On the Issues

A Strong Voice – And Reliable Vote — Against New Taxes

A new payroll tax, gas tax, and vehicle registration fee increases (H.B. 2017, 2017) ….a sales tax on new cars and health insurance (HB 2391, 2017)…a gross-receipts tax (HB 3427, 2019) …it’s out of control! 

Knute voted NO on $13 billion in new tax increases passed by liberal lawmakers, including the $5.3 billion 2017 transportation package (H.B. 2017). A set of tax hikes that punished working families and rural Oregonians who rely upon gas vehicles for their work and day-to-day life, while rewarding Portland elites with new $39,000 Teslas. 

Knute opposes the new tolls to our existing freeways and Oregon’s new nanny-state taxes on water skiing (HB 2352, 2019), paddle boarding (SB 5521, 2019), and the outrageous fees, fines and bans on plastic bags (HB 2509, 2019) and drinking straws (S.B. 90, 2019).  

When President Trump signed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act in 2017, Oregon Democrats schemed to disconnect Oregon from the federal tax code (SB 1529, 2018). Knute stood up to protect the Trump tax cuts for small businesses and families, including allowing parents to use their own education saving accounts for K-12 private and religious school tuition (HB 4080, 2018).

Opposing Reckless Partisan Impeachment

Knute believes many radical Democrats in Washington, D.C. never accepted the election of President Trump in 2016 and began looking for an excuse to impeach him even before he was sworn-in to office. Knute strongly opposes the partisan Pelosi impeachment and believes the American people – not Democrats in Congress – should be the ones who determine who represents them in the White House. Knute supports the re-election of President Trump in 2020. 

Protecting Jobs from Heavy-Handed Regulations

Knute has been a vocal opponent of H.B. 2020, Kate Brown’s Cap and Trade tax plan that diverts $1.4 billion to special interests and crony campaign donors. In Congress, Knute will fight against the job-killing Green New Deal. Knute will work with President Trump to open up our natural resources for job creation, while being a smart steward of our land for future generations. Knute strongly supports the leadership of President Trump to reform and rollback NEPA and Obama-era WOTUS rules at EPA as well as other changes that remove overbearing and unnecessary laws and regulations from the backs of Oregon farmers, ranchers and small businesses. 

Defending Second Amendment Rights

In the legislature, Knute stood firm against radical agendas funded by out-of-state billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, who seek to strip law-abiding Oregon gun owners of their Second Amendment rights. As a gun-owner himself, he also worked to ensure guns stay out of the hands of criminals, particularly convicted domestic violence abusers (SB 525, 2015) (HB 4145, 2018). He has stood strong against unconstitutional gun grabs, red flag laws (SB 719, 2017), expanded background checks (SB 941, 2015), and a ban on assault rifles. As a candidate for Governor, Knute committed not to enforce unconstitutional laws that restricted the Second Amendment rights of Oregon gun owners (GOP primary debate, Lars Larson show 5/11/2018). In Congress, Knute will support the NRA and always defend the rights of law-abiding Americans to purchase and use firearms for recreation and protection.

Fighting for Natural Resource Jobs

Growing up in Roseburg, with the sound and smell of sawmills in the air, Knute has a unique appreciation for Oregon’s traditional jobs in farming, ranching and timber and the communities and way of life they support. And with so much of rural Oregon owned or under the direct influence of the federal government, heavy-handed policies made in Washington, D.C. have a direct and often negative impact on our economy. Knute strongly supports the leadership of President Trump to reform and rollback NEPA and Obama-era WOTUS rules at EPA as well as other changes that remove overbearing and unnecessary laws and regulations from the backs of Oregon farmers, ranchers and small businesses. 

In the legislature and running for Governor, Knute spoke-out against the Obama-era 2.3 million acre Owyhee Canyonlands national monument. In Congress, he will work to protect access to public lands for grazing and defend Columbia and Snake River dams, which not only produce affordable carbon-free energy but provide essential irrigation and river transportation vital to the Northwest economy.

No Government Takeover of Health Care

As a doctor and policy-maker, Knute believes in expanding access for affordable, world-class health care for all Oregonians. He believes this is best accomplished through market-based policies, protecting patient choice and fostering innovation and transparency in all areas of medical care and health insurance. Knute opposes budget-busting single-payer, government run health care – like “Medicare for All” – that will eliminate private insurance, reduce quality and choice and lead to government rationing of services and care. In Congress, Knute will support giving greater flexibility for businesses to design health care coverage for employees and states to innovate Medicaid. He will work to lower the high cost of prescription drugs and boost competition and choice through the sale of health insurance plans across state lines. 

