Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is trying to portray himself to Oregonians as someone committed to bipartisanship, to working hand-in-hand with Republicans to advance the country’s interests.
“I believe that if you simply oppose the Administration because you’re of a different party, no one benefits, “ Merkley said in an interview with KGW-TV that ran Wednesday night. “I think of Gandhi’s expression when he said, ‘If all you believe in is an eye for an eye, the whole world goes blind.”
Not so fast, Senator. You can’t walk away from your record so easily with platitudes. The fact is your record shows you are one of the Senate’s MOST partisan members.
According to the Bipartisan Index of 98 senators released by The Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, Merkley had the fourth most partisan track record in the entire Senate in the most recent analysis covering the First Session of the 114th Congress in 2015.
That was even worse than Merkley did in the 113th Congress, when he was ranked the 7th most partisan senator.
The Index takes into account how well members of opposite parties and ideologies work together. The Bipartisan Index measures the frequency with which a Member co-sponsors a bill introduced by the opposite party and the frequency with which a Member’s own bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party.
“We sought to develop an objective measure of how well members of opposite parties work with one another…,” former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind) said.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) ranks as the most partisan on the list, followed by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) and then Merkley.
Bills introduced by highly partisan senators without co-sponsors from the other party “are being written not to maximize their chances of passage, but to serve as legislative talking points.,” Lugar said.