Contact Congress

This letter was sent by OpenCongress user treyguy on February 01, 2012 in support of H.R.2306 Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.
A public message by treyguy
To:
  • photo
    Ron Wyden Vote on Passage of H.R.2306: Not Voted Yet
  • photo
    Jeff Merkley Vote on Passage of H.R.2306: Not Voted Yet

Comment on this letter below

H.R.2306 Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011

I support H.R.2306 - Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, and am tracking it using OpenCongress.org, the free public resource website for government transparency and accountability.

Sincerely,

This letter was a reply from the office of Jeff Merkley on February 29, 2012.
Responding to your message

Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley

Dear William,

Thank you for contacting me to share your views about the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 (H.R. 2306), which would prohibit the federal government from prosecuting adult for the possessionuse of marijuana. I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 is currently pending in the United States House of Representatives. In the Senate, this legislation would fall under the jurisdiction of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. While I am not a member of that Committee, I would like to assure you that I will be following the progress of this bill, and will keep your views in mind if thisrelated legislation comes before the full Senate for consideration.

Again, thanks for your input. I hope you keep sending your thoughts my way.

All my best,

Jeffrey A. Merkley United States Senator Facebook Facebook Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address. To contact me, please visit the contact page on my website . Twitter Twitter YouTube YouTube E-newsletter E-newsletter

This letter was a reply from the office of Jeff Merkley on December 16, 2012.
Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours

Season's greetings from the Merkley family.

Visit www.merkley.senate.gov | Contact Jeff | Unsubscribe Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address.

This letter was a reply from the office of Jeff Merkley on February 03, 2013.
Fighting to End Paralysis in the Senate

Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley

Dear William,

Since coming to Congress, I have been fighting to end the paralysis in the Senate by reforming the filibuster. In the time I have been here, I have heard from tens of thousands of Oregonians who are frustrated that important legislation is blocked without debate and with no senator held accountable for the inaction. Because the current form of the filibuster allows any senator to object to ending debate on a bill silently, an objection that can only be overcome with a supermajority of 60 votes, the filibuster has become a partisan tool for blocking the majority's agenda rather than a principled stand by a senator defending core values.

That is why I have been making the case acrossand the country for a "talking filibuster," which would simply require a senator who demands more debate to in fact be in the Senate chamber debating. In other words, if a senator chooses to block a bill that has the support of a majority of senators, I believe heshe should at least make the case before the American people, and if no senator is on the floor debating, then the debate should end and a vote held.

As you may know, on January 24, 2013, the Senate made several reforms to its rules to help move legislation more efficiently through the chamber. Specifically, the new reforms create tools that can limit the ability of individual senators to block bills from coming to the floor, and they will make it less time-consuming to confirm the President's nominees.

The new rules fell short of what I had proposed, and did not include a "talking filibuster" requirement. However, I am proud that the Senate took the steps that it did. These are the most substantive changes to Senate rules in decades. Moreover, senators from both parties sent a clear message that the current gridlock and dysfunction is unacceptable, and showed their determination to fix the Senate. If these modest steps do not sufficiently address the dysfunction in the Senate, many senators are determined to fight for stronger solutions, and I am ready to continue leading that fight.

Please know that I will continue to work as hard as I can to make the Senate a deliberative body that can take on our nation's challenges and work towards real solutions. I hope you will continue to send your thoughts my way.

All my best,

Jeffrey A. Merkley United States Senator

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Facebook Facebook Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address. To contact me, please visit the contact page on my website . Twitter Twitter YouTube YouTube E-newsletter E-newsletter

This letter was a reply from the office of Jeff Merkley on March 14, 2013.
A better way

Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THEREPORT Visit merkley.senate.gov March 14th, 2013 Greetings and welcome to Senator Jeff Merkley's enewsletter, The Oregon Report. We hope to keep all Oregonians informed on what's going on in DC as Jeff works for Oregonians.

Economic Choices For America

In the coming weeks, as a member of both the Appropriations Committee and Budget Committee, Jeff will be intimately involved in writing the budget and deciding how we dedicate our resources as a nation. With these major decisions ahead, we face a choice as to what kind of nation and economy we want. Do we want one that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can still achieve the American Dream?will we allow working families to continue falling further behind, even while they work harder? Do we want to fuel innovation and good jobs that create opportunities for middle class Oregonians,cut off key investments in education, infrastructure, and science while our competitors overseas win the future? Will we protect the earned benefits of our seniors, and maintain the modest safety net of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security,ask seniors to pay more out of pocket for less?

