Being one of the most influential politicians and proficient legislators in America, Jeff Merkley hails from Oregon and did not just stumble into politics. He had the interest in that line of affairs and with a degree in International Relations in addition to a Masters degree in Public Administrations, Merkely was set to be a successful political figure.
Although he started his career at the U.S Secretary of Defense and worked on other projects afterward, he went into politics fully when be became a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing House 47 District where he served as a Minority leader and later became the Speaker of the House when the Democrats became the majority.
Merkley later headed for the Senate House after defeating a seating senator and has seen to the amendment of a number of bills in addition to the passage of several bills into law.
Jeff Merkley Biography (Education)
The American political figure was born as Jeffrey Alan Merkley on the 24th of October, 1956 to Betty Lou Merkley and Darrell Philip Merkley in Myrtle Creek, a city in Oregon, the Northwestern State of the United States of America.
He had his elementary education in Roseburg, Oregon, before his family relocated to Portland, one of the largest cities in Oregon where he enrolled at David Douglas High School. He later became the President of the school’s Student Union.
After he graduated from high school, he applied to top-notch universities and was eventually accepted by Stanford and Yale but he chose Stanford University where he studied International Relations and graduated in 1979. He proceeded to the University of Princeton where he bagged a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Policy.
Jeff Merkley started his career when he was chosen to serve directly at the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington. After that, he moved on to work at the Congressional Budget Office as an analyzer before going to Portland to work at the Habitat of Humanity as the Director for three years.
Jeff Merkley started his journey into politics in 1998 when he contested for the Oregon House of Representative under the Democratic Party and won. After a few years, he was elected to be the minority leader in the House. But following the next election in 2006, his party gathered enough seats and became the Majority in the House. This saw Jeff become the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representative.
His reign as the speaker of the House saw to the passage of some fine bills, including the one that granted immunity to gay marriages. Merkley contested for the United State Senate after winning five other contenders in his party primaries. He won the incumbent senator in a close range victory, making him the very first politician in Oregon to remove a sitting senator since 1968.
In the Senate, he has enjoyed a prosperous record as a senator and has been the brain behind the passage of some bills which include the ‘Merkley Breastfeeding Amendment’. The bill was added to the United States Health Care Reforms and was signed by President Barack Obama into law. Jeff Merkley was also behind the passage of the ‘Wall Street Reform Bill’ and he was the only senator from the Democrat party that insisted that Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve will not be confirmed as a member of the Senate Committee on Banking. Merkley saw to the amendment that ended the ‘Liars Loans’ and in addition to that, he brought to pass a bill that will reform the filibuster in the Senate and subsequently, he was also able to push a bill that is aimed at increasing Energy and Oil independence in the United States.
The family of Jeff Merkley is not a large one, his parents Betty Lou Merkley and Darrell Philip Merkley had only two children which is Merkley and his sister. Even though he is a bonafide citizen of the United States of America, his heritage has been traced to Australia, the birth country of his grandmother from his father’s side.
Tragedy struck his family in 2015 when his cousin named Rebecka Ann Carnes met her untimely death in a shooting spree at Umpqua Community College.
Jeffrey Merkley is married to Mary Soderberg, an American nurse. Their union has been blessed with two children, a son and a daughter named Jonathan and Brynne, respectively.
Other Interesting Facts About The Politician
1. During his high school days, Merkley spent a whole summer holiday in Ghana because he wanted a change of environment.
2. The politician has a famous record of being on the U.S Senate podium for 15 hrs 28 mins as he spoke against Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation into the Supreme Court.
3. In 2016, Merkley is said to have been the only senator in the U.S to support Bernie Sanders.