With Democrats having the majority in both the Oregon House and Senate, Republicans are doing what they can to object to some of the most liberal legislation in the country. Since the Oregon House passed liberal bills on gun control, abortion, and gender-affirming care, the Senate Republicans have staged a boycott from work.
An Oregon Live article written by Grant Stringer on May 15, explains the extended boycott could cause at least three Republican Senators to not be eligible for reelection according to Measure 113, passed last November. No Republicans were present on Monday for a floor session, and neither was Independent Senator Brian Boquist who is also part of the boycott.
The Minority Leader Republican Senator Tim Knopp from Bend expressed that Democrats are “…aiding and abetting a culture of corruption.” Knopp also explained his party is protesting around 20 bills that are “hyperpartisan.”
The most controversial one is House Bill 2002, which allows minors under 15 to get abortions without parental knowledge, mandates insurance coverage for gender-affirming care, and expands abortion coverage to rural areas. The Republicans explain this essentially takes away parental rights.
The article explains that Republican Senator Lynn Findley from Vale, who is in danger of having too many unexcused absences from the boycott and being disqualified from reelection, said “My oath to uphold the constitution is more important to me than being reelected.”
The boycott shows Oregon's conservative lawmakers are doing their best to represent the values of nearly half of Oregonians. Time will tell if the other half will listen to their concerns.