Press Releases

November 30, 2017

Wyden Statement on House Intelligence Committee Bill To Reauthorize 702 Surveillance Program

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on the House Intelligence Committee's bill to reauthorize the expansive surveillance authority under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: "The House Intelligence Committee version of the FISA 702 bill does nothing to protect the rights of innocent Americans. The court order described in the bill would, based on information made public by the DNI, apply to the results of exactly one of the thousands of warrantless … Continue Reading

November 30, 2017

Wyden, Merkley VA Construction Bill Moves Forward

Washington, D.C. - Legislation from Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley that would improve the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) ability to serve America's veterans yesterday took a significant step toward becoming law. Their bill would streamline the process for routine construction and maintenance 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 that cost more … Continue Reading

November 30, 2017

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect Nation’s Wildlife, Natural Resources from Climate Change

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined his colleagues in introducing a bill to protect the country's wildlife and natural resources from climate change. Building on existing federal, state, and local efforts, the Safeguarding America's Future and Environment (SAFE) Act would establish an integrated national approach to ongoing and expected effects of extreme weather and climate change. "Right now in Oregon we're feeling the undeniable impact of climate change -- everything … Continue Reading

November 29, 2017

Wyden, Rubio, Warner Introduce “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act” to Empower Students as Consumers and Showcase New Privacy-Protecting Technology

Washington, D.C. - With the cost of college at an all-time high, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mark Warner, D-Va., today introduced updated legislation to provide critical information to help students, families, policymakers and taxpayers better understand the costs and outcomes associated with higher education. The bipartisan "Student Right to Know Before You Go Act" makes data available to prospective college students about schools' graduation rates, debt levels, how … Continue Reading

November 29, 2017

Wyden, Merkley: La Pine Receiving Federal Help for City Wastewater System

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed more than $8 million in new federal rural development funding for La Pine to upgrade its wastewater system. The Oregon senators said the $5 million loan and $3.7 million grant from the Agriculture Department will help La Pine to reduce construction costs as part of a project responding to public health concerns about residential wells in the town's Cagle and Glenwood Acres subdivisions. "These resources are a must for … Continue Reading

November 17, 2017

Senate Passes Wyden, Merkley Provision in Defense Bill to Encourage National Guard to Train Members to Fight Wildfires

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced they successfully included legislation to help train additional members of the National Guard to fight wildfires in a defense bill the Senate passed this week. The senators worked to include their legislation, which facilitates training of more National Guard members for wildfire response, in a bill members from both Houses of Congress negotiated. The provision is especially important in states like Oregon, hard-hit … Continue Reading

November 17, 2017

Wyden: Congress Needs to Step Up if the White House Won’t Work to Protect Communities from Wildfires

Washington, D.C. - On the heels of the most expensive wildfire season on record, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today slammed the Trump administration for failing to provide aid for communities in the West and across the country ravaged by wildfires this year. The administration had committed to releasing a package in the coming weeks to help recovery efforts from 2017's natural disasters, including major hurricanes and record-breaking wildfires. Yet the disaster aid request from the White House to … Continue Reading

November 17, 2017

Wyden, Merkley: Keep Coast Guard Newport Station Open Permanently

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they want the U.S. Coast Guard reauthorization bill to keep open permanently the Newport air station on the Oregon Coast. The Oregon senators made their views known in a bipartisan letter also signed by Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham (both R-S.C.). "We remain extremely concerned about Coast Guard air facilities in the high-use ports of Newport, Oregon and Charleston, South Carolina," the four lawmakers wrote Sen. John … Continue Reading

November 17, 2017

Wyden Urges Support for School and Library Internet Access Program

Washington - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged federal officials to protect the E-Rate program, an essential source of federal funding to connect the nation's schools and libraries to the internet. With the growth of smartphones and tablet use, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modernized the E-Rate program in 2014, making funds available to expand Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries. The FCC directed the Wireline Competition Bureau to compile a report on the adequacy of the … Continue Reading

November 16, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Urge ICE To Accept DACA Applications Delayed By Postal Service

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are calling on the Department of Homeland Security to allow people whose DACA renewal applications were rejected because of U.S. Postal Service processing delays to resubmit their applications. The letter signed by the Oregon senators and 22 of their colleagues follows recent reports that DHS has rejected renewal requests for DACA received after the October 5, 2017 deadline application deadline due to Postal Service delays. They called … Continue Reading

November 15, 2017

Wyden Opposes Congressional Republican Effort to Open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Oil and Gas Drilling

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against the Senate Republican plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee business meeting. Republicans in Congress claim drilling in the Arctic Refuge is necessary to fill a $1 billion hole in the Republican budget. However, similar lease sales near the North Slope of Alaska have not come close to raising that amount of money, according to news … Continue Reading

November 14, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Call for Investigation into Reported Violations of Sensitive Locations Immigration Enforcement Policy

Washington, DC - Following reports that a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy was detained on her way to receive surgery, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are calling for an investigation into ongoing violations of federal policies regarding immigration enforcement at sensitive locations like schools, hospitals, and religious institutions. The Oregon senators' letter - also signed by 14 of their colleagues -- details the reported detention of the girl stopped by immigration … Continue Reading

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

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