Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley won't join 2020 presidential field

Sen. Jeff Merkley
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon says he has decided against seeking the Democratic nomination for president and instead wants to focus on getting re-elected senator in 2020.

Merkley told The Associated Press that he wants to use his Senate seat and his re-election campaign to fight anti-democracy moves including voter suppression, gerrymandering and dark money. He also wants to focus on helping families with health care, education and living-wage jobs and on stemming climate change.

Merkley is set to formally announce on Tuesday that he won't seek his party's presidential nomination. He says the already crowded field of Democratic contenders was not a major factor in his decision.

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Key Points
  • The bill, titled the "Wall Street Tax Act of 2019," taxes securities transactions and is co-sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the tax could help reduce the budget by increasing revenues by $777 billion over the course of 10 years.
  • Since Ocasio-Cortez's victorious run for Congress during the 2018 midterm elections, the New York lawmaker has been advocating for the wealthiest Americans to pay more in taxes.