Press Releases

March 23, 2017

Wyden: Gorsuch’s History on Torture and Secret Law is Disqualifying for Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. - Judge Neil Gorsuch's work to enable torture and secret law, and his inability to explain it in testimony this week, is disqualifying for someone who would serve on the Supreme Court, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said today. "Judge Gorsuch is a practitioner of secret law. He wrote to the author of Justice Department torture memos that the Detainee Treatment Act was 'essentially codifying existing interrogation policies.' Besides being substantively wrong, this assertion … Continue Reading

March 21, 2017

Wyden Highlights Outdoor Recreation Economy, Wildfire Funding Fix as Parts of Improving Public Lands Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today highlighted the potential of the outdoor recreation economy and the need to address wildfire funding to improve maintenance of our public lands, in a Senate panel hearing. In a hearing on public lands infrastructure before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyden emphasized the strong link between fixing wildfire funding and maintaining the nation's forests. He and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, have introduced the Wildfire … Continue Reading

March 16, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Join Congressional Members to Introduce “NO HATE” Act

Washington, D.C. - Following a national surge in hate crimes, Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined Democratic legislators in the House and Senate to introduce legislation that would strengthen federal laws combatting hate speech, threats and attacks. As incidents of hate crimes continue to rise, the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act would improve reporting and expand assistance and resources for victims of hate crimes. Recent … Continue Reading

March 16, 2017

Wyden: White House Budget Outline a “Reckless Waste of Taxpayer Dollars”

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on the president's budget outline, released today: "Skyrocketing military spending, which already consumes half of the budget, while cutting vital resources to protect working families and the environment, would be a reckless waste of taxpayer dollars. "Rural counties in Oregon and across the country are already suffering from budget shortfalls when it comes to keeping their schools open, fighting wildfires in … Continue Reading

March 15, 2017

Wyden: The Public Must Know How Many Americans Are Swept Up In Warrantless Surveillance Under FISA 702

Washington, D.C. - Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., took to the Senate floor today to call for the executive branch to finally reveal how many Americans have their phone calls, emails and other communications swept up - without warrants - under a surveillance program intended to target people overseas. Wyden has spent six years seeking how many law-abiding Americans have their calls and messages swept up under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The program expires at the end … Continue Reading

March 15, 2017

Wyden, Lieu Ask DHS To Tell Americans About Serious Security Threat to Mobile Phones

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., today urged the Department of Homeland Security to tell Americans how their security may be threatened by a vulnerability that could allow hackers and foreign governments to track, wiretap, and hack their mobile phones. "We suspect that most Americans simply have no idea how easy it is for a relatively sophisticated adversary to track their movements, tap their calls, and hack their smartphones. We are also concerned that … Continue Reading

March 15, 2017

Wyden, Grassley, McCaskill: Bring Whistleblower Protections to Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, today introduced legislation to expand protections for whistleblowers in the legislative branch. The bill shields congressional employees from retaliation when they expose fraud, waste or misconduct. It is modeled after policies that protect whistleblowers in many executive branch agencies. "Whistleblowers are a crucial line of defense against government waste, fraud and abuse. No branch … Continue Reading

March 14, 2017

Wyden, Senators Call on Education Department to Explain Delay of Gainful Employment Rule

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., along with a group of Democratic senators including Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., today called on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to explain the Department's decision to delay the implementation of the Gainful Employment (GE) rule, which requires career training programs to provide students with reasonable return on their educational investment - good-paying jobs that allow them to repay their student … Continue Reading

March 13, 2017

Wyden Urges Education Secretary to Spell Out Trump Plans to Increase Graduation Rates at Public High Schools

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to spell out the Trump Administration's plans to help public high schools increase graduation rates in Oregon and across the country. In a letter today, Wyden specifically asked DeVos how she would implement a Wyden priority to increase graduation rates that was included in the new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act. Congress passed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 to … Continue Reading

March 08, 2017

Wyden Renews Request for Number of Americans Caught in Foreign Intelligence Dragnet

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the executive branch and the nominee to serve as Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, to provide the number of Americans whose calls, emails and other communications have been collected without warrants under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Wyden asked for this information before a full Senate vote on the confirmation of Senator Coats, who has stated that the reauthorization of Section 702 is his "top … Continue Reading

