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Oregon Senators split over debt ceiling vote

Wyden backs plan, while Merkley opposes it, citing cuts to social services

The vote in the U.S. senate that sent a deal raising the United States' debt ceiling split Oregon's senators.

While Democrat Ron Wyden, Oregon's senior senator, voted with the 74-member majority that approved the bill Tuesday, Jeff Merkley, also a Democrat, voted against it, saying the agreement would hurt working families.

'The bulk of the deficit reduction is piled onto that small part of the budget that funds things like Head Start, college financial aid, research into clean energy and medical cures, and safeguards against contaminated food and polluted air and water,' wrote Merkley in a statement.

Merkley's 'no' vote puts him in the diverse company of a camp of 26 senators who opposed the last-ditch legislation.

Meanwhile, beltway pundits are speculating that Wyden may have a chance at joining a 'super-committee' established in the bill that would recommend future reductions in expenditures and tax loopholes to congress.