Congressman Schrader Talks Politics at SSC



Congressman Kurt Schrader takes questions from Journalism students at SSC.

Phoenix Smith, Reporter

Kurt Schrader, has been the US Representative for Oregon’s 5th congressional district for the past 10 years. The congressman reminisced on his adolescence, during a press conference this week while sharing his political background beginning in school and his love for government and history. Schrader describes himself as “left-of-center”.  While talking about his personal beliefs he revealed his Democratic ideology was influenced by Richard Nixon, the 37th United States president, and the role Nixon played in the Kent State shooting; where four unarmed students were killed by the Ohio National Guard during a mass protest. 

When asked “What does being a Democrat mean to you?” Schrader clarified that it really meant being concerned about others and advocating for equal opportunities. With his position in the United States government, Schrader’s dream goal is to make Congress work. During the last few presidencies, Congress has slowly been losing its power, he says to the executive branch, and he says he would love to see it regain control.

While talking with Schrader it is shown some of his beliefs do not fully coincide with most Progressive Democrats. He is a bit independent and impartial with his beliefs. For example, with the recent controversy surrounding Nancy Pelosi’s presidential impeachment inquiry, the congressman took longer than other Democrats to decide whether President Donald Trump deserved impeachment. Schrader explains he finally voted yes for the inquiry when seeing the actual documents from White House sources.  Once he read it he says it was clear that the president was using his power to interfere with the 2020 presidential election and it was unjust. Although Schrader believes this, he still encourages everyone to read the papers and draw their own conclusions.

The congressman also differs from majority Democratic beliefs and that he also supports the Second Amendment.  Although Schrader has openly advocated and support stricter and Universal background checks, he believes that the right was written with the intent to protect American citizens by our founding fathers, and should, therefore, be respected. Some of the solutions he suggests include increased penalties for wrongful use of a firearm and temporarily taking someone’s gun away when their mental health is questioned by a medical expert.

Even though Congressman Schrader appears to be a racial equality advocate, he had no knowledge of the Hands-Up movement, an idea created to prevent police officers from shooting unarmed citizens. When asked his opinion on the matter, the congressman admitted he had not heard of the ACT. He expressed that although he had a huge admiration for members of the police force and the safety they provide our country, he added, “There are some officers who take it too far, and something must be done to prevent police brutality.”

 Schrader is very passionate about how the country is dealing with the issue of immigration, and the role it plays in American government, society, and the economy. He says the way immigrants can be beneficial for those seeking asylum and for the country as a whole. Families, he says, are searching for better opportunities, and they should not be punished. Schrader shared his thoughts during a news conference in the Journalism class at the Sabin-Schellenberg Professional Center on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.