Press Releases

August 03, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Ask for Updated Wildfire Impact Study in Oregon

WASHINGTON- Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked Travel Oregon to update its 2017 wildfire study to capture the additional impact of this year's wildfires on the normally robust outdoor recreation and tourism economy in Oregon. The senators said the agency's previous research on the impact of the 2017 wildfires was very helpful and that an update incorporating this year's wildfires affecting the Rogue and Deschutes Rivers would help raise awareness of the more recent wildfires on the … Continue Reading

August 03, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Protect Vulnerable National Forests

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week introduced legislation to permanently protect the nation's most pristine federal forests from reckless and inappropriate development that threatens the supply of clean drinking water and critical habitats for endangered species. "The Trump administration continues to use every tool in its arsenal to undermine environmental protections for America's public lands," Wyden said. "This bill will safeguard our national forests … Continue Reading

August 03, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Resolution to Protect Fuel Economy Standards, Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined their colleagues in introducing a resolution to protect states' rights to set their own fuel and greenhouse gas emission standards. "While the Trump administration flippantly ignores the clear dangers of climate change, states like Oregon are leading the way with bold action to ensure an efficient, low-carbon energy future," Wyden said. "This Trump decision is nothing short of an attack on states' freedom to … Continue Reading

August 02, 2018

Wyden, Paul Request Investigation of “Technical Irregularities” in NSA Metadata Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., today asked a government watchdog to investigate the circumstances that led the National Security Agency to delete hundreds of millions of telephone records, following the discovery the agency improperly received records. "When Congress passed the USA FREEDOM Act and ended the bulk collection of Americans' phone records, it expected that mass surveillance would be replaced by a carefully controlled system that only … Continue Reading

August 02, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Seek Federal Disaster Declaration for Sherman, Wasco and Jefferson counties

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked the U.S. Agriculture Department to designate Sherman, Wasco and Jefferson counties as agricultural disaster areas in the wake of recent wildfires. The Oregon senators' request came in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in support of the same request by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. "As you are well aware, having worked with us over the years on wildfire funding, the effects of fires can be devastating on these rural … Continue Reading

August 01, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Ensure LGBTQ Americans are Counted in Census

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced legislation that would require the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure the approximately 10 million Americans who identify as LGBTQ are properly counted in Census data collection. "Despite the progress our country has made, LGBTQ Americans are still facing discrimination in many aspects of their lives, including employment, housing and the justice system," Wyden said. "While the Trump administration continues to … Continue Reading

August 01, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Announce Nearly $9 Million in Housing Aid for Oregon

Washington, D.C. - Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Clackamas and Washington counties as well as the cities of Beaverton and Hillsboro will receive nearly $9 million in federal grants for housing assistance. The grants are aimed at providing help for low- and moderate-income people, assisting people trying to find permanent housing after experiencing homelessness and expanding the housing supply for low-income families. "Increasing housing prices have walloped … Continue Reading

July 31, 2018

Wyden, Nadler, Coons, Markey, Booker Ask GAO to Study Commercial and Government Use of Facial Recognition

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., with Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., today asked the Government Accountability Office to study both commercial and government use of facial recognition to determine the potential market, uses, and possible abuses of the technology. "Given the recent advances in commercial facial recognition technology - and its expanded use by state, local, and … Continue Reading

July 27, 2018

Wyden, Merkley, Brown Again Seek Federal Wildfire Aid for Oregon Farmers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Gov. Kate Brown today asked federal officials to make some of the $12 billion promised American farmers in trade war relief also available to Oregon farmers devastated by recent wildfires. The letter from Wyden, Merkley and Brown to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue notes their request follows one they made last week asking Perdue to provide emergency assistance for Oregon farmers whose crops have been decimated by this summer's … Continue Reading

July 27, 2018

Wyden, Booker, Markey Question 39 Federal Law-Enforcement Agencies About Facial Recognition Policies

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., today sought details from 39 federal law-enforcement agencies about their use facial recognition technology, and what policies, if any, they have put in place to prevent abuse and misuse. "As [facial recognition] technologies have increased in availability and accuracy, and decreased in cost, we understand that as a law enforcement tool this technology would appear attractive," the senators wrote. … Continue Reading

