Merkley Statement on Continuing Resolution Vote

“While I’m encouraged that the House leadership has committed to providing aid to assist Flint with its lead contamination disaster, there is still no reason why that aid should not be funded immediately—just like the aid for Louisiana flood victims—rather than having to wait until after the election. Flint families have already been living with dangerously contaminated water for two years, and they should not have to wait a day longer for help. Geography, race, and partisan politics should never determine disaster assistance, and it’s wrong to help out the victims of one disaster while telling others that they must continue to wait at the back of the line.

“Additionally, I’m disturbed by the inclusion of a special-interest rider that prevents the Securities and Exchange Commission from requiring disclosure of spending by publicly-traded corporations to influence our elections. Powerful special interests have already spent $170 million this year to elect a Senate to serve them rather than one that serves the public. This is a powerful corrupting force on our government, and it’s therefore no wonder the American people think our politics are rigged. This kind of provision turns our democracy on its head from ‘We the People’ to ‘We the Powerful,’ and is absolutely contrary to our founding vision of a government of, by and for the people.

“For these reasons, I voted against the Continuing Resolution that was before us today.”