WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., on Oct. 1 expressed optimism over the continued progress of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act in the U.S. Senate.

The Healthy Forests Bill, which was co-authored by Walden, has been awaiting Senate action since its passage by the U.S. House on May 20 by a bipartisan vote of 256 to 170. Recent announcements from Senate negotiators have signaled the possibility that House and Senate leaders will soon be able to hold discussions to find common ground between the respective House and Senate proposals.

In response to the proposed Senate amendment to the Healthy Forests bill, Walden issued the following statement: "I'm looking forward to reviewing in detail the Senate's proposal. We've come a long way, and now it's important to get it right and get it done. Every day that passes and Congress doesn't act is a day that America's forests grow more disease ridden, bug infested and fire prone. I'm optimistic that we can find common ground with the Senate when given the chance to meet in conference."

Walden represents the 2nd Congressional District of Oregon, which includes the 20 counties of central, southern and eastern Oregon.

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