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Above image from The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]), 27 Aug. 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.

Democrats in the News

Jamuary 27, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: Mercy Foundation to Receive $375,768 Federal Telehealth Grant for Rural Schools in Roseburg

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week announced that Mercy Foundation in Roseburg will receive $375,768 from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand telehealth services for rural schools.

“The pandemic has forced us to find different ways to deliver health care services safely and efficiently, including through broadband,” Wyden said. “When I visited Mercy Medical in Roseburg last week, they made it clear to me that quality health care should be accessible to Oregon children no matter their family’s income or zip code. I am gratified to see the FCC funding this telehealth program to make that goal a reality for children in Douglas County.”

“Many aspects of our lives have gone online during the pandemic as we worked to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Merkley said. “Many health providers have gone online as well, continuing to provide support and care for communities from all corners of Oregon through incredible telehealth programs. I am pleased to see Mercy Foundation receive this important FCC award to invest back into their telehealth program. The continuation of this program will ensure families in Douglas County will have the access they need to critical health services and help expand much-needed care within our rural schools.”

Mercy Foundation in Roseburg earned $375,768 to implement rural school-based telehealth clinics, providing direct access to primary care for school-aged children. The FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program supports the efforts of health care providers to continue serving their patients by providing reimbursement for telecommunications services, information services, and connected devices necessary to enable telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“The project is a collaborative partnership with Mercy Foundation, Mercy Medical Center, Cow Creek Indians Health and Wellness Center and Evergreen Family Medicine to support the health and wellness of children and families including access to diabetes resources and ancillary services,” said Lisa Platt, Mercy Foundation President. “Needless to say we are humbled and thrilled by this news. This project enables us to further our mission of providing health and wellness resources to Douglas County children." 


For more press releases from Senator Wyden click here.

Merkley Decries Failed Vote to Restore Voting Rights, Vows to Keep Pushing

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after 48 senators tried to force a talking filibuster on the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, critical legislation to fend off states’ attempts to rig elections and prevent millions of Americans from voting, but were blocked from moving forward:


“Today was a dark day in the U.S. Senate, but it is not the end of the story.


“Every chapter in our nation’s struggle for civil rights has been hard-fought and filled with roadblocks. From the first day of our founding, there has been a disconnect between the amazing ideals of this nation—that all are created equal; that ‘We the People’ should choose the direction for our nation—and the realities. The struggle to win voting rights for women, for Black Americans, and for Native Americans took generations. There were bitter defeats and setbacks along the way. And today, we face another of those moments.


“I don’t blame any American who is frustrated or scared by today’s outcome, or who worries we don’t have time for a setback right now. I feel that way too. We are witnessing a period of profound backlash against multiracial democracy.  A huge swath of the Republican Party has decided that they are unable or unwilling to win a fair popular vote among all citizens. Those who have embraced the ‘Big Lie’ are sowing poison across the country, spreading lies about our elections and passing insidious new laws to limit which Americans can vote and how. This is the existential, democratic battle of our times.


“Today’s vote is obviously a setback. It’s a setback for those who believe that We the People—all of us, no matter what we look like, how old we are, which side of the tracks we live on, or which party we support—are supposed to decide who governs. It’s a setback for those of us who believe the Senate should be able to debate and vote on the big issues facing America. But just because it’s a setback, doesn’t mean it’s the end. We have 48 Senators committed to that vision. We have 48 Senators who recognize that allowing a Republican minority in the Senate to enshrine minority rule in the states is not healing divisions or preserving anybody’s rights—it’s an attack on the beating heart of democracy. 


“Today, we have 48 Senators who voted to restore the Senate’s traditional way of conducting debate. Those who argue for extending debate must actually come before the people to make their case, and if they stop debating, we hold a vote on final passage. It’s that simple. The talking filibuster replaces paralysis with an incentive to negotiate. It replaces backroom deals with debate and accountability before the American people. It is the founders’ design for debate in our democracy.


“As much as it hurts, this vote cannot be a reason to give up. It must be a clarion call to redouble our commitment to democracy. So many have given so much blood, sweat, and tears already, and I know we are tired—but we must push forward. As Dr. King said, ‘Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.’ We must continue this struggle, and we will.”


For more press releases from SenatorMerkley click here.


Feb 24, 2022 

Press Release

Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today issued the following statement after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

“I strongly condemn Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and I join the international community in calling on Russian forces to immediately withdraw from Ukraine.

“Russia’s brutal dictator, Vladimir Putin, is a violent thug who is putting his delusions of grandeur ahead of the millions of Ukrainian lives he is now uprooting and putting in danger.                  

“I will continue to closely monitor the conflict and work with the Biden administration and my colleagues in Congress on an appropriate course of action to address this crisis and hold Putin accountable for his reckless actions. I also encourage President Biden to keep all diplomatic options on the table as the situation progresses.

“I also reiterate that the President must first receive authorization from Congress before involving any U.S. military personnel in areas of imminent or active hostilities – as required by the Constitution and U.S. law. This includes involving any U.S. troops, advisers, trainers, special forces, or any other U.S. military personnel in Ukraine. The American people, through their representatives in Congress, must have a say before we even think about putting American troops’ lives in harm’s way or getting involved in yet another foreign war.

“Cooler heads must prevail. It is imperative that we work with our international partners to bring this crisis to a peaceful resolution as soon as possible. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine at this difficult hour.”


For more press releases from Congressman DeFazio click here.

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