Press Releases

June 11, 2015

Wyden, Brown and Merkley Block Veterans Affairs Nominee Confirmation Until Adminstration Responds to Demands for Benefits for C-123 Reservists Exposed to Agent Orange

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, blocked the confirmation of David J. Shulkin, President Obama's nominee for Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The senators' hold on his confirmation will remain in place until the VA releases a final decision on qualifying reservists who served on Fairchild UC-123 Provider (C-123) aircraft, that were previously contaminated with Agent Orange, as veterans so they can … Continue Reading

June 10, 2015

Wyden: Wasco County Disaster Designation Underscores Need for Fire Funding

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today vowed to keep fighting for wildfire funding after U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack designated Wasco County, Oregon, as a primary natural disaster area and seven nearby Oregon counties as natural disaster counties due to dangerous drought conditions. The disaster designations come a day after House Republicans proposed a bill that would provide wildfire funds based on the current funding approach, which has underfunded fire … Continue Reading

June 09, 2015

Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Ensure Women’s Access to Affordable Birth Control

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden today co-sponsored legislation that would make sure women have affordable access to the birth control option that works best for them. The Affordability is Access Act co-sponsored by Wyden and 29 other senators builds on work done in the Affordable Care Act to ensure that women would not have to pay out of pocket for this essential piece of health care coverage. "Women's access to affordable contraception should not be up for debate," Wyden said. … Continue Reading

June 09, 2015

Wyden: Republican Leaders Are Trying to Make a Bad Defense Bill Worse By Adding Flawed Cyber Amendment

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement in response to calls to attach a flawed cybersecurity bill to the National Defense Authorization Act. "Senate Republican leaders are trying to make a bad defense bill worse by adding a flawed cybersecurity bill," Wyden said. "If Senator McConnell insists on attaching the flawed CISA bill to unrelated legislation, I will be fighting to ensure the Senate has a full debate and a chance to offer amendments to add … Continue Reading

June 09, 2015

Wyden Commits to Helping Our Military Become More Energy Efficient

WASHINGTON, D.C.. - Senators Ron Wyden and Mazie K. Hirono today highlighted their commitment to helping our military to become more energy efficient by introducing the Department of Defense Energy Security Act (DODESA) of 2015. DODESA 2015 will help the Department of Defense (DOD)to reduce energy use and costs, improve energy efficiency, and advance the development of energy security technology. While DOD has made great advances to address its energy security vulnerabilities in recent … Continue Reading

June 09, 2015

Senators to PayPal: Change New User Agreement That Forces Consumers to Accept Unwanted Robocalls

Washington (June 16, 2015) - Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a letter to PayPal, the global online payments system, calling on the company to change its User Agreement. PayPal recently released a new User Agreement that would require consumers to consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages. Consumers cannot opt out of these new terms, which go into effect on July 1, 2015, without … Continue Reading

June 05, 2015

Wyden: Cybersecurity Legislation Threatens Privacy; Experts Say Does Little To Prevent Security Breaches

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today pushed back on calls to pass a flawed cybersecurity bill (the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act or CISA) in response to revelations that a federal employee database was recently hacked. "The United States should pull out all the stops to go after foreign hackers and foreign threats, but there's a way to do that without threatening the privacy of millions of law-abiding Americans," Wyden said. "The so-called cybersecurity legislation in the … Continue Reading

June 04, 2015

Wyden, for National Hemp History Week, Urges Lifting the Ban on Industrial Hemp

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged lifting the federal ban on industrial hemp, which has a wide variety of uses and economic benefits in Oregon and nationwide. Hemp-based products contributed about $620 million to the U.S. economy in 2014, but current federal regulations prohibit farmers from growing hemp in the United States. "I've long said if you can make it and sell it in Oregon, you should be able to grow it in Oregon," Wyden said in a speech on the Senate floor in … Continue Reading

June 04, 2015

Wyden, 31 Senators Urge Consumer Agency to Issue “Strongest Possible Rules” to Stop Predatory Payday Lending

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) considers new rules to rein in predatory practices in payday and similar types of lending, 32 senators expressed their support today for the initial steps the agency has taken and urged the agency to issue the strongest possible rules to combat the "cascade of devastating financial consequences" that these high-priced loans often have on consumers. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., signed the letter, along with Sens. Jeff Merkley, … Continue Reading

June 03, 2015

Wyden Introduces Bill To Bring Retired Military Dogs Home After Overseas Combat

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation to support veterans and military dog handlers by ensuring that military working dogs come home to the United States after they have been relieved from their service in combat roles overseas. The Military Working Dog Retirement Act of 2015 would require the Department of Defense to arrange and pay for transportation of trained military dogs to the United States when their service abroad has been deemed no longer necessary, … Continue Reading

