BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.)

By POLITICO Staff

How/where are you celebrating your birthday and with whom? “Members who celebrate their birthday on Jan. 10 have gotten together for lunch each year. Our merry band has shrunk to Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and me. Roy’s our lunch leader, since he has the most experience celebrating this day! After that, it’s a coach seat on Alaska Airlines to Oregon to complete my 625th roundtrip. Over the weekend, we’re hosting friends for dinner and hope to ski at Mt. Hood Meadows.”

How did you get your start in politics? “I grew up in a family that believed in giving back. My parents were active in the community as small market radio station owners. As an Eagle Scout, I learned the importance of leaving your campsite better than you found it. My father got elected to the state legislature in 1970, when I was in middle school. I’ve been involved in a campaign one way or another nearly every election since then. Public service is still an honorable calling.”

What’s an interesting book/article you’re reading now or you’ve recently finished? And why? “I recently finished ‘The Hundred-Year Marathon,’ which is an insightful view into China’s plans to expand their power in the world in every sector. I also liked ‘A Bright Future,’ which discusses various ways to reduce carbon emissions and what’s worked -- and what hasn’t -- around the world. Just starting Jon Meacham’s ‘The Soul of America.’

What’s a trend going on in the U.S. or abroad that doesn’t get enough attention? “The impact of supercomputing capabilities is revolutionizing everything from development of new medicines to new, clean energy sources. This ability gives us great hope that we can overcome some of the biggest challenges facing the health of families or the health of the planet.”

How’s the Trump presidency going? “The president and his team are terrific to work with, especially as we work to bring down the high costs of health care. We’ve never had a president lean in more to get drug prices down, allow dying patients the right to try new medicines early and stop surprise medical billing. His support for American energy independence has greatly benefited consumers and strengthens our hand internationally.”

What’s a fun fact that people in Washington might not know about you? “I was the producer/director of the 11 p.m. nightly newscast on a CBS affiliate (KTVF-TV Fairbanks, Alaska) in 1974 when I was 17 years old, and worked as a disc jockey on the companion radio station, KFRB. I remember playing campaign ads on the radio for Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)! It’s clearly why he won election.”