SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - After 24 years of commuting from Springfield to Washington, D.C., Peter DeFazio is not ready to give it up.
"Living here in Springfield, going down to Bi-Mart, you know someone stops you in the parking lot at Bi-Mart, wants to know why'd you do that or why don't you do this," the Congressman from Oregon's 4th Congressional District said. "It's hard to kinda like get a big head and be distant from that, so I think really, by keeping my family here and commuting, it's really helped me to keep in touch with the district."
DeFazio faces Republican Art Robinson of Cave Junction on the November ballot.
DeFazio, a Democrat, said he's pushing the president to keep his promise for more federal support to counties that have huge federal land holdings.
"If we could increase the harvest responsibly, sustainably, and at the same time protecting all the old growth and get our full share of revenues off the federal forests," he said, "we could get them to the point where they could afford central services and would also put a bunch of money into the rural schools."
For senior citizens, DeFazio cites a bill he introduced a year and a half ago to give them a one-time cost of living adjustment.
"Almost 40 percent of the seniors in my district are almost totally dependent on Social Security and about 60 percent are principally dependent on Social Security," he said, "and if they don't get a little bit of an increase they're going to have cut something else out of their budget."
To pay for it, he wants Congress to impose a Social Security tax on people making more than $1.3 million.
KVAL News also asked DeFazio about foreign policy and the war in afghanistan.
"The Afghan government is corrupt, their police are corrupt, their army is incompetent and corrupt for the most part," he said.
DeFazio is opposed to President Obama's build-up in Afghanistan, a plan he says is not working.
"We should maintain just enough of a presence in that region to make sure the radicals don't come back in and provide a safe haven for terrorists like they did before 9-11," he said, "but otherwise, let the Afghans have their own fight. This is an inter and intra-tribal war going on in Afghanistan and we're the only outsiders around, so we are becoming the targets."