Press Releases

August 31, 2021

Wyden Calls on VA to Address Impact of Afghanistan Withdrawal on Veterans’ Mental Health

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined a bipartisan group of 35 senators calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to swiftly develop and conduct outreach to veterans of the Global War on Terrorism - especially those who served in Afghanistan - to provide them with mental health resources. Their call for action comes as reports find calls to veterans' suicide hotlines have increased since the fall of Kabul earlier this month. "We write in light of the recent events in … Continue Reading


August 31, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Announce $1.6 Million in Firefighter Assistance Funds

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that over $1.6 million in firefighter assistance funding is coming to Oregon. "I am deeply grateful for the courage and expertise of our firefighters, whose tireless commitment to protecting our communities has saved lives and livelihoods," said Merkley. "It's our responsibility to make sure they have all of the tools and support they need to keep up their impressive work. I'm fully committed to doing … Continue Reading


August 31, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: More than $100,000 to Rural Counties in Affordable Housing Vouchers

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Klamath, Malheur, Umatilla and Douglas counties will receive a combined more than $100,000 in Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) for affordable housing. "Too many Oregonians devote more than half of their monthly take-home pay to keep a floor under their feet and a roof over their head," Wyden said. "I am gratified these housing vouchers will go to some of Oregon's rural communities hardest hit by an housing … Continue Reading


August 27, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: La Clinica to Receive $123,792 Federal Telehealth Grant for COVID Services

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that La Clinica del Valle Family Health Center in Medford has secured a $123,792 federal grant to help provide telehealth services to its patients in southern Oregon during the COVID-19 pandemic. "I saw and heard firsthand last week in southern Oregon the painful and punishing toll this pandemic continues to take on patients and providers," said Wyden, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "I'm gratified these … Continue Reading


August 27, 2021

Merkley, Wyden to Oregon Health Authority: Help Is On The Way

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with American Medical Response, will supplement medical staff at six hospitals throughout Oregon in Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, and Deschutes counties. The counties were identified to have critical staffing needs caused by surging COVID-19 hospitalization rates. "Our healthcare heroes are working around the clock to treat their communities … Continue Reading


August 27, 2021

Amid Coronavirus Surge: Merkley, Wyden, Bipartisan Colleagues Press Department of Health and Human Services to Speed Up Distribution of Critical Funds

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are working alongside a bipartisan group of 40 senators in pressing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to distribute funds remaining in the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and other health care programs, in order to assist communities-particularly those in rural areas with fewer resources-in the fight against the latest COVID-19 surge. "Regrettably, the PRF funding distribution process has been uneven. Shifting … Continue Reading


August 26, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Urge Biden Administration to Take Advantage of Options to Expedite Evacuation of Afghans

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today joined 27 of their colleagues in a letter urging the Biden administration to expedite efforts to evacuate Afghans at risk as the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates. In their letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Wyden, Merkley and the other senators specifically pushed for the administration to explore the use of parole to speed up entry for Afghans with … Continue Reading


August 25, 2021

Wyden Will Hold Online Town Halls Sept. 3 for Yamhill and Columbia Counties

Portland - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will have two live on-line town halls hosted by People's Town Hall for residents of Yamhill and Columbia counties on Friday, Sept. 3. The virtual town hall for Yamhill County will begin at 10:30 am, and the virtual town hall for Columbia County will begin at 2 pm. Wyden has held 970 in-person town halls statewide in fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one town hall each year in each of Oregon's 36 counties. Heading into these two … Continue Reading


August 25, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Urge Defense Department to Hold Public Hearing in Malheur County, Expand Public Comment Period on Proposed Increase of Low-level Training Flights into Owyhee Canyonlands

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week asked the Department of Defense to provide a public hearing in Malheur County on U.S. Air Force plans to expand low-level training flights into the Owyhee Canyonlands as well an additional 30 days for public comment on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) so Oregonians have a full opportunity to voice concerns about the proposed flights from the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. In their letter to Defense Secretary … Continue Reading


August 25, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Mt Hood Community College to Receive $450,000 for Academic Services for Veterans

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) has earned a $450,000 grant to establish a Veterans Service Center, which would improve academic outcomes for student veterans. "Oregonians who have served this country deserve to have every opportunity to meet their academic goals and have productive civilian careers," Wyden said. "The Center for Veteran Student Success grant will play a crucial role in ensuring that … Continue Reading


