Rep. Chavez-DeRemer responds to Biden’s SOTU

Newly elected Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who represents east Linn County in Congress, released the following statement after attending President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Feb. 7:

“President Biden’s State of the Union address was a mixed bag. I agree that certain policies, like the bipartisan infrastructure law, were necessary investments that will continue to pay off.

“But others ended up doing more harm than good – like the $1.9 trillion spending bill in early 2021 that sparked 40-year high inflation and the massive interest rate hikes we’re dealing with today. Despite the rosy economic picture the president painted, our labor force participation rate is at its lowest point in decades and real wages haven’t kept up with inflation.

“Additionally, I’m disappointed that he failed to adequately address several issues of importance to Oregon and the 5th District. Oregon ranks worst in the nation for drug problems.

“Portland just saw its deadliest year in history, with over 100 homicides. There were at least 18,000 homeless people living on the streets every day last year. And these issues are causing businesses to leave Oregon – Portland’s commercial vacancy rate is 26 percent, which is even higher than Seattle or San Francisco.

“Yet plans to truly address fentanyl and border security, crime, homelessness, and unfavorable economic conditions were noticeably lacking from his speech. Instead, we heard fearmongering about cutting Medicare and Social Security.

“Let me be clear: I do not and will not support cuts to these programs.”

“President Biden likes to quote his father as saying, ‘Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.’ The president’s budget was due yesterday, and he missed the deadline – making it difficult to fully understand what his priorities are for the upcoming fiscal year. However, moving forward, I remain optimistic that we can find common ground and address the problems facing Oregonians. It’s clear the status quo is not working,” Chavez-DeRemer said.

Chavez-DeRemer brought Portland police officer Jordan Zaitz as her State of the Union guest. It was the first time a Portland police officer has ever been invited to attend. Zaitz, a mother of two, has been with the Portland Police Bureau for 19 years and serves on the front lines of the homelessness and drug crises in Oregon as a member of the Neighborhood Response Team.