Schrader looks back on first term, ponders work yet to be done

While the race for Oregon’s 5th District Congressional seat is generally considered the federal race to watch here in the Beaver State, freshman Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader feels good about his accomplishments in his first two years in Congress. The congressman, who faces Oregon House Rep. Scott Bruun in November’s midterms, recently had a wide-ranging conversation with the Keizertimes on issues from Afghanistan to unemployment and government spending. Q: About a year ago you told us you wanted to “evaluate” progress in Afghanistan a year from then. What are your thoughts now? A: “Well, there hasn’t been any progress. It’s been very clear there’s an extremely corrupt regime. … Karzai’s got to get his act together. There’s still no political unity. … You can’t even call it a nation with various tribes fighting among themselves. The intelligence agencies in Pakistan still collaborate with the Taliban … basically none of the conditions laid out by Congress when we approved the first supplement have been met … It’s time to bring our men and women home and fight the war on terror where it is, and it’s not in Afghanistan.” “The other thing, the biggest threat to our nation, … is the economy. We’ve got to make sure the men and women coming home have jobs and can repair their lives.” “Once you’re in the conflict there are those who would like...

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