Press Releases

October 23, 2020

Wyden, Warren, Brown, Markey, Schatz Push for Investigation of CBP Phone Location Data Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, today requested an inspector general investigation into Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) warrantless tracking of phones in the United States. As revealed by public contracts, CBP has paid a government contractor named Venntel nearly half a million dollars for access to a commercial database containing location data mined from … Continue Reading


October 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Move to Block William Pendley’s Illegal Leadership at BLM: Don’t Tread on Our Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following William Perry Pendley's refusal to follow an order from a Federal district court judge to vacate his position as de facto Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined four of their Democratic colleagues in introducing legislation to immediately resolve the matter by barring the Department of Justice from appealing Pendley's case. The court has found that Pendley was illegally installed in his … Continue Reading


October 23, 2020

Wyden, Van Hollen, Davis Introduce Legislation to Improve Federal Programs to Promote Healthy Relationships and Financial Stability for Low-Income Families

WASHINGTON - Today, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Representative Danny Davis (D-Ill.) introduced legislation to make important improvements to our nation's child support program to ensure that low-income children and families get the financial support they need. The current child support program aims to ensure that all non-custodial parents contribute financially to their children. However, right now, if families receive … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, 135 Democratic Lawmakers to Senate and House Leadership: We Must Take Bold and Comprehensive Action to Prevent the Next Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with a group of 135 Democratic lawmakers to send a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to prioritize the development of comprehensive policy plans to prevent and mitigate the impact of future pandemics. In the letter, the lawmakers outline the steps necessary to prevent future pandemics while also noting that Congress must act to provide relief to Americans suffering from the current economic downturn … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

Wyden, Leahy, Schumer, Merkley Ask National Guard for Wildfire Readiness Assessment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today led colleagues in asking the National Guard for a report on its readiness to help states prepare, fight and recover from wildfires. In a letter to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson, the senators wrote, "As devastating fires of historic proportion continue to ravage the United States, we ask you to provide us an assessment of the … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Blumenauer, Bonamici Demand Answers From DOJ Following Prolonged Deputations of State and Local Law Enforcement Officers in Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1) today to press the Department of Justice (DOJ) for more information regarding the recent special deputation of state and local law enforcement officers in Oregon, which the DOJ now indicates will last for the remainder of the year against the wishes of local authorities. "Despite the temporary nature of the public safety emergency caused by … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

Wyden and Schumer: FBI Must Not Launch Political Investigations to Influence the Election

Washington, D.C. - The FBI must reject pressure from Donald Trump to announce investigations of Joe Biden or his family to influence the presidential election, or else it risks doing lasting harm to our democracy and national security, Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. Following a widely questioned article in the New York Post, that alleged to have obtained … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Denounce Trump Administration’s Historically Low Refugee Resettlement Goal

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today denounced the Trump administration's proposal to cap refugee admissions at 15,000 for Fiscal Year 2021-the lowest ceiling in the history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program -and urged the administration to restore refugee admissions to their long-standing historic average. "The United States has a long, bipartisan legacy of providing refugees protection through resettlement-prior to 2016 we resettled an average of more than … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge DeVos to Help 8.2 Million Federal Student Loan Borrowers Currently Unable to Access Relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are among 34 Senate Democrats urging Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to ensure all struggling federal student borrowers can gain access to crucial federal relief. Since March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has provided forbearance, waived interest, and halted collections for borrowers whose student loans were directly held by the U.S. Department of Education. But, according to new … Continue Reading


October 21, 2020

Wyden Calls for Disaster Assistance for Winegrape Growers Amid Destructive Wildfire Season

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked Senate appropriators to provide additional disaster assistance for winegrape growers devastated by smoke during this year's destructive wildfire season. In the 2019 disaster relief package, Congress provided $3 million through the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) for winegrowers whose grapes were damaged by wildfires in 2018 and 2019. Due to the fact that wildfires have burned millions of acres of land throughout … Continue Reading


October 21, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Co-sponsor Heroes Small Business Lifeline Act

