On Wednesday, the Idaho House approved a resolution to begin discussions with the Oregon Legislature to potentially annex several counties from Oregon into Idaho.
After many years of being fed up with the policies coming out of Portland, over 30% of the counties in Oregon have voted to secede, and instead join the state of Idaho—in the process creating a new state that would be called #GreaterIdaho.https://t.co/lS1kdWIMaL pic.twitter.com/ZwZqJJsTEo
— Facts Matter (@FactsMatterRB) February 7, 2023
The resolution was spawned by the Greater Idaho Movement, which seeks to expand Idaho’s border into eastern Oregon and absorb 11 counties from the Democrat-controlled state.
These 11 counties, which represent 63% of Oregon’s landmass, have grown frustrated with their lack of representation in their state — and the extremely radical policies being forced upon them by voters in leftist cities like Portland.
Radical leftists living in cities in northwest Oregon — Portland, Salem and Eugene — have significant control over the state’s politics, causing rural conservative Oregonians to be almost completely shut out of decision-making in state governance.
Citizens for Greater Idaho president Mike McCarter described these rural voters’ concerns in an op-ed for Oregon Live.
“The aspirations of Portland-area and northwestern Oregon voters force the state government toward a direction that happens to be incompatible with the values and livelihoods of my town and many in eastern and southern Oregon,” McCarter wrote.
These rural conservative voters would get along much better in Idaho, where they are well-represented in the Idaho legislature. The deep-red state has not elected a Democrat president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Idaho state Rep. Judy Boyle has expressed support for the annexation of conservative Oregon counties, arguing that it would help put a larger buffer between the border district she represents and the drugs pouring into the area from Oregon.
Speaking to the Idaho Press, Boyle said that she voted in favor of the resolution to “get those drugs away from us,” referring to Oregon’s decriminalization of numerous illegal drugs that has led to an increase in drug use and distribution.
Another state lawmaker in Idaho, Rep. Barbara Ehardt, has argued that the annexation would provide a lot of benefits to her state.
While some have expressed concern about the move being a loss for Oregon, The Federalist has pointed out that “If the Oregon legislature is worried about losing so much state land… proponents argue that the majority of land in the expansion is federally or privately owned. The state government would not be losing much.”
Others have also pointed out that the annexation would only cause Oregon to lose one congressional seat and one electoral vote.
Some Democrats in the Idaho legislature have come out against the move, including the state’s House Minority Leader Rep. Ilana Rubel (D).
“We should not be self-segregating by ideology like this,” Rubel told a local news channel. “I think we’re on a path to civil war if we keep going down this path. We have got to learn to get along better and work together better. The answer cannot be to carve up the country and redraw lines that have been in place for a century or more, just so we can only be surrounded by people that perfectly agree with us.”
While the measure is now headed to the Idaho Senate for approval, it also has to be approved by Oregon’s legislature and the U.S. Congress. Meanwhile, 11 rural counties in Oregon have already signed onto a petition in favor of the expansion.
Oregon isn’t the only state where moves like this are being demanded. The “New California Movement” has also been advocating for creating an entirely new state, separate from the radical left areas of the state.