The Nation's Most Advanced Secessionist Movement

Legislation supporting the Greater Idaho Movement, which would annex over half of neighboring Oregon, has advanced in the Idaho legislature.

3 minute read

March 22, 2023, 10:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

A hypothetical map of the state of Idaho, expanded by annexing a large portion fo Oregon. The map is emblazoned with the words “Greater Idaho.”

J.D.S / Shutterstock

Last month, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted that the nation needed a national divorce. "We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government," she wrote on Feb. 20.

A version of that divorce appears to be underway in the Pacific Northwest. And to the surprise of many, it is making progress.

"What would have previously been brushed off as a fringe proposition to add the predominantly Republican region of eastern Oregon into conservative Idaho has lunged forward in the Idaho state legislature," reported Jack Hannah and Kyung Lah for CNN on March 15.

There have been plenty of other attempts across the country to break off pieces of states to try to join more politically analogous ones, but this one has advanced the furthest. The measure passed the state House last month and advanced to the state Senate, where it sits in committee, with the session expected to wrap by the end of March.

The legislation, House Joint Memorial 1, introduced by Rep. Barbara Ehardt on Feb.1, authorizes "state legislators to open talks with Oregon about relocating the shared state line. There’s a similar bill before Oregon’s state legislature that has gathered less traction," add Lah and Hannah.

“It just overwhelmingly hit me...This made a lot of sense,” Ehardt said of her reaction when Greater Idaho Movement members first shared their plan. Moving more than half of Oregon’s geographic footprint, though far more sparsely populated than the western portion of the state, felt like simply bringing the same type of people into one state, she said.

Will it succeed/secede?

According to a Fox News Digital article (source article for this post) published by Fox 12 Oregon (KPTV) on March 13, the secessionist effort "has 'virtually no chance' of becoming a reality, according to Idaho’s top state Senate Democrat."

“I’m very pleased this measure has virtually no chance of advancing into reality,” Idaho Senate Minority Leader Melissa Wintrow, D, told Fox News Digital. “It would be bad for all involved and bad for the country, and I am opposed to it at all levels.”

Backers of the resolution support the so-called Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to incorporate about 13 Oregon counties, or 63% of the state’s landmass and 9% of its population, within Idaho’s borders.

Proponents of Greater Idaho note that 11 counties in eastern Oregon have voted for ballot measures to explore the move and that, according to some polling, Idahoans would welcome expanding the state boundary. In Oregon, meanwhile, polling has shown a roughly equal number of voters support and oppose the idea, with about one-fifth of the population undecided.

Should the joint resolution pass the state Senate with a two-thirds vote and be signed by Gov. Brad Little, the divorce would still remain far off, according to one Democratic state legislator.

“I oppose wasting a single minute of our very short time in the Idaho Legislature working to solve the problems of a minority of Oregon’s population instead of focusing our energy on the very real problems that we need to solve in Idaho,” Rep. Ned Burns, D, told Fox News Digital.

“The proposal to move state boundaries is virtually impossible to execute. In each state it would take a concurrent resolution passed by two-thirds of each body, then a vote of the citizens, then an amendment to the state constitutions, and finally an act of Congress signed by the president. The idea that this would happen is laughable.”

But why end on such a dour note? Last word goes to Republican State Rep. Judy Boyle, who told Fox News Digital that she has "lived along the Oregon border my entire life."

“Will it ever happen?” asked Boyle. “We won’t know unless we give it a try. Our Idaho Legislative Memorial  is simply saying to Oregon that we are willing to talk about the possibility and what that would look like.”

Hat tip to Michael Smerconish's newsletter, March 16.

Monday, March 13, 2023 in FOX News

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