Press Releases

April 08, 2016

Wyden Statement on Draft Bill Requiring Companies to Undermine Strong Encryption

Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement today, in response to a draft bill that would require companies to undermine strong encryption: "This legislation says a company can design what they want their back door to look like, but it would definitely require them to build a back door," Wyden said. "For the first time in America, companies who want to provide their customers with stronger security would not have that choice - they would be required to decide how to weaken their products … Continue Reading

April 07, 2016

Wyden, Merkley: Federal Agencies Commit to Marijuana Scheduling Decision This Year

Washington, D.C. - In a response to requests from U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and their Senate colleagues, three federal agencies announced plans to release a determination this year about whether to reschedule marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) responded on Monday to a letter from the senators that requested … Continue Reading

April 07, 2016

Senate Takes Up FAA Bill That Includes Merkley-Wyden Provision to Bring TSA Service Back to Klamath Airport

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States Senate has now acted by a unanimous, bipartisan vote to move forward on legislation renewing and updating the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s authorities. The legislation includes a bipartisan provision pushed by Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, the TSA Fairness Act, that would restore TSA screening at, among other smaller airports, the Klamath Falls airport. This provision is important for the restoration of commercial service at the … Continue Reading

April 06, 2016

Wyden Statement on WhatsApp Implementing End-to-End Encryption

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement about WhatsApp's announcement it will upgrade security for millions of people who use its messaging app: "This is a significant step to strengthen online security for millions of people worldwide. Consumers are demanding the best possible security for their digital communications and WhatsApp is just the latest company moving to meet that demand. This is especially important for human rights activists, political … Continue Reading

April 06, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Statement on Klamath Agreements Announcement

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, today released the following statement after the announcement that the governors of Oregon and California, along with the Department of the Interior, will begin a process to remove the Klamath River Basin dams in a step forward to address water issues affecting the region. "These agreements are a major step forward toward implementing the Klamath Basin water agreements. One agreement lays out a path toward a history-making … Continue Reading

April 04, 2016

Wyden, Heinrich Praise CIA Decision to Drop Email Destruction Proposal

Washington, D.C. - Senate Intelligence Committee members Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., praised the CIA's decision to drop a proposal to destroy the vast majority of its emails, rather than archive them like other government agencies. Wyden and Heinrich issued a joint statement commending the CIA's decision to drop the plan: "Given the grave importance of CIA operations, it is critical to preserve the agency's emails, to enable independent oversight and an accurate … Continue Reading

April 04, 2016

Wyden Statement on Passage of Defend Trade Secrets Act

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act Monday evening: "I supported this legislation because trade secrets have come under greater and greater threat from international espionage and require special protections if they are to retain their value," Wyden said. "Uniquely, trade secrets can lose some or all of their value when exposed, making their protection from bad actors that much more critical. I want to continue working to … Continue Reading

March 30, 2016

Wyden Calls for New Compact for Privacy and Security in the Digital Age

San Francisco - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., laid out a bold new vision for protecting Americans' basic freedoms, and warned of dangerous consequences if the nation allows unchecked expansion of government surveillance. "The rapid advances in technology over the past 20 years threaten the rights of every single American more immediately and more personally than most people fully understand," Wyden said on Wednesday. "For centuries, individual liberty was protected by technological limitations. … Continue Reading

March 30, 2016

Wyden, Senators Push for New Resources to Combat Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., along with a bipartisan group of their colleagues, are calling for new federal resources to address the troubling and pervasive problem of sexual assault on college and university campuses across the country. "Every year, tens of thousands of women and men who attend college in the U.S. become victims of sexual assault," the senators wrote in a letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee … Continue Reading

March 25, 2016

Wyden Pushes for Boost in Biomass Energy

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is pressing for increased production of sustainable, low-carbon biomass energy to heat and power homes and businesses, while reducing the risk of wildfires and creating jobs in rural areas. In letters to Senate appropriators, Wyden highlighted the important role of biomass programs at the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Energy in helping create innovative technologies for low-carbon biomass energy. In addition to its potential to provide … Continue Reading

March 25, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Fight to Protect Coastal Communities

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are fighting to ensure coastal communities in Oregon have the resources they need to protect themselves against earthquakes, major storms and the impacts of climate change. Wyden and Merkley are urging Congress to prioritize the West Coast Earthquake Early Warning System, which is being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Oregon, the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkley, … Continue Reading

March 24, 2016

Wyden Urges AG Lynch to Comply With ACLU Request for Secret Memo

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., urged Attorney General Loretta Lynch to declassify and make public a secret memo by the Office of Legal Counsel that is the subject of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Wyden has repeatedly asked the administration to declassify and withdraw the classified legal opinion, in a committee hearing as well as letters to former Attorney General Eric Holder and CIA Director Brennan. Text of the letter is below, or available here. March 24, 2016 Dear … Continue Reading

March 24, 2016

Advisory: Wyden To Deliver Major Speech on Future of Privacy in the Digital Age

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., will address RightsCon on Wednesday, March 30, to deliver a major speech on the future of privacy in the digital age. Wyden will argue that precedents set today will have lasting - and potentially dangerous - implications for personal privacy and security. What: Sen. Ron Wyden on Privacy in the Digital Age When: 2:30 p.m. PDT, March 30 Where: RightsCon at Mission Bay Conference Center, 1675 Owens St #251, San Francisco, CA Reporters interested in … Continue Reading

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

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