What this abandoned factory says about our trade policy

Senator Jeff Merkley
2015-03-19 13:24:10
Click here to open a plain text version of this email <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/view_newsletter_setup.aspx _text=Y&link=quorum_merkley-iq%2501227898%2501200802%2b-%2b03-19-2015%2b eNewsletter%250117147.54966010.16565176.7791867%2501merkley%2540unityfee d.com%2501Unity%2501Unity%2bFeed%250190210%2501> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_merkley-iq/eNew letter_Masthead.jpg> <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/spacer.gif > Standing up for American Manufacturing Jobs in Trade Policy Jeff believes that our test for trade policy should be whether a trade deal creates good-paying American jobs, or destroys them. Too many of our past trade deals cost American jobs and held down American wages. That's why Jeff recently introduced legislation that would require any new trade deals to take on the hidden, unfair subsidies - like sub-standard worker safety, wage, and environmental standards - that tilt the playing field against American manufacturing and cost American jobs. On Friday, he visited the shuttered Blue Heron paper mill in Oregon City with workers who lost their jobs to highlight the real-life impacts of trade policy gone wrong - and the critical importance of getting it right. Read more from KTVZ: "Merkley, at abandoned factory, seeks level playing field; wants penalties for companies that ship jobs overseas" <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx ley-iq&crop=17147.54966010.16565176.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.kt vz.com%2fnews%2fmerkley-at-abandoned-%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a 0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a 0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a 0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a 0%c2%a0+factory-seeks-level-playing-field%2f31781822> A Big Victory for Consumers on Medical Debt Last week brought good news for consumers, with the three big credit-reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, agreeing to major changes in how medical debt is counted on your credit score. Jeff has been a champion of changing this broken system, which has led to many Americans being denied credit or charged subprime interest rates on home loans, car loans, or credit cards due to medical debt - often small debts they didn't even know they had until they went to apply for credit. Medical debt is different from other types of debt. No one makes a choice to incur debt from being in an accident or suddenly falling ill. Moreover, complicated billing systems and insurance company bureaucracies mean that consumers often don't learn they owe money until after a debt has already been sent to collections. Now, credit-reporting agencies will have to wait 180 days before medical debt is added to a credit report - and to take it off promptly once it has been paid. These changes will make the system more accurate for creditors and fairer for consumers: a win- win. Welcome Home, Stacey! In September, Oregonian veterinarian Stacey Addison was traveling the world when she was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Another passenger in a shared cab stopped to pick up a package that turned out to be drugs, and Stacey soon found herself in a prison in East Timor. Jeff brought the case to the attention of the State Department and worked with American diplomats and the East Timorese government to get Stacey out of prison and safely home. The United States' ability to represent Stacey in East Timor was hampered by not having an ambassador, so he worked in the Senate to get an ambassador confirmed. Working with the new ambassador, Jeff was able to help secure Stacey's release from prison on Christmas Day, and then earlier this month to get her passport returned so she could come home. He was thrilled that on March 2, she was finally able to leave East Timor and come home safely to Oregon. Watch KOIN News coverage: "Stacey Addison allowed to leave East Timor" <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx ley-iq&crop=17147.54966010.16565176.7791867&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fwww.y outube.com%2fwatch%3f%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2 %a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2 %a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2 %a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0%c2%a0+v%3dTOtn zyJfCuw> A Budget that Works for Working Americans? Or a Budget for the Best Off? This week, Senate Republicans will reveal their proposed budget for 2016. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Jeff will evaluate their budget proposal with a very simple question: Is it a budget that works for working Americans? Or is it a budget for the best off? Jeff's number one priority is pushing for policies that will grow and support America's middle class, and that means a budget that matches our values and priorities. A successful budget should invest in good jobs, in repairing our roads and bridges, and in making education higher quality and more affordable from pre-K through college and beyond. It should invest in fiscal responsibility by closing wasteful tax loopholes and requiring the wealthiest to pay their fair share. And it should champion middle- class retirement security, protecting Social Security and Medicare from the harmful impacts of privatization, "voucher-ization," or cuts to the benefits Oregonians have earned through their hard work. As the budget debate moves forward, Jeff will keep pushing for responsible budget policies that stand up for our middle class. This email was sent to xxx Visit merkley.senate.gov <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx ley-iq&crop=17147.54966010.16565176.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmerkle y.senate.gov%2f> | Contact Jeff <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx ley-iq&crop=17147.54966010.16565176.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.me rkley.senate.gov%2fcontact%2f> | Unsubscribe <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/EsurveyForm.aspx rkley-iq&__sid=100011&__crop=17147.54966010.16565176.7791867> Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address.
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Standing up for American Manufacturing Jobs in Trade Policy

