League of Women Voters of Deschutes County Interview with Congressman Cliff Bentz, of Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District May 7, 2021, 12 noon PT Carol Loesche, Mimi Alkire, Congressman Bentz, and Nick Strader from his Oregon Staff INTRODUCTIONS LWVDC President, Carol Loesche, and Vice President, Mimi Alkire, met virtually with Congressman Cliff Bentz on May 7. He was in his office, surrounded by overfull bookshelves. After introductions all around, the Congressman asked if he could start the interveiw by asking us a question: “What books are you reading?” Both of us being avid readers, that was dangerous territory – the danger being that we might not be able to change the subject back to our actual interview questions!!! We shared with him the Freedom Readers upcoming books, and then he grabbed and held up, so we could see, the books he is currently reading: Kings of Crypto: One Startup’s Question to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street, by Jeff John Roberts Why I Stand, by Burgess Owens Madison’s Metronome, Greg Weiner The Congressional Experience: A View from the Hill, by David E. Price And he listed several periodicals, including Foreign Affairs Magazine, New York Review of Books, Commentary Magazine. Then he asked us to please read The Hundred-year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, by Michael Pillsbury. (This suggestion is now on our Freedom Readers “waiting list.”) We spent a few more minutes on personal topics, during which Congressman Bentz told us he runs 6 miles every other day. He ran the Portland Marathon several times, and even though he beat his wife’s time by 7 minutes, SHE was the one who qualified for Boston Marathon in 2011. But he got to go watch her run, standing on the very spot that the bomb went off in Boston 2 years later. THE INTERVIEW BEGINS… THANK YOU! Carol expressed our thanks to Congressman Bentz for being responsive to our interview request. On behalf of League of Women Voters of Rogue Valley, Carol thanked Congressman Bentz for his recent visits around the state, including to Jackson County where he looked into the challenges of the recovery from the Almeda Wildfire. He appreciated their comments and said he is continuing to work on that issue. He had just finished a phone call with Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang regarding preparation for the upcoming fire season which is predicted to be intense. The Rogue Valley League also wanted us to thank him for his words of support for healthcare workers and their efforts to keep us safe during the pandemic—specifically for encouraging people to get vaccinated and otherwise setting a good example for what’s needed to conquer the virus, such as wearing a mask. Q: Would you be open to doing a public service announcement aimed at the more rural parts of Oregon that are vaccine-reluctant? If the congressman is asked if there is anything else I’d like to say, he tries to end all public remarks with “Get vaccinated!” To us he said, “This issue should not be political.” Each person should consult their doctor about vaccinations and is sure they would be told to get it done. He would consider doing a public service announcement but would want to consult his staff. Congressman Bentz’s mother had polio as a child. After watching his mother suffer throughout her life from the excrutiating complications and eventually succumb to her illness, he feels supporting vaccinations is a pretty easy choice for him! Q: HR 5010, State-based Universal Healthcare Act, would be very helpful to Oregon which has a Joint Task Force on Universal Health Care and plans to submit waiver requests to Centers for Medicaid & Medicare. Would Congressman Bentz support H.R. 5010, by Congressman Bo Khana? At the time of this interview, Congressman Bentz didn’t know anything about the bill. He said he would look into it. He feels fortunate to have a few of Walden’s staff members on his team, who have memory of the many years Congressman Walden represented CD2. He did say, “The challenge with government-run healthcare is how do we get it done?” With a $3trillion budget he was hesitant to comment without sufficient background information. As a hospital lawyer in Oregon, the congressman represented both doctors and hospitals. He feels that government-run healthcare presents lots of challenges, as indicated by the issues we face with veterans healthcare system. On healthcare, in general, he told us about an a

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