Press Releases

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

October 20, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, Crapo, Cantwell, Risch, Murray Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Boost Fire Prevention Efforts

Washington, D.C. - In the wake of another historic wildfire season, a bipartisan group of western senators introduced a common-sense bill to better prepare for and prevent costly wildfires. The Wildland Fires Act of 2017 will help further the federal and state firefighting agencies' "National Cohesive Fire Strategy" by authorizing additional funding for at-risk communities and directing federal agencies to treat their most-at-risk forests to better protect communities and to re-establish … Continue Reading

October 19, 2017

Wyden: Secretary Perry is Putting Coal Executives over American Consumers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to withdraw a proposed Energy Department rule that Wyden stressed is a thinly veiled attempt to prop up uncompetitive coal companies at the expense of American consumers. The Department of Energy's proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule, which Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced in September, would do nothing to achieve its stated goal of improving the reliability of the electricity … Continue Reading

October 18, 2017

Wyden Amendment to Budget would Stop Republican Funding Cuts to Meals on Wheels

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced an amendment to the budget legislation the Senate is considering that would protect the Meals on Wheels program from Republican efforts to gut the program and use that funding to pay for tax cuts for wealthy Americans. The amendment would block any Republican budget proposal that would slash funding for Meals on Wheels. "The list of appalling things in this budget grows by the hour, but among the worst is that Republicans … Continue Reading

October 18, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, Crapo, Colleagues Press Senate Leadership to Include Bipartisan Wildfire Funding Fix in Upcoming Disaster Aid Legislation

Washington, D.C. - With deadly fires still raging in California and across the West, a bipartisan group of senators led by Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both D-Ore., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, today pressed Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell and Charles E. Schumer in a letter to include a wildfire funding fix in disaster aid legislation the Senate will soon consider. In addition to Wyden, Merkley and Crapo, the senators who signed the letter are Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Dianne Feinstein, … Continue Reading

October 18, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Ask VA Secretary About High Veteran Suicide Rate in Western States

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to find solutions to the high veteran suicide rate across the Western United States. The Oregon senators' letter with nine of their Senate colleagues to VA Secretary David J. Shulkin, M.D. notes that the veteran suicide rate throughout the West is 7 percent higher than the rest of the country. A lack of doctors in remote areas, increased isolation by veterans suffering from PTSD, and … Continue Reading

October 17, 2017

Wyden Introduces Bipartisan Child Welfare Act to Improve Government Oversight of Foster Care

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen oversight and accountability of child welfare systems and individual providers, improve training for caseworkers, and provide incentives for more children in foster care to be placed with family members. The Child Welfare Oversight and Accountability Act introduced by Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, follows … Continue Reading

October 16, 2017

Oregon Delegation Urges Prompt EPA Action on Portland Harbor site

WASHINGTON - All seven members of Oregon's congressional delegation today urged federal environmental officials to support the prompt transition of the Portland Harbor Superfund site from the prolonged study phase to active cleanup. The letter from U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt notes that the Portland Harbor has been on EPA's … Continue Reading

October 12, 2017

Oregon Lawmakers Caution Administration over Removal of Environmental Rules Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader joined several of their House and Senate colleagues in sending a forceful letter to the White House urging caution and a careful consideration of the facts before the Trump administration removes the science-based environmental rules that protect Alaska's Bristol Bay and the jobs of the fishermen who depend on it. Removing the existing clean water … Continue Reading

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