Wyden, Merkley vote no on government funding bill

Cite no child health insurance, DREAMer provisions

WASHINGTON - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., voted Friday against the Senate's continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown, explaining in separate statements what they felt was missing from the bill.


Wyden said he was voting no because the spending bill failed to address health insurance for millions of children, address DACA, or include an extension of warrantless surveillance under FISA Section 702.


“The House’s flawed, slapdash bill fails to give families and states long-term security and peace of mind when it comes to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides essential health care to more than 80,000 children across Oregon. CHIP is a vital lifeline covering preventative services, dental checkups, treatment for serious illnesses and more.


“Every day, more than 11,000 DACA recipients in Oregon and hundreds of thousands across the country face the very real danger of being ripped from their families and communities. I cannot support an end-of-year deal that fails to include protections for these young Americans to stay in the only country they know as their home: the United States.


"Finally, I cannot support legislation that extends warrantless surveillance without reforms to protect Americans’ rights. Although a short-term extension of FISA Section 702 is preferable to many of the alternatives proposed by supporters of unchecked surveillance, Congress must make meaningful reforms that protect Americans’ rights while allowing intelligence agencies target true threats overseas,” Wyden said.

Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after voting against a continuing resolution that fails to provide a solution for DREAMers or for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP):

“Every day, more than 100 DREAMers – young Americans who know no other home – lose their status and are put at risk for deportation. That’s unacceptable.

“Every day, the families of nine million children live in limbo as Congress continues to kick the can down the road on children’s health care. That’s unacceptable.

“We were sent here to solve problems for the American people, not push the tough issues off for a later date. Lives are at stake, and delay is not a solution. Congress urgently needs to pass the DREAM Act and a long-term solution for CHIP, and this continuing resolution does not come close to meeting the challenge before us.”

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