The Real Greg Walden

Healthcare

What He Said: 

Walden said he’d uphold protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.

The Truth: 

He went to Washington, D.C. and wrote a bill that would have dismantled coverage for pre-existing health conditions, called the American Health Care Act. About 1 in 4 Oregonians have pre-existing health conditions and well over half of farmers and ranchers have pre-existing conditions. He has not spoken out against a lawsuit currently in the courts (Texas v Azar) which would do the same.

Walden has tried, over 50 times to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act which would have left 1 in 5 of his constituents without health coverage.

Walden’s policies threaten healthcare coverage for the members of our community who need it most.

Check out these "Pre-Existing Conditions" from his health "care" bill: 

Walden proudly stood behind Pres. Trump during his victory speech after the House vote to set up the Affordable Care Act for demolition.   He’s also been a reliable vote to defund Planned Parenthood.  While Walden says improving rural health care is a priority he supports improving competition among insurers and providing larger tax credits for the poor.  At a town hall last year, he said he wants to put money saved by defunding Planned Parenthood into local clinics, but didn’t say how that would make birth control or abortion services accessible in the outback. 

Veterans

What He Said: 

The Veteran’s Affairs Mission Act was signed into law June 6, 2018. It was pushed by Oregon CD2 Representative Greg Walden and happily signed by President Trump, saying “There’s never been anything like it.”

Walden touts his care for veterans at every town hall he holds and on his social media sites.

The Truth: 

The bill had bi-partisan support, but some worried the bill is a cleverly disguised effort to privatize care for veterans.  The bill establishes a commission to conduct a nationwide review of veterans facilities empowered to make final decisions without going through Congress.  If the commission is filled with proponents of the Koch brother’s Concerned Veterans of America, a group advocating privatization, the VA as we know it may be changed forever. The final decision about who is on the commission lies with Trump.

Surveys show 92 percent of veterans want to see improvement in veterans’ hospitals and clinics and most do not want to simply get vouchers for care.  Many veterans have already had problems with the Veterans Choice Program, which allowed veterans who demonstrated that the nearest veterans hospital was either too far away or had too long a waiting list to get care at non-veteran facilities.  However, problems with qualifying and billing have frustrated many veterans trying to access that program.

The Mission Act may end up being less about veterans than about special interests poised to make millions off its open-ended funding for veterans’ private care.

He voted NO on providing assistance to military sexual assault victims. He voted to withhold funding from women in the military and women veterans for complete gynecological services. He left it to Democrats to get the Women Veterans Care Act of 2018 (gender-specific medical care) through.

 

Accessibility to Walden

What He Said: 

Walden’s September 2018 newsletter mentions the miles he has traveled and the meetings he has held in Oregon counties.

The Truth: 

--but he comes to town without notifying local newspapers, then posts photos of his private, closed-door meetings on his social media accounts. Walden is no longer listening to his local constituents.

Wildfire

What He Said: 

Walden says his bill (HR 2075 - Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act) will help prevent wildfires. Walden is the sponsor of this bill.

The Truth: 

Twenty years have passed without Walden providing leadership for meaningful policy solutions to address Oregon's wildfire issues. Instead, the fires have become larger and more destructive.

Walden has failed to recognize the role that a rapidly changing climate is having on the length of fire seasons and extreme fire behavior throughout the western USA and has not championed the science-supported actions necessary to slow this trend.

Walden voted to say a carbon tax would be detrimental. He wants to send commercial loggers into forests that already have had forest fires to cut down all remaining large trees AND is seemingly bypassing collaborative process by not engaging with everyone.

HR 2075 takes 832 acres from the Deschutes Canyon-Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Area with neither direction to the federal agencies to do fuels reduction nor protection for the fragile canyon rim from ATVs and camping. This bill, if passed as is, will set the stage for dismantling wilderness in the name of wildfire protection. This is another example of Walden grandstanding when it is unlikely that anything will be done to reduce the fuel load on the released land. He can claim that he has helped prevent wildfires from reaching private property without doing a thing about it.

Job, Economy, Taxes

What He Said: 

Corporations will create jobs if they have lower taxes.

The minimum wage needs to be increased.

He supports a balanced budget

The Truth: 

Walden voted to descrease corporate taxes and to decrease taxes for the most wealthy. As the deficit now grows, he has voted to decrease funding for the Medicare Improvement Fund and Medicaid Improvement Fund. Meanwhile, where are the good paying jobs?

Walden opposed the proposed 2016 minimum wage increase in Oregon.

He says he supports a balanced budget, but votes for bills that increase the federal deficit to never seen before levels. He enthusiastically voted for the Balanced Budget Constitutional amendment which says the federal government can’t spend more than it gets in revenue.  That bill stalled, but meanwhile, he voted for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.  With the attitude that what goes out can’t be more than what comes in, people are braced for big cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that help the less-than-affluent who call Oregon’s high desert country home.