March 08, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Permanently Authorize, Fully Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as 20 other senators introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently authorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which conserves and promotes access to America's national parks, forests and public lands. After expiring for the first time in 50 years, Congress voted in December 2015 to extend the program's authorization for only three years. "The Land and Water Conservation Fund has proven to … Continue Reading

March 07, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Low-income Housing Legislation

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would target the affordable housing crisis by strengthening and expanding the federal low-income housing tax credit. "This legislation provides a solid foundation for the major remodel that America's housing policy needs in response to the lack of affordable housing for people of all ages," said Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. "Building on the proven … Continue Reading

March 07, 2017

Wyden: Shrinking Federal Timber Payments to Oregon Counties Highlight Need to Renew Secure Rural Schools Funding

Washington, DC - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today's announcement of reduced Forest Service payments to Oregon spotlight the need for Congress to act quickly to reauthorize Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding. Congressional failure to reauthorize SRS funding that's brought almost $4 billion since 2000 to Oregon's timber counties and schools means the Forest Service must revert to making payments that provide just 25 percent of the federal timber sale revenue from national forestlands generated in … Continue Reading

March 06, 2017

Wyden, McCaskill, Markey Call on Energy Secretary Perry to Hold Contractors Accountable for Whistleblower Retaliation

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., today called on the Department of Energy's new secretary, Rick Perry, to immediately reinstate rules to hold contractors accountable for retaliating against whistleblowers who report nuclear safety violations. In a letter to Perry today, the senators noted the Department of Energy's (DOE) "long history" of failing to protect against a culture of retaliation and intimidation against … Continue Reading

March 06, 2017

Wyden Statement on New Ban on Refugees and Immigrants from Six Majority Muslim Nations

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement on a new executive order blocking refugees and immigrants from six majority Muslim nations. "Today's order is little more than a warmed-over rehash of the original. It remains a barely disguised religious ban that will do absolutely nothing to protect our country. If there was any doubt this was about satisfying a far-right wing fantasy, not security, the month-long delay in reissuing the ban is concrete proof," Wyden … Continue Reading

March 06, 2017

Wyden Calls on Trump to Release White House Visitor Logs

Washington, DC - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged the White House and the Secret Service to continue the previous administration's policy of releasing White House complex visitor logs so the American people can know who is influencing their government. Wyden was joined in making that request in two letters to the president and the Secret Service by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Tom Carper, D-Del., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Richard … Continue Reading

March 03, 2017

Wyden, Menendez, Blumenauer Unveil Legislation to Restore Transparency and Hold Puppy Mill Operators, Other Animal Abusers Accountable

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., introduced legislation this week to restore public information on animal cruelty that was erased from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website under the Trump Administration. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and a large group of House members are expected to introduce the House version next week. The Animal Welfare Accountability and Transparency Act would … Continue Reading

March 02, 2017

Wyden Votes ‘No’ on Perry to Lead Energy Department

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement on his vote against confirming former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to lead the U.S. Department of Energy: "The Energy Department can set the temperature for a boom in good-paying American jobs in clean energy technologies like wind, solar and hydropower. But as Trump is threatening to slash DOE's budget, Gov. Perry hasn't convinced me he's up to the task of creating those jobs and putting points on the board in … Continue Reading

March 02, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio Introduce Bill to Honor Frank and Jeanne Moore with Steelhead Special Management Area

Washington, DC - Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio today introduced legislation that would honor an Oregon couple's distinguished legacy of conservation and habitat preservation by designating nearly 100,000 acres of public lands in Oregon as the "Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area." The bill designating 99,653 acres of Forest Service land north of the North Umpqua River around Steamboat Creek in Douglas County would ensure the river, its … Continue Reading

March 01, 2017

Wyden Statement on Voting in Favor of Ryan Zinke to be the Next Secretary of the Interior

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., voted today in favor of confirming Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., to be the next secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior after two previous "present" votes. "After several discussions, I received an assurance that as secretary of the Interior, Rep. Zinke will focus on doing his job, which includes protecting our special places and managing the forests already within the Interior Department's control, instead of engaging in senseless … Continue Reading

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