SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Oregon House Democrats issue subpoenas for absent Republican colleagues

The House Committee on Rules voted on Thursday to issue subpoenas for Republican lawmakers that have been boycotting the legislature.

Posted: Feb 28, 2020 11:29 AM
Updated: Feb 28, 2020 1:40 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Democratic lawmakers left in the absence of House Republicans who have shunned the capitol in protest over cap-and-trade moved on Thursday to issue subpoenas requiring that the errant lawmakers return "to explain their absences."

The House Committee on Rules, now solely populated by Democrats, voted to issue those civil subpoenas Thursday afternoon — demanding that Republican representatives appear for the committee on Thursday, March 5.

The text of the civil subpoenas reads as follows:

By virtue of the authority of and in compliance with ORS 171.510, and following a majority vote of the House Rules Committee on February 27, 2020, I, Paul Holvey, State Representative and Chair of the House Rules Committee, hereby require you to appear before the House Rules Committee at 1pm on Thursday, March 5, 2020 in Hearing Room F of the State Capitol, Salem, Oregon, 97301, as a witness before such committee and be prepared to testify about your unexcused absences during the 2020 regular session of the Legislative Assembly, the need for members to fulfill their oaths of office and constitutional duties as legislators by attending sessions of the Legislative Assembly, and how the work of the Legislative Assembly during the 2020 calendar year may be completed.

“This is an extraordinary measure brought on by the extraordinary actions of the House Republican caucus,” said Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene, the chair of the House Committee on Rules.

According to a statement from House Democrats, Oregon law allows the chair of a committee to compel attendance of witnesses with a majority vote. Though Democrats have lacked the two-thirds quorum to forward any legislation, they maintain a majority in the capitol.

“We all took an oath to support the Oregon Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of our office, which requires our attendance when the legislature is in session," Rep. Holvey said. "As I see it, House Republicans are currently in violation of that oath. These Republican legislators owe the people of Oregon an explanation for their absences.”


RELATED: Flanked by allies, southern Oregon counties proclaim 'strong' opposition to cap-and-trade bill


The subpoenas are intended to be served to every member of the House Republican caucus that has been absent and unexcused. House Speaker Tina Kotek reportedly told lawmakers that she'd been in contact with the absent Republicans, asking them to return to work.

Rep. Kotek told Democrats that she'd either received "no commitments" from Republicans on whether they would return, or responses directing her to contact Republican Leader Rep. Christine Drazan, R-Canby.

Later Thursday evening, Rep. Drazan issued a brief response to the move by Democrats on the committee.

“This is just the latest example of the majority party’s strong-arm tactics designed to end negotiations. We will not be intimidated. We remain resolved to serve the hardworking families of Oregon who have asked for the abuse of power to end and for cap and trade to be referred to the people.”

Republican lawmakers in the Oregon Senate began the walkout on Monday when Democrats moved the cap-and-trade bill from the final committee and toward the Senate floor.

The lack of a quorum has held up all legislation in Salem this week, and politicians have taken to pointing fingers across the aisle as vital funding bills languish. On Friday, the Oregon Food Bank issued a statement calling out Republicans for the legislative gridlock.

“Our statewide network of food banks is incredibly fortunate and proud to have earned the support of a broad, bi-partisan coalition of elected leaders. But we have no hope of achieving our shared mission to end hunger when half that coalition refuses to show up to work. No discussion or decision-making takes place when lawmakers don’t show up to make laws," said Susannah Morgan, CEO of the Oregon Food Bank. “Simply put, the Republican walkout jeopardizes critical anti-hunger initiatives — and our democracy. Oregon families deserve better, and it’s time for Republicans to return to the work we elected them to do.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 133205

Reported Deaths: 1800
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28337458
Washington18644171
Marion16172238
Clackamas11642138
Lane8272108
Jackson689285
Umatilla676568
Deschutes495236
Yamhill318245
Malheur313152
Linn310846
Polk244640
Klamath242838
Josephine173533
Jefferson170225
Benton169514
Douglas167743
Union111416
Wasco107123
Columbia104318
Lincoln99117
Hood River95121
Coos93715
Morrow93310
Clatsop6865
Crook61010
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2988326

Reported Deaths: 33589
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles101466213848
San Bernardino2512131560
Riverside2394122517
San Diego2117872103
Orange2108132367
Santa Clara926251065
Kern84644565
Fresno81294932
Sacramento791221080
Alameda66583757
Ventura60368412
San Joaquin56642748
Contra Costa51573446
Stanislaus42337739
Tulare40655501
Monterey35418250
San Mateo31805294
San Francisco28853254
Imperial25140463
Solano24732105
Santa Barbara24149231
Sonoma23607234
Merced23492296
Kings19125133
Placer16995173
San Luis Obispo15466128
Madera13193130
Santa Cruz12026113
Marin11482153
Yolo10406131
Shasta9594117
Butte9359121
El Dorado757544
Sutter756077
Napa735639
Lassen509413
San Benito488243
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada314473
Mendocino307631
Amador298629
Lake250428
Humboldt229424
Glenn189419
Colusa16919
Calaveras159623
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8532
Plumas5735
Modoc3793
Mariposa3444
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
Medford
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 62°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 40°
Medford
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Klamath Falls
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 28°
Clearing tonight, brighter tomorrow
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Oregon State falls to No. 11 Arizona on the road, 67-51

Image

Weinermobile Story

Image

Car thief returns to scold mother

Image

MLK Day Virtual Event

Image

Jackson County reports 30 new cases

Image

Sunday, January 17th Evening Weather

Image

A block 12/24 part two

Image

Medford School District Plans for the Future of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Image

Astronomers discover "Super Earth"

Image

Super Planet discovered in Milkway Galaxy