on HB 4135, siding with extreme, anti-choice organization Oregon Right to Life over AARP, health professionals, and disability advocates.
- Voted NO on HB 4003, a clean air bill that would have reduced dirty diesel pollution near hospitals and daycares.
- Voted NO on wage protections for employees working for unscrupulous employers.(HB 4154) and voted YES on HB 4093, legislation that would have prevented Portland Winterhawks players from any ability to seek workers’ protections
- Voted NO on to concur with HB 4111, a bill that provides protections for DACA recipients and voted NO on SB 1563, a bill that provides opportunities for Dreamers to receive college scholarships.
Additionally, a number of contradictions in Buehler’s policy positions took center stage during the legislative session.
- Buehler took every opportunity to grandstand about child welfare funding but conveniently omitted his repeated votes against DHS budget that would have increased funding for child welfare: In 2015, he voted against a proposed 8.4% increase in funding for DHS. Just last year, he voted no on a budget increase of 5.8%.
- HB 4077 the so called “Buehler Loophole” was reintroduced this session, however, never received a floor vote. In a cynical move, Buehler and his Republican colleagues used a procedural maneuver to bury the ethics legislation (HB 4077) in committee moments before it was scheduled to receive a public vote, once again allowing Buehler to hide from his ethical lapse
- After opposing discussion of gun control bills in the short session, Buehler faced huge pressure and was ultimately forced to support Gov. Brown’s top priority: a bill to close the Boyfriend Loophole. This comes after his earlier vote against universal background checks on gun sales.
“Rep. Buehler’s record this session is little more than a series of contradictions, half-truths and missteps,” said Atkins. “At the close of the 2018 session, there is no doubt his political consultants must be very proud, but the people of Oregon should be skeptical.”
The recent session saw a number of victories spearheaded by Legislative Democrats in both chambers. Furthermore, Governor Brown successfully passed her five item agenda for the short session.
“While Buehler realized it was politically expedient for him to jump on board with a few progressive bills this session, he deserves no credit for Oregon’s continued progress,” said Atkins. “In his short legislative career Buehler has repeatedly voted against common sense gun policies. He was against prescription drug price transparency before he was for it. And he continues to show that he cannot be trusted to protect women’s health and rights. His posturing is disingenuous and insulting to the folks doing the real work of passing good policy in Salem.”