Jeff believes that our test for trade policy should be whether a trade deal creates good-paying American jobs, or destroys them.

Too many of our past trade deals cost American jobs and held down American wages. That's why Jeff recently introduced legislation that would require any new trade deals to take on the hidden, unfair subsidies – like sub-standard worker safety, wage, and environmental standards – that tilt the playing field against American manufacturing and cost American jobs.

On Friday, he visited the shuttered Blue Heron paper mill in Oregon City with workers who lost their jobs to highlight the real-life impacts of trade policy gone wrong – and the critical importance of getting it right.

Read more from KTVZ: "Merkley, at abandoned factory, seeks level playing field; wants penalties for companies that ship jobs overseas"

A Big Victory for Consumers on Medical Debt

Last week brought good news for consumers, with the three big credit-reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, agreeing to major changes in how medical debt is counted on your credit score. Jeff has been a champion of changing this broken system, which has led to many Americans being denied credit or charged subprime interest rates on home loans, car loans, or credit cards due to medical debt – often small debts they didn't even know they had until they went to apply for credit.

Medical debt is different from other types of debt. No one makes a choice to incur debt from being in an accident or suddenly falling ill. Moreover, complicated billing systems and insurance company bureaucracies mean that consumers often don't learn they owe money until after a debt has already been sent to collections. Now, credit-reporting agencies will have to wait 180 days before medical debt is added to a credit report – and to take it off promptly once it has been paid. These changes will make the system more accurate for creditors and fairer for consumers: a win- win.

Welcome Home, Stacey!

In September, Oregonian veterinarian Stacey Addison was traveling the world when she was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Another passenger in a shared cab stopped to pick up a package that turned out to be drugs, and Stacey soon found herself in a prison in East Timor.

Jeff brought the case to the attention of the State Department and worked with American diplomats and the East Timorese government to get Stacey out of prison and safely home. The United States' ability to represent Stacey in East Timor was hampered by not having an ambassador, so he worked in the Senate to get an ambassador confirmed. Working with the new ambassador, Jeff was able to help secure Stacey's release from prison on Christmas Day, and then earlier this month to get her passport returned so she could come home. He was thrilled that on March 2, she was finally able to leave East Timor and come home safely to Oregon.

Watch KOIN News coverage: "Stacey Addison allowed to leave East Timor"

A Budget that Works for Working Americans?  Or a Budget for the Best Off?

This week, Senate Republicans will reveal their proposed budget for 2016. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Jeff will evaluate their budget proposal with a very simple question: Is it a budget that works for working Americans? Or is it a budget for the best off?

Jeff's number one priority is pushing for policies that will grow and support America's middle class, and that means a budget that matches our values and priorities. A successful budget should invest in good jobs, in repairing our roads and bridges, and in making education higher quality and more affordable from pre-K through college and beyond. It should invest in fiscal responsibility by closing wasteful tax loopholes and requiring the wealthiest to pay their fair share. And it should champion middle- class retirement security, protecting Social Security and Medicare from the harmful impacts of privatization, "voucher-ization," or cuts to the benefits Oregonians have earned through their hard work.

As the budget debate moves forward, Jeff will keep pushing for responsible budget policies that stand up for our middle class.

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