Press Releases

October 27, 2016

Lawmakers Push Feds to Clarify Conflicting Rules on Growing and Selling Hemp

Washington, D.C. - After new guidance created widespread confusion about when and where farmers can grow, research and sell industrial hemp in the United States, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Representatives Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Jared Polis, D-Colo., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and 14 other members of Congress today pushed three federal agencies to clarify parts of the guidance that conflict with current laws. In August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), along … Continue Reading

October 25, 2016

Wyden, Merkley: Our Government Should Have No Part In Funding Discrimination

Washington, D.C. - As negotiations between House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) reach their final stage, Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and a group of other United States Senators today raised concerns regarding a dangerous provision included in the House-passed NDAA that would roll back critical workplace protections and enable taxpayer-funded discrimination. In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, … Continue Reading

October 21, 2016

Bipartisan Group of Pacific Northwest Senators Pushes for Pioneering U.S. Wave Energy Test Facility

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, today urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to support the construction of the United States' first open-ocean, power grid-connected wave energy test facility at a site off the Oregon coast. The senators wrote in support of a partnership made up of Oregon State University, the University of Washington and the University of … Continue Reading

October 18, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Statement on Interior Department’s Support of Klamath River Dam Removal

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today issued the following statement after news that Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell will formally support the applications for removal of four dams along the Klamath River, another crucial step toward addressing water issues affecting the region: "Today's letter from Secretary Jewell is a welcome move in maintaining the momentum around all parts of a workable Klamath River Basin resolution. The Interior Department's … Continue Reading

October 11, 2016

Wyden: FCC $2.3 Million Fine Against Comcast Sends A Message: Consumers Aren’t Captives to Big Cable Price Gouging

Washington, D.C. -Following pressure from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and his colleagues, the Federal Communication Commission's Enforcement Bureau today announced that Comcast will pay a $2.3 million fine to resolve an investigation into whether the company wrongfully charged cable TV customers for services and equipment that those customers never authorized. Under the terms of today's settlement, Comcast will pay the largest civil penalty assessed from a cable operator by the FCC and implement a … Continue Reading

October 10, 2016

Wyden Report Shows Only 1 in 10 Oregonians with Opioid Addiction Receiving Needed Treatment

Portland --- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden today released a report detailing the consequences of underfunding treatment and prevention programs for opioid addiction in Oregon and nationwide. Earlier this year, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA), which provided a framework to address the epidemic of opioid addiction, but failed to provide the funding states like Oregon need to expand treatment capacity. "Sadly, Oregonians are no strangers to the human toll … Continue Reading

October 07, 2016

Wyden: The Executive Branch Must Always Declassify New Interpretations of Federal Surveillance Law

WASHINGTON - Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement, following media reports about mass-scanning of Americans' emails. Wyden has not commented on the veracity of those reports. "Recent reports of a mass-email scanning program have alleged that federal law is being interpreted in ways that many Americans would find surprising and troubling," Wyden said. "The USA Freedom Act requires the executive branch to declassify Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions that … Continue Reading

October 06, 2016

Sens. Wyden, Franken, Leahy Press FCC to Address Potential Impacts of “Stingray” Technology on 911, Communities of Color

WASHINGTON-Today, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. joined Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and nine other colleagues to press Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler to address allegations that state and local law enforcement use of cell-site simulators -portable surveillance devices that collect cell phone data by mimicking cell phone towers-is disrupting ordinary consumers' cellular service and may interfere with calls for emergency assistance. The Senators also … Continue Reading

October 06, 2016

Wyden, Senate Democrats Call for Justice Department to Hold Wells Fargo Executives Accountable

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., along with 13 other senators, is urging the Justice Department to investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute wrongdoing by executives at Wells Fargo after revelations that the bank's employees had opened millions of accounts without customer approval. In September, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its largest penalty to date - more than $100 million - to the bank as a result of this multi-year, multi-state fraud. In a … Continue Reading

October 04, 2016

Wyden Statement on New Reports about Government Searches of Americans’ Emails

WASHINGTON - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on new reports about government searches of Americans' emails: "It is a fact that collection under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has a significant impact on Americans' privacy. It is public record that this expansive surveillance program is the basis for warrantless searches of Americans' emails, and that the government has never even counted how many. The FISA court has publically stated that tens … Continue Reading

