Press Releases

July 20, 2011

Senate Passes Wyden, Merkley Amendment to Close Umatilla Depot under BRAC

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to prevent the derailing of 20 years of planning by Eastern Oregon residents, the U.S. Senate today passed a bill which includes an amendment sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to close the Umatilla Army Depot under the previously agreed upon base closure process. The Wyden-Merkley amendment to the Military Construction Appropriations bill overrules a determination by the Pentagon's Office of General Counsel that the depot could … Continue Reading

July 20, 2011


WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the time it has said it needs to adequately consider new boiler MACT rules. In April 2010, pursuant to court orders, EPA first announced new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) … Continue Reading

July 19, 2011

Wyden, Coats Statement on The Gang of Six’s Inclusion of Comprehensive Tax Reform in Deficit Reduction Plan

Washington, D.C. - After the Senate's Gang of Six unveiled their bipartisan proposal to reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion over ten years, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.) released the following statement supporting the Gang's decision to include comprehensive tax reform as one of the driving forces of their deficit reduction strategy: "This morning demonstrated that there are a number of senators ready and willing to tackle meaningful deficit reduction and tax … Continue Reading

July 14, 2011

Merkley and Wyden Announce Approval of the West Butte Wind Energy Project

Washington, DC - Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the U.S. Department of Interior has given a green light for the West Butte Wind Project in Central Oregon. The wind farm will produce up to 104 megawatts of electricity for homes and businesses and create jobs now. "Clean renewable energy, like the electricity West Butte Wind Energy Project will produce, makes our air cleaner and creates jobs," said Merkley. "The approval will help put people back to work and … Continue Reading

July 14, 2011

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $4 Million for Oregon School-based Health Centers

Washington, DC - Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded over $4 million to twelve school-based health centers across Oregon to expand access to quality health care to children while at school. Funding for these awards comes from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. "Investments in preventive health care like health screenings, health promotion, and disease prevention activities are a key to … Continue Reading

July 14, 2011

Wyden, Merkley File Amendments to Require Umatilla Chemical Depot be Closed Under BRAC

Washington, D.C. - Following up on a promise to legislatively block the Army's 11th - hour decision to forego twenty years of planning and more than a million dollars of taxpayer funds by closing the Umatilla Chemical Depot outside of the BRAC process, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) filed amendments to the Military Construction Appropriations bill to prohibit the spending of any federal funds to close the depot outside of the BRAC program. "This last minute attempt … Continue Reading

July 14, 2011

Wyden and Udall Call for Informed Debate of Domestic Surveillance Law

Washington, D.C. - Congress has until late 2012 to extend the FISA Amendments Act of 2008's expiring new authorities and U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Col.) say Congress should use the time to thoroughly consider how the law has been interpreted and implemented. In a letter to the Director of National Intelligence, Wyden and Udall -- both members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - state: "We believe that the debate over these initiatives will be better … Continue Reading

July 14, 2011

Pair of Wyden, Merkley Land Management Bills Pass Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Washington, D.C. - With tourism in eastern Oregon being a promising way to boost the economy of local communities, legislation to transfer federal land to the cities of La Pine and Wallowa passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today. Introduced by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the pair of bills benefitting La Pine and Wallowa as well as Deschutes County will give these localities access to hundreds of acres of federal land for community … Continue Reading

July 14, 2011

Wyden, Stabenow Bill To Promote Alternative Fuels Passes Energy Committee

Washington, D.C. - In a victory for Americans hurt by the price of gasoline this summer, legislation to promote the implementation of viable alternatives to oil to meet transportation needs passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today. Introduced by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Debbie Stabenow (D- Mich.), the Alternative Fuels Vehicles Competitiveness and Security Act will increase energy security and reduce dependence on foreign oil by supporting the manufacturers of … Continue Reading

July 13, 2011

Brown, Wyden, McCain Introduce Affordable Medicines Utilization Act Of 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to increase consumer flexibility and save taxpayer dollars, U.S. Senators Scott Brown (R-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John McCain (R-AZ) introduced bipartisan legislation today that will encourage states to take advantage of cost-saving generic drugs. According to a recent study, states waste more than $300 million a year just by not taking advantage of generic drug options. The Affordable Medicines Utilization Act of 2011 offers states incentives to use generic … Continue Reading

July 08, 2011

Wyden and Portman Call for US Leadership on Fixing Fisheries Subsidies at WTO Negotiations

Washington, D.C. - In advance of the final World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rob Portman (R-OH) sounded an alarm over the exploitation of fisheries and the global economic impact of fisheries subsidies in a letter to Ambassador Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative. Currently, more than 85 percent of the world's fisheries face exploitation, a 10 percent increase in the last four years according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization … Continue Reading

July 07, 2011

Signs Point to Comprehensive Tax Reform – Time to Gear Up?