For too many years-especially since the recession, but even before-the economy has been failing too many Oregonians. Jeff has been fighting for a new vision for the economy, one built around the middle class. That's why he voted against the law that created the sequester. It's dumb economics that will cost jobs now, make life tougher for working families, and choke off investments in the critical building blocks for future economic growth.

Sequester = Cuts inSchools

Last Wednesday, Jeff joined withsuperintendants and education leaders to stress the impact the sequester will have to schools in Oregon.schools are going to lose over $23 million annually in federal education funds that support K-12 schools, students with disabilities, and Head Start programs in our state. These cuts represent a 5 to 7% reduction in federal funds for these programs, including a loss of approximately $6.4 million in funds for schools acrossto help educate students with disabilities. Schools are still required to provide services to students with disabilities, so already-strapped schools have to find other ways of cutting back. The state would also lose approximately $3.5 million in funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, meaning 600 fewer kids will have access to high quality pre-K to get them off to a good start in life. Jeff believes this is unacceptable and is working to restore investments in education and other key priorities.

Prosecution-Free Zone for Large Banks in America?

Last Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the lack of criminal prosecutions of global bank HSBC. HSBC, which helped drug cartels launder nearly a billion dollars, faced a fine of only one percent of profits over the ten year period they broke the law. During the hearing, Jeff asked the regulators a simple question, "Do we have a situation where banks have become so large that in the words of Attorney General Holder, if you prosecute them, 'it will have a negative impact on the economy and the financial system at large' and does that mean, essentially that we have a prosecution-free zone for large banks in America?" Click HERE to watch

At the end of the hearing, Senator Merkley ended with a final note that a fine of one percent of profits doesn't act as a deterrent, but sounds more like the cost of doing a very profitable business. Click HERE to watch

After the news of the settlement was reached last year, Jeff wrote a letter to Attorney General Holder saying it deeply offends the public's sense of justice.

Senator Merkley

Oregon Townhalls

Like Jeff on Facebook

Follow Jeff on Twitter Jeff is a native of Myrtle Creek,and the son of a millwright. The first in his family to go to college, Jeff still lives in the same working class neighborhood that his parents eventually settled in and his kids go to the same public high school he attended. Making the 'American Dream' a reality for others as it has been for him is what got Jeff Merkley involved in public life and is what continues to keep him fighting forfamilies.

In the four years he has been in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley has been focused on creating jobs and getting our nation back on track. He led the fight against high-risk gambling on Wall Street, has been a leading voice for aggressive action to take on the foreclosure crisis, and wrote the law that helps small businesses raise money on the internet so they can grow and create jobs.

Jeff and his wife Mary have been married for twenty years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan, and an Airedale terrier, Sadie. This email was sent to formageddon+199471@opencongress.org Visit merkley.senate.gov | Contact Jeff | Unsubscribe Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address.

This letter was a reply from the office of Jeff Merkley on April 18, 2013.
What I said at the City Club

Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THEREPORT Visit merkley.senate.gov April 18th, 2013

Restoring the American Dream

The American Dream. It fuels so many in our nation to work hard so we can put food on the table for our families, own the roof we put over our heads, and provide opportunity for our children.

There's nothing more important to me than restoring that American Dream, which has slipped further out of reach for so many people. It used to be that if you worked hard, and played by the rules, you could- as my dad told me growing up-dobe almost anything.

Recently, I spoke before the City Club of Portland, laying out where we got off track, and what we can do as a nation to make the American Dream real for a new generation of Americans. You can listen here.

We need to put a whole lot less money into foreign wars and foreign bases, and reinvest that money back into America through education and infrastructure. We need to stop the hedge fund style gambling in our traditional banks so they can loan to small businesses. And we need to look at strategies to bring back manufacturing, because if we don't build things here in America, we won't have a middle class here in America.

The bottom line is that we need to get back to policies that focus on creating opportunity for middle class Americans and build for the future. I hope you'll check out my speech and let me know on Facebook what you think.

Social Media

Want more frequent updates on my work in Washington and around the state? Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. I share pictures from the road, thoughts on current topics, and videos of floor speeches. Join the conversation!

