Press Releases

November 14, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio Urge Trump Administration to Set Aside Flawed Mineral Withdrawal Review

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio today urged the Trump administration not to pursue a misguided and misinformed request to review mineral withdrawals from the past eight years, including one in Southwestern Oregon. Wyden, Merkley and DeFazio wrote to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, urging them not to act on a recent request from House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, to … Continue Reading

November 13, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Seek Help for Ports of Hood River and Cascade Locks

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley today sought federal help for the Ports of Hood River and Cascade Locks, which suffered a combined $228,000 in lost toll revenue from the Eagle Creek wildfire. "The lost toll revenue for these communities means that many important economic development initiatives will go unmet," Wyden and Merkley said in their letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "Given that both port authorities function as economic development engines for … Continue Reading

November 08, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Urge Full Funding for Invasive Weed Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged federal officials to provide full funding for a successful 40-year program that conserves and restores healthy landscapes and waterways threatened by invasive weeds. The Oregon senators' letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke notes that full funding in 2018 for the decades-old Strategic Integrated Noxious Weed Management partnership between the Bureau of Land Management and Oregon Department of Agriculture would be … Continue Reading

November 08, 2017

Wyden Issues Warning About SESTA

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on SESTA, following its passage in the Senate Commerce Committee: "Today I am announcing my public hold and a public warning about SESTA. Having written several laws to combat the scourge of sex trafficking, I take a backseat to no one on the urgency of fighting this horrendous crime. However, I continue to be deeply troubled that this bill's approach will make it harder to catch dangerous criminals, that it will favor … Continue Reading

November 07, 2017

Wyden, Senate Democrats Call for Permanent Wildfire Funding Fix, Comprehensive Disaster Relief in Third Disaster Aid Bill

Washington, D.C. - Following the most expensive wildfire season on record, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Democrats called on the Trump administration to put forward a comprehensive package to fix the government's backwards system of wildfire funding and provide relief from the onslaught of natural disasters in recent months. The administration has committed to releasing a disaster aid package in the coming weeks. In a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, … Continue Reading

November 07, 2017

As LGBTQ Rights Case Heads to Supreme Court, Merkley and Wyden Join Amicus Brief in Support of Equal Treatment in Public Accommodations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that they have joined an amicus brief in support of equal rights for the LGBTQ community and other marginalized groups in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. A ruling for Masterpiece Cakeshop could create a "license to discriminate," allowing businesses to deny service to Americans, including LGBTQ people. The Senators were joined on the brief, which was led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and … Continue Reading

November 06, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Praise Rural Infrastructure Loans for Eastern Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed federal investments totaling more than $60 million for rural economic infrastructure in eastern Oregon. The Umatilla Electric Co-op Association will receive a $48.8 million loan and the Harney Electric Co-op will receive a $11.7 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Modern electric infrastructure that's reliable is a must for residents and businesses to create jobs and ensure a good quality of life for … Continue Reading

November 06, 2017

Wyden Introduces Private Prisons Bill

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced legislation that would disqualify private prisons from receiving tax subsidies unavailable to other corporations. Wyden's bill is a companion to legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. Both bills deal with private prisons' ability to qualify as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) -- corporate entities that do not pay tax and whose shareholders … Continue Reading

November 02, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Introduce VA Construction Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week introduced legislation that would improve the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) ability to serve America's veterans by removing roadblocks to construction of some VA projects. The bill would expedite the process for more routine construction at VA facilities, including clinics, by raising the cap on such projects from $10 million to $20 million. Currently, Congress must individually approve VA construction projects … Continue Reading

November 01, 2017

Merkley and Wyden Push Back on Trump Administration’s Secret, Error-Riddled Cascade-Siskiyou Monument Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today pushed back against the Trump administration's leaked draft report that recommended diminished protections for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, pointing out serious concerns with both the factual inaccuracy of the report and lack of transparency surrounding the report. Despite the fact that a leaked version of the report appeared in the media over a month ago, the administration still has not released the report to … Continue Reading

October 30, 2017

Bipartisan Western Senators Press White House to Extend Critical Lifeline Funding in Future Disaster Aid Request

