Press Releases

September 06, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Secure USDA Relief for Farmers Whose Crops Were Devastated by Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow wheat farmers in Sherman and Wasco counties whose crops were devastated by wildfires to plant cover crops, preserving their land for the next growing season without jeopardizing their crop insurance coverage. "This assistance is a step toward recovery for the farmers and ranchers whose crops have been lost to fires," Merkley said. "In addition to allowing our … Continue Reading

September 06, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Seek Updated Science Measurements for Oregon Farmers and Ranchers Needing Drought Aid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged federal officials to use more accurate, timely, and science-based measurements in determining whether Oregon farmers and ranchers have access to drought disaster aid programs. The Oregon senators wrote Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue that the U.S. Drought Monitor's measurement criteria and process for Farm Service Agency (FSA) disaster programs are unfairly treating Oregonians battling … Continue Reading

September 05, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Push Zinke to Fulfill Agreement with Klamath Tribes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today pushed U.S. Department of Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke to reverse his decision to withhold from the Klamath Tribe almost $500,000 in already allocated funding for critical water quality research in the Upper Klamath Lake. "The loss of this previously approved and dedicated funding source for understanding the impact of water quality on the health and wellbeing of the C'waam (Lost River sucker) and Koptu (shortnose sucker) … Continue Reading

September 05, 2018

Senate Passes Wyden Bill to Ensure Fair Prices at the Pharmacy Counter

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced the Senate unanimously passed his bill that would crack down on outrageous gag clauses blocking pharmacists from telling customers they could pay less for their prescription if they pay out of pocket. "Pharma middlemen have been taking advantage of America's broken drug pricing system for too long - banning pharmacists from telling customers the lowest available price for their medication is another flagrant example," Wyden said. "I'm … Continue Reading

September 05, 2018

Wyden Urges Support of Key National Forests Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged the U.S. Forest Service to continue its Legacy Roads and Trails program that addresses plugged culverts, landslides, and washouts of roads and trails in our national forests. Wyden and two other senators wrote Interim Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen to ask that her agency continue tracking and reporting annual accomplishments under the program. "For ten years, the Legacy Roads and Trails program has played a necessary and … Continue Reading

September 04, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Millions of Dollars in Affordable Housing Support in Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced more than $2.7 million for new Section 811 Housing Choice Vouchers that will assist people with disabilities in accessing affordable housing and an array of supportive services. "These vouchers allow public housing authorities to better serve Oregonians with disabilities," Merkley said. "As communities in Oregon and across the nation face their biggest housing affordability crises in decades-with rents … Continue Reading

August 29, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Urge Court to Reinstate Net Neutrality Rules, Restore Equal Access to Internet

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined their colleagues in filing a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) December 2017 decision to eliminate net neutrality rules. "In sum, the FCC's reclassification decision in its 2017 Order is based entirely in the misuse of language," the members of Congress wrote in their amicus brief. "It is divorced from the practical realities that supported the FCC's … Continue Reading

August 29, 2018

Wyden Bill to Require Paper Ballots, Strengthen Election Security Gains Support from Sanders, Harris, ACLU

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced the addition of Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as cosponsors to his bill to strengthen election security and require paper ballots, as well as an endorsement of the bill by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act of 2018 requires the use of paper ballots and "risk-limiting" audits for all federal elections, ensuring that election results have not … Continue Reading

August 28, 2018

Wyden Introduces Clean Air Refugee Assistance Act

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced legislation that would help people forced to seek shelter from wildfire smoke when it reaches unhealthy levels in communities throughout Oregon and the West. Wyden's Clean Air Refugee Assistance Act of 2018 would allow those seeking temporary shelter from wildfire smoke to apply for relief under a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that covers temporary lodging for people who can't immediately return home after a … Continue Reading

August 27, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Major Grant for Underserved Youth in Portland

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a five-year, nearly $28 million U.S. Department of Education grant to Self Enhancement, Inc. will serve more than 7,000 underserved students and families in Portland. "When I was a child, my father took me to the doors of the schoolhouse and told me that if I worked hard, I could do just about anything, because we live in America," Merkley said. "That is the promise of our nation. But all too often, that … Continue Reading

