Is Oregon GOP obstructionist? Leader says yes

Not a single Oregon Senate Republican was present Wednesday

Oregon Senate Republican leader Ted Ferrioli, Feb. 25, 2016 (KOIN)
Oregon Senate Republican leader Ted Ferrioli, Feb. 25, 2016 (KOIN)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Senate Republicans took a united stand by skipping a legislative session Wednesday, claiming they’re done working weekends and late into the night to “fast track an agenda pursued by the Democrat majority”.

Not a single Oregon Senate Republican was present for Wednesday evening’s session. In lieu of roll call, the party collectively released a statement saying, in part:

“This session we’ve seen the Democratic majority put their partisan agenda ahead of both the needs of Oregonians and the law. Senate Republicans will not work late into the night to fast track an agenda pursued by the Democrat majority that features back room deals between Democrats and special interests and numerous broken promises of collaboration and compromise.”

But Democratic Senator Ginny Burdick told KOIN 6 News Wednesday’s extra session was a result of the Republicans’ blind devotion to the rules. She claims they want every bill introduced to be read, word-for-word, which can take minutes or hours.

Senate President Peter Courtney reiterated her claim, telling the Portland Tribune the session wouldn’t have been necessary if it weren’t for Republicans’ demands.

Inside the chamber of the Oregon Senate, Feb. 2, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Inside the chamber of the Oregon Senate, Feb. 2, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

In his statement, Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli said they will be back Thursday “to fight against the extremely partisan, destructive agenda Democrats are committed to fast tracking through the legislative session.”

“Until then,” Senator Ferrioli continued, “Oregonians deserve an explanation from the Democrat majority as to why they refuse to work across the aisle for bipartisan, consensus solutions to the real problems facing our state.”

On Thursday, he spoke with KOIN 6 News and said he isn’t worried about any stigma attached with being seen as obstructionist.

Asked if he and the GOP are being obstructionist, Ferrioli said, “Well, yes.”

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