Press Releases

July 13, 2015

Senators Ask Federal Agencies About Efforts to Facilitate Medical Marijuana Research

WASHINGTON, DC - A group of eight United States senators today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requesting information about the agencies' efforts to facilitate and coordinate scientific research on medical marijuana. The letter was signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff … Continue Reading

July 09, 2015

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Legislation to Provide Access to Banking Services for Legal Marijuana Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, a bipartisan group of senators, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., introduced the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015, legislation to ensure that legal marijuana businesses can access banking services. Currently, marijuana businesses operating under state laws that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana have been mostly denied access to the banking system because banks that … Continue Reading

July 09, 2015

Wyden Praises Increased Focus on Graduation Rates in Senate Education Reform Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded the inclusion of his provision to help boost high school graduation rates in Oregon and across the country in a bill to reauthorize federal education funding that is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate. The Wyden-authored provision would make more low-income and low-performing middle and high schools eligible for federal funding that can be used to help schools enhance student achievement. The provision expands … Continue Reading

July 09, 2015

Senate Democrats Call for Equal Dignity in the Tax Code

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore. along with the full Senate Democratic Caucus today unveiled legislation providing equal dignity for all legal marriages in the tax code. The bill, the "Equal Dignity for Married Taxpayers Act" sets new precedent by removing gender-specific references to marriage, enshrining dignity and recognition for LGBTQ Americans in the tax code. "It's about time that we update our tax law to reflect the institution of legal … Continue Reading

June 30, 2015

Wyden Blasts Unnecessary Resumption of NSA Phone Records Dragnet

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today criticized a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decision allowing the NSA to resume collecting millions of Americans' phone records. The decision allows five more months of the NSA dragnet, before the phone records program is banned for good. "I see no reason for the Executive Branch to restart bulk collection, even for a few months. This illegal dragnet surveillance violated Americans' rights for fourteen years without making our … Continue Reading

June 29, 2015

Wyden to Visit All of Oregon’s Seven Wonders in Seven Days

Portland, OR - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden joined with Travel Oregon officials on Monday to kick off his weeklong tour of the state's 7 Wonders, spotlighting the huge economic role each natural icon plays in creating recreation and tourism jobs throughout Oregon. Wyden's news conference with Travel Oregon and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer was at KEEN, one of the many Oregon businesses that benefits from the economic spinoffs of the state's recreation economy. Wyden's trip through Fourth of July weekend … Continue Reading

June 26, 2015

Wyden Statement on Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision

WASHINGTON - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges: "The Supreme Court's decision is a wonderful leap forward along the arc toward justice Dr. King spoke of, in recognizing that all Americans should have the freedom to marry the person they love," Wyden said. "But the fight for equality does not end today. As lawmakers, we must … Continue Reading

June 25, 2015

Wyden: State Department Should Not OK Arms Sales to Bahrain

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged the State Department not to allow certain arms sales to Bahrain until the Persian Gulf nation makes major improvements on human rights. A Bloomberg View article last week reported that Secretary of State John Kerry had committed to resume arms sales to Bahrain, despite a long list of human rights violations detailed in the department's own Human Rights Report. In April, Amnesty International found the Bahrain government continues to … Continue Reading

June 24, 2015

Wyden, Markey, Franken, Blumenthal, Cantwell, Call on FCC to Boost Mobile Competition in Spectrum Auction

WASHINGTON - Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to craft spectrum auction rules for the upcoming incentive auction that increase competition, innovation and consumer choice in the mobile phone marketplace by ensuring that companies of all sizes have access to spectrum. With demand for data-driven wireless devices … Continue Reading

June 18, 2015

Wyden-Crapo Fire Funding Provision Included in Interior Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. Provisions to pay for the most extreme wildfires through federal disaster funding were included in the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior Appropriations Bill, which was passed by a Senate panel today. The funding method is similar to legislation introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who have been concerned that firefighting budgets in recent years have taken funding from other programs, including those that restore habitat and maintain jobs in national … Continue Reading

June 18, 2015

Following Action by Wyden, Brown and Merkley, VA Finalizes Rule to Extend Benefits to Reservists Exposed to Agent Orange Residue

