SALEM, Ore. — Hundreds of bills in Oregon may die if Democrats and Republicans can't find a compromise on a handful of controversial policies, like abortion, gender-affirming care, and gun control.
With one month left in the session, leaders of both parties say there's a chance to salvage the session, but they disagree on how.
KATU’s Christina Giardinelli spoke with both Senate President Rob Wagner, D-Lake Oswego, and Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend, about whether the lawmakers thought it was worth losing some of the bipartisan legislation to stand their ground.
"We have been very clear we want lawful, we want constitutional, and we want bipartisan. We think that the issue of this standoff could end tomorrow if President Wagner would meet those criteria,” Knopp said.
When asked what bills the Republican senators find unlawful, unconstitutional, and non-bipartisan, Knopp said there were plenty, but they have not sent an official list to the Democrats.
“We still have a full month to go right now, so I'm very confident in the conversations that we are having,” Wagner said. “When people understand what we are actually doing for Oregonians to benefit their lives, I'm really hoping that people are going to see that and say, it's time for the Legislature to have everybody show up."
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In what is now considered the state’s longest walkout, both sides are trying to leverage some of those bipartisan issues like housing shortages, wildfire, and drought.
Both parties claim to be doing what their constituents want.
“I will just say this, Oregon is a pro-choice state," said Wagner. "States across the country are rolling back Roe v. Wade. I think this is such a critical issue."
“I have heard from Democrats who are liberal, pro-choice, pro-gay that are saying, ‘hold the line on some of these bills’ because they are just too extreme,” said Knopp.
Sessions are scheduled to resume Tuesday after the Memorial Day holiday weekend.