Schrader: Approach impeachment thoughtfully

Congressman Kurt Schrader made the rounds in Lincoln City last week, holding a town hall meeting and two roundtables with residents and local leaders. (Photo by Stephanie Blair)

LINCOLN CITY — Congressman Kurt Schrader fielded questions and took the pulse of the Central Coast during a series of meetings with residents and community leaders late last week.

Schrader held a town hall meeting Thursday evening in Newport, where some 50 residents pressed him on his position on impeaching President Donald Trump in the wake of findings contained in the Mueller Report.

“I want to make sure I have all the information. I want to be thoughtful about this,” Schrader said.

“Do the investigations, figure out what is going on. It doesn’t help to have just the Democrats voting impeachment. We need the Independents and Republicans as irritated and concerned as we are,” the 5th District congressman said.

Schrader also acknowledged audience members — including a couple holding signs — who are frustrated with the lack of affordable health care. Schrader said he is not for taking profit entirely out of health care, and one person challenged him to demonstrate his commitment to reform.

“I think we need to have access now,” Schrader said. “I don’t think we can wait until down the line.”

That said, there is an entire political culture surrounding denial of health care that has to be changed, he said.

“I got folks in Texas and parts of West Virginia that get elected by denying their citizens health care. It’s really amazing,” Schrader said.

But, he said, “We’re slowly changing that dynamic.”

Schrader reported progress on legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Additionally, the House passed a bill to restore net neutrality, but it’s unclear whether the Senate will take up the legislation. Schrader touted the passage out of the House of the massive election reform bill designed to increase turnout and reduce disenfranchisement.

“We keep saying ‘vote by mail, it works well in Oregon,’” Schrader said.

Schrader said wasteful military spending needs to shore up.

“I’d like to build our infrastructure,” he said. “I’m tired of building up Afghanistan. We want to spend that money here.”

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