Press Releases

April 17, 2013

Burr and Wyden Seek to Strengthen VA’s Pension Program and Protect America’s Veterans

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., have introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at ending abuses of a low-income veterans' pension program. The Veterans Pension Protection Act seeks to combat a growing niche industry that profits by preying on elderly veterans. So-called "pension poachers" are convincing veterans with substantial assets to hide those assets in trusts and annuity products in an effort to qualify for the maximum allowable needs-based … Continue Reading

April 16, 2013

Wyden Testifies on Behalf of Hermiston Wastewater Bill, Drought Relief Act

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power today held a hearing on two bills by Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore.: S. 693, the City of Hermiston Water Recycling and Reuse Project, and S. 659 - Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act reauthorization. The City of Hermiston Water Recycling and Reuse Project would authorize the Bureau of Reclamation to share a small portion of the costs to build a new wastewater treatment plant. "This is … Continue Reading

April 12, 2013

U.S. Navy to Name New Ship the USS Portland

PORTLAND, Or -- The U.S. Navy will name the next San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship the USS Portland, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced today. "Oregon has a long history with the U.S. Navy going back to the construction of hundreds of World War II Liberty and Victory ships at three Portland-area shipyards," Wyden said. "I want to thank Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus for naming a ship for Oregon's largest city. It is an honor for the City of Portland and for all … Continue Reading

March 29, 2013

Wyden, Merkley Applaud Sustainable Fisheries Decision

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., are applauding a federal decision that will help commercial fishermen profit while encouraging sustainable fisheries. "It's a good decision that reaffirms what fisherman needed - a sound, science-based solution that protects the environment as well as fishermen's bottom line," Wyden said. "Our fishing economy depends on a sustainable fishing management plan that provides for a healthy ecosystem and healthy yields for … Continue Reading

March 28, 2013

Wyden and Merkley Statement on Secure Rural Schools Money

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley released the following statement regarding the Obama Administration's decision to ask rural counties to return $18 million in Secure Rural Schools money due to sequestration. $3.6 million of that would come from Oregon counties. "The administration clearly failed to plan for the impact of the sequester on Secure Rural Schools funding for rural counties, as demonstrated by the contradictory approaches taken by Bureau of Land … Continue Reading

March 26, 2013

Wyden Statement on Full Funding of Tuition Assistance Programs for National Guard Members

Portland, Or - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement today following President Obama's signing of a continuing appropriations bill that includes full funding of tuition assistance for veterans. "Earlier today, President Obama signed the continuing appropriations bill into law. I supported this important piece of legislation because it will fund the government through October and avert a senseless and unnecessary showdown. As part of this effort, I was proud to cosponsor an … Continue Reading

March 26, 2013

CMS Responds to Wyden on Resolving the Family Glitch

WASHINGTON - Despite the Administration's effort to provide states with greater flexibility to allow employees to shop for health insurance using employer contributions, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden says millions of workers' dependents will still be left without options for affordable family health coverage. "Without action, millions of hard working Americans are going to be squeezed by the family glitch," Wyden said. "Many people will be left with a false choice of taking family coverage through … Continue Reading

March 25, 2013

Wyden Schedules Six Eastern Oregon Town Halls in Harney, Grant, Baker, Union, Wallowa and Malheur Counties

PORTLAND, OR - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will hold his annual town halls in Harney, Grant, Baker, Union, Wallowa and Malheur counties from April 2 to April 5. The meetings will be held in the cities of Burns on April 2, John Day and Baker City on April 3, La Grande and Joseph on April 4 and Ontario on April 5. Wyden has been holding town halls in every Oregon county every year beginning in 1996. Harney County Town Hall MeetingDate: Tuesday, April 2, 2013Time: 5 p.m.Location: Harney County … Continue Reading

March 21, 2013

Wyden and Reed Seek to Boost Palliative and Hospice Care

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., today introduced legislation aimed at readying the health care workforce for the growing need for palliative and hospice care. "The age wave is already straining access to hospice and palliative care for many Americans," Wyden said. "Providing more training and incentives to study and practice palliative and hospice care would mean fewer patients suffering from the symptoms, stress and pain of serious illnesses." "We must … Continue Reading

March 21, 2013

Bipartisan Legislation Institutes Warrant Requirements to Track Americans with GPS Data

