Greg Walden (R-Ore.)

U.S. Representative (since January 1999)

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Why He Matters

A former radio station owner and ex-Capitol Hill aide, Walden chaired the transition team working to install a Republican House majority in the 112th Congress. He was also one of House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) right-hand men.

With Tea Party backed freshmen promising to slash government's size, Walden was charged with fundamentally rethinking internal House rules, such as whether to televise committee hearings or reduce on cafeteria cooks and the underground subway that connects the Capitol complex.

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At a Glance

  • Career History: Oregon Senator (1994-1996); Member, Oregon House of Representatives (1988-1994), Oregon House Majority Leader (1991-1993); Press Secretary, Chief of Staff to former Rep. Dennis Smith (1981-1987)
  • Birthday: January 10, 1957
  • Hometown: The Dalles, Ore.
  • Alma Mater: University of Oregon, B.S. 1981
  • Spouse: Mylene
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Committees: Energy and Commerce (Chair, Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet)
  • DC Office: 2182 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, Phone: 202-225-6730
  • District Office: 843 East Main Street, Ste 400, Medford, OR 97504 Phone: 541-776-4646; 1051 NW Bond St., Suite 400 Bend, OR 97701, Phone: 541-389-4408; 1211 Washington Ave, La Grande, OR 97850, Phone: 541-624-2400
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Path To Power

Greg Walden was born on Jan. 10, 1957, in The Dalles, Ore. The son of a state representative, he grew up on a cherry orchard in the Columbia Gorge area and earned a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1981.

Walden started filling in on-air at his family's radio station when he was 15 and continued to work in radio throughout his career. He and his wife later bought a total of five radio stations, which they ran themselves before selling them a few years ago.

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The Issues

Walden has focused his legislative agenda on issues important to his Oregon constituents such as logging, forestry, health care and spending. The GOP transition pointman voted along party lines 91 percent of the time during the 111th Congress.

Walden typically votes with the GOP on economics, but leans moderate on social issues. He's opposed to stimulus spending and advocates lower taxes. And while he's against abortion rights, Walden favors embryonic stem-cell research. He's also voted for hate crime prevention and anti-discrimination legislation.

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The Network

As the GOP transition chair in the 112th Congress, Walden works closely with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Walden also has ties to now Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who named him a deputy whip.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Walden work closely together as chair and deputy chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee. The men's sons were friends as children; Walden even sent his son to Dallas to spend a week with Sessions's son when they were young.

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Additional Resources

  1. Seabrook, Andrea. NPR. "Oregon Rep. Walden: The GOP's Go-To Guy." November 27, 2010.
  2. Rucker, Phil. The Washington Post. "Oregon Rep. Greg Walden: A handy man working to implement goals of GOP leaders." Nov. 14, 2010.
  3. Fattig, Paul. Ashland Daily Tidings. "Health plan's too expensive, Walden says." March 23, 2010.
  4. National Republican Congressional Committee. "NRCC Leadership." 2011.
  5. Greg Walden's website. "Biography." 2011.
  6. National Journal. "Almanac: Oregon: Second District: Rep. Greg Walden (R)." 2008.
  7. Project Vote Smart. "Representative Greg P. Walden (OR): Voting Record." 2011.
  8. The Washington Post. "U.S. Congress Votes Database: Greg Walden (R)." 2011.
  9. Associated Press. Eugene Register-Guard. "Oregon's Walden earns new post as deputy whip." December 13, 2002.
  10. NPR. "AP Election Guide: Greg Walden (Rep)." 2010.
  11. Pope, Charles. The Oregonian. "Greg Walden says his Republican leadership will pay off soon." May 09, 2010.
  12. UPI. "Boehner names transition committee chair." November 3, 2010.
  13. Roff, Peter. U.S. News & World Report. "GOP's Walden Pushes to Repeal FCC's Net Neutrality Policy." February 11, 2011.
  14. Kang, Cecilia. The Washington Post. "Rep. Walden tweets in Morse code that he will chair high-tech subcommittee." December 16, 2010.
  15. Tsukayama, Hayley. The Washington Post. "Walden sets House Commerce committee tech priorities on net neutrality, spectrum, broadband." February 10, 2011.
  16. The New York Times. "Election 2010: Oregon 2nd District Profile." 2010.
  17. Project Vote Smart. "Representative Greg P. Walden (OR): Biography." 2011.
  18. CNN. "Election Center: U.S. House/ Oregon 02." 2010.
  19. Greg Walden's website. "On The Issues." 2011.
  20. Sherman, Jake. Politico. "Greg Walden eases transition to a GOP House." December 8, 2010.
  21. Isenstadt, Alex. Politico. "Walden tapped as No. 2 in NRCC." January 12, 2009.
  22. Rucker, Phil, The Washington Post, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden: A handy man working to implement goals of GOP leaders, Nov. 14, 2010.