Press Releases

September 19, 2019

Wyden Urges FCC to Reject Plans that Imperil the Universal Service Fund

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to discard its proposed cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF), which protects rural broadband funding and other programs key to moving the country toward the goal of universal connectivity. In May, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would set an overall budget cap for four USF-funded communications programs - E-Rate, Lifeline, the Rural Health Care Program and the … Continue Reading


September 19, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Reintroduce Resolution to Protect Ambitious National Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., this week to reintroduce a resolution in response to the Trump administration's efforts to roll back federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards designed to fight climate change and protect Americans' access to clean air. The senators, along with 31 of their colleagues, reintroduced the resolution in advance of the administration's expected move to formally revoke California's … Continue Reading


September 18, 2019

Wyden Co-sponsors School Mental Health Services Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he is co-sponsoring legislation that would help schools provide the mental health counseling needed by so many students. "Students, teachers and counselors across Oregon tell me just how much young people facing challenges at home and in the classroom need better access to mental health care in schools," Wyden said of the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act. "This bill would provide that access by supporting schools' efforts … Continue Reading


September 17, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Back Bill to Stop Use of Taxpayer Dollars at Trump Properties

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week co-sponsored legislation that would immediately stop the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars at properties owned by the president, vice president and Cabinet officials. The Heightened Oversight of Travel, Eating, and Lodging (HOTEL) Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) aims to prevent potential conflicts of interest and abuse of taxpayer dollars by making clear that all three branches of government … Continue Reading


September 17, 2019

Wyden, 26 Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Block Implementation of Trump Administration’s So-Called “Public Charge” Rule

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, to introduce legislation that would prohibit the Trump administration from using federal funding to implement its so-called "public charge" rule. Scheduled to go into effect in less than a month on October 15, 2019, the "public charge" rule aims to prevent immigrants from coming to or staying in the United States based on factors such as their wealth, family size, age, skills, level of education, … Continue Reading


September 17, 2019

Wyden Remarks at “In Defense of American Democracy” on Election Security and Vote-By-Mail

Thank you so much to the Shanker Institute for inviting me to speak today. You have a real all-star squad of civic activists and public servants here, between Secretary Clinton, Leah Greenberg of Indivisible, Randi Weingarten, Attorney General Holder. That's what my dad would call running with the right crowd. The topic is perhaps the most urgent, timely topic facing our country - Defending American Democracy. I'm going to start by telling you a little bit about how I spent my summer … Continue Reading


September 16, 2019

Wyden, Rubio, Murphy Urge Trump to Press Bahrain on Human Rights Violations

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., last week wrote to Donald Trump urging him to press Bahrain on serious human rights concerns. The president met with Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa today. The senators specifically requested Trump to press the Bahraini government to release prisoners of conscience. "Bahrain is a strategic ally in an important region and, critically, Bahrain hosts the United States Fifth … Continue Reading


September 16, 2019

Bipartisan Group of Western Senators Introduce Legislation to Provide Financial Certainty for Rural Counties

Washington, D.C. - A bipartisan group of Western senators today introduced legislation to provide long-term financial security for rural counties. The legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., would reauthorize the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for ten years. The program provides critical resources to nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states. Counties … Continue Reading


September 16, 2019

Wyden, Merkley, Walden Press Feds on Large Air Tankers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden today pressed the Forest Service to explain why it has failed to award any "call when needed" (CWN) contracts to providers of wildfire-fighting large air tankers (LAT). The Oregon lawmakers noted in a letter to Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen that the "call when needed" solicitation was originally issued in July 2018 and closed several months ago in April 2019. "As you are aware, CWN awards allow the … Continue Reading


September 13, 2019

Wyden Leads Resolution to Designate September as National Voting Rights Month

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., reintroduced a resolution with Congressman Marc Veasey, D-Texas, this week to designate this month as "National Voting Rights Month." The resolution seeks to end voter suppression by bringing awareness to existing voter suppression laws, educating Americans on their rights as voters and urging Congress to pass critical voting rights legislation. The resolution urges Congress to pass S. 949 and H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019, S. 561 … Continue Reading


September 12, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Funding for Rural Communities Hit by Severe Winter Storms

