All four House Democrats from Oregon have already voiced opposition to President Obama's tax deal with Republicans. Now U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has joined their chorus with his own concerns.
Merkley said the tax package, which the Senate is expected to approve this week, would add to the national debt and do little for middle-class families.
In a statement, Merkley supported components of the plan—namely tax cuts to working families and the continuation of jobless aid to the long-term unemployed—but blasted the extension of Bush-era tax rates.
"Bonus tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires," Merkley said, "have been consistently found to be among the least effective in terms of job creation."
Here's the full statement from Merkley's office:
âI have very strong concerns about the tax proposal before us and cannot support moving forward on the package as it now stands.
âThis plan will add nearly a trillion dollars to the debt.
Additional borrowing on that scale should only be undertaken if it is
critical to getting Americans back to work in the short term or
rebuilding our economic foundations for the longer term. However, major
components of the package â particularly bonus tax cuts for
millionaires and billionaires â have been consistently found to be among
the least effective in terms of job creation.
âThere are some good parts of this bill â I strongly support and have
voted for tax cuts for working families and continuation of
unemployment benefits. That is why it is so disappointing that these
proven and popular measures are paired with ineffective tax cuts for the
very wealthiest in America. And it is even more disappointing to know
that our children and grandchildren will be paying off those debts for
years to come.
âI had hoped there would be a chance to improve this package to
strengthen Social Security and ensure that we include initiatives that
are proven to create jobs â such as investments in energy efficiency.
But it is now appears that we will not be able to do that. Instead,
what we have here is the easiest compromise, but it is far from the
best. And it will continue too many of the policies that drove our
nation into record debt even while middle class families lost homes,
jobs and savings.
âI cannot support legislation that will do so little to create jobs and help working families, yet cost our nation so much.â