Jeff Merkley

The Seven Biggest Oil-Spill Questions Obama Faces Tonight
June 15, 2010

Tonight at 8 pm, President Obama will give one of his patented Big Speeches about the oil debacle in the Gulf—only this one will be his first-ever address from the Oval Office. The backdrop's no accident. Presidents typically only resort to Oval Office speeches when, as John Dickerson notes, they're "responding to an immediate crisis [or] trying to change the dynamic of an ongoing one." And this address falls into the latter category. The public thinks Obama's been way too cuddly with BP, while badly-needed energy legislation is sputtering in the Senate. Something has to change, and fast.

Finish Strong
June 10, 2010

Going into the Senate debate over financial reform, a cynic would have offered the White House the following advice: Fight aggressively on the proposed consumer agency and settle for the appearance of reform on the rest of the bill. After all, most of us can understand the difference between a powerful new consumer watchdog and a token reshuffling of the bureaucracy.

Will Bernanke Be Another Coakley Casualty?
January 22, 2010

If I had to guess as I write this, I'd say no. But the trendlines for the Fed chairman aren't moving in the right direction. Today's Wall Street Journal had a piece noting that the Fed chairman was headed toward a closer than expected vote in the Senate next week, with Dems Byron Dorgan and Jeff Merkley joining Bernie Sanders, the Senate's chief Bernanke-hater on the left, as opponents of a second term.

The Haa Is No Laughing Matter
April 14, 2009

Of all the major items on Barack Obama's ambitious agenda, health reform has the best chance of passage during the current congress. While many battle-scarred veterans are skeptical, more stars are in alignment than in the past. Previously secure workers have lost, or are afraid of losing, their employer-provided health insurance. Employers are losing confidence that they can continue to provide insurance on terms their workers and businesses can afford.