Press Releases

March 23, 2016

Wyden, Senate Democrats Call to End the Ban on CDC Gun Violence Research

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and 16 Senators are urging Senate appropriators to dedicate funds for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence in the United States. A 1996 Republican appropriations rider prohibits federal funds from being used to advocate or promote gun control, which some have misconstrued as a ban on funding scientific research into the causes of gun violence. The author of the … Continue Reading

March 22, 2016

Wyden Gets “Drill Pay” Results for Guardsmen and Reservists

Washington, DC - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced the VA will offer relief from an unfair hardship for National Guardsmen and Reservists in Oregon, in response to a request by Wyden earlier this year. The change by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs helps Guardsmen and Reservists nationwide who, because of paperwork delays at the VA, were unexpectedly having their VA benefit checks interrupted for an unreasonable period of time. "I am gratified that the VA has sliced through … Continue Reading

March 21, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Seek Improved Federal Air Quality Programs

Washington, DC -- U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are urging their colleagues to improve federal air quality programs in the wake of several Portland neighborhoods learning last month that there are high levels of heavy metals in the air. "The EPA aims to protect air quality but, as we are seeing in Oregon this cannot be done without additional funding to implement air quality programs at a scale that is relevant to defend human health," Wyden and Merkley wrote the Senate … Continue Reading

March 18, 2016

Wyden, Grassley, McCaskill, Bill Expands Whistleblower Protections to the Legislative Branch

WASHINGTON - In celebration of Sunshine Week, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., in introducing legislation to shield congressional employees from retaliation when they call attention to fraud, waste or mismanagement. The bill extends whistleblower protections in place at many executive branch agencies to the legislative branch of government. "Everyone in government needs to do more to protect … Continue Reading

March 18, 2016

Wyden, Blumenthal, Bipartisan Senators Urge VA to Extend Presumption of Agent Orange Exposure to More Veterans Who Served in Korean DMZ

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., led a bipartisan group of five senators in urging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to extend the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange to provide more veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) access to critical health care benefits. Currently, only veterans who served in the Korean DMZ during specific dates are granted a presumption of exposure to Agent Orange, which allows … Continue Reading

March 17, 2016

Wyden, Blumenauer Introduce Bill to Open Access to Outdoor Recreation

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer today introduced legislation to increase outdoor recreation access for visitors and boost rural economies in Oregon and nationwide. Based on input from Oregonians about how to remove bureaucratic roadblocks to public lands, the Recreation Not Red-Tape (RNR) Act expands outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans, especially underserved communities such as veterans, seniors and young people, for the first time holds … Continue Reading

March 15, 2016

Wyden, Merkley, Baldwin Introduce Major College Affordability Reform Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., today introduced the "In The Red" Act, a major reform to address college affordability and put America on a path toward debt-free college. The In The Red Act will allow student loan borrowers to refinance outstanding debt at lower rates, increase Pell Grants to keep pace with rising costs and make new investments in community colleges. Additionally, the legislation will support holding … Continue Reading

March 15, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Praise Pac-12 for Addressing Athletic Transfers

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today praised the leaders of the Pac-12 Conference for responding quickly to their inquiry by adopting a tougher new conference-wide student conduct policy for transfer athletes seeking to enroll at a Pac-12 university. The two Oregon senators had urged the conference in a letter last month to consider several possible reforms, including one which would make transfer student athletes ineligible to enroll in a Pac-12 school if they'd … Continue Reading

March 09, 2016

Senate Dems: Students Deserve Immediate Debt Relief After Attending Schools Engaged in Deceptive & Predatory Practices

Washington, D.C. - Today, Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Senators Patty Murray, D-Wash., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and 29 Senate Democrats sent a letter to President Obama urging the administration to protect students who attended colleges or universities that engaged in unlawful, unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices. In 2015, Corinthian Colleges filed for bankruptcy and shut down all of its … Continue Reading

March 08, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Impose Sanctions on Foreign Individuals Responsible for Violence Against the LGBT Community

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), have introduced the Global Respect Act, legislation that would impose sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals abroad. "LGBT rights are core human rights," Wyden said. "This bill sends the message that America will hold … Continue Reading

