Press Releases

September 17, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Demand Answers from Census Bureau on How They Will Ensure Fair Count, Accurate Apportionment of Congressional Representation in Census

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with 18 of their Senate colleagues, are calling on the Census Bureau to provide more details on how they plan to use data from the 2020 Census to apportion congressional representation. This comes after multiple attempts by President Trump to interfere in the count for political purposes, as well as the limitations on conducting the census in full during the coronavirus pandemic. "With the president's … Continue Reading


September 17, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: The Next President Can and Should Cancel Up To $50,000 In Student Loan Debt Immediately

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced a resolution outlining a bold plan for the next president to use existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers. "The loan debt weighing down so many students and their families in Oregon and nationwide has only gotten harder in 2020 with lives and livelihoods devastated by COVID-19 and now wildfires in our state," Wyden said. "This … Continue Reading


September 17, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Feinstein, Murray, Harris Introduce Disaster Tax Relief Bill

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Senator Patty Murray, D-Wa., and Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., today introduced legislation to provide tax relief to individuals, businesses and states affected by catastrophic wildfires and other presidentially-declared disasters. Representative Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives. "The … Continue Reading


September 16, 2020

Wyden's Legislation to Boost Economic Development in Malheur County Gets Hearing

Washington, D.C. - A key Senate subcommittee today held a hearing on U.S. Senator Ron Wyden's legislation to provide Malheur County with several economic development opportunities by maintaining and improving rangeland to support local ranchers and protecting the Owyhee River Canyonlands and surrounding public lands for recreation and wildlife habitat. "This bill is extraordinarily important to rural Oregon and Malheur County, where the Owyhee flows and attracts thousands of visitors each … Continue Reading


September 16, 2020

Oregon Delegation Announces Federal Public Health Emergency for Oregon as Smoke Continues to Blanket State

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader, and Suzanne Bonamici, today announced that U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has granted the delegation's request for a public health emergency declaration for the state of Oregon. The public health emergency comes as smoke from unprecedented wildfires continues to blanket the state, and most of Oregon is suffering … Continue Reading


September 16, 2020

Oregon Delegation Announces Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Oregon Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici, announced that the White House has approved the state of Oregon's request for a Major Disaster Declaration in response to unprecedented and dangerous wildfires that are affecting every corner of the state. The Senators and Representatives had pushed on Monday for the declaration to be granted, immediately … Continue Reading


September 16, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Housing Authorities to Receive Nearly $3 Million in COVID-19 Aid

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Jackson, Yamhill, Linn and Benton counties will receive about $2.97 million to help residents with housing choice vouchers during COVID-19. "With the ongoing economic and public health wallop of COVID-19 now compounded by wildfires threatening so many Oregonians, these housing funds are especially timely," Wyden said. "I'm glad these resources have been secured for Oregonians and I will keep fighting to make sure that … Continue Reading


September 16, 2020

DeFazio, Merkley Lead Oregon Delegation in Introducing Legislation to Reduce Financial Burdens on States and Communities Facing Emergencies and Major Disasters, including Wildfires and Hurricanes, amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON-Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Jeff Merkley led Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Greg Walden (OR-02) and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) in introducing legislation to increase the Federal cost share of certain Federal disaster assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This legislation, the "FEMA Assistance Relief Act of 2020," would … Continue Reading


September 16, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $2 Million in Grants for Critical Columbia River Basin Restoration Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that over $2 million in grants are headed to Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Washington to support restoration projects critical to the health of the Columbia River Basin. The funding includes over $800,000 in grants for six organizations and government agencies in Oregon, which will use the grants for a wide variety of projects aimed at assessing and reducing the presence of toxins in the watershed. "Our rivers … Continue Reading


September 15, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Schrader, Axelrod Successfully Push West Linn Post Office to Remain Open into 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Representative Kurt Schrader and West Linn Mayor Russ Axelrod, today announced that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) building in West Linn will remain open through February, ensuring that West Linn customers will have access to the building's services through the November general election and holiday peak mail season. The announcement follows a push from the lawmakers to delay a USPS move, as the agency looks for a new … Continue Reading


September 15, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Call on FCC Chairman to Expeditiously Address the Digital Divide in Indian Country

