Press Releases

March 30, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., along with senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee Representative Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., today introduced three pieces of legislation to preserve the integrity of state marijuana laws and provide a path for responsible federal legalization and regulation of the marijuana industry. The Path to Marijuana Reform includes the bipartisan Small Business Tax Equity Act, which prevents legal marijuana … Continue Reading

March 29, 2017

Wyden: Senate Intelligence Committee Must Thoroughly Review Any Financial Connections Between Russia and Trump or Trump Associates

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged Senate Intelligence Committee leaders to review any financial relationships between Russia and Donald Trump or Trump associates as part of its inquiry into Russian interference in the U.S. election. In a letter to Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., Wyden called for special attention to be placed on these follow-the-money issues involving the president and his associates' financial connections to … Continue Reading

March 29, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Urge Federal Support for Rural Air Service

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged administration officials to provide more investment in rural air service that supports essential travel connections like commercial flights in and out of Pendleton's Eastern Oregon Regional Airport. "The Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton is an example of an economic engine that is efficiently using federal programs to improve and expand operations," Wyden and Merkley wrote in their letter to Transportation … Continue Reading

March 28, 2017

Wyden, Lieu Call On FCC to Address Major Security Weaknesses in Cell Phone Networks

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., today called on the Federal Communications Commission to take concrete steps to plug serious vulnerabilities in U.S. mobile phone networks, in a letter to FCC Chairman Pai. Last week a report created by experts for the FCC found that criminals, hackers and foreign countries could exploit a number of vulnerabilities in wireless phone infrastructure to track, surveil and hack Americans' phones. "The continued existence of … Continue Reading

March 28, 2017

Wyden Statement on Administration’s Executive Order to Roll Back Climate Change Progress

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today said he would "fight at every turn" the environmental rollbacks expected to come from the administration's executive order issued today. "Addressing climate change stands out as a major challenge of our time. But the administration is instead focused on benefitting special interests and corporations while hurting the health of our families and communities. "In the months ahead, I will fight these environmental rollbacks at every turn. … Continue Reading

March 24, 2017

Senators Call on Energy Secretary to Protect Whistleblowers, Hold Contractors Accountable after Department Confirms Nuclear Whistleblower’s Retaliation Claims

Washington, D.C. - After learning that Energy Department investigations confirmed a whistleblower was illegally fired for cooperating with a government investigation, U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., called on Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry to better protect whistleblowers. In a letter to Perry today, the senators also asked how the Energy Department will prevent future retaliation against the whistleblower, Sandra Black, … Continue Reading

March 23, 2017

Wyden: Gorsuch’s History on Torture and Secret Law is Disqualifying for Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. - Judge Neil Gorsuch's work to enable torture and secret law, and his inability to explain it in testimony this week, is disqualifying for someone who would serve on the Supreme Court, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said today. "Judge Gorsuch is a practitioner of secret law. He wrote to the author of Justice Department torture memos that the Detainee Treatment Act was 'essentially codifying existing interrogation policies.' Besides being substantively wrong, this assertion … Continue Reading

March 21, 2017

Wyden Highlights Outdoor Recreation Economy, Wildfire Funding Fix as Parts of Improving Public Lands Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today highlighted the potential of the outdoor recreation economy and the need to address wildfire funding to improve maintenance of our public lands, in a Senate panel hearing. In a hearing on public lands infrastructure before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyden emphasized the strong link between fixing wildfire funding and maintaining the nation's forests. He and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, have introduced the Wildfire … Continue Reading

March 16, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Join Congressional Members to Introduce “NO HATE” Act

Washington, D.C. - Following a national surge in hate crimes, Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined Democratic legislators in the House and Senate to introduce legislation that would strengthen federal laws combatting hate speech, threats and attacks. As incidents of hate crimes continue to rise, the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act would improve reporting and expand assistance and resources for victims of hate crimes. Recent … Continue Reading

March 16, 2017

Wyden: White House Budget Outline a “Reckless Waste of Taxpayer Dollars”

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on the president's budget outline, released today: "Skyrocketing military spending, which already consumes half of the budget, while cutting vital resources to protect working families and the environment, would be a reckless waste of taxpayer dollars. "Rural counties in Oregon and across the country are already suffering from budget shortfalls when it comes to keeping their schools open, fighting wildfires in … Continue Reading

