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Bid to have Oregon House vote on oversight of Gov. Brown’s emergency powers fails

KTVZ file

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Members of the Oregon House on Tuesday narrowly defeated a move to consider a bill that would give the Legislature oversight of the governor’s emergency powers, enacted most recently to address the coronavirus pandemic.

The motion to pull House Bill 2243 from the Rules Committee was defeated, with 28 votes against doing so and 27 in favor, including several Democrats.

One Republican and one Democrat are the chief co-sponsors of the bill.

The House Republican caucus noted in a statement after the vote that all Republican House members want to make the governor accountable to the Legislature.

News release from the Oregon House Republican Caucus:

Republicans force vote to consider bill that gives Legislature oversight on
Governor’s emergency powers

Republicans attempted to pull bill with Democrat and Republican sponsors out of committee to House floor

SALEM, Ore. – Today, Oregon House Legislators voted to consider a bill on the House floor that would give the Legislature oversight on Governor Kate Brown’s emergency powers and sole authority over the COVID-19 response.

Republicans moved to pull HB 2243 out of committee directly to the House floor for a vote.

The motion did not receive the required number of votes to pass. All Republican members voted in favor to make the Governor accountable to the Legislature. 28 Democrats voted against the motion, maintaining the Governor’s sole authority over COVID-19 and unchecked ability to shut down businesses.

The decision is in response to the Governor’s announcement last week to unilaterally extend her own emergency powers again, granting her the ability to issue shutdowns without involving another governing body.

County commissioners have repeatedly asked the Governor to be more targeted in her decisions. Currently, the statewide threshold for “extreme risk” designation disregards the fact that hospital cases of COVID-19 are decreasing in some counties where businesses must now close.

“The Legislature is in Session and we have a duty to engage,” House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) previously said. “Oregonians deserve a balance of power between their separate branches of government again.”

HB 2243 (chief sponsors Rep. Wilde, Lewis, regular sponsors Rep. Cate, Evans, Hayden, Leif, Levy, Moore-Green, Morgan, Owens, Post, Reschke, Wallan, Wright) - Requires that declarations and extensions of states of emergency under certain statutes be accompanied by written explanations.

Government-politics / News / Top Stories

The Associated Press

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  1. “The Legislature is in Session and we have a duty to engage,” House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) previously said (unless we are hiding out of state. Then its ok not to)

  2. While the governor’s position does need to be kept sepperate of the judicial and the legislative branches I do believe that ahortly after the “emergency” is declared and the initial reaction happens then all 3 branches need to be involved.

    1. It gives the Democrats in the legislature cover. Kate is out of office in 2022 and the rest of the Democrats can say “It’s Kate’s fault, we didn’t have anything to do with those dictator-like policies you all hate, Now vote for me because I care”.

  3. How long before people that were putting bentz down yesterday will be singing her praises here that lockdown was only a week. Think she will do it again for memorial day weekend.

    1. Try reading or better yet having someone read the article to you before you run your hillbilly trump Borg yap please. It will improve your credibility karen!!!

  4. There are very real and legitimate questions about what constitutes a public health emergency, what powers the executive branch holds and what oversight power the legislature and courts have and when they can use it. Unfortunately, too many people are paying attention to the outrage factory that is the national media and are arguing over whether SARS-CoV-2 is a hoax and whether a vaccine is a vaccine. Government, at all levels, did not handle this pandemic well. It is time for us to start thinking about how we expect our representatives to handle the next one (and there will be a next one).

    1. Exactly. You can use any excuse and call it a “public health emergency”. Systemic racism, public health emergency!!! The fact that democrats are so willing to give power all to 1 person for any reason declared without restrictions or time constraints is unreal and a threat to freedoms Americans enjoy.

      1. This is not unique to either party. How much input is De Santis seeking from Democrats in Florida when he makes his declarations? Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, pot.

  5. This outcome is not surprising. She has everyone in her back pocket. She will continue this Messiah Complex until she’s out in 2022.

    1. People need to quit depending on leaders and messiahs and learn to think for themselves. We need practical thinkers and good managers not so called leaders or messiahs.
      No leader is going to save us, we are going to have to work together to save ourselves. The prospects of that happening any time soon look pretty dim, though.

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