Protecting Social Security

I see Social Security and Medicare as a covenant with seniors. People work their whole lives with the understanding and expectation that they can rely on these programs when they retire. That's why I was so distressed that the President's proposed 2014 budget included the idea of applying the so-called 'chained CPI' to Social Security. 'Chained CPI' is DC-speak for cutting the hard-earned benefits of seniors who have worked their whole lives.

This new way of calculating inflation would mean a smaller annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security, but seniors already get less than they need to keep up with the inflation they face. In fact, in two of the last four years, there was no COLA at all.

There seems to be a view among some in Washington that we have been too generous to our seniors. They are simply wrong. Seniors receive an average of $1,230 a month from Social Security. For more than half of our seniors Social Security constitutes a majority of their income. For a third, its nearly 90 percent of their income.

There's no crisis facing Social Security - it's going to pay full benefits for a generation before the trust fund starts running short. We do need to address the long-term financing, but not by making seniors close to the edge already cut back even further. And it's important to note that Social Security has not increased our debt or deficits by one dime. If the goal is to lower our debt and deficits, there are plenty of ways to do so that will not affect seniors living on fixed incomes: ending the war in Afghanistan, closing loopholes in the tax code that mainly benefit the wealthy and well-connected, and stopping handouts of wasteful subsidies to big agriculture companies through direct payments.

Senator Merkley

Oregon Townhalls

Like Jeff on Facebook

Follow Jeff on Twitter Town hall photos! Jeff at a town hall I recently traveled through Southernand the Gorge, meeting local leaders and holding town halls. Click on the photo to see more from the trip.

Jeff is a native of Myrtle Creek,and the son of a millwright. The first in his family to go to college, Jeff still lives in the same working class neighborhood that his parents eventually settled in and his kids go to the same public high school he attended. Making the 'American Dream' a reality for others as it has been for him is what got Jeff Merkley involved in public life and is what continues to keep him fighting forfamilies.

In the four years he has been in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley has been focused on creating jobs and getting our nation back on track. He led the fight against high-risk gambling on Wall Street, has been a leading voice for aggressive action to take on the foreclosure crisis, and wrote the law that helps small businesses raise money on the internet so they can grow and create jobs.

Jeff and his wife Mary have been married for twenty years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan, and an Airedale terrier, Sadie. This email was sent to formageddon+199471@opencongress.org Visit merkley.senate.gov | Contact Jeff | Unsubscribe Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address.

This letter was a reply from the office of Jeff Merkley on May 23, 2013.
Same Deal as Banks

Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THEREPORT Visit merkley.senate.gov May 23rd, 2013

If It's Good Enough for the Biggest Banks.

It's becoming harder and harder to afford college. Tuition rates are skyrocketing year after year, while incomes for middle class families have been stagnatingdeclining. It's no wonder that Americans owe more in student loan debt than they do even on credit cards.

Now, to make matters worse, if Congress doesn't act by July, interest rates for student loans will double from 3.4% to 6.8%! We cannot let that happen. We should be lowering student loan rates, not considering whether to allow them to double.

That's why Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley is backing a plan to give students the same deal big banks get. The biggest financial institutions borrow money from the Federal Reserve at rates as low as 0.75%. Jeff has cosponsored a bill that would allow students to get the same interest rate on their federally-subsidized Stafford loans. If it's good enough for the biggest banks, it's good enough for America's college students.

Repealing the "Monsanto Protection Act"

In March, a secret rider, notoriously known as the "Monsanto Protection Act," was quietly and anonymously dropped into a must-pass spending bill to override court decisions requiring more thorough health and safety reviews for some genetically modified seeds. The federal courts have an important role in protecting farmers and consumers from potentially unsafe genetically modified products. This secret rider subverted this important process.

Shortly after this secret rider was signed into law, Jeff held a series of town halls, where he heard from Oregonians of all stripes about their concerns about this provision. He decided to take action. This week, Jeff filed an amendment to the farm bill that would strip this provision from law, restoring the legal process for review of genetically-engineered seeds.

Fighting Forest Fires

We are rapidly approaching fire season in Oregon. Last year, we dealt with the biggest fires in over 100 years, one of those fires in Eastern Oregon being nearly the size of Rhode Island. We need to be ready and fight fires before they start.

