Press Releases

December 01, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Ensure More Wildfire Resilient Power Grid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced new legislation to incentivize utility companies to do more to reduce wildfire risks as aging power infrastructure ignite wildfires in Oregon and across the West. Wyden and Merkley's Wildfire Resilient Power Grid Act of 2020 would ensure power companies do their part to reduce the risk of wildfires through power system upgrades such as the undergrounding of power lines, fire safety equipment installation and proper … Continue Reading


December 01, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $1.5 Million in Funding to Improve Health Care on Coquille Tribe’s Kilkich Reservation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that $1.49 million in funding is headed to the Coquille Indian Tribe in North Bend to purchase equipment and medical supplies needed to help the community meet the mounting challenges of the coronavirus crisis. The funds-which are being allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed in March-are being directed to the Ko-Kwel Wellness Center, which is … Continue Reading


December 01, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Extension of Pandemic Unemployment Programs in COVID-19 Relief Package

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged Senate leadership to include extensions of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs in the next coronavirus relief package. Both of these programs are set to expire on Dec. 26,.Wyden and Merkley noted in their letter along with 30 other senators to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "As the virus surges going … Continue Reading


November 30, 2020

Oregon Delegation Press to Extend Open Enrollment Period to Dec. 31

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici today pushed the Trump administration to extend the Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace through the end of the year in light of severe obstacles Oregonians faced due to COVID-19 and historic wildfires. "The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe health and economic consequences for Oregon. To date, nearly 60,000 Oregonians … Continue Reading


November 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer Urge Justice Department to Ensure Portland Police Compliance with Use-of-Force Settlement Agreement

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer today urged federal officials to ensure the Portland Police Bureau is complying with a 2014 settlement agreement addressing the bureau's use of force against people with mental illness. The three Oregon lawmakers wrote in their letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that they are concerned Portland police are not complying with the August 29, 2014, settlement agreement with the Justice Department. "The … Continue Reading


November 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Co-sponsor Legislation to Increase Production of Critical Personal Protective Equipment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are co-sponsoring legislation that would increase the production of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) like N-95 masks and improve the transparency of the supply and distribution of medical supplies needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Protect Our Heroes Act of 2020 was introduced as coronavirus cases spike nationwide and as frontline health care workers face shortages of critical protective equipment. … Continue Reading


November 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Call on GSA Administrator to End Unprecedented Delay, Provide Critical Transition Resources to President-Elect Biden

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have teamed up with 36 of their colleagues in calling on General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily Murphy to end her unprecedented delay, immediately ascertain former Vice President Joe Biden as President-elect and Senator Kamala Harris as Vice President-elect, and make available the transition resources that are provided by law. This delay creates unacceptable risks to national security and Coronavirus … Continue Reading


November 19, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to Receive $350,000 Federal Grant

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will receive a $350,000 federal grant to buy two transit vehicles that will provide service to work, schools, health care and other services. "The economic impact from COVID-19 has landed hard on Oregon's tribes, making it more crucial than ever to continue investments that provide infrastructure support during this crisis and afterward," Wyden said. "I'm glad the Confederated … Continue Reading


November 19, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Bonamici Urge United States Coast Guard to Bring Additional Deep Water Vessels to Tongue Point in Astoria

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following the United States Coast Guard's (USCG) decision to homeport two new Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) at Tongue Point in Astoria, Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), have requested that the USCG consider stationing an additional two FRCs at the port. FRCs are used to strengthen port, waterways and coastal security, as well as conduct fishery patrols, and search and rescue and national defense … Continue Reading


November 18, 2020

Wyden, Underwood Press for Better Oversight of Federal Agencies’ Cybersecurity

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., today introduced a bill to strengthen oversight of the cybersecurity of federal agencies. In 2015, Congress required federal civilian agencies to implement cybersecurity best practices, like data encryption and two-factor authentication. The agencies, however, have the ability to issue themselves blanket, indefinite waivers for these cybersecurity measures. "Lax cybersecurity at federal … Continue Reading


