By Jordain Carney, The Hill

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that he will oppose Rahm Emanuel’s nomination to be ambassador to Japan.

“Black Lives Matter. Here in the halls of Congress, it is important that we not just speak and believe these words, but put them into action in the decisions we make,” Merkley said in a statement.

“I have carefully considered Mayor Emanuel’s record—and the input of civil rights leaders, criminal justice experts, and local elected officials who have reached out to the Senate to weigh in—and I have reached the decision that I cannot support his nomination to serve as a U.S. Ambassador,” Merkley added in a statement.

jeff merkley and rahm emanuel

The committee is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, meaning Emanuel will need help from Republicans to get his nomination to the Senate floor. But Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), who previously has served as ambassador to Japan, has backed Emanuel’s nomination and introduced him at his committee hearing.

Read More