POWELL BUTTE, OR -- Congressman Greg Walden is in Central Oregon, this week. He met with a mostly friendly crowd Tuesday afternoon, at a Crook County town hall held at the Powell Butte Community Center. The Republican discussed robocalls, prescription drug prices, tariffs impacting farmers and ranchers, and forest management.
One man, who serves on the State of Jefferson Committee, asked Walden whether he would support the creation of a new state if it were to pass the Legislature and go to Congress. The Republican responded, "I’ll tell you, after what I saw happen in Salem, I think all of us in Eastern Oregon are for a new form of governance. I’m not an expert in that whole process you just outlined. But, clearly, people are hurt and don’t feel like we’re being heard on this side of the state. And, we’re not."
Priscilla, of Prineville, asked the final and most controversial question of the event. She’s concerned about what she called a humanitarian crisis at the Southern Border and asked, "How can we, as a country, help them stay where they want to be, which is home?" Walden replied, "That should be number one. And, we tried that through foreign aid and working with those governments." She interrupted, "Which is being cut. It’s my understanding the President’s cut that." Walden said, "I think the President is trying to send a message to some of these foreign leaders in these countries. They like the money, they don’t always follow through. Alright? There’s a level of corruption in some of these countries." The woman responded, "There is everywhere." To which Walden agreed. He also said he was the only Oregon member in the House or Senate to support spending more money on migrant care and processing.
Nancy asked how the Congressman chooses where to hold public meetings, given the current political climate. He acknowledged Tuesday's civil crowd and said it’s not always that way, "This district varies. If I’m in Ashland, it’s a little different tone and tenor than if I’m in Durkee; right? And Bend has changed and my own hometown has changed – it’s not the community I grew up in, but it is what it is. I just try to listen and take it in." He says this week’s town halls are intentionally scheduled in smaller communities. A Deschutes County town hall begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the fairgrounds in Redmond. Walden will be at the Culver Fire Station in Jefferson County, at 11 a.m.