MEMORANDUM TO: Reporters and Editors FROM: Jennifer Hoelzer (Wyden) and Tara Dijulio (Coats) RE: Signs Point to Comprehensive Tax Reform - Time to Gear Up? DATE: Thursday, July 07, 2011 If you love tax reform as much as we do, the last 24 hours have been very exciting! Speaking at a Bloomberg breakfast this morning, White House Senior Advisor, David Plouffe said this debate was a "moment of opportunity" to "do something on tax reform of a significant nature," and at a news … Continue Reading

July 06, 2011

Wyden, Coats Ask President and Debt Limit Negotiators to Include Tax Reform in a Debt Reduction Plan

Washington, D.C. - This afternoon, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.) sent a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders participating in tomorrow's debt ceiling negotiations outlining how comprehensive tax reform would make it possible for both parties to move past the current partisan stalemate. Recognizing that there is not enough time to restructure the tax code by August 2, the senators call on the president and congressional leadership to include a timeline … Continue Reading

June 30, 2011

Wyden Sex Trafficking Legislation Included in Leahy-Brown Trafficking Victims Bill

Washington, D.C. - After leading the campaign to put domestic sex trafficking of children on the national agenda, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), worked with Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy to include key provisions of his legislation into the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2011. The Wyden-authored provision will help put an end to this modern-day sexual slavery. Similar to the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act that … Continue Reading

June 29, 2011

13 Senators team up to assure LGBT youth that “It Gets Better”

Cosponsors of Defense of Marriage Act repeal produce video for "It Gets Better Project" WASHINGTON - Thirteen United States Senators have teamed up to encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people not to give up, reassuring them in a video released Wednesday that they are working hard in the Senate to fulfill the promise of equality for all. The video is part of the It Gets Better Project (, which was founded last year after a series of tragic suicides … Continue Reading

June 23, 2011

Wyden, Merkley, Walden Urge Secretary of Defense to Close Umatilla Chemical Depot under BRAC, end Federal Ownership of the Facility

Washington, D.C. - Arguing that the Department of Defense's 11th-hour attempt to keep the Umatilla Chemical Depot under federal ownership is "wasteful and counterproductive," Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today urged the Secretary of Defense to close the facility under the Base Realignment and Closure authority, as required by law. Despite spending $1 million in federal funds to finance 20 years of local planning on what to do with … Continue Reading

June 22, 2011

Wyden Statement on President Obama’s Afghanistan Speech

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has issued the following statement on President Obama's speech on Afghanistan. "While I am pleased that the President is starting to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, as I have long been saying, I would like to see our forces transition from a broad counterinsurgency strategy to a more focused - and more sustainable - counterterrorism strategy. By that I mean that American troops should continue conducting operations against al-Qaida - which still … Continue Reading

June 21, 2011

Wyden Statement on Confirmation of Judge Simon to U.S. District Court

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement congratulating Judge Michael Simon on his confirmation as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Oregon. Simon was confirmed by the Senate this afternoon by a vote of 64 to 35: "It was my pleasure to propose Judge Simon for the District Court seat he will now hold and I am grateful that the U.S. Senate agreed with my assessment of Judge Simon's impeccable attributes. Over the years, Judge Simon has … Continue Reading

June 15, 2011

Wyden, Murkowski Introduce Bill To Reform CCF for Fishermen

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today introduced a bill that gives commercial fishermen - in Alaska, Oregon and nationwide - added flexibility when it comes to funds they've set aside for renovations or new construction of their fishing boats. "There was a time when CCF accounts were an integral part of building the modern and efficient fleet of fishing vessels the U.S. needed to compete with foreign fishing outfits," Wyden said. "But the … Continue Reading

June 15, 2011

Wyden, Chaffetz Introduce GPS Act

Washington, D.C. - New technologies - like cell phones, smart phones, laptops and navigation devices - are making it increasingly easy to track and log the location of individual Americans, yet federal laws have not kept pace with the technology. The lack of legal clarity surrounding the use of electronically-obtained location data, also known as geolocation information, means that there are no clear rules for how this data can be used, accessed or sold by law enforcement, commercial entities … Continue Reading

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