August 25, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $22 Million to Protect Senior Living Facilities from COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that over $22 million has been allocated to the state of Oregon in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 through senior living facilities and fund other protective measures against the virus. The grant will assist in providing medical shelter to residents who test positive for COVID-19 in order to reduce the number of affected individuals in nursing home communities, ensure that infected residents are … Continue Reading


August 24, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Rogue Community College to Receive More Than $270,000 for Educational Opportunity Center

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Rogue Community College has earned a $273,793 grant toward an Educational Opportunity Center to expand access to postsecondary education. "Community colleges provide valuable postsecondary programs that everyone-no matter their age, income, or zip code-should be able to access," Wyden said. "The Educational Opportunity Center will play a crucial role in ensuring that Rogue Valley students from all walks … Continue Reading


August 20, 2021

Merkley, Wyden, Bipartisan Colleagues Urge Biden Administration Regarding Immediate Evacuation of Afghan SIV Applicants

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are working alongside a bipartisan group of 53 senators to urge the Biden administration to enforce strategic agency coordination, hold the Hamid Karzai International Airport, and take any additional steps necessary-including assisting with the passage of individuals to the airport-to urgently evacuate Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and their families in addition to U.S. citizens. The letter comes as the … Continue Reading


August 18, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Unveil Bills to Protect Americans from Increasingly Frequent Extreme Heat Events, Hazardous Wildfire Smoke

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is leading U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Alex Padilla (D-CA) today in unveiling five bills aimed at battling wildfires, protecting workers, and helping the public, businesses, and agricultural operators combat the effects of extreme heat and wildfire smoke. The bills follow a summer of drought and numerous triple-digit temperature spikes in Oregon, one of which claimed the life of a 38-year-old farmworker in … Continue Reading


August 17, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: More than $465,000 to Go to Rural Firefighters and First Responders

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon fire districts have earned a combined more than $465,000 in federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG). "Every day, firefighters in local fire districts-both union and volunteer-put their lives on the line to protect our communities in Oregon," Wyden said. "These brave firefighters deserve the equipment and training they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities and keep our … Continue Reading


August 16, 2021

Oregon Delegation Urges FEMA to Help State Respond to Recent Surge in COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's entire congressional delegation today urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help the state cope with the latest surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations by providing medical personnel. In a letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell signed by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici and Cliff Bentz, the Oregon lawmakers asked the agency to give "swift … Continue Reading


August 13, 2021

Wyden Will Hold Online Town Hall for Rural Oregon on River Democracy Act

Portland - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will have a live on-line town hall hosted by People's Town Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 31 beginning at 1 pm PT for rural Oregonians about his River Democracy Act - legislation that would designate about 4,700 miles of rivers and streams as wild-and-scenic as well as expand access to jobs-creating recreation statewide, reduce wildfire risks and protect existing property, grazing and irrigation rights. The virtual town hall is the latest public … Continue Reading


August 12, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Federal Grants to Support “Stand Down” Events that Provide Services to Homeless Veterans

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that organizations in Coos, Curry, Klamath, Lake and Washington counties earned more than $17,000 in grants from the Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) to host events that provide supplies and services homeless veterans. "Oregonians who put their lives on the line abroad to protect the communities we hold most dear should get the support they've earned for a smooth … Continue Reading


August 10, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Urge Administration to Combat Jet Fuel Shortages Affecting Wildland Firefighting Amid Another Devastating Wildfire Season

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., led a bipartisan group of Western senators pressing the Biden administration to coordinate and develop a strategy to combat jet fuel shortages that undercut wildland firefighting as wildfires burn across the West. U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., joined Wyden in sending the letter to Interior … Continue Reading


August 10, 2021

Wyden Secures Priorities for Oregon and the West in Senate-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate today passed bipartisan infrastructure legislation that includes essential priorities for Oregon and the West from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore. The bill now advances to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. "For far too long, the phrase 'infrastructure week' was nothing but a cruel joke for communities throughout Oregon and the American West needing significant investments to deal with catastrophic wildfires, severe drought, hard-hit rural … Continue Reading

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