Press Releases

October 17, 2017

Wyden Introduces Bipartisan Child Welfare Act to Improve Government Oversight of Foster Care

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen oversight and accountability of child welfare systems and individual providers, improve training for caseworkers, and provide incentives for more children in foster care to be placed with family members. The Child Welfare Oversight and Accountability Act introduced by Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, follows … Continue Reading

October 16, 2017

Oregon Delegation Urges Prompt EPA Action on Portland Harbor site

WASHINGTON - All seven members of Oregon's congressional delegation today urged federal environmental officials to support the prompt transition of the Portland Harbor Superfund site from the prolonged study phase to active cleanup. The letter from U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt notes that the Portland Harbor has been on EPA's … Continue Reading

October 12, 2017

Oregon Lawmakers Caution Administration over Removal of Environmental Rules Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader joined several of their House and Senate colleagues in sending a forceful letter to the White House urging caution and a careful consideration of the facts before the Trump administration removes the science-based environmental rules that protect Alaska's Bristol Bay and the jobs of the fishermen who depend on it. Removing the existing clean water … Continue Reading

October 11, 2017

Wyden, Colleagues Urge National Institutes of Health to Renew Critical Funding for Gun Violence Research

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined 26 of his Senate colleagues in urging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to renew a recently lapsed funding opportunity for firearm violence research. Following the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, President Obama directed the Department of Health and Human Services to research the causes of gun violence and how it can be prevented, resulting in the creation of a new funding opportunity to support … Continue Reading

October 10, 2017

Wyden Questions Justice Department About Spying on Journalists, Urges Reforms

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the Department of Justice how often it spies on journalists as part of leak investigations, following Attorney General Jeff Sessions' vow to crack down on leaks to reporters. "Journalists play a critical role in our democracy and the chill associated with the government obtaining their communications records in order to identify their sources cannot be overstated," Wyden wrote in a letter to Sessions today. Wyden urged Sessions to … Continue Reading

October 06, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Slam Interior Department’s Attempt to Undermine Local Management of Sage Grouse Lands

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley slammed a decision by the Interior Department to cancel parts of federal sage grouse plans created by local communities to prevent an Endangered Species Act listing of the Greater Sage-grouse. This week, the administration officially withdrew its application to prevent surface mining on areas with habitat of critical importance to the Greater Sage-grouse. The withdrawal upends years of local collaboration between farmers, … Continue Reading

October 06, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, Crapo, Risch, Bennet Note Fire Funding Included in Disaster Spending Recommendations

Washington, DC - Following numerous discussions among Western U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo,) with Administration leadership and agency officials, initial federal funding to begin fixing shortages in fire-fighting efforts known as "fire borrowing" is now being included in hurricane disaster budget recommendations. Wyden, Merkley, Crapo, Risch, Bennet, and other Western senators have pushed for a … Continue Reading

October 06, 2017

Wyden, Crapo, Bennet, Tester, Risch Introduce Bill to Improve Fire Recovery and Mitigation Efforts

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jim Risch (R-ID) introduced the Wildfire Mitigation Assistance Act to provide resources to assist communities recovering from damaging wildfires. The bill treats wildfires in the same manner as other natural disasters by making available Hazard Mitigation Assistance funding to states affected by catastrophic wildfires. "Wildfires have unfortunately proven once again to be the … Continue Reading

October 05, 2017

Wyden Votes Against Senate Budget Resolution

Washington, D.C. - Citing concerns over public education, the environment and consumer protections, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against the Senate budget resolution after an all-day negotiating session. "The sham Senate Budget resolution opens the door for Republicans to slam through schemes to siphon taxpayer dollars from public schools, drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and protect Wall Street stock traders instead of American consumers," Wyden said. "I voted against … Continue Reading

October 05, 2017

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Three Bills to Check Gun Violence

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week joined his Senate colleagues in introducing three bills that would close a firearm background check loophole, end liability protections for gun manufacturers and ban bump-stock devices that can convert rifles into machine guns. "The mass shooting in Las Vegas takes its place in a tragic litany of massacres that include Orlando, Umpqua Community College and far too many others," Wyden said. "These tragedies require more than 'thoughts … Continue Reading

