Press Releases

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

October 11, 2017

Wyden, Colleagues Urge National Institutes of Health to Renew Critical Funding for Gun Violence Research

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined 26 of his Senate colleagues in urging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to renew a recently lapsed funding opportunity for firearm violence research. Following the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, President Obama directed the Department of Health and Human Services to research the causes of gun violence and how it can be prevented, resulting in the creation of a new funding opportunity to support … Continue Reading

October 10, 2017

Wyden Questions Justice Department About Spying on Journalists, Urges Reforms

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the Department of Justice how often it spies on journalists as part of leak investigations, following Attorney General Jeff Sessions' vow to crack down on leaks to reporters. "Journalists play a critical role in our democracy and the chill associated with the government obtaining their communications records in order to identify their sources cannot be overstated," Wyden wrote in a letter to Sessions today. Wyden urged Sessions to … Continue Reading

October 06, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Slam Interior Department’s Attempt to Undermine Local Management of Sage Grouse Lands

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley slammed a decision by the Interior Department to cancel parts of federal sage grouse plans created by local communities to prevent an Endangered Species Act listing of the Greater Sage-grouse. This week, the administration officially withdrew its application to prevent surface mining on areas with habitat of critical importance to the Greater Sage-grouse. The withdrawal upends years of local collaboration between farmers, … Continue Reading

October 06, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, Crapo, Risch, Bennet Note Fire Funding Included in Disaster Spending Recommendations

Washington, DC - Following numerous discussions among Western U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo,) with Administration leadership and agency officials, initial federal funding to begin fixing shortages in fire-fighting efforts known as "fire borrowing" is now being included in hurricane disaster budget recommendations. Wyden, Merkley, Crapo, Risch, Bennet, and other Western senators have pushed for a … Continue Reading

October 06, 2017

Wyden, Crapo, Bennet, Tester, Risch Introduce Bill to Improve Fire Recovery and Mitigation Efforts

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jim Risch (R-ID) introduced the Wildfire Mitigation Assistance Act to provide resources to assist communities recovering from damaging wildfires. The bill treats wildfires in the same manner as other natural disasters by making available Hazard Mitigation Assistance funding to states affected by catastrophic wildfires. "Wildfires have unfortunately proven once again to be the … Continue Reading

October 05, 2017

Wyden Votes Against Senate Budget Resolution

Washington, D.C. - Citing concerns over public education, the environment and consumer protections, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against the Senate budget resolution after an all-day negotiating session. "The sham Senate Budget resolution opens the door for Republicans to slam through schemes to siphon taxpayer dollars from public schools, drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and protect Wall Street stock traders instead of American consumers," Wyden said. "I voted against … Continue Reading

October 05, 2017

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Three Bills to Check Gun Violence

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week joined his Senate colleagues in introducing three bills that would close a firearm background check loophole, end liability protections for gun manufacturers and ban bump-stock devices that can convert rifles into machine guns. "The mass shooting in Las Vegas takes its place in a tragic litany of massacres that include Orlando, Umpqua Community College and far too many others," Wyden said. "These tragedies require more than 'thoughts … Continue Reading

October 05, 2017

Wyden Votes Against Nominee for Immigration Services

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against confirming Lee Francis Cissna to be the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security. "I cannot vote for a key architect behind Trump's awful travel ban, which was designed to satisfy a dangerous far-right wing fantasy and undermine our American values of accepting and encouraging the diversity that makes us stronger. Confirming Mr. Cissna empowers him to implement … Continue Reading

October 04, 2017

Wyden Pushes to Protect Public Lands, Boost Women-Owned Businesses in Senate Budget

Washington, D.C. - Ahead of a Thursday session to negotiate a Senate version of the congressional budget, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., filed two amendments this week to protect public lands and boost opportunities for women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. One of Wyden's amendments to the Senate budget bill this week would take the first step to allow Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is critical to protecting public lands and providing access … Continue Reading

October 04, 2017

Merkley, Wyden, Feinstein, Harris Urge NOAA to Declare Fisheries Disaster

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined with California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris to push the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to act quickly and support a catastrophic regional fishery disaster declaration requested by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown. The fishery disaster declarations have been pending since May, when the governors made a combined request after nearly 200 miles of coast in Oregon … Continue Reading

October 03, 2017

Wyden Questions Voting Machine Manufacturers on Security Measures

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked the top six U.S. voting machine manufacturers what steps they are taking to protect themselves from cyberattack, in a letter sent today. Wyden's letter follows repeated warnings from intelligence agencies that Russia and other foreign actors may try to target U.S. election infrastructure in upcoming elections, and comes after the Department of Homeland Security reported that Russian hackers targeted 21 states last year. "As our election systems … Continue Reading

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