Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement today after his Republican colleagues voted against debating their bipartisan agreement to invest in America’s crumbling infrastructure:
“I’m deeply disappointed in my Republican colleagues for blocking a debate on the bipartisan framework to help build the foundation American families need for a healthy, prosperous future. These investments included everything from improving the safety of our roads and bridges, to expanding access to the high-quality broadband Americans need to access telehealth, find a job, or go to school. It also included crucial provisions I’ve been fighting for to help us restore our ecosystems to prevent and respond to wildfires and droughts, which are threatening lives and livelihoods across Oregon and throughout the West.
“Mitch McConnell has said that ‘100% of our focus is on stopping this new administration,’ so this vote is as unsurprising as it is disappointing. For all of the long hours and good work my colleagues in both parties have put into building a bipartisan infrastructure framework, Senator McConnell has been crystal clear that the needs of America always come second to his political power grabs. Senate Republicans are falling into line, yet again wielding the no-effort, no-show filibuster—the McConnell veto—to do what their leader has said they’re 100% focused on: stopping President Biden from helping solve real problems for working Americans.
“Senate Democrats remain united in our commitment to building a better, fairer, more prosperous future for all of us, where growth and opportunity are not privileges reserved for the wealthiest Americans. That’s going to mean investing in our physical infrastructure, creating millions of jobs transitioning to clean energy, and making bold investments in working families with things like paid leave, affordable housing, child care, and expanded Medicare and lower health costs. We should embrace the reconciliation path, roll into that bill the best parts of this bipartisan work, and give America the investments it needs for a better future—with or without our Republican colleagues.”