Press Releases

September 23, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Call for Immediate Action on County Payment Funding

Washington, D.C. - Recognizing the drain on many rural county budgets, Oregon's Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley called for reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act (SRS) and fully funding the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program, in bipartisan letters to Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. In a bipartisan letter signed by 29 senators, the senators stressed how vital SRS payments are to many rural … Continue Reading

September 22, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Southwest Mineral Withdrawal Bill Takes Step Forward

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced that the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee considered their legislation to protect more than 100,000 acres in southwest Oregon from mining, in a hearing today. The Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act would prohibit new mining leases in four areas, including Rough and Ready Creek at the headwaters of the Illinois River, Baldface Creek at the headwaters of the Smith River, the Chetco River, and Red … Continue Reading

September 16, 2016

Wyden, Merkley: Federal Grants Earned by Trio of Conservation Projects A Big Win for Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said Friday the award of more than $2 million in federal grants to three conservation projects in southern and central Oregon will allow them to continue building on their fresh approaches to conserving threatened and endangered species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Section 6 grants are competitive grants that enable states to work innovatively with private landowners, conservation groups and other government entities to … Continue Reading

September 15, 2016

Job-Creating Water Infrastructure Bill Passes Senate

Washington, DC - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the full Senate has passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which includes key job creation and funding opportunities for Oregon communities. The legislation previously passed the Environment and Public Works Committee in April; it must now be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives before being signed into law. In particular, the Senators highlighted that the bill would make permanent a … Continue Reading

September 15, 2016

In response to Wyden, Murphy letter, U.S. Army Updates Regulations for Soldiers Discharged for Misconduct While Suffering From PTSD & TBI

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on Thursday applauded the U.S. Army's decision to reform its policies, regulations and documentation practices in the wake of a multidisciplinary review of misconduct separations of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In a written response to a request from Wyden, Murphy and 10 other senators, the Secretary of the Army Eric K. Fanning conceded the Army did not have … Continue Reading

September 14, 2016

Wyden Statement on Competitiveness and Transparency in App Stores

WASHINGTON - Today Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on the importance of maintaining a competitive marketplace in application platforms: "Recently, Apple Inc. announced changes to its App Store, including allowing more developers to take advantage of subscription services. These welcome changes underscore the important role that the App Store, and other app platforms, play in the internet economy. These platforms have an outsized economic effect and provide much needed … Continue Reading

September 12, 2016

Wyden, Merkley, Senate Colleagues Press House Speaker for Vote on Zika Funding

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with 27 of their Senate colleagues, sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urging him to bring the $1.1 billion Zika funding legislation passed by the Senate to the House floor for a vote. As of today, there are more than 18,000 cases of Zika reported in the United States and its territories. "Zika is now well established in the United States with cases of local transmission by mosquitoes being reported in … Continue Reading

September 08, 2016

Wyden Calls For A Vote on SMH Act To Stop Massive Expansion of Government Hacking Into Americans’ Personal Devices

Washington, D.C. -. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today went to the Senate floor to call for a vote on his bill to stop a dangerous plan that would make it far easier for the government to hack into Americans' personal devices on a massive scale. "This major policy change will make it easier for the government to hack into your personal devices and collect information about you," Wyden said. "By allowing the government to use secret, untested malware, it could end up damaging not only our personal … Continue Reading

August 31, 2016

Wyden and Merkley Announce $4.7 Million to Help Homeless Veterans Across Oregon

Washington, DC- Oregon's Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded over $4.7 million in grant funding for homeless veterans in Oregon. The funding comes from the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program and will be distributed to organizations across the state. "Honoring veterans requires a steadfast commitment to extend a helping hand if they are struggling to afford housing when they return to Oregon," Wyden … Continue Reading

August 11, 2016

Wyden: Federal Law ‘Behind the Times’ with DEA Decision Not to Reschedule Marijuana

Washington, D.C. - After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today announced it would not reschedule marijuana from the most restrictive federal drug class, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement: "The DEA's decision flies in the face of choices made freely by voters in Oregon and many other states about the legality of marijuana. The bottom line is the DEA is keeping federal law behind the times," Wyden said. "The one piece of good news in today's announcement is … Continue Reading

