‘Kicking the can down the road’: Walden alone in vote against shutdown deal

Rep. Greg Walden

Rep. Greg Walden

Citing an unwillingness to “kick the can down the road,” U.S. Rep. Greg Walden of Hood River, voted against a bill Wednesday that ended the 17-day federal government shutdown and prevented the nation from potentially defaulting on its debts.

The bipartisan bill, which temporarily funds the federal government and allows it to continue borrowing money, passed with an 81-percent majority in the U.S. Senate — where it was drafted — and a nearly two-thirds majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Walden, who serves the Second Congressional District, is the sole Republican member of Congress serving Oregon and was the only member of the Oregon delegation who voted against the bill. As chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Walden was one of the higher-ranking Republicans to vote down the deal.

The bill that ended the shutdown also funds the government until Jan. 15, 2014 and pushes back the debt ceiling deadline until Feb. 7, 2014. In the meantime, a congressional committee will work out a longer-term budget deal.

“This temporary plan does nothing to address the epic problem: spending borrowed money we don’t have and cannot sustain,” Walden said in a written statement issued Thursday:

“It kicks the can down the road yet again for only three months, and we’ll be right back where we ended up this week,” Walden said. “Enough is enough. Every day, families throughout Oregon and the country sit down around their kitchen tables to balance their budgets and discuss crises and practical ways to resolve them. It’s long overdue that Washington, D.C. do the same.”

Other Oregon members of Congress also had plenty to say about the shutdown:

n Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Portland, Fifth District): “While I am pleased that Congress finally ended the government shutdown and avoided an economic disaster, we will be right back in crisis mode three months from now if we do not immediately address the fiscal problems our country faces in the near and long-term.”

n Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Portland): “After two and a half long weeks, common sense has finally prevailed in Washington.

Although it is a good thing for our economy that Congress has reached an agreement to reopen the government and prevent a default on our debt, Congress fulfilling its most basic duties is not cause for celebration.”

n Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Portland): “With this disruptive and counterproductive government shutdown finally over and the threat of default delayed, it’s time for people to work together regardless of party on the issues most important to Oregonians and our nation - tax reform, job creation and improving affordable health care.”

n Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D, Beaverton, First District) “The bipartisan deal to reopen the government and avoid defaulting on federal obligations will allow us to avert an economic crisis, but we must recognize that too much damage has already been done.

The government shutdown was unnecessary and harmful to public and private sector employees, businesses, and families across Oregon and the country.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge


ohmoxide says...

Rep Walden, this "kick the can down the road" colloquialism is your attempt to deflect your lack of leadership in this congress.

Your party has gone the way of the extremist. Where is Tom Foley when the GOP needs him?

Lead, Rep Walden, do not obstruct.

As for the Affordable Care Act, it is law, a law upheld by the Supreme Court, it is here, if you have issues with it, suggest legislation to improve the law, that is what a leader should be doing.

-Rob Kovacich

Posted 19 October 2013, 1:33 p.m. Suggest removal

shadowjade says...

I'm really disappointed in Walden over this. He's generally a pretty good guy, but he certainly wasn't putting his constituents over his political party in this case!

Posted 25 October 2013, 11:39 a.m. Suggest removal

lvnthedream says...

It is unfortunate that he was the only politician with a backbone strong enough to stand on principle. The reckless deficit spending will collapse our economy and way of life if politicians continue to kick the can down the road as they have for 30 years. Kudos to Walden for doing the right thing!!!

Posted 3 November 2013, 10:11 a.m. Suggest removal

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