WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement regarding the combined Labor-Health and Human Services/Defense appropriations bill:
“I voted for this bill today because it includes important priorities for Oregon and our nation, including training the National Guard to fight wildfires, supporting nursing workforce development, conducting critical medical research, and boosting career and technical education.
“I want to be clear, however, that I have concerns about the significant amount of defense spending in this bill and would not have voted for it on its own. It is critical that we maintain America’s military might and provide our service men and women the resources they need. But I object to wasteful spending, including for the creation of new nuclear weapons for war fighting missions instead of nuclear deterrence.
“We should reduce wasteful military spending and invest more in critical priorities such as education, health care, and infrastructure here at home, all of which will also be key for U.S. national security in the long term.”