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Think Out Loud

Greg Walden

Pete Springer/OPB

Following our Summer Recess series, we speak with Republican Representative Greg Walden. Walden grew up on a cherry orchard in the Dalles. He was a member of the Oregon House and Senate, and owned and ran radio stations along the Columbia Gorge before being elected to Congress in 1999. He has always been one of the few — and now the only — Republican Representative from Oregon. But that hasn’t stopped him from rising in the party. In February of last year he was appointed as chairman of the House Republican Leadership.

David Wasserman, House editor for The Cook Political Report explains Walden’s role this way:

Walden isn’t one of the top names in Washington that you typically hear. When you think of House Republicans you think of John Boehner. You think of Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, but within the Republican Congress Walden is seen as more of a work horse and not a show horse and that’s earned him a lot of friends.

Walden advocates for creating jobs, decreasing government regulations, and improving rural healthcare access. He voted to approve the final debt deal, to extend the Patriot Act, and to repeal the healthcare overhaul. Recently he sponsored a bill preventing the FCC from regulating net neutrality. But even as a key Republican, he is considered by some to be not conservative enough — a trait that some people think could put him at an advantage if he ever runs for governor (which he considered last year).

As the Republican presidential candidates make front page news, the discussion around job creation becomes central, and the anniversary of Sept. 11 leaves many Americans wondering about the safety and security of the country — there is certainly plenty to talk to Representative Walden about.   

What would you like to ask him?

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OPB | Broadcast: Sept. 12, 2011