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Walden talks jobs on C. Oregon post-shutdown visit

By Alicia Inns
Published On: Nov 04 2013 09:00:51 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 04 2013 09:01:31 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Alicia Inns talks with the Republican while he visits Redmond about health care, jobs and the economy.

REDMOND, Ore. -

The government shutdown is over. But the work is not.

"We're able to move some Oregon-based things forward, these big national issues to seem to eat us alive," Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said on Monday during a visit to Redmond.

One of those issues -- the Affordable Care Act.

Walden was hearing frustration from Redmond community leaders he met with on Monday -- everyone, including the congressman, feeling unsettled..

"We're getting a lot of input from around the district, but clearly there's a lot of chaos, a lot of cancellations, and there's a lot of uncertainty out there," Walden said.

The challenge now: moving forward with the country's budget.

This is a temporary fix until January -- just another Band-Aid, according to Walden. 

He says in just a few months, we'll be back at square one.

"I hope we can come together and find some solutions to stop having these $700 billion annual increases in the deficit or trillion-dollar annual increases, because the country can't sustain that and it's not fair to the next generation," he said.

Some good news though. Recently, a bill which would redraw a boundary line on the Crooked River downstream of the Bowman Dam -- and create much needed jobs in crook county -- passed the House for the second time.

"It creates hydropower, it's clean and efficient and creates 50 jobs a year for two years just to build the hydro facility," Walden said.

That bill's fate rests in the hands of the Senate.

As for the fate of the nation? Walden says it rests in the hands of the economy.

"We could solve a lot of the budget problems nationally if we could grow the economy locally in every area," Walden added. "If we could get that spirit going in Washington, we might get the whole country's economy going."

Walden will hold a news conference Tuesday with community leaders in Prineville to discuss the Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act.

He'll also be taking a tour of Apple's data center.

We'll have a report Tuesday night on NewsChannel 21.

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