Washington, D.C. - A bipartisan group of western senators today urged the White House and the White House budget office to fulfill the federal government's promise to rural communities by extending a critical lifeline that funds road repairs, schools and law enforcement in rural communities in any future emergency disaster supplemental funding bill it sends to Congress. Led by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the senators pushed for a two-year reauthorization of the … Continue Reading

October 30, 2017

Wyden Statement on Indictments of Trump Campaign Officials

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on indictments filed today against three Trump campaign officials: "Today's indictments against Mr. Manafort, Mr. Gates and Mr. Papadopoulos are stark reminders of how the special counsel's investigation is critical to the rule of law and our national security. The allegations against Mr. Papadopoulos come after previously confirmed ties between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and raise more questions about which … Continue Reading

October 27, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Urge Extension of Greater Sage-Grouse Comment Period

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to extend the comment period by 45 days for changes to the Greater Sage-grouse conservation plans. The letter from Wyden and Merkley as well as five other Western senators responds to the Trump administration publishing a Notice of Intent earlier this month to amend Greater Sage-grouse conservation plans with only a 45-day comment period closing on November 27, 2017. The existing … Continue Reading

October 26, 2017

Oregon Lawmakers Honor Portland Thorns’ Championship

Washington, DC - Oregon's congressional delegation today honored the Portland Thorns' recent National Women's Soccer League Championship with matching Senate and House resolutions that also praised the franchise for inspiring young people to volunteer in their community. The resolutions offered by Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden, and Kurt Schrader come after the Thorns won their second NWSL championship in five … Continue Reading

October 25, 2017

Wyden: Congress Must Pass Wildfire Funding Fix in Disaster Aid

Washington, D.C. - As fires continue to burn during the most expensive wildfire season on record, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., tonight urged Senate leadership to include a wildfire funding fix in any future disaster aid legislation. In a speech tonight on the Senate floor, Wyden urged Congress to pass legislation he introduced with a bipartisan coalition of western senators that would end "fire borrowing," which forces agencies to rob funds from fire prevention funding to put out fires. The … Continue Reading

October 25, 2017

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Expand Background Checks and Reduce Gun Violence

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined 27 of his Senate colleagues in introducing legislation that would expand federal background checks to the sale or transfer of all firearms by private sellers, with certain reasonable exceptions. "It's increasingly clear that gun violence tragedies in this country demand more than thoughts and prayers from Congress," Wyden said. "The overwhelming majority of Americans support common-sense background checks, and this legislation is a … Continue Reading

October 25, 2017

Wyden Votes Against Intelligence Committee Spying Bill

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement after voting 'no' on the Senate Intelligence Committee bill to reauthorize the powerful spying authority known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: "I voted against the Intelligence Committee bill because it does not include the reforms needed for the government to go after foreign threats while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans. If Section 702 is to be reauthorized, it needs the reforms included in … Continue Reading

October 24, 2017

Bipartisan Coalition Introduces USA RIGHTS Act to Reform Secretive Warrantless Spy Program

Washington, D.C.­-Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and a bipartisan coalition of senators today introduced the USA RIGHTS Act, which reforms a sweeping, secretive government spying program to protect the Constitutional rights of Americans, while giving intelligence agencies authority to target foreign terrorists, criminals and other overseas intelligence targets. Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Ted Poe, R-Texas, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., Rep. Ted … Continue Reading

October 20, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Want Answers From ICE About Portland Arrest

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked federal immigration officials to explain the arrest this week of Carlos Bolanos after what appears to be an illegal entry of a private home in the Portland metro area. "In a video of Mr. Bolanos' arrest, plainclothes agents appear to have illegally entered a private residence, exclaiming 'we don't need a warrant to come in this home,'" the Oregon senators said in their letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). … Continue Reading

October 20, 2017

Wyden Supports Successful PILT Amendment

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) joined his colleagues in voting Thursday night to include an amendment to the Senate budget resolution that would provide permanent and mandatory funding for the Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The amendment blocked a Republican attempt that would have significantly decreased this critical PILT funding for rural Oregon communities. "The PILT program provides rural communities in Oregon and across the country with desperately needed funding … Continue Reading

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