By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) has been both discouraged and encouraged by recent developments out of Washington, D.C.
Schrader sat down with the Keizertimes editorial board last week and shared his views on a number of topics, such as whether or not he expects to see another federal government shutdown.
“I guess I’m a little conflicted,” he said. “Some members haven’t learned a thing. Take (Republican Ted) Cruz. They are proud of what they did and they want to do it again. There will be a lot of similar things happening in January and February. On the other hand, the Speaker of the House will give radicals enough rope to hang themselves, but not the country. That message came through very loud and clear. That’s good news for the country.”
Schrader noted people of all political persuasions are coming together in regards to the debt ceiling.
“Some of the very liberals and the very conservatives want to work on this,” he said. “We have a small work group. It’s of critical mass to get it done. Stay tuned.”
Schrader in the past has noted he and fellow Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio hold two of the approximately 35 seats (out of 435) seats in Congress not considered safe.
“I would not be able to be elected if I was on a safe seat because I’m not a safe guy, like a bulk of Americans and Oregonians,” Schrader said. “I’m fiscally responsible, or I’d like to think. But it’s good we have some of the extreme representations. It makes me a better problem solver.”
In talking with more veteran members of Congress, Schrader said one change over the years has been time spent together.
“There’s a lot of deep personalization of the attacks now,” he said. “Before (arguing) was part of the job, then you’d get a beer later. Now there’s a change in folks going to D.C. Most of us jet home every week to be with family and friends. You get better representation because you keep more in touch with your constituents. But on the other hand we don’t break bread together.”
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