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Oregon House GOP leader accuses top Democrats of ‘silencing democracy’

Oregon Capitol
KTVZ file

(Update: Adding House majority leader's reaction)

Says they allowed no motions for amending eviction moratorium bill

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, R-Canby, on Tuesday accused Democratic House leaders of an "unprecedented silencing of ideas" during Monday's third special session of the year.

Here's her full statement:

“The destruction of property and violence during protests under the banner of any cause is unacceptable and must end. But, while state troopers defended the Capitol building from violence at our door, Democrats were attacking our legislative process from within. 

"In an unprecedented, surprise move, Democrat leadership refused to allow any motions to adopt amendments to the eviction moratorium bill.

"To be clear, other legislation was amended in committee, but this legislation stood alone—there would be no motions made or accepted to amend. The votes were theirs—Democrat leaders control it all. But in this special session, it was not enough to control outcomes. They chose to silence ideas. 

"As Oregonians who were locked out of the building, protested and demanded their rightful place in the halls of government, Democrat leaders locked the minority party out of the lawmaking process inside the building.

"We came to the Capitol to pass meaningful and productive legislation for hardworking and hurting Oregonians. Communities ravaged by wildfires, small businesses, schools, renters and housing providers needed help and we responded with bipartisan support. We continued funding for Oregon’s COVID response and provided critical COVID liability protections for our schools—a key step to safely reopening to in-person learning.

"But the people of Oregon cannot continue to pay the price, with a closed Capitol, closed meetings and backroom deals. This must end.

"The Legislature must be responsive, transparent and accessible. We have more work to do for Oregonians and they must be at the table. It is their right to fully participate. It is their right to come to the Capitol to stand on their principles and through testimony or protest, challenge the status quo and change the course of our state. 

"The secrecy, the backroom deals and the suppression of public participation and minority party input must not and cannot continue in the 2021 Legislative Session.

"I hope Speaker Kotek and President Courtney will renew their commitment to a transparent and accessible Legislature as we work to support Oregonians next year. The Legislature is the people’s branch, and it’s time it started operating that way.”

State Rep. and House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner called Drazan's statement "deeply disappointing."

"After weeks of bipartisan cooperation and many hours of public testimony, it's stunning to have Legislative Democrats equated to violent right-wing extremists," the Portland Democrat said in a tweet. "This crisis requires us to build bridges, not burn them."

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  1. Thank you and GOD BLESS you, Oregon House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, R-Canby, for trying to stand up for all the good, hardworking, small business owning, Oregonians who our Governor refuses to listen to and who ignores our opinions and uses her power to dictate what all of Oregon should think and believe. GOOD LUCK, Christine Drazan. I hope you are as strong as you sound because the full hatred and nature to destroy any opposition will be directed at you for being a real voice for the rest of Oregon. Merry Christmas and hopefully 2021 will be a better year for ALL.

    1. Its interesting you put hardworking and business owning into two different categories, that says a lot about the current state of the oregon republican party

  2. “The secrecy, the backroom deals and the suppression of public participation and minority party input must not and cannot continue in the 2021 Legislative Session“.
    Maybe if Republicans quit running away and hiding out of state, their minority party input would be know for more than just whining.

    1. Why would the Dems start listening to the Republicans now? They never have in the past. Oregon is ruled more like a banana republic with the Democrats in control.

  3. Yes oregon republicans, this is what happens when you consistently lose both sides of the legislature along with the governorship: no one listens to you
    Its too bad too, im starting to think divided government might work better because it forces deal making rather than entrenchment- i would be willing to vote for republicans on issues like transportation funding or forest policy or economic stimulus, if they can let go of the social divisiveness around race and sex and religion and violence that elements of their party are constantly stirring up
    Its hard to work with someone on something simple like the highway bill, if you know they go to a church that claims our president is satan and its therefore time to start a civil war, for example… i gladly voted for richardson despite his R party, because he focused on issues like the roads and schools and budgets, instead of say, attempting to secede from oregon and join wee idaho

  4. Sounds like we need to hear both sides of the story. I think there were limitations put on the session and what could be introduced because the special session was limited to a single day.

  5. Sorry you weren’t allowed to add riders to the bill, look what happened in DC with the current funding bill!this is only way to get somethings done unfortunately. Republican minority wanted to hold it hostage as usual, nice work around!

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