Merkley: House Bill will Jeopardize Job Creation

– Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on the House of Representatives-passed resolution to fund government operations through September:

“When I travel across Oregon, everywhere I go, the top priority is job creation.  With one in ten Oregonians still out of work, we need to make smart investments in our communities so businesses can get their feet under them and hire more people.

“Unfortunately, that priority seems to have gotten lost in the bill that passed the House.  Instead of focusing on creating jobs, this bill slashes investments and pursues ideological battles that have nothing to do with improving the employment outlook.

“Dramatically cutting workforce training, clean energy development, and investments in transportation will damage manufacturing and increase unemployment. Moreover, such counterproductive strategies will jeopardize our competitiveness with other nations. 

“In addition, the House bill is full of radical political vendettas, such as attacking clean air and water protections and women’s health services; these attacks have no place in a budget bill.  

“I am particularly troubled that even a simple study –part of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement – has been put on the chopping block.  This is a clear effort to torpedo the years of work by farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and tribes throughout the region.  I will work with my colleagues in the Congressional delegation to protect the efforts of the Klamath Basin stakeholders.

“We face serious budget problems – there is no doubt about that.  The best way to confront those problems is to grow our economy, get America back on the job.

“The House bill is a guaranteed formula to drive us into a double dip recession. That’s the wrong direction. The right direction is to make smart choices that bring down our deficit without bringing down our economy.”