Press Releases

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 Outdated regulations, however, limit … Continue Reading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

January 03, 2019

Wyden, Blumenauer Applaud Inclusion of Vote-By-Mail in House Reform Bill; Reintroduce Flagship Vote-By-Mail Bill in House and Senate

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer today re-introduced their bill to expand Oregon-style vote-by-mail nationwide and knock down the mounting obstacles that voters across the country are facing, just to cast their ballots. The House of Representatives included a portion of the Wyden-Blumenauer bill in House Resolution 1, a package of pro-democratic reforms released today. "The House is doing the right thing by recognizing the value of vote-by-mail and the … Continue Reading

December 19, 2018

Wyden Secures Improved Wildfire Resiliency and Protections for Oregon Wildlands and Rivers in Bipartisan Public Lands Legislation

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden announced tonight that he secured several critical measures for Oregon-including improved flexibility for hazardous fuels reduction efforts and protections for wilderness and wild and scenic rivers-in a bipartisan package of public lands legislation that U.S. Senate leadership guarantees will be voted on by the full Senate in January. "The management of our public lands is nothing to mess around with - it impacts public safety, our local and regional … Continue Reading

December 19, 2018

Wyden on Latest Facebook Privacy Scandal: When Companies Repeatedly Lie To the Public And Congress, Congress Must Act to Protect Americans’ Privacy

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called for Congress to pass strong privacy legislation in response to the latest privacy scandal at Facebook, revealed in today's New York Times. "Mark Zuckerberg had a lot of chutzpah telling Congress that Americans could control their data, when seemingly every other week Facebook faces a new privacy scandal for abusing our personal information. "Sheryl Sandberg told me that personal privacy is a matter of national security, while we now know … Continue Reading

December 18, 2018

Oregon Members Announce AVA Designation for Van Duzer Corridor

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05), along with Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), announced the designation of Oregon's Van Duzer Corridor as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) this month. "Receiving the AVA designation is huge for our Oregon wineries and vineyards in their ability to grow in and beyond the region," said Schrader. "This kind of recognition helps solidify the Corridor's place on the map. I'd … Continue Reading

December 17, 2018

Wyden Asks FCC to Adopt New Three-Digit Number for Mental Health and Suicide Support

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt a new three-digit phone number for those needing mental health and suicide support. Wyden noted in his letter to the FCC that suicide rates are rising nationally with the Centers for Disease Control reporting more than 40,000 Americans died by suicide last year. And unfortunately, according to Mental Health America, Oregon ranks poorly among states for prevalence of mental illness for … Continue Reading

December 14, 2018

Wyden, Merkley & Colleagues File Amicus Brief As Part Of Litigation Against Trump’s Illegal Asylum Ban

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have filed an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit filed by six asylum seekers in the D.C. District Court challenging the legality of Donald Trump's Presidential Proclamation and rule effectively barring all asylum claims outside of ports of entry. The Oregon senators on Thursday joined Sens. Patrick Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris to argue in their court filing as part of O.A. v. Trump that … Continue Reading

December 13, 2018

Wyden, Crapo Introduce Legislation to Provide Much-Needed Certainty for Secure Rural Schools Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, today introduced legislation to provide much-needed financial certainty for rural counties to ensure they have the long-term funding needed for schools, road maintenance, law enforcement and other essential services. The bipartisan Forest Management for Rural Stability Act makes the Secure Rural Schools program-which expired at the end of FY 2018-permanent by creating an endowment fund to provide stable, increasing … Continue Reading

December 12, 2018

Wyden, Tester Lead Charge to Overturn Administration’s Controversial Dark Money Rule

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) led the charge today to repeal a controversial new rule allowing dark money groups to hide the identities of their donors. After the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced in July that they would no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations to report the names of their major donors to the IRS, Wyden and Tester introduced a Resolution of Disapproval … Continue Reading

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

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