March 08, 2016

Wyden Pushes for Bipartisan Wildfire Funding Fix, More Air Quality Research Funding

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the Chief of the Forest Service about the agency's ongoing support for a bipartisan wildfire funding fix that would free up more funding for the work that prevents the largest, most damaging wildfires. In a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today, Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell called a wildfire funding fix, "essential for the American public." Tidwell also said fixing fire borrowing would give the … Continue Reading

March 07, 2016

Blumenauer, Wyden Express Concerns with Forest Service Proposed Logging Project in Crystal Springs Watershed

Washington, DC - U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today sent a letter to Mt. Hood National Forest Supervisor Lisa Northrop, expressing concerns with a proposed logging project in the Crystal Springs watershed, which Congress has recognized as a valuable source of drinking water for thousands of Hood River residents. The proposal has also caused deep concern among people who enjoy the area for hiking, mountain biking, and nature watching. While the overarching … Continue Reading

March 03, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Announce Secure Rural Schools Payments to Oregon Counties

Washington - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced today that 18 Oregon counties will receive about $35.5 million in Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments this fiscal year for local roads and schools. "These funds help rural Oregonians pay for essential services such as providing their children with the good education they deserve and their communities with the safety they expect," Wyden said. "And they also highlight the urgent need in this Congress to reauthorize this lifeline, … Continue Reading

March 02, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Resolution Honors Historic Columbia River Highway’s 100th Anniversary

Washington - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced a resolution congratulating the Historic Columbia River Highway on the upcoming 100th anniversary of America's first scenic highway, known both for its remarkable scenery and innovative engineering. "Whether you're a first-time visitor or a long-time admirer, the views of Multnomah Falls and the Columbia Gorge from this landmark byway are unmatched," Wyden said. "Congress must work to preserve and restore this highway both … Continue Reading

March 02, 2016

Wyden Welcomes Attorney General Lynch to Portland

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) welcomed this week's Portland visit by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch as providing a great opportunity for her to see the city's progress on community policing and to discuss with community leaders what more needs to be done. "The Attorney General deserves credit both for her focus on community policing and for witnessing what cities like Portland are working on to build the trust that's needed between citizens and police officers," Wyden … Continue Reading

March 01, 2016

AUDIO/VIDEO: Wyden Stands Up for Women’s Access to Constitutionally Protected Health Care

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called for an end to continued attacks on the constitutional right of American women to make their own reproductive health choices. Ahead of Supreme Court oral arguments in a case that represents a comprehensive challenge to Roe v. Wade, Wyden warned against the far-reaching impacts of new state laws that undermine a woman's protected right to make her own choices about her body, in a speech on the Senate floor. The Supreme Court is … Continue Reading

March 01, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Push to Extend Overtime Pay to Millions of American Workers

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Al Franken, D-Minn., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., today led the charge to extend overtime pay to millions of Americans who are working long hours without fair pay. Last year, the Department of Labor proposed an expansion to overtime pay protections that could benefit five million Americans, including 50,000 Oregonians. The proposal would bring overtime pay to salaried workers making up to … Continue Reading

February 25, 2016

Wyden, Crapo, Blumenauer, Jenkins Introduce Bill to Permanently Extend Short Line Railroad Investment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) today introduced the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which would make permanent the tax credit that's been crucial in helping to rehabilitate short line and regional railroads in Oregon and nationwide. "Making this short line track maintenance tax credit permanent will create much-needed certainty for railroads that often … Continue Reading

February 25, 2016

Wyden, Markey, Franken, Dem Senators: Carefully Evaluate Proposed Charter—Time Warner Cable Deal For Potential Harm to Consumers

WASHINGTON - Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Senators Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Al Franken, D-Minn., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., today in sending letters to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the agencies to consider the potential harmful effects that could result from the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks by Charter Communications. The proposed "New Charter" deal would effectively … Continue Reading

February 22, 2016

Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer Ask Federal Officials for Immediate Help Responding to Airborne Heavy Metals Concern in Portland

Washington - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer today wrote federal health officials asking for their agencies' immediate assistance responding to the public health risks identified by the discovery of hotspots of dangerously high levels of airborne heavy metals in Portland. The three lawmakers' letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) follows a meeting that Wyden, Merkley … Continue Reading

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