In the legislature, Knute voted against the sales tax on health insurance premiums (HB 2391, 2017) and fought the drug companies to lower the cost of expensive prescription drugs (HB 4005, 2018). And when state Medicaid providers over-charged taxpayers by $75 million, Knute was the first to call on Kate Brown to launch an outside investigation and independent audit to hold providers accountable and ensure health care dollars for those in need are actually delivered to those in need. At the state level, Knute supported and passed health care ideas similar to what President Trump has advanced at the federal: The VA Mission Act of 2018, to improve access to health care for veterans, especially in rural communities and the Right to Try Act to allow and create standards for terminal patients seeking access to new treatments (HB 2300, 2015).  

Fighting the Opioid Crisis on the Front Lines

The opioid crisis touches every part of Oregon, especially rural communities. In Congress, Knute will continue the strong leadership of Congressman Greg Walden fighting the epidemic and strongly support the implementation of the SUPPORT (Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment) for Patients and Communities Act, backed by President Trump, designed to curb America’s opioid epidemic by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives and strengthening prevention efforts. He will also support the Trump Administration’s efforts to prevent the illegal flow of drugs into the country with stronger border security and enforcement measures. In the legislature, Knute wrote and passed a new law (HB 4124), which lets community health advocates and family members of addicts get easier access to life-saving doses of Naloxone (Narcan)(HB 4124, 2016). He also wrote new bills that track the overprescribing of opioids by healthcare providers and “doctor shopping” by addicts (HB 2518, 2017).

Securing the Border, Opposing Sanctuary Cities

Knute stands with President Trump to secure the border and reduce illegal immigration. Knute believes that while America is a nation of immigrants – America is also a nation of laws. He believes immigrants who come to America legally, following our laws and assimilating into our society, can strengthen not only our economy but our communities as well. Knute believes continued illegal immigration and moving toward open borders divides our nation and undermines the very idea of the shared American experience. 

Knute opposes sanctuary cities and voted yes on BM105 to repeal Oregon’s sanctuary cities law. In the legislature, he voted against SB 932 and SB 1563, which allow using state tax dollars to pay for healthcare and college tuition reductions for people living undocumented in Oregon. 

Respecting and Balancing Choice and Life

As a doctor and legislator, Knute has pursued policies to make abortion as rare as possible and opposes radical efforts to expand access to taxpayer funded abortions. Knute respects and maintains an open door to people of conscience on both sides of this deeply personal issue. Although he is pro-choice, in 2017, Knute stood up to Kate Brown, Planned Parenthood and a united Democrat Party and voted NO on an extreme pro-abortion mandate law (HB 3391) that requires insurers to pay for abortions with no deductibles or co-pays and for the first time provides public funding for abortions for undocumented immigrants. Knute believes the commonsense and compassionate way to address unplanned pregnancies is by increasing access to preventive contraception. With broad bipartisan support, he wrote and passed Oregon’s landmark birth control law, allowing women to purchase birth control over the counter without having to see a doctor first (HB 2789, 2015). Now, 10% of all prescriptions for oral contraceptives are being dispensed under HB 2879 (Oregonlive.com, 05/15/2019). This new law is proven to reduce abortions in Oregon and unintended pregnancies. In Congress, Knute will oppose federal funding to Planned Parenthood, vote to preserve the Hyde Amendment that bans federal tax dollars from being spent on abortion, and vote against bills to expand late-term and after-birth abortions. 

Supporting a Strong Military and National Defense

Knute supports a strong national defense and will support military action when America, its allies or national interests are threatened or attacked. Knute strongly supports the decisive action by President Trump to kill and remove Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani from the battlefield that has existed between the United States and Iran since 1979. There must be consequences – and justice — for any regime that threatens an American embassy, attacks U.S. military assets, kills American citizens and repeatedly challenges our allies. Knute believes that history shows that peace is best secured through strength and deterrence – not weakness or appeasement. As a legislator and doctor, Knute has a track record of supporting veterans and be an advocate for better V.A. care (HB 2300,2015).