Press Releases

June 29, 2009

Wyden Commends Committee For Approving Back Pay for Combat Vets

Washington, D.C. - Affirming support for the brave men and women of the U.S. military, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) expressed gratitude and thanks to the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee for including a Wyden-authored provision to retroactively pay soldiers for leave earned under the Post Deployment and Mobilization Respite Absence (PDMRA) in the 2010 Defense Authorization bill. More than 20,000 service members - at least 864 from Oregon - have not received their earned leave … Continue Reading

June 25, 2009

Wyden Engages White House on Classification Policy

Washington, D.C - In a letter laying out a series of principles and policy recommendations drawn from his years of challenging excessive government secrecy, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden commended the White House for initiating a landmark review of the nation's classification system. In his letter, Wyden states that protecting the nation from foreign threats often requires the U.S. government to operate in secret, but said that in too many cases "the natural bureaucratic tendency to avoid being … Continue Reading

June 25, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Urge Congress, Postal Service to Protect Oregon's Vote-by-Mail

Washington, D.C. - Seeking to protect Oregon's vote-by-mail elections, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are asking Congress and the U.S. Postal Service to avoid taking steps that would damage the state's mail-in balloting. In a letter to a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Wyden and Merkley asked that efforts to balance the Postal Service budget not include a suggestion to eliminate Tuesday mail delivery. "While we admire and encourage examination of avenues to modernize the postal … Continue Reading

June 25, 2009

Wyden, Barrasso Legislation Will Improve Access to Rural Health Clinics

Washington, D.C. - Ensuring that Americans in rural areas have access to quality health care, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) have introduced the Rural Health Clinic Patient Access and Improvement Act of 2009, which addresses long standing underpayments to rural health clinics, introduces a quality improvement program to RHCs, and provides incentives to recruit and retain medical professionals to rural areas. "Oregonians in rural areas have the same right to … Continue Reading

June 25, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Seek Molalla River Protection

Washington, D.C. - Bringing to fruition years of work from the Molalla community to preserve their namesake river, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced the Molalla River Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2009, which is a companion bill to legislation introduced in the House of Representatives on June 9, 2009, by Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-5). The bill will designate approximately 21 miles of the Molalla River for preservation under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. … Continue Reading

June 18, 2009

Wyden Statement on Lane County Decision to Use County Payment Money for Jail Beds

Portland, OR -- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement today following a decision by the Lane County Board of Commissioners to use county payment money for public safety."I am thankful to my friends and colleagues on the Lane County commission for voting to use federal county payment funds to keep violent criminals off the streets of Lane County and the rest of the state. Public service can be a thankless task, particularly in lean times that inevitably pit one important set … Continue Reading

June 16, 2009

Wyden Spells Out Health Reform Challenges

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) spoke on the Senate floor today, laying out what he sees as the key components required to enact true health care reform. The text of the speech follows: Mr. President, many senators on both sides of the aisle are working constructively to fix American health care, and for several years I have spent time listening to colleagues - going to the offices of about 85 Senators and at least that many in the House - and also listening to thousands in … Continue Reading

June 16, 2009


WASHINGTON, DC -Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced three pieces of legislation to protect some of Oregon's most wild places; Devil's Staircase, Oregon Caves and the Lower Rogue River. DeFazio and Wyden have worked extensively on these important pieces of legislation with input from the public and private stakeholders. The Devil's Staircase legislation designates approximately 29,650 acres of the Siuslaw National Forest as a wilderness area. The Oregon Caves bill adds … Continue Reading

June 16, 2009

Wyden to Eastern Oregon for Four Town Hall Meetings on June 27-28

Portland, OR - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden will host town hall meetings in four Eastern Oregon counties on Saturday, June 27, 2009, and Sunday, June 28, 2009. Morrow, Umatilla, Baker and Umatilla county residents are invited to attend the open forums to ask questions and voice their concerns. Senator Wyden has been holding town halls in each Oregon county every year since 1996. The events in Irrigon, Hermiston, Baker City and Ontario are numbers 517, 518, 519 and 520 respectively Morrow County Town … Continue Reading

June 16, 2009

Wyden Asks BLM to Put Brakes on $10,000 in Fees for 2009 Cycle Oregon

Portland, OR - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is asking the Bureau of Land Management to waive or significantly reduce $10,000 in fees it plans to charge 2009 Cycle Oregon for the use of BLM roads and a campground. "Since the ride will use only about 35 miles of BLM-constructed roadway and one campground lunch stop, I believe your decision deserves an immediate review," Wyden wrote in a letter to Ed Shepherd, state BLM director. "Hopefully it will result in waiving the fee altogether or … Continue Reading

