Senator Jeff Merkley


A number of states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, but it remains illegal in the eyes – and the laws – of the federal government. Senators from Oregon and Colorado say it's nearly impossible for marijuana businesses to access banks, which follow federal regulations. New legislation aims to ease the banking restrictions.

Corinne Boyer

Oregon’s US Senator Jeff Merkley was in Eugene on Tuesday to discuss a study which measured human exposure to toxic chemicals.

Devil's Staircase
Rachael McDonald

Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a bill last week to expand wilderness in the state. The legislation has failed to pass 3 times in Congress.

The bill would designate more than 200 thousand acres of land as wilderness or national recreation areas. The bill creates the Devils Staircase Wilderness in the Oregon Coast Range southwest of Eugene. It also expands the Wild Rogue Wilderness. Josh Laughlin with the conservation group Cascadia Wildlands says he's hopeful public support can help get the bill passed this time.

Kari Greer / U.S. Forest Service

The federal government is one step closer to changing the way it pays to fight wildfires. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said the preliminary legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

Wildfires are not treated the same as other natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. This forces the U.S. Forest Service to take money intended for fire prevention efforts, like thinning, and use it to fight fires. Under the new system, Senator Merkley explains the wildfire budget would be based on the 10-year average cost.

Tiffany Eckert

About forty percent of the children eligible for head start programs in Lane County can’t get in. Today (Tuesday), Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley visited a head start center in Eugene. While there, he criticized cuts to early childhood education in a recent U.S. senate budget.

At the Whiteaker Head Start Center a classroom of pre-kindergarteners welcome Senator Merkley with a song.

(kids and teacher sing:”Mr. Merkley’s here today! We’ll all clap our hands because Mr. Merkley’s here today!”)

Then, he sits in a little chair with a classic children’s book.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley will host town hall meetings in Benton, Linn, and Lane counties this weekend. The Senator visits each of Oregon's 36 counties every year, inviting residents to talk about their concerns and suggest ideas to bring to Congress. Merkley will also update residents on his work in Washington, D.C. He will visit Corvallis, Halsey, and Eugene on Saturday, March 14th. 

Details are on Merkley's website, here.

OPB News

U-S Senator Jeff Merkley and his Republican challenger Monica Wehby went head-to-head Tuesday on Medford TV station KOBI. In their only scheduled debate, both candidates sought to portray the other as extreme and out of touch with everyday Oregonians, while positioning themselves as champions of working people. 

Merkley campaign

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren rallied a crowd of Democratic Party faithful for Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley Monday. She spoke at the University of Oregon.

On The Campaign Trail With Wehby And Merkley

Sep 26, 2014
OPB News

One of Oregon’s two senate seats is up for grabs this election season. The frontrunners are incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley and Republican Monica Wehby.

On a recent Saturday morning in Portland, Jeff Merkley met with volunteers at one of his offices.

Retiree Carol Adler was there to show her support.

“I just think he’s terrific. I’ve been volunteering a bit here and I had a house party for him where I live,” Adler said.

Corinne Boyer

Senator Jeff Merkley rallied his Democratic base at the opening of his campaign office in Eugene Thursday. He's framing the election as grass roots versus special interests.

Merkley is being challenged by Republican Monica Wehby, a doctor from Portland.

Merkley says Lane County is critical in his campaign for a second term in the U.S. Senate. He says out-of-state money has been funneled toward his opponent.