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The Nation Chooses MerkleySubmitted by Michael Munk Salem-News.com
A frequent ally of stalwarts like Sanders and Tom Harkin, Merkley has also been willing to strike out on his own to pick big fights for big reforms.
(PORTLAND, OR) - (I have known Jeff Merkley since his years of service in the Oregon legislature. He is an extremely personable human being who, as The Nation explains in their article below, carries one of the best voting records with regard to common sense issues. It is our pleasure to share the fact that he was named, 'The Most Valuable Senator' with our readers, - no small thing. - The Editor)
Among the new generation of Democratic senators elected in the past several years, none has been so steadfastly determined to forge progressive solutions as Oregon’s Jeff Merkley.
A frequent ally of stalwarts like Sanders and Tom Harkin, Merkley has also been willing to strike out on his own to pick big fights for big reforms. On the Banking Committee, he has pushed hard for crackdowns on Wall Street abuses and for aid to Americans struggling to keep their homes.
As a key member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, he’s battled to increase spending on vital infrastructure projects and orked to prevent the closing of rural post offices.
Above all, Merkley is fighting to “Fix the Senate Now.” Increasingly frustrated by the Republicans’ “fake filibusters,” which have blocked action on popular legislation, Merkley teamed up with Senator Tom Udall to develop a way to end these abuses.
Under their plan, the filibuster would be restored as an honest and transparent tool whereby senators who dissent must do so publicly. Think Jefferson Smith, Jimmy Stewart’s iconic character in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington—who, much like Merkley, hailed from a Western state and refused to compromise his principles to get along in the Senate.
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