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today co-sponsored a new comprehensive package of measures that would provide more than $370 billion to the hardest-hit, most vulnerable small businesses in Oregon and nationwide. Both senators said the HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act is a must to respond to the economic fallout of COVID-19 on small business, including minority-owned businesses and industries, such as restaurants and live venues. "Oregon is an overwhelmingly small … Continue Reading


October 19, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Feds Investing $7.2 Million for Affordable Rental Housing in Morrow, Tillamook and Yamhill Counties

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed more than $7.2 million in federal resources to renovate affordable housing units in Heppner, McMinnville, Newberg, and Tillamook. "Oregonians working hard to pay rent as well as their bills for groceries, prescription drugs and more know full well how the pandemic's economic fallout has worsened the longstanding challenge of affordable housing," Wyden said. "This much-needed investment will help rural Oregonians to meet … Continue Reading


October 19, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Demand Trump Administration Abandon Plans for Expanded Biometric Data Collection in Immigration System

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), are urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to abandon plans to dramatically expand U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) collection of information about individuals' bodies, both non-citizens and U.S. citizens alike. The Department's proposal would allow DHS to collect biometric information as it … Continue Reading


October 16, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: La Pine Community Health Center Earns $5.5 Million Federal Investment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the La Pine Community Health Center has secured $5.5 million in federal resources that will help the non-profit clinic provide services to thousands of rural Central Oregon residents. "High-quality health care goes hand in hand with high quality of life in rural Oregon, especially now during a pandemic," Wyden said. "I'm gratified the La Pine Community Health Center has earned this investment that will help provide … Continue Reading


October 16, 2020

Walden, Merkley, Wyden Applaud Official Signing of the Bill to Rename Bend VA Clinic after Robert Maxwell

Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) applauded the signing into law of a bill introduced by the Oregon delegation to rename the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Bend after Robert Maxwell, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient who lived in Bend. The bill was signed into law on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. At the time of Maxwell's passing, he was the oldest Medal of Honor recipient in the nation and one of four … Continue Reading


October 15, 2020

Wyden Demands Investigation of Federal Agencies Surveilling Black Lives Matter Protests

Washington, D.C. - Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) are urging the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), an independent federal agency, to investigate allegations that government agencies have been surveilling recent Black Lives Matter protests. The lawmakers' detailed letter states the importance of protests in advancing civil rights, cites several uninvestigated press reports of protester surveillance by federal … Continue Reading


October 15, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Expand Tribal Broadband Application Deadline

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with 11 of their Senate colleagues, have introduced a bill to expand the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window to allow Tribal Nations and Native Hawaiian organizations the time they need to apply for spectrum licenses for unassigned spectrum over their own lands-a critical step to expanding broadband access in their communities. In 2019, The FCC created the 2.5 GHz Rural … Continue Reading


October 14, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce $1.7 Million in Funding for Economic Development in Eight Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that eight rural communities throughout Oregon will be receiving $1.7 million in federal funding to create jobs, upgrade essential facilities, and improve quality of life. The funding, which is being administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program, will support essential services for 24,091 Oregonians in Tillamook, Lane, Lincoln, Grant, Baker, and Douglas counties. "Every … Continue Reading


October 14, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce $2.7 Million for Wildfire Resiliency, Conservation Efforts in the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that $2.7 million in federal funding is headed to the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests to implement a cross-boundary restoration project that will improve forest resiliency, reduce long term costs of fire management, and improve watershed conditions. This investment in the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests will support the execution of a strategically located series of controlled … Continue Reading


October 13, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio: Coos Bay Rail Line Secures $9.9 Million Federal Grant for Improvements

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio today announced the Coos Bay Rail Line has secured a $9.9 million federal grant to rehabilitate and replace ties and resurface track along the 121 miles of track from Coos Bay to Eugene. "The Coos Bay Rail Line plays a crucial role in supporting a robust economy that generates jobs on the South Coast and southern Oregon," Wyden said. "I'm glad the rail line has earned this key investment to make needed … Continue Reading

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