Portland, OR - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that $150 million is now available to help rural communities recover from substantial damages and losses caused by severe winter storms earlier this year, which closed roads and left countless families without power for weeks. Nine Oregon counties-Coos, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Umatilla, and Wheeler-are eligible to apply for the grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which were … Continue Reading


September 11, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Emergency Relief for Wine and Hazelnut Growers Now Available

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that millions of dollars appropriated in the bipartisan disaster relief package this summer is now available for Oregon wine and hazelnut growers. "When disaster strikes, the communities who've been hit need a direct line in DC to the folks who can help them. One of the reasons I wanted to be on the Senate Appropriations Committee was to make sure that Oregon's interests were represented in Congress, and this … Continue Reading


September 11, 2019

Wyden Demands Answers from Commerce IG on Reports of Suppression and Retaliation at NOAA

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wrote this week to U.S. Department of Commerce Inspector General Peggy Gustafson demanding answers following recent reports of improper behavior at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), including one that Commerce Department officials threatened to fire NOAA employees for contradicting the president's false assertions about the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. In the letter led by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and signed by 12 … Continue Reading


September 09, 2019

Oregon Lawmakers Call on EPA to Protect Pollinators from Toxic Pesticide

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici today expressed concerns over the recent decision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve new uses and lift restrictions for sulfoxaflor, a pesticide recognized by the EPA as a danger to pollinators. In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the lawmakers highlighted concerns from beekeepers and other stakeholders in Oregon about the potential … Continue Reading


September 06, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce More Than $7.8 Million for Opioid Treatment Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced more than $7.8 million in federal grants that will support efforts to treat and prevent opioid addiction-one of Oregon's most pressing issues as communities across the state face an increase in opioid-related deaths. "I have heard heart-wrenching stories from Oregonians who have lost loved ones after a prescription for an injury or treatment turned into an addiction," Merkley said. "The opioid crisis will … Continue Reading


September 04, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Condemn Trump Decision to Divert Funding from Military Projects in Oregon, Across the Nation for Vanity Border Wall

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today condemned the Trump administration decision to divert funding from congressionally-approved military construction in Oregon and across the country to fund Donald Trump's border wall. Wyden and Merkley released the following statement: "This decision is both an abuse of presidential authority and a dereliction of duty. Trump's border wall is a cruel vanity project, and nothing more. Americans should not foot the bill, and … Continue Reading


September 03, 2019

Wyden, Crapo, Merkley, Risch Call on TriWest to Ensure Urgent Care Access for Veterans in Rural Communities

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, today pressed TriWest Healthcare Alliance on its implementation of the new urgent care benefit under the VA MISSION Act following reports that veterans in rural Oregon and Idaho are unable to access the benefit. The senators in a letter to the TriWest President and Chief Executive Officer David J. McIntyre, Jr. noted that veterans in rural communities in their state have … Continue Reading


August 30, 2019

Wyden Statement on Caucus Cybersecurity

Washington, D.C.- Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement today on new cybersecurity recommendations for state party caucuses. "One of the biggest lessons from 2016 is that election officials and parties must make cybersecurity a key consideration for every decision in our elections process. The DNC is doing the right thing by insisting on strong security measures for voters who caucus at home. Intelligence officials have made clear that foreign governments will exploit … Continue Reading


August 29, 2019

Wyden, Colleagues Demand Trump Administration End Remain in Mexico Policy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week joined Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and 22 of their Democratic Senate colleagues in calling on the Trump administration to stop restricting access to the U.S. asylum system and end its Remain in Mexico policy. The deceptively named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy blocks legal asylum seekers from being in the United States while they await court hearings in their cases, forcing them to wait in dangerous cities in Mexico for … Continue Reading


August 28, 2019

Wyden, Merkley: OSU to Get More Than $400,000 for Earthquake Research

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon State University will receive more than $400,000 in federal funds to research how large earthquakes, like ones that could strike in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, would affect the western electrical grid. "At a time that scientists are sounding the alarm about the potential for a devastating earthquake to one day hit Oregon and the entire West Coast, it's vital to understand the risks of a quake of … Continue Reading

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