Unfortunately, in the President's budget funding for fire suppression was cut in half. In his role as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Jeff will fight to restore funding for fire suppression for Oregon, so we have the tools we need to stop wildfires before they start.

We all need to pitch in to prevent wildfires. The United States Fire Administration has good tips on how you can practice wildfire safety, including:

* Contact your local fire department, health department, or forestry office for information on fire laws. * Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address. * Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire. * Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach. * Post fire emergency telephone numbers. * Ensure adequate accessibility by large fire vehicles to your property. * Plan several escape routes away from your home - by car and by foot. * Talk to your neighbors about wildfire safety.

Find out more at the U.S. Fire Administration's website .

Memorial Day

Senator Merkley speaks to a soldier This Monday marks Memorial Day, a day we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. We are grateful for the valiant service of those who have died for our freedom. As we honor our fallen heroes, we must remember to keep our commitments to those who have who served and their families.

Senator Merkley

Oregon Townhalls

Like Jeff on Facebook

Follow Jeff on Twitter Jeff is a native of Myrtle Creek,and the son of a millwright. The first in his family to go to college, Jeff still lives in the same working class neighborhood that his parents eventually settled in and his kids go to the same public high school he attended. Making the 'American Dream' a reality for others as it has been for him is what got Jeff Merkley involved in public life and is what continues to keep him fighting forfamilies.

In the four years he has been in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley has been focused on creating jobs and getting our nation back on track. He led the fight against high-risk gambling on Wall Street, has been a leading voice for aggressive action to take on the foreclosure crisis, and wrote the law that helps small businesses raise money on the internet so they can grow and create jobs.

Jeff and his wife Mary have been married for twenty years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan, and an Airedale terrier, Sadie. This email was sent to formageddon+199471@opencongress.org Visit merkley.senate.gov | Contact Jeff | Unsubscribe Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address.

This letter was a reply from the office of Jeff Merkley on June 27, 2013.
Oregon workers should have gotten these jobs

Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THEREPORT Visit merkley.senate.gov June 27th, 2013

Standing Up forWorkers

In this economy, there is no higher priority than creating and sustaining good jobs for Oregon's working families. So when Jeff found out that taxpayer money meant to create good jobs in the woods in Oregon had instead gone to contractors importing foreign labor, he was outraged.

In response, Jeff wrote a bill to close the loopholes that made this abuse possible. Last week, he offered this solution as an amendment to the immigration bill currently under debate, and it was passed by the full Senate. Now as this bill moves forward, it will include protections that make sureworkers get the first crack at jobs in our woods.

Making Higher Education More Affordable

The price of higher education is skyrocketing. Our students face higher costs and greater debt than ever at the same time as it becomes more and more imperative to get a good education to succeed in the workforce.

This trend takes our country in absolutely the wrong direction. If we are to succeed in the 21st century, we need to ensure that our kids can afford the best education possible. At the end of this week, student loan interest rates will double if Congress doesn't act. That would be a disaster. Jeff is a cosponsor of a bill to give students the same rock-bottom interest rates that big banks get from the Fed, and will be fighting this week to make sure Congress does its job and keeps higher education affordable for Oregon's students.

Happy 4th!

Next week, we celebrate the 237th anniversary of our independence as a nation. It's a good day to enjoy family, watch some fireworks, and maybe have a barbequehit the pool. But it's also worth a moment to think about the one big thing that draws us all together, since we're so often preoccupied with things that divide us. This is an amazing country, the only one in the world founded on the power of ideas- freedom, equality, the notion that everyone should go as far as their talents and hard work take them. We're pretty lucky.

Stay safe, stay cool, and enjoy the holiday. Happy July 4th!

Senator Merkley

Oregon Townhalls

Like Jeff on Facebook

Follow Jeff on Twitter Jeff is a native of Myrtle Creek,and the son of a millwright. The first in his family to go to college, Jeff still lives in the same working class neighborhood that his parents eventually settled in and his kids go to the same public high school he attended. Making the 'American Dream' a reality for others as it has been for him is what got Jeff Merkley involved in public life and is what continues to keep him fighting forfamilies.

In the four years he has been in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley has been focused on creating jobs and getting our nation back on track. He led the fight against high-risk gambling on Wall Street, has been a leading voice for aggressive action to take on the foreclosure crisis, and wrote the law that helps small businesses raise money on the internet so they can grow and create jobs.

