Jeff Merkley

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Jeff Merkley currently serves the state of Oregon in the United States Senate

Jeff Merkley a Democrat, has represented the state of Oregon in the Senate since 2009.

Positions, record and controversies

Abortion Issues

Merkley believes abortions should always be legal. [1]


Merkley supports federal government funding universal pre-k programs. He supports increased funding for the Pell Grant program as well as decreased interest rates on Stafford Loans. He supports federal tax incentives to help families save for college. [1]


Merkley supports increased funding for national job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market. He supports an increased federal minimum wage and the right of workers to unionize. He supports including sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws. [1]

Environment and Energy

Merkley supports strengthening both the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. He would support strengthen emission controls on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Merkley would seek to Strengthen fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles. He would encourage further development and use of alternative fuels and allow energy producers to trade pollution credits under "cap and trade" laws. [1]


Merkley supports offering tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage and expanding child healthcare programs. [1]


Merkley supports harsher financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants. [1]

International Policy

Merkley supports U.S. leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and would support the creation of a Palestinian state. He would support greater international sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates. [1]

Iraq War

He believes United States should withdraw troops from Iraq but did not provide specifics on a withdrawal deadline or process. [1]

National Security

Merkley supports increasing federal funding to states and cities for homeland security. [1]

Social Issues

Merkley supports the rights of same-sex couples to marry. He supports federal funding for research on new and existing embryonic stem cell lines. [1]

To hear Jeff Merkley's full position on numerous issues, please visit


As our U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley will bring people together to take on the special interests and fight for regular hardworking Oregonians.

Jeff Merkley will deliver the change we need in Washington. He will stand up to the big insurance and drug companies to make health care more affordable and accessible for all of us. He will fight to fix unfair trade deals that have cost Oregon 70,000 manufacturing jobs and will eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. And Jeff will work to end the war in Iraq, bring our sons and daughters home, and fulfill the commitment we have made to our veterans and men and women in uniform.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Jeff Merkley has spent his lifetime fighting for change for Oregon families. The son of a sawmill worker, he spent his early years in Roseburg, where the children of loggers and mill workers learned the value of honest work, good schools, and strong families. Jeff worked hard, earned scholarships and became the first in his family to go to college. He went on to serve as a national security analyst, first for the Pentagon and then for Congress. After returning to Oregon with his wife Mary, Jeff led Habitat for Humanity and worked with low-income families to rebuild neighborhoods and purchase their first home.

A fighter for change, Jeff became tired of gridlock in government and sought to end the bickering. Nearly two years ago, Jeff led a band of new leaders to take control of the Oregon House and end the gridlock in state government. As the first Democratic speaker in sixteen years, Merkley brought Democrats, Republicans and citizens together to make real progress addressing Oregon’s challenges.

The Oregonian called Jeff’s session as Speaker, “Oregon's most productive in a generation.”

As Speaker, Jeff helped lead the fight against special interests to make health care more affordable, clamp down on pay day loan scams, pass landmark environmental legislation, and create thousands of family-wage jobs in Oregon. Working together, Oregonians achieved results – restoring fiscal responsibility by creating the state’s first “rainy day fund,” cutting taxes for working people, and passing sweeping ethics reform to clean up government.

In the U.S. Senate Jeff Merkley will continue to bring Democrats, Republicans, and independents together to find solutions to the problems we face – not only for his own children, Jonathan and Brynne, but for every child and family in Oregon.

More than 300,000 nurses, firefighters, teachers, steelworkers, electricians, truck drivers, and thousands more working families across Oregon have joined Senator Barack Obama and Senator Ron Wyden to endorse Jeff Merkley's campaign. Environmentalists from the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters have endorsed Jeff’s leadership protecting our environment. And Planned Parenthood of Oregon and NARAL Pro-Choice America have endorsed Jeff and his 100% record protecting a woman’s right to choose.

Today, Speaker Merkley lives in East Multnomah County with Mary, a professional nurse, and their two children, Jonathan age twelve and Brynne age ten.

2008 elections

Merkley won the Democratic nomination to challenge Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) in the 2008 congressional elections.[2] He went on to defeat Smith in the November 2008 general election.[3]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases.

Campaign contributions

The following is drawn from government records of campaign contributions to Jeff Merkley. Campaign contributions are one of the most direct conduits for influencing members of Congress. How to use this information. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00029303&cycle=2008</crpcontribdata>

Committees and affiliations


Merkley will be assigned committees if and when he is elected to Congress.


More background data


Washington, DC
SDB-40B Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3753
Fax: 202-228-3997

Email: contact.cfm

Oregon Office
One World Trade Center.
121 SW Salmon Street, Suite 1250
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503-326-3386
Fax: 503-326-2900

Campaign contact information

To contact the Merkley campaign, visit


Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Project Vote Smart Political Courage Test
  2. Aaron Blake. "Oregon House Speaker Merkley set to challenge Sen. Smith in 2008," The Hill. July 26, 2007.
  3. "Oregon 2008 General Election",, November 4, 2008

External resources

External articles

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Senate Committee on the Budget, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: n/a
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 4, 2008
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2009
Next Election:
November 4, 2014
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Presidential Management Fellow at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Congressional Budget Office, Oregon House of Representatives
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. Portland Senate Office, One World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon Street, Suite 1250, Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503-326-3386 / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Website: Jeff Merkley for US Senate, Oregon
Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

1. Jeff Merkley for Oregon, PO Box 29136, Portland, OR 97296
Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: October 24, 1956