February 19 2019
Yesterday, Congress approved a massive spending bill for the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year that includes funding for Oregon wildfire prevention, rural school programs and infrastructure projects.
President Donald J. Trump signed the bill into law this morning.
The bundled spending bill—or "omnibus" bill—received mixed reviews from Oregon's Democratic Senators. But the passing of the budget package will avoid another government shutdown, at least for the time being.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) voted no. He says the budget omits crucial funding for Dreamers—immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as young children and who now are at risk of having federal protections taken away.
"I fought hard for many of the priorities that are reflected in this bill," Merkley says. "However, this bill fails in a critical area: It still does nothing to address the 800,000 Dreamers who have been left out in the cold by President Trump."
U.S, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) voted yes. He lauds Congress' decision to address "the infernos that are ravaging Oregon and the West."
"I have fought for years to end 'fire borrowing,'" Wyden says, "and provide a long-term, bipartisan fix to the Forest Service's common-sense defying wildfire budget."
The bill also allocates resources to fighting the opioid epidemic and improving rural broadband.