Jeff and his wife Mary have been married for twenty years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan, and an Airedale terrier, Sadie. This email was sent to formageddon+199471@opencongress.org Visit merkley.senate.gov | Contact Jeff | Unsubscribe Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address.

This letter was a reply from the office of Jeff Merkley on September 27, 2013.
26,000 miles

Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THEREPORT Visit merkley.senate.gov September 27, 2013

Every County, Every Year

Senator Jeff Merkley recently completed his 180th town hall since becoming a U.S. Senator. When he was first elected, Jeff made a commitment to hold a public town hall in all 36counties, every year. With his visit to Fossil,in Wheeler County earlier this month, Jeff fulfilled this commitment for the fifth year in a row.

Jeff feels strongly about the importance of holding public town halls in every county. Traveling to every corner inallows him to hear first-hand about the challenges and needs of each county and help solve Oregonians' problems.

Great Ideas from Town Halls

The input and feedback Jeff receives in town halls often leads directly to legislative action in the Senate. In 2010, for example, Jeff first heard about the abuses of the H-2B guest worker visa program at the Jefferson County town hall when residents were complaining that forest thinning jobs were not going to local Oregonians, but instead to imported foreign workers. Jeff immediately pushed the Department of Labor for explanations and tighter enforcement, and soon followed with legislation to tighten the rules. Earlier this year, Jeff was able to get an amendment passed to the Senate immigration bill to close loopholes and ensure that contractors receiving thinning contracts in federal forests actually exhaust every effort to hire available local workers before qualifying for H-2B visas.

Similarly, during the summer of 2011 when Senator Merkley was on his way to Easternto hold town halls, he heard repeatedly about how much damage smalltowns would face if the U.S. Postal Service went through with its plan to close 41 rural post offices. Since he was already on the road, Senator Merkley stopped at multiple post offices on the closure list, and talked with residents at post offices and town halls about the impact that closing rural post offices would have on these small communities. He found that rural communities depend on post offices for small business needs, medication for seniors, and creating a sense of community. He spent months rallying his colleagues and pushing the Postmaster General to reconsider, and finally in May 2012 all the post offices slated for closure inwere taken off the list.

In almost every town hall that Senator Merkley has held, he heard from local leaders about the need to repair, upgrade,replace water supply and wastewater treatment systems. From these town hall conversations, Senator Merkley developed the Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (WIFIA) that would create jobs by providing low-cost loans to communities for water system projects. This bill passed the Senate earlier this year and, if the House passes it, will help get Oregonians back to work, provide cleaner and safer water to Oregon families, and potentially reduce local water and sewer rates in communities across the state.

These are just three ideas of many that have come from the 180 town halls that Senator Merkley has held across Oregon. He looks forward to many more great ideas that come from Oregonians in future town halls.

Many Faces, Many Miles

After holding 180 town halls, Senator Merkley has witnessed Oregon's beauty and logged some serious time traveling across the state. Here's a breakdown of some statistics related to town halls:

* Number of Town Halls: 180 * Miles traveled: 26,572 * Equivalent number of trips around the earth at the equator: approx. 1 * Miles traveled per town hall: 147.62 * Number of times keys locked in the car: 1 * Number of differentcities visited: 116

Senator Merkley meets with students Senator Merkley

Oregon Townhalls

Like Jeff on Facebook

Follow Jeff on Twitter Jeff is a native of Myrtle Creek,and the son of a millwright. The first in his family to go to college, Jeff still lives in the same working class neighborhood that his parents eventually settled in and his kids go to the same public high school he attended. Making the 'American Dream' a reality for others as it has been for him is what got Jeff Merkley involved in public life and is what continues to keep him fighting forfamilies.

In the four years he has been in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley has been focused on creating jobs and getting our nation back on track. He led the fight against high-risk gambling on Wall Street, has been a leading voice for aggressive action to take on the foreclosure crisis, and wrote the law that helps small businesses raise money on the internet so they can grow and create jobs.

Jeff and his wife Mary have been married for twenty years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan, and an Airedale terrier, Sadie. This email was sent to formageddon+199471@opencongress.org Visit merkley.senate.gov | Contact Jeff | Unsubscribe Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address.

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