Press Releases

January 31, 2017

Wyden Statement on Senate Panel Vote for Energy Secretary

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement after voting against the nomination of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting today: "I pressed Gov. Perry on what he would do to change the culture for workers at the Department of Energy given the department's disturbing history of retaliating against whistleblowers. I also asked him about his plans to clean up our … Continue Reading

January 31, 2017

Wyden Abstains from Voting on Zinke Nomination to be Secretary of the Interior

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement after abstaining from voting on the nomination of Rep. Ryan Zinke to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior: "Today I abstained from voting on Representative Zinke because Oregonians need clarification on recent news reports that indicate he may be interested in moving the management of all the nation's forests into the Department of the Interior, including those currently managed by the U.S. Forest … Continue Reading

January 30, 2017

Wyden Statement on Introduction of Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act

Washington, DC -- Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on introduction of his Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act: "Oregon's economy earns significant benefits from the jobs and small business growth created by our state's world-renowned craft beer, wine and spirits producers," said Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees excise taxes and alcohol regulations. "This bill would ensure these industries no longer face the unfair … Continue Reading

January 27, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio, Blumenauer, Bonamici Say Hiring Freeze Raises Firefighting Concerns

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Jeff Merkley, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici today told the White House that its action freezing federal employee hiring for 90 days raises significant questions about having enough seasonal workers to fight forest fires in Oregon and nationwide. "Without staff in place to prepare for the wildfire season, which is starting earlier and earlier every year due to climate change and years of severe drought conditions across … Continue Reading

January 26, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Seek Disaster Aid for Malheur County, Eastern Oregon

Washington - Senator Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked federal officials to begin the process that makes disaster aid available to farmers and businesses in Malheur County as well as other Eastern Oregon counties hard hit by severe winter weather since December. "This relief is desperately needed by these communities, to rebuild and get back to a normal routine," the senators wrote Michael Young, Acting Secretary of the federal Agriculture Department. In their letter seeking a disaster … Continue Reading

January 25, 2017

Wyden Statement on Reported Executive Orders Resuming CIA Torture Program and Banning Refugees

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement in response to reported executive orders opening the door to torture and creating a ban on refugees and immigrants from several majority Muslim nations. "What the Trump administration appears to be considering with regard to interrogation and detention would be illegal, contrary to our fundamental American values and profoundly destructive to our national security. These reported deliberations within the administration … Continue Reading

January 25, 2017

Oregon Lawmakers Introduce Mt. Hood Land Exchange Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Representatives Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., this week introduced legislation to protect and enhance Oregon's land conservation priorities on Mt. Hood. Wyden and Merkley introduced the Mt. Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act in the Senate to help resolve a decades-long dispute over proposed land development on the northeast side of Mt. Hood. Walden and Blumenauer introduced the … Continue Reading

January 25, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Schrader Oppose EPA Grants Freeze

Washington, D.C. - Six Oregon lawmakers today told the White House that its decision to freeze grants administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) poses a serious threat to fundamental public health and environmental protections in Oregon and nationwide. "Americans deserve to know whether the EPA will protect their health and safety and defend their communities from air, land, and water contamination,'' said the letter to the president from Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and … Continue Reading

January 24, 2017

Statement on Appointment of Ajit Pai as FCC Chairman

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement on the president's choice of Ajit Pai as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC): "The job of the FCC is to ensure a free and open internet and always put consumers first, not big corporations. Over the past years, the FCC has robustly looked out for Americans - not special interests. As with many appointments by Mr. Trump, I am concerned that as Chairman, Commissioner Pai will work for policies … Continue Reading

January 20, 2017

Senators Oppose Rushed Confirmation For CIA Nominee

WASHINGTON - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., today said they oppose a rushed confirmation of Rep. Mike Pompeo to serve as director of the Director of Central Intelligence without senators having the opportunity to debate the nomination. "No CIA Director in history has ever been confirmed on Inauguration Day. The importance of the position of CIA Director, especially in these dangerous times, demands that the nomination be thoroughly … Continue Reading

January 19, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Urge Feds to Reconsider Deregulating Genetically Engineered Plant

