Press Releases

December 12, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Urge FAA to Implement and Improve Airport Contract Tower Program

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement a provision in this year's FAA spending bill that would allow airports that utilize the contract tower program to become eligible for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants from the small airport fund. In a bipartisan letter to FAA Acting Administrator Daniel K. Ewells, Merkley, Wyden and 33 other senators stressed that this provision will enhance air … Continue Reading

December 11, 2018

Wyden Secures Critical Provisions in Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced that he secured several critical measures in the 2018 Farm Bill, including provisions to legalize industrial hemp, help hop growers and provide drought relief to Oregon farmers. The Farm Bill was passed by the full Senate today and now advances U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. "Rural Oregon communities can grow stronger with this bill's big wins for hemp, hops and innovative opportunities in timber and agriculture," … Continue Reading

December 11, 2018

Wyden cheers passage of bill to boost maternal health care

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today celebrated passage of a bill he co-sponsored that would encourage more maternity health care providers to work in rural or underserved areas where lack of access to this key health care puts expecting mothers at risk. "It's a national disgrace that more women die from pregnancy-related complications here than anywhere else in the developed world," Wyden said. "Too often, I hear from Oregonians in rural and underserved areas about the … Continue Reading

December 11, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Expanded Collaborative Forest Investment Included in 2018 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the 2018 Farm Bill doubles the size of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) and extends it through 2023. This critical program, which helps fund collaborative and community-based forest management, has a proven track record of improving forest health, reducing wildfire risk, and supporting rural communities. In May, Merkley and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) led a bipartisan group of … Continue Reading

December 11, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Mass Wood Products Provisions Included in 2018 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that provisions of the Timber Innovation Act areincluded in the 2018 Farm Bill, supporting the development of mass timber products for building construction. In May, Merkley co-led a letter with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) which urged the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to include the Timber Innovation Act in the 2018 Farm Bill. Other cosigners included Sens. Wyden, James Risch (R-ID), Amy … Continue Reading

December 11, 2018

Wyden Statement on Hemp Legalization

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced his legislation to legalize industrial hemp is included in the final Farm Bill legislation released last night. The Farm Bill now must be voted on by both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Wyden worked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to ensure their bipartisan Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was included in the final Farm Bill. The Hemp Farming Act clearly defines hemp as an agricultural commodity and … Continue Reading

December 07, 2018

Wyden Statement On Expected Nomination of William Barr for Attorney General

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement on Donald Trump's announcement he will nominate William Barr to serve as Attorney General: "Donald Trump is nominating a man whose writings endorse the antidemocratic notion that the president is effectively royalty, unaccountable to laws, the Constitution, or constraint by Congress. William Barr has defended the firing of FBI Director James Comey, backed Trump's calls for investigations of political rivals, supported … Continue Reading

December 07, 2018

Wyden Urges Protection of Text Messages from Unreasonable Blocking and Discrimination

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to classify text messaging as a telecommunications service. During its open meeting on Dec. 12, the FCC will vote on a proposed declaratory ruling classifying text messaging as an information service, which would permit telephone carriers to block text messages to favor their own texting services and stifle free speech. In 2007, Verizon Wireless blocked mass text messages from Naral Pro-Choice … Continue Reading

December 07, 2018

Wyden Praises Senate Vote on “Compact Migrants”

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden praised yesterday's Senate passage of a bipartisan bill clarifying that citizens of three former U.S. territories now living in the United States can qualify for important identification documents such as driver's licenses. The bill, H.R, 3398, covers more than 30,000 citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau -- including an estimated several thousand living in Oregon. The affected … Continue Reading

December 07, 2018

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Endangered Salmon and Steelhead Passes Senate Without Objection

Washington, D.C. - Critical, bipartisan legislation led by U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to protect Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed salmon and steelhead from extinction has passed the Senate without objection. The entire Northwest Senate delegation, including U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) have cosponsored S.3119, the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act, emphasizing how critical this … Continue Reading

December 07, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Protect Small Businesses From Burdensome Internet Sales Tax Collection Requirement