June 15, 2009

Wyden Announces $103 million in Build America Bonds to Support Creation of 3,500 Oregon Jobs

Washington, D.C. - Continuing efforts to get much-needed funding for the infrastructure and employment projects that will serve as the backbone of our economic recovery, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced that 29 Oregon counties and four cities will be able to issue more than $103 million in Recovery Zone Economic Development Build America Bonds to finance projects at a lower borrowing cost. Recovery Zone Bonds are a special form of Wyden's Build America Bonds which can be issued in … Continue Reading

June 12, 2009

Merkley, Wyden Announce $11.85 Million for Oregon Biomass Projects

Washington D.C. - Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the Department of Agriculture has awarded $11.85 million to five counties in Oregon to create clean energy jobs and reduce the risk of wildfire in Oregon as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding will go to projects in Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, and Linn Counties. "During my recent trip through Southern Oregon I saw firsthand how biomass projects are creating jobs in our forests," … Continue Reading

June 10, 2009

Wyden Challenges BPA's Proposed Rate Increase on Wind Energy Producers

Portland, OR - Out of concern for the future of alternative energy in Oregon, Senator Ron Wyden today challenged the Bonneville Power Administration to do a better job integrating wind-produced electricity into its grid, charging that a BPA proposed rate increase on wind energy producers would make wind projects less profitable or "downright unaffordable." "BPA needs to be part of the solution," Wyden told a wind energy conference in Portland. "I am doing what I can to make integrating wind … Continue Reading

June 09, 2009

Wyden "Trigger" Rumors are "False"

"There is a rumor making the rounds that Sen. Wyden supports the Snowe proposal for a public option "trigger." That rumor is false. It never happened and he has at no time expressed support for this idea."As happens so often both around Congress and across the Internet, false information gets spread and repeated until even well-meaning commentators begin to adopt and repeat the false information as if it were fact. This appears to have happened with former Secretary Reich, and we … Continue Reading

June 08, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Announce $15 million in Recovery Package Funding for Low-Income Weatherization Programs

Washington, D.C. - Continuing efforts to make sure low-income Oregonians have safely heated and more energy efficient homes, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced today that Oregon's Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Programs (WAP) will receive more than $15 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."This economic recovery funding will put folks back to work the right way," said Wyden. "We are going to do well by doing good … Continue Reading

June 05, 2009

Wyden, Snowe Introduce Legislation to Prevent Discriminatory Wireless Tax Increases

WASHINGTON, DC - Working to ensure American telecommunications networks remain on the cutting edge of wireless technology and keep pace with foreign competitors, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have introduced the Mobile Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2009 to enact a five-year moratorium on new or increased taxes on wireless telecommunications infrastructure and services. Supported by a bipartisan coalition of Senators including Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), John McCain … Continue Reading

June 04, 2009

Wyden Promotes Strategy to Cut Medicare Costs

Washington, D.C. - Seeking to curb the cost of Medicare by promoting healthy lifestyles that lower the incidence of chronic disease, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced the "Healthy Living, Healthy Aging Demonstration Project Act of 2009." The legislation would establish a demonstration project to evaluate strategies to lower rates of chronic disease for individuals who are about to enter the Medicare program. Up to six eligible partnerships between public health departments and … Continue Reading

June 01, 2009

Wyden Calls for Second Look at Chrysler's Decision to Close Dealerships

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to protect as many Oregon jobs as possible, Senator Ron Wyden has asked the head of the White House's Automobile Task Force to determine whether the decision to close Chrysler dealerships is in the best interest of the state and the nation. "It is inconsistent with American values to force business owners to secure financing with their homes and other personal assets and then turn around and shut them down and refuse to buy back their cars," Wyden said. "I'm … Continue Reading

May 28, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Announce Funding To Improve Access to Mental Health Treatment for Rural Veterans

Washington, D.C- Continuing efforts to make sure all of Oregon's veterans have access to the quality medical care they deserve, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D- Ore.) announced today that the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center will receive $1.9 million to improve mental health treatment for veterans in rural Oregon. "As more and more of our veterans confront the sometimes severe mental health effects of serving in a very dangerous environment, we must commit to … Continue Reading

May 27, 2009

Wyden Statement on Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court

Washington, D.C- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court:"By selecting Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama fulfilled his promise not only to consult with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, but to ultimately appoint an individual with a 'sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and … Continue Reading

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