News from Representative Walden


Dear Friend,

First Town Hall of the Year

I just got back from my first town hall of the year in Harney County. This was my 189th town hall since 2012. Last year, I held more town halls than any other member of the Oregon House Delegation. I always enjoy town halls because they are a great way to hear from people like you and deliver updates on the issues I’m working on in Congress.


Rep. Walden in Crane at his first town hall of 2020.

Before my town hall in Harney County, I met with local business leaders in Madras. We spoke about the unique challenges facing small business owners in our district. I look forward to hearing more from Oregonians in the Second District throughout 2020.


 Congressman stops in Madras for lunch meeting

Rep. Greg Walden, the Hood River Republican who represents the Second Congressional District, which includes Jefferson County, and his wife, Mylene, made an unannounced visit to New Basin Distillery and had lunch with eight local men on Friday, Jan. 17. Former Mayor Rick Allen helped organize the event. He wanted Walden to see New Basin because Walden was instrumental in working with the Federal Aviation Administration to help the city of Madras sell the land that New Basin now occupies.

Click here to read more from the Madras Pioneer.


Progress Made Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

In 2018, I introduced the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which is the most historic effort from Congress to combat the deadly opioid epidemic. President Trump signed this bill into law in 2018 and since then, we have seen progress -- including a 3.1 percent reduction in the number of opioid deaths in Oregon last year. While this is good news, there’s still plenty of work to do in order to end this epidemic and prevent the next crisis before it starts. A few weeks ago, I spoke at an Energy and Commerce hearing urging the need for further action.



Click here or on the image above to watch Rep. Walden's remarks  on the opioid epidemic.

Knowledge is the key to ending this crisis and preventing the next one. Earlier this month, I reactivated the investigation into three of the top opioid manufacturers in the United States. We’re demanding more answers about what role these companies may have played in creating this crisis. Click here to read more.

Looking into the Stimulant Epidemic

As the opioid epidemic rages on, there are signs that we might be headed toward a new crisis. We are seeing increased use of illicit stimulants, like methamphetamine and cocaine, across America. A recent study placed Oregon as second in the nation for methamphetamine use. And since 2009, meth overdoses in Oregon have increased by 400 percent.

Earlier this month, I joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in sending letters to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  In our letters, we requested proactive action from the agencies on the growing use of stimulants. We noted that while we remain concerned about the opioid epidemic, the approach we take to fight it must be multi-faceted. We must also ensure that we provide resources and attention to combat the stimulant epidemic. I will continue to update you on information I learn, and progress made as we work to fight the growing issue of illegal stimulants.

Research on Cannabis 

Earlier this month, I spoke at an Energy and Commerce Hearing on the need for cannabis research. Under current law, the cannabis that is used for research is different from what is commercially available from state-legal dispensaries, such as those in Oregon. This is a problem because it means we have little to no data on the health impacts of products in states, like Oregon, that have legalized cannabis for recreational or medical use.


Click here or on the image above to watch Rep. Walden’s remarks at the hearing.

At the hearing, I explained how arbitrary our current standards are. In Oregon, you can sell THC-infused cookies that contain 5 mg per serving and 50 mg per package, however, across the Columbia River in Washington you will find a different limit of 10 mg per serving and 100 mg per package. When it comes to cannabis, the only thing we really know is that there have been an elevated number of cannabis-related poison center calls, emergency room visits, and impaired driving incidents. We need research that reflects the reality of what’s on today’s market. States that have legalized marijuana, like Oregon, have done so with far less information than they have on legal substances that are easily abused, such as alcohol or tobacco -- that is very concerning.

We also need to further research CBD and the possible interactions that may be clinically significant. I know that there are many farmers in the Second District growing hemp for CBD and it is important for them, as well as users, to have all the facts. 


‘We lack data’: Walden urges more cannabis research

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., urged more research on the health effects of cannabis Thursday during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing entitled, “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade.”

The hearing was held after Walden joined Reps. Michael Burgess, Morgan Griffith and Cathy McMorris Rodgers in sending a letter to the committee chairman to request the hearing so that Congress finally had the opportunity to review and improve federally sanctioned research on cannabis.

Click here to read more from KTVZ.

Nominating Students for Military Service Academies

At the start of 2020 I had the privilege of nominating 13 Oregon students for acceptance to one of the United States service academies. These young leaders have earned these nominations through years of hard work, dedication, and commitment to character. I am confident these students will be successful in this admirable endeavor and that they will have bright futures. You can learn who was nominated here. If you are interested in learning more about service academy nominations you can visit my website here.



Greg Walden nominates 13 students for U.S. armed service academies

“U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) announced Wednesday that he has nominated 13 Oregon students for acceptance to one of the prestigious United States service academies. Walden’s Service Academy Nomination Board — retired and active-duty military officers who interviewed potential candidates for the service academies — recommended each student based on their academic performance, extracurricular involvement and character.”

Click here to read more from Hood River News.

Improving Public Health & Wellness

Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve been proud to support legislation that improves public health and wellness in rural communities. During an Energy and Commerce hearing earlier this month, I was glad to voice my support for seven pieces of new legislation which will improve health and wellness for children and Medicare beneficiaries in Eastern Oregon and across the United States.

One of the bills we discussed would fix current nonsensical Medicare rules for patients who receive kidney transplants. Patients who have received kidney transplants require immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives in order to minimize the risk of their immune system rejecting the kidney. Unfortunately, Medicare currently only provides payment for immunosuppressive drugs for three years while providing coverage for a lifetime of dialysis treatments. So, Medicare will currently pay for dialysis, pay for a transplant, pay for the drugs for three years, and then stop paying -- making it more likely that patients will lose their transplanted kidney. If the patient rejects their kidney transplant, Medicare goes back to paying for dialysis, will pay for a new transplant, and then three more years of drug coverage. This bill is a commonsense fix that will save money and save lives. You can read more about the other bills I discussed here.

Ways My Office Can Help 

We recently helped 22 residents in a growing Powell Butte subdivision gain approval to move their neighborhood mail boxes off of a busy highway to a safer location. These residents had been trying to move their request through the Powell Butte Postmaster and Operations Manager, but progress was not being made. Our office coordinated meetings with key USPS leadership and facilitated discussions leading to approval of the neighborhood’s preferred location. Now, the residents will be able to have their mail boxes in a safer place.

If you need help with any federal agency, please reach out to my office at 800-533-3303. My staff is available and ready to assist you with problems you are having with federal agencies, and my office will do everything in our power to get results for you.

That’s all for this update. Remember, you can always keep in touch with me via emailFacebookTwitter, 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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