Greg Walden: 31 days. 2,050 miles. 29 meetings. 12 counties. 14,408 messages responded to

31 days. 2,050 miles. 29 meetings. 12 counties. 14,408 messages responded to.

Meeting with the people working on the ground to solve problems in our communities across our vast district is the best way I update my “to-do” list. Throughout the month of August, I sure added to that list. Driving 2,050 miles across 12 counties in our district, I held 29 meetings with concerned citizens, community leaders, local officials, veterans, small business owners, and other hard-working Oregon families.

Clockwise from Top Left: 1) Thanking a Korean War veteran for his service at a recognition ceremony at Warm Springs. 2) Touring Blue Mountain Seeds’ new seed cleaning facility outside of La Grande. 3) Holding a press conference in Medford to call for active forest management to prevent unnaturally catastrophic wildfires. 4) Presenting Luis Alcala an American flag in Hood River in honor of his becoming a citizen of the United States.

I also responded to 14,408 messages from Oregonians who called my office, sent postal mail, or emailed me to share their views on the issues facing our state and country. You can always keep in touch with me through my website at https://walden.house.gov/contact-greg.

And please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance with a federal agency. Just in the last year, I helped 1,335 constituents with cases, more than 46% of which were veterans seeking help with benefits and health care at the VA. You can call my office from Oregon at 800-533-3303, and I will do everything I can to get results for you.

Walden Secures Relief for Oregon Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by Wildfires

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (right) and I met with wheat farmers in Sherman County in July. Sadly, this very wheat farm lost significant crop in the Substation Fire that devastated the region. I worked with Secretary Perdue to secure needed relief for the wheat farmers and ranchers in the district  who were hit hard by the rangeland fires.

This wildfire season has not only impacted our forests and choked our communities with smoke, but also has devastated farmers and ranchers in Oregon. Farmers and ranchers — especially in Wasco and Sherman counties — have lost some or nearly all of their crops to rangeland fires that burned across the region. That’s why I wrote to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in August to request needed relief for those impacted.

Secretary Perdue came to Oregon to meet with me and the local ag community shortly before these fires devastated one of the very farms where we met in Sherman County. I heard from the people hit hardest by the fires who told me that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) could greatly assist them in dealing with this disaster by both authorizing emergency grazing for ranchers who lost substantial forage, and by granting farmers flexibility to stabilize soil following the fires.

I applaud Secretary Perdue’s prompt approval of my request to get our farmers and ranchers the assistance they need to get back on their feet after these fires. To learn more, please click here.

Relief in sight for Oregon farmers, ranchers impacted by wildfires

Relief is in sight for Oregon farmers and ranchers who suffered severe losses after wildfires ripped through Wasco and Sherman counties earlier this year.

Oregon representative Greg Walden wrote Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Aug. 2, asking for assistance for wheat farmers and ranchers impacted by the Substation Fire.

Click here to read more from Fox 12 Oregon.

Senate to Vote on Opioids Package Following House Passage of Walden Bill

Since the House passed my bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid crisis — the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act — (H.R. 6) in June, I’ve worked closely with my colleagues in the Senate to move this package forward. There was a big development last week in our fight against the opioid crisis: the Senate expects to advance legislation in the coming days.

Shortly after I spoke with key Senators last week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnel announced that the Senate will vote on the Opioid Crisis Response Act — the Senate’s legislative package to address the nationwide opioid crisis.

My bill, which passed the House by a vote of 396 — 14, will help efforts to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities, and bolster our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. To learn more about this legislation, please click here.

After the Senate passes the Opioid Crisis Response Act, members of the House and Senate will work together to negotiate a package to send to the President’s desk. Please know that I will use my leverage as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee during these discussions to ensure the final bill will help attack the opioid crisis from all angles and bring needed assistance to people in our communities.

The opioid epidemic is killing more people every year than die in traffic accidents.  Lives are on the line, and it’s good to see members of both parties and both houses of Congress working together to find real solutions.

 

Senate reaches agreement on opioids package

The Senate has reached an agreement on an opioids package aimed at addressing the national epidemic that killed 72,000 Americans last year…..

…. The House passed another package of opioid measures in June, and the two sets of bills would need to be reconciled before becoming law. President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and on Aug. 20 urged the Senate to pass legislation that tackled the fentanyl problem specifically.

