Oregon will soon gain a sixth seat in the House of Representatives. To get an idea of what it’s like to be in Congress, here are questions for our very own Rep. Peter DeFazio.
[00:00:11] Staff: We are going to the phones and we are going to go to Kevin.
[00:00:17] Kevin: My question is we have had hottest summer in Oregon that I’ve ever known. And it seems like the fossil fuel industry and the gas industry are preventing any workable method for uniting our country to fight the climate change. I see nothing being done, and I’m afraid for my children and their grandchildren. What are we going to do in Congress to get climate action passed?
[00:00:44] John Q: The Congressman gave detailed policy answers, which are available through his website, but today we’re recapping just the questions.
[00:00:56] Julia from Roseburg: Hey Congressman. Thanks for taking my call. I was laid off when COVID hit and I want to go back to work, but I can’t afford the cost of childcare. We just moved to Roseburg. We don’t have any relatives here, so we don’t really have anybody to take care of the kids for us. And I really need help. What are you doing to allow us to be able to go back to work and afford childcare?
[00:01:19] Kelly from Eugene: Hi I’m one of those single parents. And when I started college at the University of Phoenix in Salem, they pressured me. I was living at a shelter. And so they said here, we’ll give you all this money and go to school. Well, as I was finishing my degree and trying to find work, I found that my degree was sort of worthless from the University of Phoenix. They closed their school. I had to hitchhike to Tigard, to finish school, which, that was problems. And now that I’ve graduated, I’ve got this debt that I’ve been unable to pay. I’m a single parent with two kids. What is it that you can do to help us single parents that, I’ve been trying, but I’m stuck. I am underwater with $80,000 worth of student loans and no end in sight.
[00:02:22] Michelle from Eugene: Hi. I’ve had four back surgeries. I spent a lot of time laying down in bed because of my back. I have a pain pump when I’m on pain medication, but he’s lowered it down so much and he keeps wanting to lower it because he says that he can lose his job if he gives me pain medication, I don’t understand that. Why are, why am I, or all of us who really need it being affected by the people that abuse it when I’ve never abused it, never ever have asked for extra. I never ever have done any of that. Why is it so hard for me to get what I need, to be, to live some kind of decent life?
[00:03:03] Janet from Eugene: Yeah. Hi, Hi Peter. I have so many concerns from the insurgency in Afghanistan to the urgency to pass the For The People Act, but my question today is about the infrastructure bill as it’s coming out of the Senate and seeing what we’re not calling the reconciliation package in the House, and what provisions, if any, are in there for housing and services that will help the people experiencing homelessness right here in Lane County and our community.
[00:03:40] Thurman in Lebanon: Congressman, today in Lebanon, Albany Corvallis. Lincoln City and Newport, there are zero intensive care beds. Canada has imposed to fly in Canada, you must have COVID vaccination. Why is it not feasible for Oregon or other states to ask TSA to check for vaccination status for COVID prior to flying? We have people coming in to Oregon who’ve never been vaccinated and some of those are occupying our hospital beds. We have people coming in from Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and other very poorly vaccinated states. And they’re given free access by airplanes to fly into Eugene, Medford, Portland, and bringing the virus from there to Oregon. Why can’t TSA not just check a boarding pass and your ID, but whether or not you’ve been vaccinated?
[00:04:51] Randy from Eugene: Why is it that nobody in Congress, Republican or Democrat ever seems to raise the federal minimum wage? Nobody seems to want to tackle this position and also: Why don’t we have a fair tax system that everybody pays, not only the rich, but the middle-class and the very so-so. Another thing, how come we don’t make these banks in our communities who are sitting on a ton of cash distribute some of that money for infrastructure and roads and internet and all that other stuff.
[00:05:26] Staff: Our next question comes from Lisa from Eugene. Is there a possibility of developing a federal wildfire fighting force the equivalent of the Coast Guard?
From Michael: I’m the Oregon Chapter leader of the Elders Climate Action and the founder of the Florence Climate Emergency Campaign. My wife, Pat, and I would like to know what is your biggest priority in the transportation sector to address the climate emergency?
Online from Jay: how much longer will we let stand the congressional authorizations for fruitless military only efforts? which is the next to go? What is the future for exercising congressional authority over military actions?
[00:06:16] John Q: This week’s questions for Rep. Peter DeFazio. The full Town Hall, including his answers, can be found at his website.