July 26, 2018

Wyden, Blumenthal, Warren and Whitehouse Question Participants in 2015 NRA Delegation to Moscow

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., today requested information from reported participants in a 2015 delegation to Moscow arranged by the National Rifle Association. Maria Butina, who was recently charged by the Department of Justice with being a covert Russian agent, participated in the delegation and reportedly admitted funding at least portions of the trip. The senators wrote to … Continue Reading

July 26, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Call for Investigation of Justice Department Role in “Zero Tolerance” Immigration Policy

Washington, D.C.- Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged an investigation into the federal Department of Justice's role in the creation and implementation of the Trump Administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy. The Oregon senators joined U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 28 other senators in writing DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to request his office conduct its own review given the role DOJ played in the policy's creation and implementation. "In … Continue Reading

July 26, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Overturn Rule Protecting Dark Money Donors

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced legislation that would overturn a new controversial Treasury Department rule exempting nonprofit organizations from disclosing donor information The Spotlight Act would reverse the Treasury Department's decision that allows non-profit organization who engage in political activity to avoid disclosing certain donor information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Spotlight Act also requires these organizations to … Continue Reading

July 26, 2018

Wyden Pushes to Boost Women-Owned Businesses, Increase Access to Affordable Housing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today filed two pieces of legislation that would boost opportunities for women and minority entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, and increase access to affordable housing for low-income families. One of Wyden's amendments to the Senate spending bill would require financial institutions to provide data to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on lending to women and minority-owned businesses. That would help close the lending gap … Continue Reading

July 26, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Praise Eastern Oregon Forest Stewardship

Washington, D.C. - Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today encouraged federal officials to build upon the proven job and economic gains from the forest stewardship contract in the Malheur National Forest to create similar successes elsewhere in rural Oregon and nationwide. A long-term stewardship contract lets the government design projects that focus less on short-term economic gains and allows proceeds from timber sold to be reinvested into a healthier landscape. In a letter today to U.S. … Continue Reading

July 23, 2018

Wyden, Merkley announce $14 Million for Five Oregon Airports

Washington, D.C. - Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that airports in Hillsboro, Albany, Klamath Falls, Bend and Grants Pass will receive a combined $14.3 million in federal grants for facility improvements and aviation training. "Quality of life throughout Oregon requires secure and reliable movement of products and the people who transport those goods," Wyden said. "These transportation resources will help to provide much-needed safety and dependability improvements for … Continue Reading

July 20, 2018

Wyden, Merkley, Brown Make Urgent Request for Federal Emergency Aid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Gov. Kate Brown today asked federal officials to provide emergency aid for farmers affected by wildland fires raging in Oregon. The letter from Wyden, Merkley and Brown to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue comes as the Substation Fire is engulfing wheat fields in Wasco and Sherman County and nearly 200 lightning-start fires are burning in southern and central Oregon. "This type of fire has not been seen in decades and has done … Continue Reading

July 20, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Oppose Trump Administration’s Rollback of Environmental Protections for Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today joined their Senate colleagues in opposing the Trump administration's proposed rollback of environmental regulations that enhance the safety of offshore drilling operations. In a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Zinke, the senators wrote that administration's proposal would erode key safety and environmental regulations, which require the oil and gas industry to meet minimum standards when drilling. Those essential … Continue Reading

July 19, 2018

Wyden Statement on Withdrawal of Ryan Bounds Nomination

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden issued the following statement after Senate Republican leadership today withdrew the nomination of Ryan Bounds for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: "I am gratified that the Senate has come to its senses and that long-time, proven practices of bipartisanship for judicial nominations have prevailed over partisan efforts to force through a deeply flawed and compromised nominee," Wyden said. "I want Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein and the … Continue Reading

July 18, 2018

Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Stop Trump Administration from Detaining and Shackling Pregnant Women

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today he is co-sponsoring legislation that would protect the health and safety of pregnant women and young people in immigration detention. The Stop Shackling and Detaining Pregnant Women Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) would reinstitute the Obama-era policy that presumed the release of pregnant women and youth from immigration custody. The Trump administration had secretly ended the policy last year before announcing its new policy … Continue Reading

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