Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley—who serves on the Senate Budget Committee and helped negotiate the budget framework announced last night by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s (D-NY)—released the following statement today about the outline for the $3.5 trillion package:
“I still live in the same blue collar neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors today want the same thing my parents wanted–a chance to earn a good living, put a roof over their families’ head, send their kids to good schools, and have enough in their pockets to take the family camping or see relatives once in a while. But it’s a whole lot tougher today than it used to be, because billionaires and corporate executives have spent decades rigging the economy so they get rich while everyone else works harder for less.
“This historic deal starts to turn that corrupted version of America around so all hardworking Americans have a chance to succeed, no matter what they look like or which side of the railroad tracks they live on. And this deal will invest in the health and well-being of our communities through the expansion of Medicare to cover hearing, vision, and dental. In short, it advances the four foundations for thriving families: health care, housing, education, and good paying jobs!
“In addition, this plan includes bold action to address the climate crisis that is already impacting the health and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Americans. We need to do even more, but this sets the stage for America to finally start working to reduce carbon pollution.
“There are moments for incremental change, and there are moments to go big. We have the opportunity to address challenges important to families, but ignored by Congress for a generation. We must seize this moment.”