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Jeff Merkley

Pete Springer/OPB

Earlier this year, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley joined Sen. Ron Wyden and 20 other lawmakers in co-sponsoring an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would effectively reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The amendment would bring back federal and state oversight of campaign donations for national and local elections. Merkley is passionate about the importance of the proposed amendment, calling Citizens United “a dagger pointed at the heart of American democracy.”

This is not the only issue Merkley is vocal about, of course. He has been working with Wyden and others to extend timber payments to Oregon counties that can no longer depend on income from logging on federal land. President Obama raised the visibility of this issue recently by including timber payments in his proposed budget.

He also advocated for an amendment he said would strengthen a bill designed to keep members of Congress from using inside information to their financial advantage. The bill is moving forward without the amendment and is likely to pass once the House and Senate have reconciled their versions of the legislation.

Have you been following Merkley’s work on the insider trading bill or the constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United? How do timber payments affect you? What would you like to ask Jeff Merkley?

congress jeff merkley politics timber payments

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OPB | Broadcast: Feb. 15, 2012