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today wrote federal officials to express concerns about the deregulation of a genetically engineered plant that threatens Oregon's agriculture, recreation and grass seed industry. The senators' letter to Acting Agriculture Department Secretary Michael Scuse follows the announcement this week from the department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service that it would deregulate Scotts Company's and Monsanto Company's ASR368 Creeping … Continue Reading

January 18, 2017

Wyden Announces ‘No’ Vote on Betsy DeVos to Head the Department of Education

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced he will vote against the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be the next secretary of the Department of Education. "A bedrock principle of America's public educational system is investing public money in schools meant to serve everyone, not siphoning off scarce taxpayer dollars to private or religious education. Unfortunately, the president-elect's choice for Education Secretary has indicated she supports an approach that flies in … Continue Reading

January 18, 2017

Wyden, Feinstein Ask CIA Director Brennan to Correct or Clarify Testimony About Accountability for CIA Torture Program

Washington, D.C. - Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., requested that Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan publicly correct or clarify his testimony during the June 16, 2016 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, in a letter released today. Read the full letter here. Sen. Feinstein was vice chair of the committee during the hearing, and Sen. Wyden is a senior Intelligence Committee member. The following exchange occurred during that … Continue Reading

January 17, 2017

Wyden to Oppose Pruitt for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today went to the Senate floor to express his opposition to the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Mr. Pruitt's career is defined by repeated attempts to weaken or eliminate health-based environmental standards, worker protections, air quality standards for toxic air pollutants, and limits on carbon emissions to take on the challenge of climate change," Wyden said. "These rollbacks would hurt … Continue Reading

January 17, 2017

Wyden Presses Interior Secretary Nominee on Public Lands, Sage Grouse, Recreation and Forestry in Senate Panel Hearing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today pressed Rep. Ryan Zinke, the incoming administration's nominee to be the next secretary of the Interior Department, on a number of Oregon priorities, including upholding current sage grouse plans, boosting the recreation economy, finding sustainable forestry policies and protecting and managing public lands. "Oregonians have long held certain things dear: open access to public lands and recreation opportunities, clean air and clean … Continue Reading

January 13, 2017

Wyden Praises Removal of “Browser Spying” and Restrictions on Privacy Watchdog from Intelligence Authorization Act

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Wyden, D-Ore., succeeded in removing two problematic provisions from the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act, which was voted out of the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday. The first would have given the government access to Americans' browsing history, email records and other digital records without so much as a court order. The second provision would have limited the jurisdiction of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Wyden blocked the bill from … Continue Reading

January 12, 2017

Merkley, Wyden Applaud Expansion of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today welcomed the news that President Barack Obama is expanding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon, helping to protect the environmental quality and recreation opportunities that are essential to the region's way of life and economy. The monument expansion comes at a critical time for the Cascade-Siskiyou region, as climate change and intensifying development create new threats to this unique and … Continue Reading

January 11, 2017

Responding to Senators’ Request, FCC Releases Framework for Protecting Consumers Against Harmful Zero-Rating Plans

WASHINGTON - Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) joined Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today praising the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for developing a comprehensive framework for evaluating whether zero-rating plans abide by the critical net neutrality protections established in the Open Internet Order. The FCC issued the report in response to the senators' zero-rating inquiry in November. Other Senators joining Senator Markey's effort were Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bernie … Continue Reading

January 10, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Support Oregon’s Dungeness Crab Fishing Industry

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced legislation this week to continue a decades-long fishery management agreement that has been vital to Oregon's Dungeness crab fishing industry. The bipartisan bill would help ensure certainty for the industry and coastal communities by making permanent a tri-state state management agreement that has been successful since 1998. The states of Oregon, Washington and California cooperatively manage the West Coast crab … Continue Reading

January 10, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer ask President to Review Federal Prison Terms for Oregonians Serving Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Nonviolent Offenses

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Earl Blumenauer asked President Obama to review the cases of Oregonians serving mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses in federal prison. Their letter urged the president to commute the sentences of those who are eligible when appropriate to a shortened sentence or time-served. "We write to express our deep concern for the many Oregonians who are currently serving mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent … Continue Reading

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