August 05, 2016

Wyden, Grassley, Speier Push for Continued Protections Against Whistleblower Retaliation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., filed an amicus brief this week with the Department of Labor (DOL) urging the agency to not weaken existing whistleblower protections in cases of retaliation against private-sector employees. Wyden, Grassley and Speier filed the brief with the DOL's Administrative Review Board as it reconsiders the case of Palmer v. Canadian National Railway/Illinois Central Railroad Company. … Continue Reading

August 04, 2016

Wyden, Broad Coalition of Senate Democrats Call on Top Consumer Agency to Limit Unfair Arbitration Agreements in Everyday Financial Contracts

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and a group of nearly 40 Democratic senators-including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senators Al Franken, D-Minn., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio-called on one of the nation's top consumer advocacy agencies to quickly finalize an important proposal to limit the use of what is called "forced arbitration" in contracts that Americans sign when they need to take out an auto loan, sign up for a checking … Continue Reading

August 04, 2016

Wyden and Merkley Call for Congress to Reconvene to Address Zika Crisis

Portland, OR - Today, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined with 39 other Senate Democrats in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan urging the Republican leaders to immediately call Congress back into session to pass emergency funding legislation to address the growing Zika crisis. Merkley and Wyden have been outspoken about the need for more resources to address this growing threat and recently held a roundtable discussion with Oregon … Continue Reading

August 02, 2016

Wyden, Senate Dems: More To Do To Further Strengthen Education Dept. Rule for Debt Relief In Higher Education

WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., a Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and 18 other Senators in sending a letter to the Department of Education ("the Department") to express support for the proposed "borrower defense" rule and to suggest a number of ways to strengthen the rule to protect students who have been the victims of unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices in higher education. In … Continue Reading

July 19, 2016

Wyden and Senate Colleagues Request Obama Issue Presidential Memo to Promote Diversity at Federal Land Management Agencies

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and 23 other senators have sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to issue a Presidential Memorandum to promote diversity at federal land management agencies like the National Park Service, which celebrates its centennial this August. A renewed focus on diversity will more fully reflect and celebrate the numerous cultures, communities, and people that have … Continue Reading

July 15, 2016

Wyden Statement on Declassification of 28 Pages

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on the declassification of 28 pages of the congressional Joint Inquiry into the September 11 attacks: "There is no excuse for keeping these 28 pages secret for more than a decade, so this release is welcome and long overdue," Wyden said. "It helps illuminate additional details about a major event in our country's history. The FBI believes that they investigated all of these leads in the years after 9/11. But the best … Continue Reading

July 14, 2016

Tribal Lands Legislation Passes Key Senate Committee

Washington, DC - A package of tribal land bills sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley that will help the economic self-sufficiency of Native Americans in Oregon passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "These Tribes have all waited patiently for these bills, each of which will help them as sovereign nations to build their economies," said Wyden, a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "I am gratified this legislation that both corrects … Continue Reading

July 14, 2016

Backed By Coalition of Voting Rights Advocates, Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer, Cicilline Introduce National Vote-By-Mail Bill

Washington, D.C. - Backed by a broad coalition of voting rights groups, Oregon's Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley and Representative Earl Blumenauer and David Cicilline, D-R.I., today introduced a new bill to expand Oregon-style vote-by-mail nationwide and cut through bogus obstacles to voting. "Too many states are making working Americans, people of color, young people and those with disabilities go to absurd lengths just to exercise their constitutional right to vote," Wyden said. "When … Continue Reading

July 14, 2016

Wyden, McCaskill, Markey: New Report Finds Whistleblowers at Risk at Energy Department Sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., today released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that documents examples of retaliation and intimidation against whistleblowers by Energy Department contractors, while the department did little to monitor or stop these abuses. The senators were joined by two whistleblowers who were fired by contractors at the Department of Energy. Sandra Black, a contractor employee at DOE's … Continue Reading

July 13, 2016

Wyden Applauds Rail Transportation Notification for Emergency Responders

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., applauded a proposed rule announced today by the Department of Transportation that would require railroads to provide more notification about shipments of crude oil and other flammable liquids. "First responders must be informed when trains carrying hazardous materials are going to travel through their communities. Today's proposal moves toward greater transparency by requiring railroads to better notify emergency responders about large … Continue Reading

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