Press Releases

December 16, 2019

Pacific Northwest Delegation Announces House Passage of Bill to Improve Safety and Sanitation at Columbia River Tribal Fishing Sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), along with Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), today announced that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty Fishing Access Sites Improvement Act, sending it to the president's desk to be signed into law. The legislation would enable the Bureau of Indian Affairs to make … Continue Reading

December 16, 2019

Wyden, Crapo, Merkley, Risch Announce Two-Year Authorization for Secure Rural Schools Program in End-of-Year Funding Package

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, today announced that a two-year authorization of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program is included in the end-of-year funding package that will be considered by Congress this week. This significant win for rural communities in the Northwest and nationwide follows calls from the senators to reauthorize the lapsed program and provide financial certainty for counties containing … Continue Reading

December 13, 2019

Wyden, Warren and Paul Ask Credit Reporting Agencies for Transparency About Their Handling of FBI Requests for Consumer Financial Data

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., yesterday sent letters to the Chief Executive Officers of the three major credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - regarding the companies' lack of transparency in their handling of consumer financial information requested through national security letters (NSLs) from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The letters follow the recent release of documents gained via a … Continue Reading

December 12, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Improve Water Quality and Services for Western Tribes

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today introduced legislation to improve water quality and services for tribal communities in Oregon. Native American tribes in Oregon and across the West are suffering from inadequate water infrastructure, with aging drinking water treatment and distribution systems subjecting these communities to serious problems such as failed pressure relief valves, burst pipes and unsafe drinking water. Wyden and Merkley's … Continue Reading

December 12, 2019

Merkley, Wyden, Democratic Senators Request Update on Federal Steps Towards Critical Medical Marijuana Research

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined six of their Democratic colleagues today in writing to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), to request an update on the issuance of manufacturing licenses necessary for the completion of long-awaited federal research on medical marijuana. The senators seek guidance on how the DEA will make these … Continue Reading

December 12, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Welcome Step Forward for Secure Rural Schools Program, Recreation Opportunities and Wildfire Prevention in Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today welcomed passage of legislation by the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to ensure much-needed funding for rural counties, as well as legislation to boost recreation opportunities in Southwestern Oregon and on the Molalla River in Clackamas County and strengthen wildfire prevention work in both of those regions. Both bills are now eligible to be considered by the full Senate. The Committee … Continue Reading

December 11, 2019

Wyden, Grassley Introduce Bill to Help Youth Aging Out of Foster Care System

Washington - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today introduced the Increasing Opportunities for Former Foster Youth Act, bipartisan legislation to improve services for older youth aging out of the foster care system. The Increasing Opportunities for Former Foster Youth Act builds on the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, created by Sen. John Chafee (R-R.I.) in 1999 to better support youth who age out of the foster care … Continue Reading

December 11, 2019

Merkley, Wyden: More Than $7.4 Million in USDA Funds Will Help Rural Oregon Save on Energy Costs

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced 17 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awards totaling more than $7.4 million for Oregon agricultural producers and rural small businesses to invest in renewable energy infrastructure that will help lower their monthly energy costs. The awards, which are allocated through USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), will provide 15 grants to install solar array systems, one grant to upgrade greenhouse vents … Continue Reading

December 10, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Resolution in Support of U.S. Commitment to Paris Climate Agreement

Washington, D.C. - As international negotiators continue discussions at the 25th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced a resolution to express support for the Paris climate agreement. The resolution notes the growing scientific urgency around the need for action to combat the climate crisis, and details the bold steps that states, municipalities and businesses are taking … Continue Reading

December 10, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Join Colleagues to Demand Aung San Suu Kyi Cooperate with International Court of Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined a bipartisan group of senators today in writing to Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to express their concern that she will publicly excuse the actions of the Burmese military, or Tatmadaw, at a meeting before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands. According to the United Nations Human Rights Council's Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, the military likely conducted … Continue Reading

December 10, 2019

Wyden, Merkley, Walden Welcome Good News on Large Air Tankers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden today welcomed news that the Forest Service has awarded "call when needed" (CWN) contracts to providers of wildfire-fighting large air tankers. In a September 2019 letter to Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen, the Oregon lawmakers had pressed the Forest Service to award the contracts, which had been issued for solicitation back in July 2018. CWN awards allow the Forest Service to put approved aircraft into … Continue Reading