 

Opioid Crisis

What He Said: 

Walden says, “It’s time for us to act” to combat the opioid crisis

The Truth: 

--but his TOP donor is the pharmaceutical industry, the very industry that profits from opioid sales. --AND out of 535 members of Congress, Greg Walden is THE TOP recipient (over $400,000) of donations from the pharmaceutical industry.

Rural Broadband and Net Neutrality

What He Said: 

Said that expanding broadband infrastructure to rural communities in Oregon is a priority” of his.

The Truth: 

He voted to end Net Neutrality which increases profits for his corporate donors.

Net Neutrality keeps prices down, especially for rural customers. The ending of Net Neutrality means that rural customers, who are already at a disadvantage, could end up paying even more to get adequate bandwidth for their internet connections and speed.

The playing field is now tilted even more towards big companies and those in urban communities; rural folks pay more for worse service making it even harder to thrive and grow our businesses.

Walden says he’s helping us get rural broadband, but he voted against Net Neutrality which will harm us. My choice? To vote against him.

Internet Browsing Privacy

What He Said: 

Walden says: it is deregulation that will help “innovators and job creators”.

Walden says: the prohibition on ISP's tracking and selling your browsing history was a job killing measure developed by non-elected bureaucrats.

The Truth: 

--voted to let Internet Service Providers sell our browsing data and to bar the FCC from issuing similar consumer protections in the future.

Walden has basically sold our privacy for nearly $200,000 which is what telecom providers have paid him in the last year. ISPs and telcos make money off violating our privacy; but Walden is more beholden to his corporate donors than his constituents.

Wireless Carriers and September 26, 2018 FCC Proposal

What He Said: 

Walden says he wants to help rural Oregonians benefit from access to digital technology.

The Truth: 

--but Walden did not step in or speak out when the FCC pushed forward a policy PROHIBITING cities from negotiating with wireless carriers regarding the terms, conditions, and fees when these carriers want to install their equipment on OUR PUBLIC PROPERTY.

The public right-of-way is one of our city’s most valuable public assets.

Cities across the country stand to lose 2 BILLION worth of fees due to this policy.

Walden boasts on his web page about his relationship with FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, and his role related to FCC actions, yet there is no mention of Walden speaking out or taking action on this issue that reduces local control and financially benefits wireless carriers. https://walden.house.gov/search/node/fcc

Gun Laws and Public Safety

What He Said: 

In a March 2018 interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting, after the Parkland school shootings in Florida, Rep. Greg Walden said it “Makes some sense” to take guns away from someone threatening violence as Oregon and Washington do through a judge’s ruling. That was about the same time President Trump also said he might support laws like that.

The Truth: 

The STOP School Violence Act of 2018 was passed with Walden’s support in reaction to the Parkland school shootings. However, it did not ban automatic weapons as the students had advocated. Instead, it authorized $50 million annually for state and local schools to train teachers and administrators how to use guns, provide for school/law enforcement cooperation, help make schools safer and how to implement an anonymous reporting system for anyone who observes signs someone is about to commit violence.

Walden has taken nearly $40,000 from the NRA (National Rifle Association) during his time in Congress, and has an “A” rating. In 2014 Walden bought into the NRA’s notion that the UN Arms Trade Treaty was a backhanded loophole around the Second Amendment and voted to deny it funding. In reality its aim was to close gaps in existing regional and national laws in order to combat the illicit international trade of arms. There was nothing in it that regulated firearms sold inside individual countries.

Walden also voted to ban the use of funds for research into gun deaths he called “anti-gun studies” and voted against banning lead in ammunition, and voted to speed up “burdensome” paperwork involved in buying guns. Lead was killing bald eagles who ingested animals, such as ground squirrels, shot by hunters. Walden chose hunters ability to choose the ammunition they want to use over our national symbol.

In 2016 Walden did help pass the 21st Century Cures Act signed into law by President Obama. It included funding for active-shooter training for law-enforcement, and mental health intervention. It also included funds to help support care for children recovering from trauma. It did not ban any kind of gun that might keep children from suffering from trauma in the first place.

The bump-stock ban Walden said he favored after the Las Vegas shootings has stalled in Congress.

Walden has a long history of being the NRA’s best friend, since voting to prohibit product misuse lawsuits against gun manufacturers, voting to decrease waiting periods for people buying guns, voting for cross-state concealed carry, voting to loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases, and cosponsoring a bill denying a district authority to enact laws, such as the trigger-lock law, that “discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms. His history makes him no friend of people who are still concerned about the terrible frequency of mass shootings in the United States.