Press Releases

March 17, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Urge President Trump to Boost American Manufacturing of Critical Coronavirus Safety Equipment

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), are pressing President Donald Trump to use an existing authorization, the Defense Production Act (DPA), to strengthen America's domestic manufacturing capacity and supply to meet the nation's urgent pandemic safety equipment needs. "It is critical that we substantially and immediately bolster domestic testing capacity to identify cases and, accordingly, help slow the spread of … Continue Reading


March 17, 2020

Wyden Demands Answers from Trump Administration on Shortage of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Kits

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today, along with 15 of his colleagues, sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and federal health officials requesting information on the Trump administration's failure to ensure that diagnostic tests are available for the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). "This failure has resulted in a significant delay in detecting and responding to the first cases of COVID-19 in the United States, dramatically increasing the scope of the … Continue Reading


March 16, 2020

Wyden Statement on FISA Debate Agreement

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement on the Senate agreement today to a short-term extension of expiring surveillance authorities in exchange for an agreement to consider amendments. The first amendment, offered by Senator Wyden, would prohibit warrantless collection of web browsing and internet search history. A second amendment provides for independent oversight of FISA by granting the amicus access to everything … Continue Reading


March 16, 2020

Wyden Urges Trump to Immediately Maximize Telework for Federal Workers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today, along with 26 of his colleagues, sent a letter to Donald Trump urging him to immediately issue an executive order directing agencies to utilize telework capabilities to the maximum possible extent. While the administration has issued guidance recommending agencies expand their telework capabilities, too many federal employees are still required to come to work in-person when they can do their job from home. As the Centers for Disease … Continue Reading


March 16, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Push Veterans Health Administration For Comprehensive Plans to Protect Veterans Against Coronavirus

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with 10 of their Senate colleagues to push the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure that the agency is taking appropriate measures to protect those who served our nation from the coronavirus health crisis. Merkley co-led the letter along with U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. The Senators' letter comes amid reports that additional … Continue Reading


March 13, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge Internet Service Providers to Suspend Policies Limiting Americans’ Access to Internet Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today joined 17 of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the CEOs of eight major internet service providers (ISPs), calling on the companies to take steps to accommodate the unprecedented reliance America will likely have on internet-supported services-including telework, online education, telehealth, and remote support services-in the coming days. "As organizations around the country formulate their responses to … Continue Reading


March 13, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer, DeFazio, Bonamici Request Urgently Needed Federal COVID-19 Aid for Oregon

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined with U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Suzanne Bonamici in a letter to Vice President Pence seeking urgently needed COVID-19 aid for Oregon, including surgical masks, respirators, ventilators and more. The Oregon lawmakers' letter sent late Thursday noted that Governor Brown has declared a state of emergency in Oregon in response to COVID-19, and that the state has growing and unmet needs from previous state requests. … Continue Reading


March 13, 2020

Wyden Introduces Bill to Expand Free Coronavirus Testing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden - along with Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) -led a number of their Democratic Senate colleagues in introducing legislation that would expand free tests to confirm coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. "Adequate testing for COVID-19 is a critical step to stem the tide of the pandemic," Wyden said. "Beyond increasing the availability of the test, it needs to be … Continue Reading


March 12, 2020

Wyden Statement on Claims The President Can Spy on Americans Without Congressional Approval

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement following Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr's claim that the president can spy on Americans without Congressional approval, even if Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act expires: "On the floor of the U.S. Senate today, Intelligence Committee Chairman Burr said that the president can disregard the FISA law altogether and spy on Americans with no judicial or congressional … Continue Reading


March 12, 2020

Wyden Statement on Confirmation of Another Republican FERC Nominee

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement on the Senate confirmation of James P. Danly to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): "The confirmation of Danly to the FERC creates a wholly unbalanced Commission and such an unbalanced and partisan Commission threatens the validity of its decisions by defying the commonsense meaning of a bipartisan commission. I question the legitimacy of such a Commission in violation of its … Continue Reading


