Wyden Prevails on Secret Holds, Merkley Doesn't On Filibusters

Ron Wyden

We've written a bit about efforts by Oregon's two Democratic senators to make major procedural reforms in the U.S. Senate.Today, both Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley learned the fate of their efforts. Wyden prevailed in his effort to ban secret holds, the practice that allowed any senator to hold up virtually any bill, resolution or nomination without any disclosure of who that senator is. Merkley, ...   More
Thursday, January 27, 2011 HANK STERN

Jeff Merkley's Advice for President Obama

Jeff Merkley

 In advance of President Obama's State of the Union speech tonight, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is weighing in with what he wants Obama to mention.Merkley tells Marketplace the president should focus on foreclosures because "housing got us into this recession, and as long as housing is a mess, we're going to be in a recession for a very long time."And if you're looking for a worthy piece on foreclosures ...   More
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 HENRY STERN

Merkley's "Animal Crush Videos" Bill Advances

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is one step closer to seeing his Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010 enacted into law. The measure—introduced by Merkley, along with Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Richard Burr (R-NC)—passed the Senate unanimously Friday and is now headed to President Obama for his consideration. Their bill bans the creation and distribution of animal torture ...   More
Monday, November 22, 2010 STACY BROWNHILL

Mr. Merkley Likes Mr. Smith

When U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) visited WW last August for an interview, the freshman's lawmaker said one of his biggest frustrations so far was with how easy it's become for a filibuster to gum up the Senate. The Oregon Democrat told us then, "I don't think our nation is well served by that or that it produces better legislation. There are a group of us in the freshman class working on ...   More
Thursday, December 2, 2010 HANK STERN

Jeff Merkley, George Bailey and an Online Petition

We've written a bit about efforts by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to reform the filibuster so the Senate doesn't get bogged down so easily. The Oregon Democrat today launched an online petition effort at BlueOregon to drum up support for a reform he and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) are proposing for the filibuster. Merkley notes that one of their proposals is a requirement that senators who are ...   More
Thursday, December 9, 2010 HANK STERN

Now This is a Filibuster

We've written this week about Democratic opposition to President Obama's tax deal with Republicans. And we've written about efforts by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to reform the filibuster—including a proposed requirement that senators seeking to delay legislation by filibustering be required to stay on the Senate floor. Today, the news threads meet in the presence of Sen. Bernie ...   More
Friday, December 10, 2010 HANK STERN

Merkley Joins Democratic Opposition to Obama Tax Deal

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 ...   More
Monday, December 13, 2010 REBECCA JACOBSON

Senate to Consider DREAM Act and DADT on Saturday

Saturday won't be a leisurely day on Capitol Hill. After years of false starts and dead ends, the DREAM Act comes up for a vote again Saturday, Dec. 18 in the U.S. Senate, where advocates think the immigration bill finally stands a chance of passage. Also known as the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, the bill (first crafted in 2001) would give undocumented young people who ...   More
Friday, December 17, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Non-Wonk Edition: Three Tidbits to Know As Congress Opens Today

The 112th Congress opens today with Republicans now controlling the House and a diminished Democratic majority running the Senate. If you're not a wonk and don't pay much attention to politics, here are at least three quick Oregon- and Washington-centric things to know: 1) Efforts by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and other Democrats to reform the filibuster so the Senate doesn't get tied up ...   More
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 HANK STERN

Senate Reform: Wyden Takes up Merkley's Fight, Targets Secret Holds

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has put forth a resolution in the newly convened Congress seeking to help reform one of the most stagnant and counterproductive institutions in U.S. politics—Wyden's very own U.S. Senate. Wyden is targeting secret holds—a rule whereby a single senator, acting in secret, can hold up virtually any bill, resolution or nomination. Critics maintain that secret ...   More
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 JAMES PITKIN


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