November 18, 2020

Wyden, Jayapal Introduce New Legislation to Provide Alternatives to Incarceration for Parents and Caregivers to Keep Families Together, Children Out of Foster Care

Legislation is endorsed by nearly 100 criminal justice, civil rights and child welfare organizations Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., today introduced new legislation to create an alternative to incarceration for eligible parents and caregivers and provide them the resources they need so their children can stay safely at home instead of entering the foster care system. The Finding Alternatives to Mass Incarceration: Lives Improved by … Continue Reading


November 17, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Statement on Klamath Dam Removal

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley released the following statement on today's Klamath Dam announcement by Oregon and California: "Oregon and California have made the best of a bad situation forced upon the two states when FERC upset the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement dam removal process with an unexpected and unwelcome ruling last summer," said Wyden and Merkley. "We're glad to see the states step up and all the parties that signed the Klamath settlement … Continue Reading


November 17, 2020

Oregon Delegation Urges FEMA to Assume 100 Percent Cost Share for Wildfire Impacts

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's entire congressional delegation is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assume 100 percent of the cost share for debris removal and emergency protective measures from the wildfires that ripped through the state this year. The letter to FEMA from U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader comes in support of a similar state cost-share request. "As you saw when … Continue Reading


November 11, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Armed Services Leaders to Rename Military Bases and Other Assets Honoring the Confederacy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are urging Senate and House Armed Services leaders to retain a bipartisan measure that would require military installations and assets honoring the Confederacy and Confederate officers to be renamed within the next three years. The letter from Wyden, Merkley and 35 of their colleagues to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees comes as those Armed Services leaders begin the final … Continue Reading


November 09, 2020

Wyden Statement on Oregon Unemployment Benefits Backlog

Washington, D.C.-Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on the Oregon Employment Department's commitment to resolve the unemployment benefits backlog by the end of the year: "The Oregon Employment Department told me that the agency is finally getting on track to resolve the thousands of claims currently in the adjudication backlog by the end of the year. This is a real commitment to help Oregonians who have been struggling for months to pay rent and buy groceries. … Continue Reading


November 09, 2020

Wyden Statement on the Appointment of Chris Miller to Head DoD

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today made the following statement regarding the appointment of Chris Miller as the acting secretary of defense. Wyden previously opposed Miller's nomination to the National Counterterrorism Center: "Donald Trump fired someone who wouldn't order U.S. troops to attack peaceful protesters and is replacing him with someone he may think will carry out those orders. I opposed Chris Miller's nomination earlier this year, because he refused to promise that intelligence … Continue Reading


November 05, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce $3.2 Million in Federal Investments to Help Agricultural Producers in Oregon Develop, Market New Innovations Funding is headed to 15 businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development is allocating $3.2 million among 15 agricultural producers in Oregon, helping businesses develop and market new products. "Agricultural innovation has long played an essential role to the vitality of rural economies throughout our state," said Merkley, who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the … Continue Reading


November 04, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Housing Authorities to Receive $2.3 Million in COVID-19 Aid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that Clackamas, Douglas, Polk, Wasco and Clatsop counties will receive about $2.3 million to help residents with housing choice vouchers during COVID-19. "Heading into winter when temperatures drop and with the battle ongoing against coronavirus, these housing resources are timely and essential to keep Oregonians safe and housed," Wyden said. "I'm gratified this help has been secured for Clackamas, Douglas, Polk, Wasco and … Continue Reading


November 03, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce $3 Million Energy Investment in Umatilla County

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Umatilla Electric Cooperation Association has received a $3 million federal loan to finance major energy efficiency upgrades that will reduce energy waste and cut costs for residents of Umatilla County. The 20 year loan is being administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP)-a program designed by Senator Merkley to allow rural electric co-ops to … Continue Reading


November 02, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Walden Announce Official Signing of Critical Fix to Help Klamath Irrigators

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representative Greg Walden (R-OR-2), today announced that a critically needed fix to the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)-which will provide relief to Klamath Basin irrigators who have been hard-hit by drought-has been signed into law. "Between this year's unprecedented wildfires, a severe drought, and the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis-this has been a difficult time for the … Continue Reading

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