Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement today after the bipartisan infrastructure package cleared its final Senate vote:
“People across Oregon, and Americans throughout the country, elected President Biden to put us on a new path: a path where investing in the American people and their communities and their futures—not tax cuts for the powerful and privileged—is priority number one. This bipartisan infrastructure deal is a crucial step in the right direction to follow through on that promise. Today’s vote means more jobs; greater access to broadband; expanded access to safe, clean drinking water; investments in our forests to reduce the risk of more catastrophic wildfires in the future; and much-needed federal support for protecting the health and well-being of the ecosystems that make Oregon so special.
“Now we must turn to the vital reconciliation bill to finish the job of investing in American families and, crucially, in tackling the climate crisis. Climate chaos has arrived on the doorsteps of every Oregonian, and we must create new jobs transitioning away from fossil fuels so conditions don’t get even worse. Failing to deliver on this central promise of President Biden to the American people would mean sicker families, more extreme and deadly weather events, and lives and livelihoods lost.
“The reconciliation bill will also mean the biggest tax cut for working families in generations. It will start reversing the housing crisis corroding our communities. It will provide the paid family leave that this pandemic showed us is so crucial, make college dramatically more affordable, bring down drug prices, and expand Medicare.
“I am voting today with the understanding that this legislation will be followed by the robust reconciliation bill my colleagues and I on the Budget Committee have been working on. Anything less would be selling out the well-being and future of the American people.”