Press Releases

August 17, 2011

Wyden Commemorates 600th Town Hall Meeting with Web Video

Fossil, OR - On February 17, 1996, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) held his first town hall meeting as a U.S. Senator in Fossil, Oregon. It was the beginning of Wyden's pledge to hold a town hall meeting in each of Oregon's 36 counties each year. After nearly 16 years of keeping that pledge, Wyden will be returning to Wheeler County this afternoon to hold his 600th town meeting in Fossil. "In 1996, I pledged that if I was chosen Oregon's first new United States Senator in almost thirty … Continue Reading

August 11, 2011

Wyden, Merkley Announce Grants for Community Health Centers in Oregon

Washington, DC - Continuing efforts to improve health care access for underserved communities, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded nearly $1 million from the Affordable Care Act to three community health centers in Oregon. Wyden and Merkley have long advocated for funding of community health centers. These centers deliver quality care and services, driven by the needs of the communities … Continue Reading

August 08, 2011

Merkley, Wyden, DeFazio, Blumenauer, Schrader Express Concerns Over Potential Oregon Post Office Closures

Washington, D.C. - Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-4), Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), and Representative Kurt Schrader (OR-5) sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe Monday expressing concern over the possibility that as many as 41 post offices in Oregon could be closed by the United States Postal Service (USPS). "USPS recently stated that 90% of post offices in small communities (post offices with less than $100K in … Continue Reading

August 08, 2011

Wyden Statement on the Death of Former Oregon United States Senator Mark Hatfield

Washington, D.C. - Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement today on the death of former Oregon United States Senator Mark Hatfield. Hatfield passed away yesterday in Portland at age 89: "Oregon has lost a great son. The United States Senate has lost one of its former giants. The nation has lost a man who represented honesty and decency. And I have lost a very good friend. Senator Hatfield was a colleague and friend to many who still serve in the United States Senate and he … Continue Reading

August 05, 2011

Merkley, Wyden Announce Grants for Veterans Job Training

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced two grants from the Department of Labor that will assist homeless veterans with job training for civilian careers. The grants, which were awarded on a competitive basis to state and local organizations, will go to Easter Seals in Portland and Central Oregon Veterans Outreach in Bend. "This is great news for our Oregon veterans," said Senator Jeff Merkley. "Servicemembers and their families have already made … Continue Reading

August 05, 2011

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Encourage Innovation in Child Welfare Financing

Washington, D.C. - Many of the most innovative ideas for improving the lives of vulnerable children and families are found on the state and local level where those working for solutions often have a first-hand ability to observe challenges and recognize solutions. This is why U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced legislation this week to empower states to adopt outside-of-the-box approaches to improving the foster care system and alternatives to foster care. "Instead of continuing to … Continue Reading

August 04, 2011

Wyden to Visit Umatilla Army Depot, Meet with Local Re-Use Authority on August 8

Portland, OR - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will visit the Umatilla Army Depot on Monday, August 8, 2011, for an update on the destruction of the Depot's chemical weapons. He will also meet with the Local Re-Use Authority to discuss efforts to ensure that the Depot is closed under the previously agreed upon Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley and Congressman Greg Walden are supporting legislation requiring The Pentagon to follow the BRAC process rather than … Continue Reading

August 03, 2011

FDA Announces Long-Awaited Standards for Labeling of Gluten-Free Food

Washington, D.C. - After more than four years of inaction, the Food and Drug Administration has announced that a final rule setting standards for the labeling of gluten-free food will move forward. U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg two weeks ago urging the FDA to end the more than four years of silence and fulfill their statutory requirement to create standards for the growing gluten-free food industry. "As medical … Continue Reading

August 03, 2011

Wyden Bill Gives States Latitude to Set Electricity Rates on Small-Scale Projects

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to create incentives for investment in small-scale renewable energy projects like solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced legislation to give the states the ability to determine the price that public utilities can pay to purchase the electricity these projects sell back to the grid. "Right now, the federal government is controlling the rates that local utility companies can pay for the energy produced by … Continue Reading

August 02, 2011

Wyden Places Hold on Effort to Extend FISA Amendments Act Authorities

Washington, D.C. - Inserting a statement in today's Congressional Record, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, announced that he will object to any request to pass the recently reported Intelligence Authorization bill by unanimous consent due to the legislation's inclusion of a three year extension of FISA Amendments Act (FAA) surveillance authorities. "As most of my colleagues remember, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act in … Continue Reading