October 05, 2017

Wyden Votes Against Nominee for Immigration Services

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against confirming Lee Francis Cissna to be the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security. "I cannot vote for a key architect behind Trump's awful travel ban, which was designed to satisfy a dangerous far-right wing fantasy and undermine our American values of accepting and encouraging the diversity that makes us stronger. Confirming Mr. Cissna empowers him to implement … Continue Reading

October 04, 2017

Wyden Pushes to Protect Public Lands, Boost Women-Owned Businesses in Senate Budget

Washington, D.C. - Ahead of a Thursday session to negotiate a Senate version of the congressional budget, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., filed two amendments this week to protect public lands and boost opportunities for women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. One of Wyden's amendments to the Senate budget bill this week would take the first step to allow Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is critical to protecting public lands and providing access … Continue Reading

October 04, 2017

Merkley, Wyden, Feinstein, Harris Urge NOAA to Declare Fisheries Disaster

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined with California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris to push the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to act quickly and support a catastrophic regional fishery disaster declaration requested by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown. The fishery disaster declarations have been pending since May, when the governors made a combined request after nearly 200 miles of coast in Oregon … Continue Reading

October 03, 2017

Wyden Questions Voting Machine Manufacturers on Security Measures

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked the top six U.S. voting machine manufacturers what steps they are taking to protect themselves from cyberattack, in a letter sent today. Wyden's letter follows repeated warnings from intelligence agencies that Russia and other foreign actors may try to target U.S. election infrastructure in upcoming elections, and comes after the Department of Homeland Security reported that Russian hackers targeted 21 states last year. "As our election systems … Continue Reading

October 03, 2017

Wyden, Bonamici Call for Strong Action to Protect Oregon Workers and Industry from Flood of Foreign Solar Panels

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici today called for a strong response to the surge of cheap solar panel imports that have devastated U.S. solar panel manufacturers. The Oregon lawmakers testified at the U.S. International Trade Commission on the need for U.S. action to stem the tide of overproduced, dumped and subsidized solar panels from China and other nations. That overproduction has forced more than 30 U.S. solar manufacturers out of business since 2010, … Continue Reading

September 29, 2017

Wyden Statement on Senate Budget Resolution

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement in response to the Senate Budget Committee's proposed 2018 budget resolution: "The Senate budget resolution released today would begin the process of providing lifeline funding for rural counties through Secure Rural Schools and the Payments in Lieu of Taxes programs. In addition, it makes room in the budget for necessary wildfire fighting funds," Wyden said. "But at the same time, Republicans are taking … Continue Reading

September 29, 2017

Wyden, Paul, Schatz Reintroduce Bill to Limit Transfer of Military Equipment to State and Local Law Enforcement

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii., this week reintroduced the Stop Militarizing Our Law Enforcement Act (S. 1856) to establish limitations and create greater transparency on the federal transfer of surplus military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. "Oregonians respect local law enforcement but they don't expect patrols in our neighborhoods outfitted for war zones. Unfettered access to military equipment … Continue Reading

September 28, 2017

Wyden, Senators Slam Secretary DeVos for Decision to Undermine Rights of Campus Sexual Assault Survivors

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., demanded U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reverse her direction to schools on investigations of sexual assault, saying it undermined the rights of sexual assault survivors and created chaos and confusion for schools. "Your action on Friday shows a clear lack of concern for the many requests of survivors of sexual assault and members of Congress who have asked you to leave the previous guidance in place," the senators wrote on Wednesday. … Continue Reading

September 28, 2017

Wyden Statement on Reports of Interior Department’s Intent to Reopen Sage Grouse Plans

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement in response to press reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke intends to reopen federal land management plans for the Greater Sage-grouse to potentially allow more oil and gas development. Farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, and industry stakeholders spent years developing the current federal sage grouse habitat management plans to prevent an Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of the Greater Sage-grouse. … Continue Reading

September 27, 2017

Wyden Announces Legislation to Spark Renewable Energy Development, Protect Power Grid from Natural Disasters

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced three new pieces of legislation that would make renewable energy more reliable and affordable for consumers by providing federal funding to states to update the power grid and encouraging research and development of new technologies. "America's energy grid is in need of an upgrade. These bills will promote a more flexible electricity grid that can respond to power disruptions from natural disasters and ensure reliable, low-cost … Continue Reading

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