Press Releases

January 30, 2019

Wyden, Merkley, Crapo, Risch, Manchin, Murkowski Urge Feds to Deliver SRS Payments ASAP

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and James Risch, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski today urged federal officials to deliver Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments as quickly as possible in the aftermath of the government shutdown. In their bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Acting Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt, the senators said rural residents in their states are concerned … Continue Reading

January 30, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Announce Central Oregon Non-Profit to Get $1.1 Million Grant

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Heart of Oregon Corps, Inc. in Bend will receive a $1.1 million federal grant to help at-risk students with education and training. The U.S. Department of Labor grant will go toward the central Oregon non-profit’s YouthBuild program. YouthBuild uses pre-apprenticeships to help young people considered at risk complete high school or state equivalency degree programs, earn industry-recognized credentials … Continue Reading

January 28, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Call for Investigation into Conditions of Migrant Children Detained at Southern Border

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley recently joined 20 of their Democratic colleagues in calling on the federal Government Accountability Office's (GAO) Comptroller General to investigate conditions of children detained by the Customs and Border Patrol Agency (CBP), following the death of two migrant children at the Southern border last year. "We believe it is imperative that your office open an investigation not only into the circumstances of these two … Continue Reading

January 28, 2019

Wyden, Blumenauer Urge Regulators to Help Oregon Craft Beverage Industry in Shutdown Aftermath

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer today pressed federal regulators to turn their attention immediately to processing applications from Oregon's craft brewers, vintners, cider makers, and distillers. In their letter to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the Oregon lawmakers noted that the 35-day partial government shutdown halted TTB's processing of vital applications, generating a backlog of applications for these job-creating … Continue Reading

January 28, 2019

Wyden, Bipartisan Group of Senators Urge Administration to Pay Federal Workers Affected by the Shutdown Immediately

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined a bipartisan letter with 28 of his colleagues to Margaret M. Weichert, Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), urging the Trump administration to provide back pay for federal workers as soon as possible. "More than 800,000 federal workers have gone without pay because the government shutdown locked them out of their jobs or required them to work without pay. These workers need to know now when they will … Continue Reading

January 25, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Introduce Legislation to Crack Down on Foreign Countries that Help Alleged Criminals Escape Accountability in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today introduced two new pieces of legislation that would impose significant consequences on foreign consulates that help their citizens escape legal accountability within the U.S. Merkley and Wyden's legislation follows investigative reporting by the Oregonian that found Saudi consular officials within the U.S. helped Abdulrahmeen Sameer Noorah, a Saudi national, escape the U.S. soon before his trial. Noorah was charged with … Continue Reading

January 24, 2019

Wyden Introduces Bill to Help Federal Workers During Shutdown

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced legislation that would ensure federal employees can have access to money from their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) without penalty during the government shutdown. The Emergency Relief for Federal Workers Act of 2019 would waive penalties and contribution prohibitions as a result of financial hardship during the shutdown. "This Trump shutdown was wrong from the get-go, and the hundreds of thousands of workers going without paychecks shouldn't … Continue Reading

January 24, 2019

Wyden, Crapo Lead Bipartisan Bill to Make Rail Investment Tax Credit Permanent

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) today introduced the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which would make permanent a critical tax credit used to repair and upgrade short line and regional railroads in Oregon and nationwide. "Short line and regional railroads provide an essential economic link for small manufacturers and communities in Oregon and across the nation," said Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance … Continue Reading

January 24, 2019

Senators Call on FCC and FTC to Investigate How Wireless Carriers Sold American’s Mobile Phone Locations To Data Brokers, Bounty Hunters and Shady Middlemen

Washington, D.C. -A group of 15 senators today called on the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission to investigate how wireless carriers allowed third parties - including data brokers and bounty hunters - to track Americans' cell phones without consent. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Amy … Continue Reading

January 24, 2019

Oregon Members Call for Unemployment Insurance for All Federal Employees

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Kurt Schrader, along with Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, and Peter DeFazio, sent a letter today to the Department of Labor asking to make clear that federal employees deemed "essential" or "excepted" may be eligible for unemployment insurance. The Members wrote: "The 2013 Employment and Training Administration (ETA) guidance memo […] states that 'essential' or 'excepted' federal workers may be ineligible … Continue Reading

