The systemic changes necessary for improving police accountability and our criminal justice system should include addressing America’s hopelessly unfair prohibition of cannabis.

As vivid images of police brutality and injustice sweep the nation, a wave of outrage and recognition has sparked action. Police tactics are not just being challenged; they are starting to be changed. Perpetrators whose violent acts have been captured on video are now resulting in arrests, unimaginable just a few weeks ago.

The House Democratic Caucus has rallied behind the leadership of Congresswoman Karen Bass and other Congressional Black Caucus members in passing sweeping criminal justice and…


We’ve all experienced a phone app that’s not working properly, or a computer program that freezes the machine. What do you do? Lesson number one: shut it down.

It works for computers. Maybe that’s what we need to do with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) and other agencies that are failing us in the Department of Homeland Security.

I voted against the formation of ICE in 2002 and have been concerned with the actions of the agency for quite some time.

There is no turning back when agents of the federal government and our “commander-in-chief” lose respect for humanity and…


On Father’s Day, I have one message: families belong together.

I can’t help but think about my grandchildren — four of them under the age of six — and how unspeakably cruel it would be if any one of them was taken from their parents. What if my two-and-half-year-old grandson was ripped from my daughter’s arms, or if my 18-month-old granddaughter was taken from my son and his wife. What kind of person thinks this should be a matter of routine??

I visited Sheridan federal prison yesterday, where over 100 detainees are being held by ICE under Trump’s “zero tolerance”…


The first day of debate on the Republican tax bill was largely spent discussing the impacts on working and middle-class families. Is the bill a break for these folks? The answer is clearly NO. Millions of middle-class families will actually see their taxes go up during the next few years.

This bill gives almost all of the benefits to the wealthiest families and multinational corporations. Not only that, we will be forced to borrow an estimated $1.5 trillion or more to help these people who need it the least.

Imagine what could be done with that money.

At even the…


I stayed back in Washington, DC for a weekend to entertain my almost 5-year-old grandson who visited. As I walked the Mall and went through our stately Capitol with him, I tried to reconcile great moments and remarkable people in our history with what is happening today.

Donald Trump is at war with his own Justice Department, is busy undermining our critical relationships abroad, and is shredding our social fabric here at home. …


Early in my congressional career, I would receive the same phone call from a reporter from the LA Times. There had been a wildfire, rains, and mudslides. We would discuss how a wildfire denuded the hillside above a particular subdivision, which inevitably produced mud slides and flooding. We would then discuss the judgment of builders constructing homes in a known flame zone, the people buying them, and the local government permitting it to happen.

Fortunately, calls like those have finally stopped as communities there did a better job of enacting and enforcing policies, plans, and zoning codes to prevent such…


Another week in Washington. It’s hard not to be alarmed by the ever-widening circle of the highly questionable, if not illegal, behavior by the Trump family — and the lack of courage by my Republican colleagues to step up and hold them accountable. Yet another appalling Republican health care plan was released. It will deny care to millions, raise costs on others, and destabilize the health insurance market. Our priority this July session is to defeat this bill.

With all of these concerning revelations and efforts, however, there was a bright spot this week for a troubled region.

I’ve worked…


Today is the beginning of the eighth year since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

This may finally be the day of reckoning. Yet, we begin the day with continued uncertainty about what the Republicans will do with the Affordable Care Act. Votes are uncertain, and Americans don’t know what’s in the GOP repeal bill or its full consequences.

Such delicious irony.

Over six years ago, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and gained a powerful platform for their assault on “Obamacare.” In countless small ways, they acted to undermine both its credibility and its effectiveness. …


Donald Trump appears to be trying to act presidential. If so, he should start with an apology.

Because Donald Trump owes America an apology. Not a phony “I hope I didn’t upset anybody, and I’m sorry if I did” apology. He owes America a straight in the camera acknowledgment that by running the most inflammatory, reckless campaign in America’s history he has done real damage.

He should apologize to my biracial grandchildren who are now at greater risk not just of taunting but real physical threats from the racist element that now feels entitled by his words and action.

He…


Circumstances brought me to New York on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack.

I started the day with a run down to Ground Zero, getting there precisely at the time of the first attack — 8:46 a.m. I watched as first responders gathered to commemorate and join the remembrance ceremonies. Family members of those lost were ushered to a place of honor. Later in the afternoon, I shared my reflections of that horrific day with a group on a boat in the New York Harbor in front of the Statue of Liberty.

Like most, I remember exactly where…

Earl Blumenauer

Congressman representing Oregon’s Third Congressional District

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