Washington, D.C. - Recent reports indicate that by the end of 2013 smart phones could account for 70 percent of all mobile phones in the U.S. Each of these cutting-edge devices includes built-in GPS technology collecting more personal geolocation data than ever before. However, the rules governing how law-enforcement can acquire and use this data to track individuals are unclear. To add to the confusion, courts in different jurisdictions have applied the law inconsistently - with some courts … Continue Reading

March 19, 2013

Wyden Urges NIH to Reexamine Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today released a letter to National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis S. Collins regarding concerns about achieving a reasonable balance between getting breakthrough pharmaceuticals to market quickly, making sure patients can afford these medicines and protecting the interests of taxpayers. The text of the letter is here: Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director National Institutes of Health 9000 Rockville PikeBethesda, Maryland 20892 Dear … Continue Reading

March 13, 2013

Senators Introduce CCF Reforms for Fishermen

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Patty Murray, D-Wash., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today introduced bipartisan legislation to allow commercial fisherman - in Oregon, Alaska, Washington and nationwide - to use their Capital Construction Fund (CCF) savings without incurring significant tax penalties. "CCF has been an important part of strengthening the U.S. fishing fleet," Wyden said. "But the rapid changes … Continue Reading

March 08, 2013

Wyden Urges AG to Investigate Illegal Fees on Struggling Homeowners

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged the U.S. Attorney General to investigate allegations that a mortgage servicing firm is overcharging struggling homeowners on default and foreclosure fees. "Not only is the thought of making it harder for struggling homeowners to reinstate their loans appalling, but charging for fees already being paid by a government-backed entity such as Fannie Mae is illegal under the False Claims Act," Wyden wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. … Continue Reading

March 05, 2013

Wyden, Udall, Collins Statement on Committee Access to Targeted Killing Documents

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) released the following statement after the Department of Justice provided memos outlining the President's ability to authorize the targeted killing of Americans during counter-terrorism operations: "The administration has now provided the Senate Intelligence Committee with full access to documents outlining the President's authority to conduct targeted killings of Americans in counter … Continue Reading

February 22, 2013

Wyden Statement on White House Policy to Expand Access to Federally Funded Research

Washington, D.C. - U. S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released the following statement after the White House announced a new policy expanding access to federally funded scientific research: "It is great to see the White House has joined many of us who realize that making taxpayer funded research readily available to the American public leads to further innovation, discovery, job growth and economic development. The President's commitment to remove the barriers to this federally funded research … Continue Reading

February 15, 2013

Baucus and Wyden Pledge to Extend Secure Rural Schools Program

Washington, D.C.- Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) pledged on Friday to extend the Secure Rural Schools program for at least another year, buying time to craft a long-term solution for rural communities. Baucus, who chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee, has strongly supported the program in the past, and said he will again work to ensure the lifeline for resource-dependent communities does not disappear. "These investments are the lifeline that keeps teachers in … Continue Reading

February 14, 2013

Wyden Presses Administration on Family Health Coverage Gap

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today pressed an Obama administration official to help find ways to resolve a glitch in the law that would deny federal assistance to the millions of Americans of modest means who could be priced out of family health coverage at work. During a Senate Finance Committee hearing Wyden asked Gary Cohen, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid … Continue Reading

February 14, 2013

Wyden Bill Makes Taxpayer Funded Research Available to the Public

Washington, D.C. - Every year, the federal government spends billions of dollars funding research into science, technology, energy, medicine and more. This research often leads to innovations that create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of people. However, much of it is published behind the paywall of peer reviewed journals limiting access to innovators and the American public. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act … Continue Reading

February 14, 2013

Senators Seek to Lift Restrictions on Industrial Hemp

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rand Paul, R-Ky., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., today introduced legislation that would allow American farmers to grow and profit from industrial hemp. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 would remove federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp. Specifically, the bill would remove hemp from the Schedule I controlled substance list under the Controlled Substances Act of … Continue Reading

February 14, 2013

Wyden and Merkley Re-Introduce Land Bills to Protect Wilderness Areas in Oregon

Washington, D.C. - Renewing their efforts to preserve and protect Oregon's most wild and environmentally important areas, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) re-introduced three bills today that will designate more than 100,000 acres of land as wilderness or preserved areas. The Oregon Caves Revitalization Act will enhance the existing Oregon Caves National Monument by including the entire Cave Creek Watershed in the park site and transferring management of more than … Continue Reading

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