January 23, 2019

Wyden Seeks Information on Trump Shutdown Impact on Federal Protections From Robocallers and Scammers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today joined with a dozen senators to ask federal officials how the shutdown is impeding the ability of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect American consumers from robocallers and scammers. The letter from Wyden and other senators to the FTC comes in the wake of a report by The Washington Post that the government shutdown could cause illegal and scamming robocalls to rise dramatically because the FTC was not funded, thus unable to administer … Continue Reading

January 23, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Join Push To Protect Dreamer Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that they are cosponsoring the Protect DREAMer Confidentiality Act of 2019, a bill to safeguard the private information-such as addresses and telephone numbers-of the young immigrants known as Dreamers to ensure they are not targeted by the Trump Administration for deportation. "Dreamers are American in every way that counts," said Merkley. "They trusted the government when they came out of the shadows to enroll … Continue Reading

January 17, 2019

Wyden, Cornyn Introduce Bill to Exempt Trafficking Survivors’ Restitution from Federal Taxes

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Or) and John Cornyn today introduced the Human Trafficking Survivor Tax Relief Act, which would exempt civil damages, restitution, and other monetary awards given to human trafficking survivors from federal income taxes. "Human trafficking survivors are faced with unfair and unnecessary obstacles when trying to seek justice against their abusers," said Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. "This legislation ends tax penalties on … Continue Reading

January 17, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Join Colleagues to Introduce Legislation to Raise the Minimum Wage

Washington, D.C. - Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined House and Senate colleagues to introduce legislation to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 in 2024. The Raise Wage Act of 2019 would also index future minimum wage increases to median wage growth and ensure all workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities. "There are hardworking Americans who just simply … Continue Reading

January 16, 2019

William Barr Has Endorsed Unchecked Surveillance By the Government, Wyden Warns in Senate Speech

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today spoke on the Senate floor to warn his colleagues about Attorney General nominee William Barr's dangerously broad views about government surveillance. "Based on his own testimony, it is clear that Mr. Barr has fundamental problems with the Fourth Amendment, or at least its application to anything that the President might unilaterally decide involves national security. He believes that if the government determines that there is a threat, there's … Continue Reading

January 16, 2019

Wyden Urges Probe of Big Canadian Subsidies to Aerial Firefighting Companies

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today asked the U.S. Forest Service to investigate reports that Canada is unfairly subsidizing its aerial firefighting industry, endangering wildfire readiness in Oregon and the West as well as putting U.S. competitors at an unjust disadvantage for wildfire work. Wyden noted in his letter for U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen that these concerns raise urgent questions because responses are due this month to the Forest Service's Request for … Continue Reading

January 15, 2019

Wyden Urges Feds to Clear Up Health Care Coverage Questions for Employees Furloughed in Trump Shutdown

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today asked federal officials to clear up conflicting health care coverage information provided federal employees furloughed by the shutdown. In Wyden's letter to Margaret Weichert, Acting Director for the Office of Personnel Management, the senator wrote that health insurance concerns raised by Oregonians are urgent for federal workers and their families. "Today, January 15, 2019, the President's shutdown of the federal government has entered its 25th … Continue Reading

January 15, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Urge FDA to Update Regulations to Ensure U.S. Producers and Consumers Have Access to CBD, Other Hemp-Derived Products

Washington, D.C. - Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update federal regulations governing the use of certain hemp-derived ingredients in food, beverages or dietary supplements. Congress legalized the production and sale of industrial hemp and hemp derivatives, including hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), when it passed Wyden and Merkley's Hemp Farming Act as a provision included in the 2018 Farm Bill. Outdated regulations, however, limit … Continue Reading

January 10, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Back Measure to Give Medicare Drug Negotiating Power

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., this week introduced a bill that will allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for the 43 million seniors who participate in Medicare Part D. "Medicare should be able to use its massive bargaining power to lower seniors' drug prices. It's high time to rein in the drug industry's arbitrary, profit-driven pricing power and protect Americans from the ever-increasing cost of prescriptions," Wyden said. "Too often, … Continue Reading

January 09, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Co-sponsor Expanded Gun Background Check Bill

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week co-sponsored legislation that would expand federal background checks to all gun sales. The Background Check Expansion Act would fix federal law that unlicensed or private sellers are not required to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm. "Students, parents and teachers throughout Oregon ask me often during town halls and other meetings why Congress can't come together to reduce gun violence with … Continue Reading

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