Millions of Americans now living in Oregon, California, and Washington state could end up in their own Greater Idaho if a proposal submitted to Idaho lawmakers Monday becomes reality. Mike McCarter, president of Move Oregon's Borders for a Greater Idaho, told a joint committee of lawmakers that the plan, which would involve Idaho expanding its border to the Pacific Ocean, could grow Idaho's population by 50% and make it the nation's third-largest state in terms of area, KTVB reports. The plan calls for around three-quarters of Oregon becoming part of Idaho. Supporters say residents of parts of southeast Washington and northern California would also welcome the chance to become part of a red state.
McCarter, an Oregon resident, said four rural Oregon counties have already approved the plan and votes are coming up in five more. "There's a longtime cultural divide as big as the Grand Canyon between northwest Oregon and rural Oregon, and it’s getting larger," he said, per the AP. For parts of Oregon to join Idaho, the plan would have to be approved by Congress and the legislatures of both states. McCarter's group argues that the move would be likely to win approval since it won't affect the balance of power in the Senate. The AP reports "Idaho lawmakers appeared intrigued but skeptical." Mark Simmons, a former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, told Idaho lawmakers that "a lot of details" would need to be worked out, including the minimum wage, which is $11.25 in Oregon and $7.25 in Idaho. (Read more Idaho stories.)