August 23, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Continued Funding to Train National Guard to Fight Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As wildfires continue to blaze across Oregon, Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden today announced that the Department of Defense 2019 appropriations bill includes $7 million to train National Guard members to fight wildfires. The bill passed the Senate floor today. "I've met with the people on the front lines of these serious wildfires, and they say the hundreds of National Guard members have been a huge … Continue Reading

August 23, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill Aimed at Reducing Racial Disparities in Maternal Mortality

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced a bill aimed at reducing significant racial disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity. The Oregon senators joined with a dozen colleagues introducing the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act, in response to statistics showing the United States is one of only 13 countries where the maternal mortality rate is worse than it was 25 years ago. For African-American women, the risk of death from … Continue Reading

August 22, 2018

Wyden Presses for Comprehensive Approach to Address Threat of Wildfires to Crooked River Ranch

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said today at a hearing on Crooked River Ranch that the central Oregon wilderness area needs action urgently to reduce the devastating potential of wildfire. Wyden's concerns come as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today considered a House bill introduced by U.S. Representative Greg Walden, R-Ore., about the dangers posed by wildfires to Crooked River Ranch. "I have spent my time in Congress leading the charge to protect … Continue Reading

August 22, 2018

Wyden Introduces Housing Affordability Bills

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced two bills that would create new tax credits to help first-time homebuyers and middle-income renters. Both pieces of legislation aim to provide a comprehensive affordable housing package in tandem with the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), a tool Wyden has long supported that's helped to finance construction of affordable rental units. "Repairing the country's housing policy to help people in Oregon and nationwide afford a place to … Continue Reading

August 22, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Announce $5.2 Million Grant for Redmond Airport

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Redmond's airport will get a $5.2 million federal grant to boost airplane parking capacity and make other improvements. "Central Oregon residents and businesses deserve an airport prepared to meet their travel needs and to handle growth in commerce and visitors attracted to the region by recreation and other opportunities," Wyden said. "Steady investment in infrastructure is essential for economic growth, and these … Continue Reading

August 21, 2018

Wyden Introduces Broadband Bill to Help Small Ports

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced a bill to help small ports in Oregon and nationwide get federal loans that would improve their broadband coverage, helping them to grow economically and ensuring they have real-time access to weather updates. Wyden's bill would add small ports to the priority list for applications to the Agriculture Department's Rural Utility Service broadband access loan program, which funds construction and improvement of internet infrastructure for … Continue Reading

August 21, 2018

Wyden Bill to Require Paper Ballots, Strengthen Election Security Gains Support of Schatz, Booker, Blumenthal, Major Voting Rights Groups

Washington, D.C. - In a show of growing momentum to tackle threats to American election systems, U.S. Sen Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced the addition of Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., as cosponsors to his bill to strengthen election security and require paper ballots, as well as endorsement for the bill by two major voting rights groups. The Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act of 2018 requires the use of paper ballots and … Continue Reading

August 16, 2018

Wyden and Agriculture Department Announce Plan to Streamline Cleanup of Hazardous Fuels, Reduce Wildfire Risk

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen to announce a new plan for the Forest Service to address the hazardous fuels backlog contributing to devastating wildfires in Oregon and the West. The report follows Wyden's request during an Energy and Natural Resources hearing earlier this year that the Forest Service outline a timely plan to address the 80 million acres of … Continue Reading

August 15, 2018

Common Cause Endorses Wyden Bill Requiring Paper Ballots, Election Security

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced the endorsement of his election security bill by the grassroots voting rights group Common Cause. "With state election systems facing constant cyber threats, this legislation would institute the most critical safeguards needed to defend against sophisticated cyberattacks," said Susannah Goodman, the Director of the Election Security program at Common Cause. "Under this bill, states would be able to detect AND recover from an … Continue Reading

August 10, 2018

Oregon delegation calls on Trump administration to back down on efforts to restrict workers’ rights

Washington, D.C. - Members of the Oregon congressional delegation, including United States Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader today called on the Trump administration to drop a proposed rule that would unjustifiably restrict home care workers' ability to form unions and collectively bargain for higher wages, better working conditions, expanded benefits, and new training opportunities. The letter, sent to … Continue Reading

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