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Jeff Merkley Holds Hearing On Middle Class

Pete Springer/OPB

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) holds his first hearing as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee’s subcommittee on economic policy Wednesday and he’s invited Oregonians featured in the documentary film American Winter to testify about their post-recession struggles.

Deidre Mellson, a mother of four who appears in the film, was on Think Out Loud talking about the movie and the tough times her family has faced. She said she collected scrap metal and donated plasma to make ends meet. Another guest, John Cox has been unemployed since 2008. He explained that he exhausted his savings and the retirement account he had from his old job before seeking out social services to help with his house payments. 

Merkley says he wants Congress to hear from people like Mellson and Cox in order to better understand “the real effects of their choices on the American middle class and those families hoping to join it.”

Did you watch American Winter? Did it resonate with you? What do you think senators need to hear from the families featured in the movie?

banking economy jeff merkley politics recession social issues social services

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