March 12, 2020

Three Oregon Town Halls Postponed

Portland - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden's town halls that had been scheduled for this weekend in Baker, Union and Gilliam counties are postponed in the interest of minimizing potential health risks to Oregonians from COVID-19. At this time, Wyden said it is prudent to be proactive and postpone these town halls until there are clear-cut public health guidelines that an open-to-all public meeting poses no unusual health risk for Oregonians. In fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one town hall … Continue Reading


March 12, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Permanently Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined a bipartisan group of their colleagues to introduce landmark legislation to permanently and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and other land management agencies. Thanks to the broad bipartisan coalition supporting the Great American Outdoors Act the bill is expected to get White House approval, if passed. "LWCF is … Continue Reading


March 11, 2020

Wyden, Senate Democratic Leaders Announce Targeted New Proposal To Help States With Coronavirus Outbreaks

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and Senate Democratic Leaders today announced a new targeted economic and community relief proposal to help communities and individuals deal with the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. The proposal is based on input from Governors, policy experts and state and local officials about what is needed to help workers, their families and the communities they live in to manage the economic disruption and services crisis at the local level in both the … Continue Reading


March 11, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Press Trump on Coronavirus Disaster Declaration

Washington, D.C.-Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with dozens of their Senate colleagues, today sent a letter to President Trump urging the president to immediately consider any coronavirus-related disaster declaration requests. Presidential disaster declarations would enable affected states to tap into the $42.6 billion currently available in the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) in their efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. The Senators urged … Continue Reading


March 11, 2020

Wyden Introduces Bill to Protect Voters and Elections Against COVID-19 Risks by Mandating Emergency Vote-By-Mail

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced a bill to address the risks to American voters and elections posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19), and other outbreaks of infectious diseases or natural disasters. If 25 percent of states declare a state of emergency related to COVID-19, another infectious disease or natural disaster, the Resilient Elections During Quarantines and Natural Disasters Act of 2020 would require all states to offer an option for voters to mail in … Continue Reading


March 10, 2020

Wyden Statement on House FISA Extension Bill

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement regarding the latest FISA extension bill under consideration in the U.S. House: "The FISA bill posted by the House Rules Committee includes provisions sought by reformers, but falls far short of the meaningful protections for Americans' rights that members from both parties have demanded. It codifies prohibitions on two collection activities that the government had already suspended: the massive and ineffective call detail … Continue Reading


March 10, 2020

Wyden, Schumer, Murray Demand Answers On The Alarming Lack Of Access To Coronavirus Testing

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter today to Vice President Pence regarding the mass confusion and lack of clarity around the availability of coronavirus testing and out-of-pocket costs associated with getting tests and treatment. The letter from Senators Wyden, Schumer and Murray demands the Trump administration answer essential … Continue Reading


March 10, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Demand Answers From the FCC on Move Limiting Access to Resources to Expand Rural Broadband

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today denounced the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision to move forward with a recently adopted rule that would limit the federal resources available to expand broadband in rural areas. The rule would make areas that have received state-run broadband program funding or funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ReConnect program ineligible for new federal investment for broadband deployment … Continue Reading


March 10, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Walden Push for Emergency Aid for Flood-Stricken Eastern Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR-5), are pushing the Trump administration for an expedited review of the "presidential major disaster declaration" that Oregon Governor Kate Brown requested for three Oregon counties and a tribal nation that suffered severe damage from historic flooding in February. Officials estimate damages to public and individual property amount to more than $30 million. The lawmakers also emphasized … Continue Reading


March 05, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Join Bipartisan Group of Senators in Urging Vice President Pence to Ensure Coronavirus Resources for Tribes and Urban Native Communities

WASHINGTON, DC - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined a bipartisan group of 25 senators in writing to Vice President Mike Pence requesting the administration meaningfully engage with Native communities and Tribal leaders on their response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The senators sent the letter following congressional passage of a coronavirus emergency supplemental appropriations bill that includes $40 million for Tribes, Tribal organizations and Urban Indian … Continue Reading

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