Oregon Senate Republicans lead a boycott on Thursday over coronavirus legislature, refusing to attend sessions of the upper chamber. The senators have employed this tactic in the past in order to signal their disapproval of Democratic-led legislature.

Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod issued a statement demanding the reopening of schools. Girod also claimed in his statement that school teachers do not need to be vaccinated. Girod also advocated for legislation on “vaccine distribution, economic recovery and government accountability.”

Charles Boyle, a spokesman for Gov. Kate Brown (D), remarked on efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. “Governor Brown is going to keep going to work every day for Oregonians,” he said. “She expects all elected officials to do the same.”

Senate President Peter Courtney (D) shared his thoughts on the boycott. “I did not expect this. I was not notified of it,” Courtney said. “This is a team effort, and therefore we have to deal with each other in that way.”

Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner also condemned the boycott. “Senate Republicans continue to sabotage Oregon’s democracy and undermine the will of voters,” he said. “Lives are at stake as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet the Senate Republicans continue their anti-democratic walkout tactics.”

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