jeff merkley

Senator Jeff Merkley: NSA Spying Is An ‘Outrageous Breach Of Americans’ Privacy’

jeffmerkleyLast night, news broke that the NSA had requested and gained access to the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. Today, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) put out a statement condemning this massive surveillance program:

“This type of secret bulk data collection is an outrageous breach of Americans’ privacy. I have had significant concerns about the intelligence community over-collecting information about Americans’ telephone calls, emails, and other records and that is why I voted against the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act provisions in 2011 and the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act just six months ago.”

“This bulk data collection is being done under interpretations of the law that have been kept secret from the public.  Significant FISA court opinions that determine the scope of our laws should be declassified. Can the FBI or the NSA really claim that they need data scooped up on tens of millions of Americans?”

We’ve launched a petition calling on the House and Senate Judiciary committees to immediately investigate this surveillance and share the results with the public. Click here to sign on. 

Senator Merkley Co-Sponsors Elizabeth Warren’s Bill To Lower Student Loan Interest Rates

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) thinks its wrong that Big Banks get interest rates on their loans that are seven times lower than America’s students. That’s why she introduced a bill to make the rates exactly the same for one year.

Today, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) announced that he will be co-sponsoring Warren’s legislation, called the Bank On Student Loan Fairness Act:

 

 

Help us keep up the momentum. We’ve started a petition to support Warren’s bill. Click here to sign on and help us get started on ending the student debt crisis.

 

Senator Jeff Merkley: Voters Want Us To Create Jobs, Not Cut People’s Benefits

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

There are now multiple press reports that President Obama will agree to a fiscal deal that enacts a so-called “Chained CPI” to calculate Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Under this plan, “a person age 75 in the future will get a yearly benefit that’s $653 lower after ten years of chained CPI than that person would get under the current formula. An 85-year-old will have $1,139 less to live on.” This represents a huge cut to benefits.

On Twitter, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) appeared to reject this approach:


Additionally, here’s a full statement his office released:

“We had an election, and the voters sent a message to Congress to focus on jobs and fairness — not cutting benefits for people who have worked all their lives and are now making ends meet on fixed incomes. The formula we use to adjust cost-of-living changes for seniors needs to reflect the real costs they face, not the budgetary fantasies of Washington.”

We set up an ActBlue page to highlight and reward bold progressive members of Congress who are speaking out publicly today. Check them out and donate $3 to them here.

Click here to pledge to hold any Democrat who agrees to a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits accountable.

Click here to call your Member of Congress and demand that they oppose this bad deal.

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley: ‘We Should Be Lowering’ The Medicare ‘Age, Not Raising It’

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

There have been rumors that President Obama may agree to a Republican demand to hike the Medicare age. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Obama suggested that this move is on the table.

Progressive Democratic senators are revolting against this unpopular idea. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent that we should be “lowering” the Medicare age, “not raising it”:

“I do a lot of town halls,” Merkley said. “I can’t tell you how many times someone will come up to me and say, ‘Here’s the thing. I’m 61, and I have these major health problems. I don’t have insurance. I’m praying I make it to 65.’ The idea that we’re going to take all these folks with diseases setting in as they get older, and move them two years later? Absolutely unacceptable.”

“We should be lowering the age, not raising it,” Merkley said. Speaking of the president, Merkley added: “I hope he hears long and loud from us who are connected to the real lives of working people.”

Merkley is absolutely right. Hiking the Medicare age from 65 to 67 would cost seniors at least $11 billion every year. Meanwhile, expanding public health insurance would save American beneficiaries and the Treasury money. The Congressional Budget Office estimates, for example, that offering a public option based on Medicare rates in the Affordable Care Act would save about $15 billion every year.

 

Chip in $3

Donate

Stand with over 950,000 progressives

Discuss Here

Add '@BoldProgressive' to your message to make it appear below.

140
Tweet