Walden Covers Variety of Issues During Hermiston Town Hall Meeting

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U.S. Rep. Greg Walden talks to constituents during a town hall meeting at Hermiston's Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center in March. (Photo by Michael Kane)

U.S. Congressman Greg Walden gave credit to Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston on Friday for his help in the fight against the opioid crisis.

At the start of Walden’s town hall meeting at Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center, the congressman gave Edmiston a copy of Walden’s bill that was signed by President Donald Trump last fall.

“Thank you for all your help on this issue,” Walden said.

Friday was Walden’s 161st town hall meeting since 2012 and his seventh in Umatilla County since that time.

Walden talked about the health of Oregon’s forests, the Columbia River Treaty, border security and more on Friday.

He said last year’s forest fires were the result of our forests being out of balance.

“We have 1,000 trees per acre when we should have 60-70,” he said. “And the result is catastrophic. We have got to do more to get the forests in balance.”

Walden said he voted to fund the government following a 35-day shutdown and opposed the shutdown from the start.

“I’m fully supportive of border security, but I didn’t think it made sense to unemploy forest service employees” and other federal workers.

(READ: Walden Defends Opposition to Trump’s Emergency Declaration)

Walden highlighted several votes he cast immigration and border security including supporting additional resources for the apprehension and processing of criminals to ensure repeat offenders are not released back into the U.S. He said he voted for $25 billion for border security over the next five years, as well as a permanent solution for the 1.8 million children brought to the U.S. illegally as children. He also voted against separating children from their parents or guardians at the border.

Walden also said it is time to re-negotiate the Columbia River Treaty, which he says heavily favors the Canadians.

Walden opposed Trump’s emergency declaration.

“It was not written into law to try to get something you couldn’t get through negotiations,” he said. “I thought it was presidential overreach.”

Walden was asked if there was any hope of Congress and the President coming together on an infrastructure package.

“We’re waiting to see what kind of infrastructure bill comes through,” he said. “I’m optimistic something will come out of Congress.”