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Figured I'd help close out the week with a diary about one of our favorite Senators who is up for re-election next year.  First off, Senator Jeff Merkley (D. OR) was in Portland earlier this week talking about manufacturing jobs:

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) visited a Portland business Wednesday to help bring attention to the Made in America Manufacturing Act.

Merkley held a press conference at AmFor Electronics, in North Portland, to call on Congress to pass the legislation, which focuses on boosting manufacturing in the United States.

The bill would give grants of up to $20 million to businesses for carrying out new manufacturing opportunities, including increased exports and expanded domestic supply chains. - KGW Portland, 4/3/13

The bill was introduce back in January by Senator Kristen Gillibrand.  Merkley is one of the six co-sponsors.  Here's the bill:

Merkley was also in Portland to state his support for Universal background checks:

Senator Jeff Merkley told an audience at the City Club of Portland Friday that he's been hearing from Oregonians on the many gun law proposals in play in Congress.

Merkley's remarks were focused on economic advancement, but he fielded a question on what gun controls he might support.

Merkley says he's been holding town halls in many parts of the state, and sees broad support for expanding background checks.

"Background checks resonate. People feel like they are a reasonable strategy to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally disturbed." - OPB, 4/5/13

Merkley even received a shout out from Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi for getting his amendment passed in the budget to help break up Too Big To Fail banks:

Fast forward a few weeks. The Senate is in full budget-debate fury, with members pulling all-nighters and people on the Hill generally losing their minds. In the middle of all of this, Republican Senator David Vitter and Democrat Sherrod Brown – the same Senators who have been planning legislation to cap the size of banks, a revived version of the failed Brown-Kaufman amendment from the Dodd-Frank bill – offered a non-binding amendment to the budget that would direct the government to end the subsidies and advantages banks derive from the perception that they are Too Big to Fail.

The key word in this story is "non-binding," but here's the cool thing: the amendment passed unanimously. By a vote of 99-0, the entire Senate agreed, at least in principle, that the banks should not be getting that extra $83 billion a year.

Right after that, Oregon's Jeff Merkley proposed a similar amendment, calling for the creation of a deficit-neutral reserve fund that would facilitate the prosecution of "Too Big to Jail" companies. The non-binding amendment, which basically piggybacked on the sentiment of the Vitter-Brown resolution, passed in a voice vote with, I understand, no opposition.

These symbolic votes came in the wake of other significant defections on this issue. For instance, eyebrows raised all over Wall Street toward the end of last year when Bill Dudley, the chief of the New York Fed, gave a speech sharply rebuking the TBTF banks. - Rolling Stone, 4/3/13

And of course, Merkley today Tweeted his objection to the Chained CPI:
These are just a few reasons why we need to re-elect Merkley in 2014.  You know what to do:

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Daily Kos Oregon, Koscadia, and Social Security Defenders.

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