To The Audience

To The Audience: Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley speaks to a community member in Rockaway Beach on Tuesday, Feb. 20, during his Tillamook Town Hall.

“Just say No!”

That is the phrase Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley used to fire back at the Trump Administration and his colleagues in the U.S. Senate over plans to allow drilling off the Oregon coast – and most of the United States.

Merkley made the comments during a town hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Rockaway Beach in Tillamook County

Merkley said he attempted to move a bill in 2016 called ‘Keep it in the ground,” which would have said no to government contracts for the nations citizen-owned assets, such as oil, coal and gas. According to Merkley, the Trump Administration is giving away control of all the government assets.

“So it will be out of the control of our (the people’s) hands to be able to stop the exploitation,” he said. “I am very concerned about it.”

Merkley was also critical of the Senate’s vote to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, saying

the Senate majority leader’s decision not to allow debate to fill the vacant seat is “something exceptional.”

“For the first time in our history, when a Supreme Court seat became vacant, the majority of the senate stood up, the majority leader said, ‘There would be no debate. No vote on the president’s nominee.’ This wasn’t after the nominee came out. This was before hand.”

Merkley also took time to praise the student body at Tillamook High School and members of the Tillamook Women’s Resource Center.

The senator lauded the students at Tillamook High School involved in the annual charity drive.

“At each town hall I like to put a light on something that is very positive in the community,” he said.

Merkley said the high school students raised money for Doernbechers Children's Hospital in Portland, and for scholarships and grants.

“I thought it was phenomenal to hear that they, in the 2017 Charity Drive, raised $213,000 and they did this by providing services like cleaning somebody’s house, mowing the lawn, baking a casserole and so forth,” he said.

Merkley told the audience that the Women’s Resource Center offers many key social services to the community.

“They offer crisis intervention, a women’s shelter, peer counseling, civil legal assistance – those are pretty critical services here in the county.,” he said. “More than one out of three women are victims of some form of domestic abuse,” he said.

Merkley also held a town hall in Lincoln City on Saturday, Jan. 13. Read an exclusive one-on-one interview with the U.S. Senator and attached to this story.


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