December 09, 2019

Wyden, Sanders Demand More Accountability Following Pentagon’s Second Financial Audit

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., today released the following statement regarding the completion of the Pentagon's second financial audit: "The Pentagon has just completed its second full financial audit and the results look a lot like a Sergio Leone western: there's some good, some bad, and some ugly. "The good news is that the Pentagon was able to complete an audit for the second year in a row. We give David Norquist credit for putting the … Continue Reading

December 09, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Demand Stephen Miller’s Removal from the White House

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today joined 25 of their colleagues in a letter to Donald Trump demanding the immediate removal of Stephen Miller from his position as a White House senior adviser. The letter follows recent reports detailing over 900 e-mails, sent from Miller to far-right Breitbart News between 2015 and 2016, which confirm that Miller worked to advance white nationalist, anti-immigrant ideologies. In the letter, the senators connect the … Continue Reading

December 06, 2019

Wyden, Grassley Release Updated Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act, Reach Agreement on Health Extenders

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today released an updated version of their bipartisan Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 and announced that an agreement was reached to fund critical, expiring health care programs. "This agreement delivers even more savings to Americans, cracks down on the drug industry's tricks, and secures key health programs for years to come," Wyden said. "I'm proud of the … Continue Reading

December 05, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Demand HUD Address Radon Dangers in Public Housing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked federal housing regulators to explain why they have failed to protect tenants living in federally subsidized housing nationwide from the cancer-causing dangers of radon. Citing recent investigative reporting by The Oregonian about unaddressed radon hazards in Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) units, the Oregon senators asked the federal housing agency why it has not followed a 1988 law requiring HUD to deal … Continue Reading

December 05, 2019

Wyden and Leahy Request Ethics Investigation of AG Barr’s Approval of Illegal DEA Mass Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., today asked for an ethics investigation of Attorney General William Barr's decision to approve an illegal mass surveillance program by the Drug Enforcement Administration in a letter to the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility. Barr approved the DEA program in 1992, during his first stint as attorney general, without conducting any analysis of whether it was legal, according to an Inspector … Continue Reading

December 03, 2019

Wyden Welcomes Federal Banking Guidance for Hemp as Important Step for Oregon Farmers and Producers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, author of the legislation that legalized hemp production in 2018, released the following statement on clarifying guidance for banking and hemp-related businesses announced today by four federal financial regulators and the state bank regulators: "Hemp was legalized almost a year ago, yet Oregon farmers and producers have been forced to ride the roller coaster of uncertainty," Wyden said. "Slowly but surely federal regulators are starting to catch up, … Continue Reading

December 03, 2019

Wyden, Booker Demand Answers on Biased Health Care Algorithms

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., ) today called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and five of the largest health care companies in the nation to provide more information on how they are addressing bias in algorithms used in many health care systems. The series of letters follows recent revelations published in the journal Science that a widely-used software program severely underestimated the … Continue Reading

December 03, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Join Senate Democrats to Slam Trump Administration’s Walk Back from Strong Tobacco Regulation

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that they are joining Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and 20 of their Democratic Senate colleagues to call out the Trump administration's recent course reversal on a critical pledge to clear the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes. The Trump administration's abandonment of its proposed action to curb a growing youth vaping epidemic-which has claimed multiple lives and sickened hundreds of … Continue Reading

December 02, 2019

Wyden Sounds Alarm on Energy Nominee Vote as Questions Remain About Former Secretary Perry's Involvement in Ukraine Scandal

Madam President, here's what everybody needs to know before the vote coming up on the nominee to be Energy Secretary. First, Rick Perry, who until yesterday was the Energy Secretary, has refused to comply with a subpoena to testify about his involvement in the Trump-Ukraine scheme. Second, Acting Secretary Dan Brouillette, nominated to replace Perry, has failed to provide substantive answers to key questions about Perry's dealings with Ukranian state-owned energy company Naftogaz. Third, … Continue Reading

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