June 02, 2015

Wyden: USA Freedom Act Biggest Privacy Win in a Decade

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today praised the passage of the USA Freedom Act, which ensures the end of mass surveillance of Americans under the Patriot Act and brings new transparency to U.S. intelligence programs. "It is not an exaggeration to say the passage of the USA Freedom Act is the most significant victory for Americans' privacy rights in more than a decade, and stands as a true endorsement of the principle that Americans do not need to sacrifice their liberty to have … Continue Reading

June 02, 2015

Wyden and Paul Release Joint Amendments, Call For Votes On Proposals to Expand Surveillance Reforms

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced nine amendments to reform U.S. surveillance programs, enhance protections for American's personal information and improve transparency regarding intelligence activities. Wyden and Paul called on Republican leaders to allow votes on amendments to strengthen privacy protections, rather than forcing votes on amendments that would water down the USA Freedom Act. The joint amendments would: Amendment 1446: Require … Continue Reading

May 31, 2015

Wyden Praises End to NSA Phone Records Dragnet, Calls for Passage of Surveillance Reform Bill

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., tonight praised the end to the bulk collection of Americans' information under the Patriot Act, and called for the Senate to pass the USA Freedom Act to enact additional reforms. "Tonight the collection of phone records of millions of innocent Americans will end. The demise of this dragnet surveillance is a victory for the principle that Americans do not need to sacrifice liberty to have security. I have worked for this moment since I first learned … Continue Reading

May 23, 2015

Wyden Statement on Senate Blocking Extension of Patriot Act Mass Surveillance

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden issued the following statement after the U.S Senate blocked a short-term extension of mass surveillance under the Patriot Act: "Today the Ben Franklin caucus stood tall and proved that supporters of mass surveillance can no longer bully the U.S. Senate into extending an illegal and unconstitutional law by running out the clock. When Sen. McConnell tried to extend Patriot Act for five more days, I said no more." "This week Americans must continue to speak out … Continue Reading

May 22, 2015

Wyden Statement on Gov. Brown’s Drought Emergency Declaration

Washington, D.C . - Below is a statement from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Gov. Kate Brown's declaration today of drought emergencies in Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Morrow, Umatilla, and Wasco counties. "Governor Brown's drought emergency declaration should sound a clarion call to all Oregonians about the impact ahead this summer from our state's low snowfalls the past few months. Oregon fire officials briefed me in late winter about the increased potential for a bad fire season … Continue Reading

May 22, 2015

Wyden Bill To Help Veterans Passes Senate

Washington, D.C . - A bill co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., that would expand access to health care for veterans who live far away from VA facilities passed the Senate today. The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 that Senator Wyden strongly supported last year was interpreted by the VA to enable veterans to seek local care only if they live more than 40 miles from any VA facility. The legislation passed today expands many veterans' healthcare options by making … Continue Reading

May 21, 2015

Wyden, Merkley Laud FAA Decision on Unmanned Aircraft

Washington, D.C . - Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley praised today's announcement by federal regulators that cuts red tape for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test sites in Pendleton, Tillamook and Warm Springs to conduct research that creates jobs in an innovative industry. The announcement by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) follows a letter Wyden and Merkley wrote the FAA on Nov. 25 strongly urging regulators to speed up approvals for UAS test permits, and to ensure the … Continue Reading

May 21, 2015

Wyden & Broad Coalition of Democratic Lawmakers Fight to Outlaw Unfair Consumer Contracts

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) along with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and a broad coalition of more than 50 members of Congress continued to fight to protect the rights of consumers in Oregon and across the country who are being hurt by forced arbitration contracts in the financial services industry. In a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)-the top consumer agency in the country-the lawmakers called on the CFPB to swiftly … Continue Reading

May 21, 2015

Wyden, Merkley Commemorate Frank Moore Legacy with Salmon Sanctuary

Washington, D.C. - Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today recognized a fellow Oregonian's long and distinguished legacy of conservation and habitat preservation by introducing a bill to designate more than 100,000 acres of public lands in Oregon as the "Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary." The Oregon senators named their legislation in honor of Frank Moore because of his outstanding accomplishments starting in World War II and then continuing for nearly two decades as the proprietor of … Continue Reading

May 21, 2015

Wyden Introduces Bill to Aid Small Business

Washington, DC - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced a bill that would support new jobs and economic growth by providing small businesses greater access to business capital from credit unions. "Small businesses generate jobs, and access to capital is the lifeline that keeps those businesses running and growing both in Oregon and nationwide," Wyden said. "This bill would increase opportunities for small businesses to receive loans from credit unions, eliminating an unfair hurdle to that … Continue Reading

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