September 30, 2016

Wyden, Booker, Gillibrand Express Concern about DEA Process to Schedule Kratom

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have sent a letter to Charles Rosenberg, Acting Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), expressing concerns about the agency's rushed action to classify kratom as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) without undertaking a robust process of stakeholder input and discussion of medical, public safety, and scientific … Continue Reading

September 30, 2016

Wyden Nominates Member of Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians to Key Federal Committee

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced the nomination of Sharon Edenfield to the U.S. Department of Treasury's Tribal Advisory Committee, which provides advice on taxation, training of IRS agents as well as training and assistance to Native American financial officers. Edenfield is a Tribal Council member for the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon and serves as its Tribal Administrative Officer. She has more than 30 years of experience working directly on … Continue Reading

September 29, 2016

Wyden Questions ODNI About Program to Reduce Unnecessary Classification

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to explain whether intelligence agencies have implemented a program to reward employees for accurately classifying sensitive information, in a letter to Director James Clapper today. The Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2010 (ROCA) allows government agencies to pay cash awards to employees who accurately classify government documents consistently and avoid unnecessary … Continue Reading

September 29, 2016

Senators Celebrate Planned Parenthood’s First 100 Years

Washington, D.C. - Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today led 18 of his Senate colleagues in introducing a resolution to recognize the importance of Planned Parenthood's contributions to women's health care and reproductive rights in America over the last 100 years. Planned Parenthood will celebrate 100 years of providing care and information to millions of women about their reproductive health on October 16. The organization today provides a wide array of reproductive health services, including … Continue Reading

September 29, 2016

Wyden Votes ‘No’ on Bill That Hides Corporate Campaign Spending

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., voted against a government funding bill today, over a provision that keeps Americans in the dark about campaign spending by public companies. The provision prevents the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from developing, proposing, issuing, finalizing, or implementing a rule requiring public companies to disclose political spending to their own shareholders. It was the only political amendment, or "rider," attached to the spending … Continue Reading

September 28, 2016

Wyden Urges FCC Commissioners to Unlock the Cable Box

WASHINGTON - Today, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement strongly supporting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler's set-top box proposal which the FCC is scheduled to vote on tomorrow. "Too often, I hear from Oregonians who lack real choices for reasonably priced cable packages, and who end up with exorbitant television bills that include mandatory set-top box rental fees. Fortunately, the FCC is taking a strong step to finally allow consumer choice … Continue Reading

September 27, 2016

Following Massive Data Breach Affecting Millions Of Customers, Wyden, Leahy, and Leading Democratic Senators Press Yahoo! For Answers

WASHINGTON - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and other sponsors of a comprehensive data security and breach notification bill that requires companies to take reasonable steps to secure their customers' sensitive data and notify customers in the event of a hack, and called on the leader of Yahoo! to disclose how a massive hack at their company went unnoticed for two years. In a letter to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, Wyden, Leahy and leading Democratic Senators asked the … Continue Reading

September 26, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Demand Answers from Dept. of Homeland Security on Use of Private Prisons

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with ten other senators, pressed the Obama administration Monday on the use of private prisons and contract facilities by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The letter comes amid an internal review at DHS regarding its use of private prisons, and the Senators urged DHS to ensure the review was meaningful and genuine. In their letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the Senators state that "we strongly oppose the … Continue Reading

September 26, 2016

Wyden, Markey, McCaskill to Introduce Bill to Expand Whistleblower Protections at the Energy Department

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., today will introduce legislation to expand protections for whistleblowers after a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showed examples of retaliation and intimidation against whistleblowers at the Department of Energy (DOE). The Department of Energy Whistleblower Accountability Act would add whistleblower disclosures about waste, fraud and abuse to legally protected … Continue Reading

September 23, 2016

Wells Fargo CEO Steps Down from Federal Reserve Panel After Call from Wyden and Merkley

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed news that Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has stepped down from the Federal Reserve's Federal Advisory Council. Yesterday, Wyden and Merkley had joined colleagues in calling on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Board of Directors not to reappoint Stumpf to another term on the Council. The Council is responsible for consulting with and offering direct insight to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve … Continue Reading

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