March 15, 2017

Wyden: The Public Must Know How Many Americans Are Swept Up In Warrantless Surveillance Under FISA 702

Washington, D.C. - Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., took to the Senate floor today to call for the executive branch to finally reveal how many Americans have their phone calls, emails and other communications swept up - without warrants - under a surveillance program intended to target people overseas. Wyden has spent six years seeking how many law-abiding Americans have their calls and messages swept up under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The program expires at the end … Continue Reading

March 15, 2017

Wyden, Lieu Ask DHS To Tell Americans About Serious Security Threat to Mobile Phones

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., today urged the Department of Homeland Security to tell Americans how their security may be threatened by a vulnerability that could allow hackers and foreign governments to track, wiretap, and hack their mobile phones. "We suspect that most Americans simply have no idea how easy it is for a relatively sophisticated adversary to track their movements, tap their calls, and hack their smartphones. We are also concerned that … Continue Reading

March 15, 2017

Wyden, Grassley, McCaskill: Bring Whistleblower Protections to Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, today introduced legislation to expand protections for whistleblowers in the legislative branch. The bill shields congressional employees from retaliation when they expose fraud, waste or misconduct. It is modeled after policies that protect whistleblowers in many executive branch agencies. "Whistleblowers are a crucial line of defense against government waste, fraud and abuse. No branch … Continue Reading

March 14, 2017

Wyden, Senators Call on Education Department to Explain Delay of Gainful Employment Rule

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., along with a group of Democratic senators including Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., today called on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to explain the Department's decision to delay the implementation of the Gainful Employment (GE) rule, which requires career training programs to provide students with reasonable return on their educational investment - good-paying jobs that allow them to repay their student … Continue Reading

March 13, 2017

Wyden Urges Education Secretary to Spell Out Trump Plans to Increase Graduation Rates at Public High Schools

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to spell out the Trump Administration's plans to help public high schools increase graduation rates in Oregon and across the country. In a letter today, Wyden specifically asked DeVos how she would implement a Wyden priority to increase graduation rates that was included in the new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act. Congress passed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 to … Continue Reading

March 08, 2017

Wyden Renews Request for Number of Americans Caught in Foreign Intelligence Dragnet

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the executive branch and the nominee to serve as Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, to provide the number of Americans whose calls, emails and other communications have been collected without warrants under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Wyden asked for this information before a full Senate vote on the confirmation of Senator Coats, who has stated that the reauthorization of Section 702 is his "top … Continue Reading

March 08, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Permanently Authorize, Fully Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as 20 other senators introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently authorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which conserves and promotes access to America's national parks, forests and public lands. After expiring for the first time in 50 years, Congress voted in December 2015 to extend the program's authorization for only three years. "The Land and Water Conservation Fund has proven to … Continue Reading

March 07, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Low-income Housing Legislation

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would target the affordable housing crisis by strengthening and expanding the federal low-income housing tax credit. "This legislation provides a solid foundation for the major remodel that America's housing policy needs in response to the lack of affordable housing for people of all ages," said Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. "Building on the proven … Continue Reading

March 07, 2017

Wyden: Shrinking Federal Timber Payments to Oregon Counties Highlight Need to Renew Secure Rural Schools Funding

Washington, DC - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today's announcement of reduced Forest Service payments to Oregon spotlight the need for Congress to act quickly to reauthorize Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding. Congressional failure to reauthorize SRS funding that's brought almost $4 billion since 2000 to Oregon's timber counties and schools means the Forest Service must revert to making payments that provide just 25 percent of the federal timber sale revenue from national forestlands generated in … Continue Reading

March 06, 2017

Wyden, McCaskill, Markey Call on Energy Secretary Perry to Hold Contractors Accountable for Whistleblower Retaliation

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., today called on the Department of Energy's new secretary, Rick Perry, to immediately reinstate rules to hold contractors accountable for retaliating against whistleblowers who report nuclear safety violations. In a letter to Perry today, the senators noted the Department of Energy's (DOE) "long history" of failing to protect against a culture of retaliation and intimidation against … Continue Reading

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