Ending the War and Making the Senate Work

Senator Jeff Merkley
2012-12-07 17:37:48
Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THE OREGON REPORT <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2f> Visit merkley.senate.gov <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2f> December 7th, 2012 <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/spacer.gif> Ending the War in Afghanistan The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in American history. And it is long past time to bring our sons, daughters, and dollars home. Last week, the Senate agreed. The Senate passed Jeff's amendment to wind down our presence in Afghanistan with a strong bipartisan vote. Specifically, it would declare that the President should seek to transition the lead responsibility for security to the Government of Afghanistan by mid-summer of next year, and draw down troop levels to the minimum required to achieve that goal. Our nation went to war in Afghanistan to root out al Qaeda and bring to justice those responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Those missions are now largely accomplished. After 11 years, thousands of lives lost, and more than $500 billion of our national treasure spent, it is time to come home. Below is Jeff talking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about his successful amendment. Senator Merkley speaks about his bipartisan amendment to bring out troops home from Afghanistan. <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww. youtube.com%2fwatch%3fv%3d__Uxbps__k4> Fixing the Filibuster The Senate, which is sometimes called the "world's greatest deliberative body," is broken. There's no better way of putting it. It has lost its ability to deliberate, debate, and decide in a timely manner. Many bills important to Oregon have perished due to the filibuster, including the DISCLOSE Act, which would shine a light on dark money polluting our elections; the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ensure equal pay for equal work; and the American Jobs Act, which would have put thousands of Oregonians back to work. The problem is the filibuster. What was once used rarely on issues dear to a Senator or state is now used routinely to obstruct and delay. The last two Congresses have seen record numbers of filibusters, and there's no end to the obstruction. When people think of the filibuster, they often think of the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: a Senator speaking for hours on the floor to block a bill. However, that's not how the Senate works anymore. In order to block and obstruct a bill, any Senator can just pick up the phone, and then can head out to dinner or vacation. The "silent filibuster," how it operates today, is just plain wrong. Jeff is leading the charge to change the rules of the Senate this January and fix the filibuster. Specifically, he wants to bring back the concept that if a senator wants to delay and obstruct a bill, then he or she must stand on the floor and defend the cause. No longer can a senator just make a phone call and leave. This reform would bring back transparency and accountability to obstruction. If a senator wants to block a bill, the American people should have the opportunity to see that obstruction, and decide if that person is a hero, or a bum. Below is a clip of Jeff talking to Chris Hayes on MSNBC about the filibuster. Senator Merkley speaks about his filibuster reform. <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ftv.m snbc.com%2f2012%2f12%2f01%2fkey-democrat-on-filibuster-reform-no-more-ki lling-bills-in-the-middle-of-the-night%2f> Senator Merkley<merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar-placeholder.png> <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2foregon%2ftownhalls%2f> Oregon Townhalls <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2foregon%2ftownhalls%2f> <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar/bottom-border.png> <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2foregon%2fask_jeff%2f> Ask Jeff a Question <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2foregon%2fask_jeff%2f> <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar/bottom-border.png> <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2foregon%2fstoryboard%2f> Share Your Oregon Story <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2foregon%2fstoryboard%2f> <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar/bottom-border.png> <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww. facebook.com%2fjeffmerkley%23!%2fjeffmerkley> Like Jeff on Facebook <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww. facebook.com%2fjeffmerkley%23!%2fjeffmerkley> <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar/bottom-border.png> <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ftwit ter.com%2fsenjeffmerkley> Follow Jeff on Twitter <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ftwit ter.com%2fsenjeffmerkley> Visit merkley.senate.gov <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2f> | Contact Jeff <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2fcontact%2f> | Unsubscribe <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerk ley.senate.gov%2funsubscribe%2f> Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address. <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_merkley-iq/ iqtrk.gif?crop=14620.8826446.6572571.7791867>
Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THE OREGON REPORT

Ending the War in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in American history. And it is long past time to bring our sons, daughters, and dollars home.

Last week, the Senate agreed. The Senate passed Jeff's amendment to wind down our presence in Afghanistan with a strong bipartisan vote. Specifically, it would declare that the President should seek to transition the lead responsibility for security to the Government of Afghanistan by mid-summer of next year, and draw down troop levels to the minimum required to achieve that goal.

Our nation went to war in Afghanistan to root out al Qaeda and bring to justice those responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Those missions are now largely accomplished. After 11 years, thousands of lives lost, and more than $500 billion of our national treasure spent, it is time to come home. Below is Jeff talking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about his successful amendment.

Senator Merkley speaks about his bipartisan amendment to bring out troops home from Afghanistan.

Fixing the Filibuster

The Senate, which is sometimes called the "world's greatest deliberative body," is broken. There's no better way of putting it. It has lost its ability to deliberate, debate, and decide in a timely manner. Many bills important to Oregon have perished due to the filibuster, including the DISCLOSE Act, which would shine a light on dark money polluting our elections; the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ensure equal pay for equal work; and the American Jobs Act, which would have put thousands of Oregonians back to work.

The problem is the filibuster. What was once used rarely on issues dear to a Senator or state is now used routinely to obstruct and delay. The last two Congresses have seen record numbers of filibusters, and there's no end to the obstruction.

When people think of the filibuster, they often think of the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: a Senator speaking for hours on the floor to block a bill. However, that's not how the Senate works anymore. In order to block and obstruct a bill, any Senator can just pick up the phone, and then can head out to dinner or vacation. The "silent filibuster," how it operates today, is just plain wrong.

Jeff is leading the charge to change the rules of the Senate this January and fix the filibuster. Specifically, he wants to bring back the concept that if a senator wants to delay and obstruct a bill, then he or she must stand on the floor and defend the cause. No longer can a senator just make a phone call and leave. This reform would bring back transparency and accountability to obstruction. If a senator wants to block a bill, the American people should have the opportunity to see that obstruction, and decide if that person is a hero, or a bum. Below is a clip of Jeff talking to Chris Hayes on MSNBC about the filibuster.

Senator Merkley speaks about his filibuster reform.

Senator Merkley
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