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced a bill that would prevent new red tape from being imposed as soon as Jan. 1, 2019 on small businesses as a result of the Supreme Court ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. That Supreme Court ruling in June overturned precedent, letting states collect sales tax from out-of-state businesses. This new burden will hurt small businesses, which lack the resources to navigate collecting sales taxes for more than 10,000 … Continue Reading

December 06, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Urge FDA to Go Further In Combatting Youth Tobacco Use

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act quickly to implement plans to ban flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes. In a letter sent this week by Wyden, Merkley and 19 other senators to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the lawmakers also ask Gottlieb to follow the FDA's recent efforts to address rising youth e-cigarette use with additional steps. The lawmakers call for ending the marketing of all tobacco products to … Continue Reading

December 06, 2018

Merkley, Wyden, DeFazio Announce Major Federal Grants for Oregon Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Congressman Peter DeFazio, today announced that the federal Department of Transportation is awarding two major grants to Oregon ports. The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants will go to the Port of Morrow and the Port of Coos Bay. The Port of Morrow in Boardman, OR, will receive $19.4 million, while the Port of Coos Bay will receive $20 million, both for rail investments. "This is … Continue Reading

December 05, 2018

Wyden Calls on Senate Colleagues to Oppose FERC Nominee

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today on the Senate floor urged his colleagues to oppose the nomination of Bernard L. McNamee to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the FERC or the Commission). Video of the floor speech is available here. In his speech, Wyden expressed serious concerns over McNamee's role in developing the U.S. Department of Energy policy that would have reached into American household budgets to pad the pockets of coal and nuclear … Continue Reading

December 05, 2018

Wyden Presses Justice Department on Whitaker, Benczkowski Conflicts of Interest

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is asking the Department of Justice to detail its handling of the serious financial, professional, and political conflicts of interest of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Brian Benczkowski. In a letter this week signed by 10 other senators, Wyden noted that the two officials' activities before arriving at the Justice Department present ethical concerns that agency ethics officials have … Continue Reading

December 03, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Demand Trump Revoke Illegal Proclamation Targeting Asylum Seekers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined their colleagues in calling on Donald Trump to immediately revoke an illegal Presidential Proclamation that would drastically limit the ability of refugees to claim asylum. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar recently granted a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the Proclamation, which directly contradicts existing statute. "There is overwhelming evidence that this Proclamation is plainly illegal. Our immigration … Continue Reading

November 30, 2018

Wyden Calls for Assistance for Winegrape Growers Threatened by Wildfire Smoke Related Losses

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged colleagues to provide additional federal assistance for winegrape growers facing serious losses from wildfire smoke damage. In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee leadership, Wyden requested that any year-end funding bill include an extension of the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program to provide a measure of compensation for winegrape growers and other producers affected by natural disasters. Wyden also requested … Continue Reading

November 28, 2018

Congress Sends Wyden, Merkley Earthquake Resilience Act to President’s Desk

Washington, D.C. - The House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to improve earthquake preparedness in Oregon and nationwide. The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act modernizes earthquake-safety programs that help states prepare for and respond to earthquakes. "Being as prepared as we can be for natural disasters is the name of the game. When the West Coast is struck by a large earthquake it is … Continue Reading

November 28, 2018

Wyden, Crapo Lead Bipartisan call to Reauthorize Secure Rural Schools Funding in Year-end Legislation

WASHINGTON - Citing the importance of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today led a bipartisan call with 23 of their Senate colleagues calling for a one-year reauthorization of the program in any year-end funding measures. "Over the last nearly two decades, SRS has been a critical lifeline for over 775 counties in over 40 states across the country by helping fund more than 4,400 schools, road maintenance, law enforcement, and search … Continue Reading

November 27, 2018

Wyden, Heinrich, Reed Introduce Bill Requiring Public Report on Khashoggi Murder by Saudi Arabia

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., introduced legislation today requiring a public report on the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, following Donald Trump's announcement that his administration will not respond to Khashoggi's killing by Saudi officials. "Bowing to the Saudi government over the murder of a Washington Post columnist is unacceptable for any American president, let alone one who claims to put … Continue Reading

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