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Biography Jeff Merkley

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Jeff Merkley Jeff Merkley
Jeff Merkley
The junior United States Senator from Oregon since 2009.
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Jeff Merkley Biography

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Jeffrey Alan "Jeff" Merkley (born October 24, 1956) is the junior United States Senator from Oregon. A member of the Democratic Party, Merkley was a five-term member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly representing House District 47, located in eastern Multnomah County within the Portland city limits. He also served as Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives. He defeated two-term Republican incumbent Gordon Smith in the 2008 U.S. Senate election.

 

Political career

After completing his master's in 1982, Merkley was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow, working at the Office of the Secretary of Defense on the security of American military technology. After his fellowship, he worked in the Congressional Budget Office, analyzing nuclear weapons policies and programs.

Merkley returned to Portland in 1991 to serve as executive director of Portland Habitat for Humanity.He also started the Walk for Humanity, initiated the Journey for Mankind, launched development of the Habitat Home Building Center, and initiated a pilot project for “YouthBuild” in which gang-affected youth built homes in their own neighborhoods.He served as Director of Housing Development at Human Solutions, where he worked to make available affordable housing complexesand launching Oregon’s first Individual Development Account (IDA) program that helps low-income families save money to buy homes, attend college, or start businesses.Jeff Merkley was President of the World Affairs Council of Oregonfor seven years and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees.

 

U.S. Senate career

Merkley has accumulated a progressive record during his Senate career to date. He was a founding signatory of a mid-February 2010 petition to use reconciliation to pass legislation providing for a government-run health insurance program in the Senate.In late February 2010, Merkley again made headlines when he unsuccessfully tried to persuade Republican colleague Jim Bunning of Kentucky to drop his objection to passing a 30-day extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans. Bunning replied, "Tough shit." A spokesman for Merkley claimed that the Oregon senator did not hear Bunning's remark at the time.

 

He was a founding signatory of a mid-February 2010 petition to use reconciliation to pass legislation providing for a government-run health insurance program in the Senate. Merkley also championed legislation that provides new mothers with a private space and flexible break times to pump breast milk once they return to work. Merkley's breastfeeding amendment was included in the health care reform law and signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

 

In late February 2010, Merkley again made headlines when he unsuccessfully tried to persuade Republican colleague Jim Bunning of Kentucky to drop his objection to passing a 30-day extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans. Bunning replied, "Tough shit." A spokesman for Merkley claimed that the Oregon senator did not hear Bunning's remark at the time.

 

In late 2010, Merkley began circulating a proposal to his fellow Senate colleagues about the need to force Senators to filibuster in order to block legislation. In 2011, Merkley introduced a bill to reform the filibuster and help end gridlock in the Senate. He was joined by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa.

 

Personal

 

Merkley and his wife, Mary, have two children, Jonathan and Brynne. Brynne appeared with Merkley in several campaign ads in the 2008 campaign.

 

wikipedia

20.10.2010

11.08.2011

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