August 02, 2011

Wyden Statement on Debt Ceiling Vote

Washington, D.C. - With the nation's debt limit deadline approaching, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement announcing his support for the legislation to lift the debt ceiling: "Today, Members of Congress have a choice: allow the United States to default on its financial obligations or vote for the deal on the table. The full faith and credit of the United States is being held for ransom, and because I'm not willing to sacrifice the economic well-being of hundreds of … Continue Reading

July 28, 2011

Wyden, Hoeven, Begich Introduce TRIP Bond Program to Help Build Transportation Infrastructure

TRIPs will inject $50 billion in Private Investment into Transportation Projects Washington, D.C. - Looking to leverage private investment and an untapped market for tax credit bonding to rebuild America's transportation infrastructure, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) have introduced legislation to create a tax credit bond program dedicated to transportation infrastructure. Transportation and Regional Infrastructure Project bonds or TRIPs will … Continue Reading

July 28, 2011

Sens. Casey, Toomey and Wyden Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Encourage Treatments for Rare Diseases

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Preserving Access to Orphan Drugs Act of 2011, bipartisan legislation to ensure that the development of treatments for rare diseases is not jeopardized. This legislation ensures that unnecessary regulatory hurdles are not placed in front of innovative new therapies for rare diseases and conditions. "With 30 million Americans suffering from a rare disease, it is important to ensure that the … Continue Reading

July 26, 2011

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio Issue Statement on VA’s Announcement on the Future of the Roseburg VA Hospital

Washington, D.C. - In response to the Veterans Affairs Department's announcement today of its future plans for the VA Roseburg Health Care System, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio issued the following statement: "This is obviously not the decision we were hoping for. Keeping the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) closed will force veterans to travel further and, potentially, pay more for care that they should be receiving from the VA. … Continue Reading

July 21, 2011

Wyden, Leahy Letter Asks FDA For Gluten-Free Food Standards

Washington, D.C. - After more than four years of inaction by the Food and Drug Administration on their statutory requirement to finalize standards for gluten-free labeling on foods, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) have sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg seeking answers for the extreme delay and an update on when the FDA will propose a final rule. Included as part of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, the FDA was … Continue Reading

July 20, 2011

Senate Passes Wyden, Merkley Amendment to Close Umatilla Depot under BRAC

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to prevent the derailing of 20 years of planning by Eastern Oregon residents, the U.S. Senate today passed a bill which includes an amendment sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to close the Umatilla Army Depot under the previously agreed upon base closure process. The Wyden-Merkley amendment to the Military Construction Appropriations bill overrules a determination by the Pentagon's Office of General Counsel that the depot could … Continue Reading

July 20, 2011


WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the time it has said it needs to adequately consider new boiler MACT rules. In April 2010, pursuant to court orders, EPA first announced new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) … Continue Reading

July 19, 2011

Wyden, Coats Statement on The Gang of Six’s Inclusion of Comprehensive Tax Reform in Deficit Reduction Plan

Washington, D.C. - After the Senate's Gang of Six unveiled their bipartisan proposal to reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion over ten years, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.) released the following statement supporting the Gang's decision to include comprehensive tax reform as one of the driving forces of their deficit reduction strategy: "This morning demonstrated that there are a number of senators ready and willing to tackle meaningful deficit reduction and tax … Continue Reading

July 14, 2011

Merkley and Wyden Announce Approval of the West Butte Wind Energy Project

Washington, DC - Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the U.S. Department of Interior has given a green light for the West Butte Wind Project in Central Oregon. The wind farm will produce up to 104 megawatts of electricity for homes and businesses and create jobs now. "Clean renewable energy, like the electricity West Butte Wind Energy Project will produce, makes our air cleaner and creates jobs," said Merkley. "The approval will help put people back to work and … Continue Reading

July 14, 2011

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $4 Million for Oregon School-based Health Centers

Washington, DC - Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded over $4 million to twelve school-based health centers across Oregon to expand access to quality health care to children while at school. Funding for these awards comes from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. "Investments in preventive health care like health screenings, health promotion, and disease prevention activities are a key to … Continue Reading

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