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are calling on federal officials to expedite broadband connectivity to Native communities to improve access to telemedicine, online education, teleworking opportunities and other critical services in Oregon and nationwide during the pandemic. "We are concerned that under your leadership the Commission has not done enough to bridge the digital divide on Native lands, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 national health emergency,'' … Continue Reading


September 15, 2020

Wyden, Colleagues Call on Postmaster General to Immediately Reverse Operational Changes to the U.S. Postal Service Causing Delays of Critical Medications to Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-MI), Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Special Committee on Aging Ranking Member Bob Casey (D-PA), and Committee on Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) led 30 of their Senate Colleagues in a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy calling on him to immediately reverse all … Continue Reading


September 15, 2020

Wyden Leads Resolution to Make September National Voting Rights Month

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today introduced a resolution with Congressman Marc Veasey, D-Texas, to designate September as "National Voting Rights Month." The resolution will encourage voter registration in the month of September, and push for the security of our electoral system and stronger protections to ensure people in Oregon and across the nation can safely vote amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. "The principle that every American has the right to choose our leaders by … Continue Reading


September 15, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon to Get $5 Million Emergency Transportation Grant for Wildfire Response

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon is receiving an emergency $5 million federal grant to help with the repair and reconstruction of highways and roads on federal lands affected by the wildfires. "The wildfires devastating our state have left a wide trail of destruction that demands federal assistance to help Oregonians recover and rebound from this disaster," Wyden said. "Much more federal aid is needed to provide a comprehensive response to … Continue Reading


September 15, 2020

Oregon Delegation Urges Oregon Secretary of State to Immediately Develop Plans for Displaced Oregonians to Receive Mail-In Ballots

WASHINGTON-Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-4) today led Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Greg Walden (OR-02) and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) in urging Oregon Secretary of State Beverly Clarno to immediately develop and roll out plans for displaced Oregonians to receive and return their mail-in ballots for the 2020 election. The lawmakers write, "The devastating wildfires burning in our congressional districts and across … Continue Reading


September 14, 2020

Oregon Members Push Trump Administration to Issue Public Health Emergency As Hazardous Smoke Blankets Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, today urged Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to declare the wildfires in Oregon a public health emergency-a move that better equips the state to respond to the disaster by freeing up resources and granting much-needed administrative flexibility. "Air quality and smoke produced by the wildfires present a significant … Continue Reading


September 14, 2020

Wyden Makes the Case for Congress to Get Serious About Fire Prevention as Destructive Wildfires Continue to Rage in Oregon and the West

Senators, my home state of Oregon is on fire. Virtually all of Oregon is choking on smoke. Countless thousands of Oregonians are under evacuation orders. Many are quite literally fleeing for their lives and abandoning their homes as the flames approach. When I was home this weekend, I saw entire communities burned to ash. Thousands of Oregonians have lost everything - their homes, businesses and lifelong memories. Several people have already perished, and the death toll is expected to rise as … Continue Reading


September 14, 2020

Oregon Delegation Pushes for Major Disaster Declaration As Wildfires’ Toll Grows

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's entire bipartisan Congressional delegation, including Representative Peter DeFazio, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader, and Suzanne Bonamici, today requested rapid approval of Oregon Governor Kate Brown's request for major disaster relief amid unprecedented wildfire damage across the state. "This year, more than 1 million acres of land in Oregon have been burned, and at least ten Oregonians have … Continue Reading


September 14, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Communities to Get $22.4 Million in COVID-19 Aid for Housing

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today said communities across Oregon will receive $22.4 million to help households facing higher risk of eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. "The economic challenges of this public health crisis have slammed Oregonians, many of whom are now facing the added and ongoing threat of wildfires bearing down on their communities," Wyden said. "I'm gratified these funds will be available to help Oregon families to make rent and stay in their … Continue Reading


September 14, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Join Democratic Colleagues, Grassroots Coalition in Announcing Economic Renewal Agenda

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined dozens of colleagues and a national coalition of grassroots groups; labor unions; Black, Brown and Indigenous leaders to introduce a bold plan for economic renewal in Oregon and across the nation - the Agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy, or THRIVE Agenda. "While progress has been made over the years, significant work remains to achieve true equality and justice for all," Wyden said. … Continue Reading

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