Click here to read more from The Washington Post.

Legislation Moves Forward to Help Consumers Save on Drug Costs

As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’m advancing legislation to help lower what patients have to pay for their medications. Click here to learn more.

The Energy and Commerce Committee — where I serve as Chairman — is working on bipartisan legislation that would ban so-called ‘gag clauses’, which prohibit pharmacists from telling you how to save out-of-pocket costs when purchasing prescription medications. This problem was first brought to my attention by a pharmacist from Grants Pass who told me that as a pharmacist she was precluded — under certain insurance contracts — from sharing with consumers that paying for medication out-of-pocket may be cheaper than going through their insurance plan and paying the deductible. She told me that she once even received a cease and desist letter for trying to help a child with a terminal disease access his medication. That is unacceptable. Senator Wyden is leading the effort in the Senate and I’m doing my part in the House.

These gag clauses have no business in an open and free market place and the legislation I am moving through the Energy and Commerce Committee has broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. To learn more about our legislation, please click here.

Representative Walden says his committee is moving forward with a bill to prohibit ‘gag clauses’

Click here to watch coverage from News Watch 12 in Medford.

Rural Oregon to Receive More than $13 Million to Support Broadband Expansion 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (left) and I met with first responders in Umatilla County in June to discuss how broadband can help them save lives in an emergency. Oregon is receiving more than $13 million from the FCC to support broadband expansion in rural areas.

Oregon will receive $13.7 million through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to facilitate rural broadband expansion. These resources are crucial to help make sure all Oregonians can participate in the 21st century economy regardless of where they live.

Locations in all 20 counties of Oregon’s Second Congressional District will receive this support, and this allocation will help connect more than 10,000 homes and small businesses across our state.

Too many Oregon families and people across rural America lack the broadband necessary to realize the full benefits of the digital age.  While we’ve been making progress there are still too many communities where people are unable to access telemedicine, remote learning, next generation emergency services, and video streaming because of insufficient Internet service.

This funding will further our efforts to close this digital divide in Oregon.  I’m also continuing my efforts in Congress to expand broadband infrastructure to rural communities in our state. I led the effort to pass the RAY BAUM’S Act into law, which reauthorized the FCC and gave the agency additional tools to enhance broadband expansion to underserved communities.

To learn more about these efforts, please click here.

 

Walden Applauds Support For Broadband Expansion In Rural Oregon

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today [8/29/18] applauded an announcement from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that Oregon will receive $13.7 million to support rural broadband expansion. The funding is made available through the FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction, which allocated $1.488 billion in support to be distributed over the next decade to expand broadband to unserved communities in 45 states.

Click here to read more from Klamath Falls News.

Greg Walden to Twitter CEO: “It is critical that users are confident that you are living up to your own promises”

Click here to view my remarks during an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. 

Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool that millions of people around the world use to get information, read the news, and share ideas. Allegations of bias at Twitter has raised serious concerns among its users, which is why I pressed CEO Jack Dorsey for answers during a hearing as to how the social media giant moderates its platform.

I’ve heard concerns from people across our district that certain content and opposing ideas and viewpoints are being blocked, censored, or removed by Twitter employees with no explanation. Oregonians and millions of people across the country simply want the curtain to be lifted to see how these decisions are made and by whom.

Users must be confident that Twitter is living up to the promise, stated in the company rules, “…that everyone should have the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”  The American people want to be assured that Twitter is living up to that mission, and this hearing was important to ensure Twitter remains accountable and transparent to the people who participate in this online “public square.”

To learn more about my hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, please click here.

 

Walden presses Twitter CEO on moderation at hearing

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore, led a hearing Wednesday before the Energy and Commerce Committee with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to seek answers as to how the social media company moderates its platform.

The hearing, entitled, “Twitter: Transparency and Accountability,” addressed concerns about Twitter’s algorithms and its policies for policing content.

Click here to read more from News Channel 21 in Bend.

Care Packages for Military Spouses

The families of America’s service members deserve our gratitude and respect. Last week, I was proud to assemble care packages for military spouses of those currently serving our country away from home.

Thank you to United Service Organizations (USOs) for putting together the care package assembly. Thank you most of all to the men and women serving our country in uniform and their families for the sacrifices you make on behalf of all Americans.

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

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

Best regards,

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


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

 

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