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. today applauded news that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a final decision that qualifies reservists who served on Fairchild UC-123 Provider (C-123) aircraft, that were previously contaminated with Agent Orange, as veterans so they can receive proper healthcare and disability benefits. On June 10, the senators blocked the confirmation of Dr. David J. Shulkin, President Obama's … Continue Reading

June 17, 2015

Wyden, Heller Bill Requires Warrants For Aerial Surveillance

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., today introduced the Protecting Individuals From Mass Aerial Surveillance Act, which requires the federal government to obtain a warrant when it conducts aerial surveillance in the United States. As new technology like high-quality digital cameras, cellphone tracking equipment and low-cost unmanned aerial systems (UASs) have removed barriers to monitoring Americans from the air, this bipartisan legislation would create … Continue Reading

June 16, 2015

Wyden to Hold up Energy Department Nomination over Unaddressed Hanford Concerns

Washington, D.C.- Sen. Ron Wyden, D- Ore., today said he would object to the Senate's consideration of the Department of Energy's nominee for Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management, in a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Wyden said he would hold up the full Senate proceeding to vote on the nomination of Monica C. Regalbuto until the Energy Department takes "concrete action" to address both the culture of hostility for workers at Hanford … Continue Reading

June 16, 2015

Wyden Praises Senate Vote To Ban Torture

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised the Senate's passage of an amendment banning torture by U.S. intelligence agencies. The amendment, by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and John McCain, R-Ariz., requires intelligence agencies to follow the Army Field Manual's guidelines for interrogations. Wyden co-sponsored the amendment, which was added to a defense policy bill. "With today's vote, the Senate expressed clear support for strengthening and clarifying the U.S. ban on torture," … Continue Reading

June 12, 2015

Wyden Sponsors Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act

Portland, Ore. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has introduced legislation that would promote continued job creation in the growing craft beverage, cider, wine and distillery industries throughout Oregon and the country. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, S.1562, introduced Thursday would cut taxes and modernize outdated regulations for craft brewers, cider makers, vintners, and distillers. In Oregon, those industries are responsible for an estimated 40,000 jobs collectively and … Continue Reading

June 11, 2015

Wyden, Bonamici Urge Education Department to Protect Students’ Privacy on College Campuses

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici today release the following joint statement after receiving responses from the Department of Education on privacy protections for student health records on college campuses: "Student privacy is critical to maintaining a safe environment on our college campuses. All students should feel confident that they can see a doctor or report a sexual assault without their information being exposed or their privacy violated. The … Continue Reading

June 11, 2015

Wyden Statement on Republicans Failed Effort to Move Bad Cybersecurity Bill Forward

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released the following statement after Senate Republicans failed in their ill-advised efforts to attach the Cyber Security Information Act to NDAA. "Today we beat back a Republican effort to use procedural tricks to pass a bad cybersecurity bill. But this is just the beginning," Wyden said. "I will keep fighting against bad policies that do little to stop hackers, prioritize corporations over Americans and have no meaningful privacy … Continue Reading

June 11, 2015

Wyden, Brown and Merkley Block Veterans Affairs Nominee Confirmation Until Adminstration Responds to Demands for Benefits for C-123 Reservists Exposed to Agent Orange

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, blocked the confirmation of David J. Shulkin, President Obama's nominee for Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The senators' hold on his confirmation will remain in place until the VA releases a final decision on qualifying reservists who served on Fairchild UC-123 Provider (C-123) aircraft, that were previously contaminated with Agent Orange, as veterans so they can … Continue Reading

June 10, 2015

Wyden: Wasco County Disaster Designation Underscores Need for Fire Funding

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today vowed to keep fighting for wildfire funding after U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack designated Wasco County, Oregon, as a primary natural disaster area and seven nearby Oregon counties as natural disaster counties due to dangerous drought conditions. The disaster designations come a day after House Republicans proposed a bill that would provide wildfire funds based on the current funding approach, which has underfunded fire … Continue Reading

June 09, 2015

Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Ensure Women’s Access to Affordable Birth Control

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden today co-sponsored legislation that would make sure women have affordable access to the birth control option that works best for them. The Affordability is Access Act co-sponsored by Wyden and 29 other senators builds on work done in the Affordable Care Act to ensure that women would not have to pay out of pocket for this essential piece of health care coverage. "Women's access to affordable contraception should not be up for debate," Wyden said. … Continue Reading

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