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Greg Walden: Getting to work in 2017

The New Year and new session of Congress kicked off to a fast start in the House of Representatives. I got to work right away in the first weeks of 2017 voting to rein in costly regulations, help reduce red tape that harms small businesses trying to provide internet access to rural areas, and preserve patient access to emergency medications.

I also made several stops in southern and central Oregon to meet with local veterans, community leaders, and hear from people at community meetings.  Meeting with Oregonians helps keep my “to-do” list fresh as I work with the Trump Administration to improve our nation’s healthcare system, address problems at the Veterans Administration, and grow the economy in Oregon.

Last week, the conclusion of the Obama Administration, without a national monument designation in the Owyhee Canyonlands, marked a long awaited victory for the people of eastern Oregon. Local opposition to this proposal was loud and clear. I worked hard to convey that opposition to President Obama, and make the case that a monument would bring yet another layer of federal regulation to the eastern Oregon landscape and the people who live there. I’m glad that their voices were heard, and this proposal was shelved before more of our lands were locked up.

Read on to learn more about my stops in our vast region, as well as Oregonians I met with who made the long trip across the country to visit our nation’s capital and attend the 58th Presidential Inauguration.

Signing my oath of office for the new session of Congress.

Signing my oath of office for the new session of Congress.

It was an honor to welcome Oregonians to the nation’s capital for the 58th Presidential Inauguration. I held an open house for Oregonians who attended the ceremony, and it was great to see the excitement on the faces of those who just witnessed history!

It was an honor to welcome Oregonians to the nation’s capital for the 58th Presidential Inauguration. I held an open house for Oregonians who attended the ceremony, and it was great to see the excitement on the faces of those who just witnessed history!

These students are with Oregon Tech’s Institute of Transportation Engineers Chapter and met with me as part of the 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

These students are with Oregon Tech’s Institute of Transportation Engineers Chapter and met with me as part of the 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

Brenda Johnson of Oregon Primary Care Association discussed the good work community health centers are doing in Oregon. The Energy and Commerce Committee that I chair will take up reauthorization of America’s community health centers later this year.

Brenda Johnson of Oregon Primary Care Association discussed the good work community health centers are doing in Oregon. The Energy and Commerce Committee that I chair will take up reauthorization of America’s community health centers later this year.

Just one week into the new session of Congress, we took swift action in the House to rein in costly, burdensome, and overreaching federal regulations. We passed the Midnight Rules Relief Act (H.R. 21) to make sure departing presidents of either party can’t hand down unnecessary, midnight rules on their way out the door. We also passed the REINS Act (H.R. 26) that requires major regulations be approved by Congress, not just implemented by unelected bureaucrats in D.C. These plans will rein in out of control regulators like the EPA, and help grow the economy and protect small businesses in Oregon.

The House also unanimously passed legislation I introduced to reduce government red tape holding back small businesses across the country. The Small Business Broadband Deployment Act lifts unnecessary regulatory burdens on small internet service providers — who so often serve customers in rural areas like eastern Oregon. This bill allows these small businesses to focus on the core mission of serving their customers, not complying with onerous reporting requirements.

 

My recent stops in Oregon

In the first weeks of 2017, I had a busy schedule of meetings in southern and central Oregon. My first stop was in southern Oregon to have lunch with a group of inspiring young leaders in Medford. I had the opportunity to meet with 10 students whom I recently nominated to our nation’s service academies including the Air Force Academy, Military Academy, and Naval Academy. The nominees from southern Oregon were among 15 from across the Oregon’s Second District nominated by my Service Academy Nomination Board — made up of retired and active duty military officers. The nominees were selected for their strong academics, extracurricular activities, and character.

Meeting with 10 southern Oregon students I recently nominated to our nation’s service academies. What an inspiring group of young leaders who want to defend our freedom and way of life!

Meeting with 10 southern Oregon students I recently nominated to our nation’s service academies. What an inspiring group of young leaders who want to defend our freedom and way of life!

These students have all shown a desire to grow intellectually, lead by example, and serve our country by pursuing a higher education at one of our country’s select service academies. I am confident that each will be successful in this admirable endeavor, and that America’s future is in good hands.

Students who are interested in learning more about service academy nominations can visit my website at https://walden.house.gov/academynominations

Lake County town hall meeting

During the town hall, I updated people on my recent work in Congress to solve problems in Oregon, including efforts underway to improve health care, reduce federal regulations, and grow jobs in rural communities.

We discussed fixing the nation’s healthcare system by focusing on patient-centered reforms that put the consumers and their doctors in the driver seat, not the federal government. And we also addressed the last-minute, unilateral expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon. It’s very unfortunate that this expansion didn’t give elected county leaders and other key stakeholders a meaningful opportunity to express their views. Whether you support or oppose the monument expansion, there’s no doubting the fact that the Obama Administration failed to do the hard work of finding consensus on how best to manage these public lands.

You can read my full statement on the unilateral expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument here.

I’ll continue my work in 2017 to ensure the VA is held to the highest standards of ethics and transparency, and that our nation’s veterans are receiving the health care options and resources they’ve earned and deserve on a timely basis.

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Contact Greg Walden’s Offices:

Washington, DC Office
2185 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6730

Bend Office
1051 NW Bond St. #400
Bend, OR 97701
Phone: (541) 389-4408

La Grande Office
1211 Washington Avenue
La Grande, OR 97850
Phone: (541) 624-2400

Medford Office
14 N. Central Ave. #112
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 776-4646

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