Press Releases

August 15, 2013

Senators Wyden of Oregon and Crapo and Risch of Idaho to Get Wildfire Briefing at National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Tuesday, August 20

Portland, OR - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) will visiting the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise Tuesday, August 20, 2013, to thank firefighters for their extremely hard and dangerous work in yet another hazardous season for fighting wildfires. During the visit, the Senators will note that the country can do better in preventing catastrophic fires by using collaborative land management efforts and stronger proactive management … Continue Reading

August 09, 2013

Wyden Statement on President Obama’s Proposed Reforms to the FISC and PATRIOT ACT

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement regarding President Obama's announcement of potential reforms to Section 215 of the PATRIOT ACT and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. "Many of the reforms proposed by the President stem from suggestions made by myself and my colleagues to deal with the severe threat to civil liberties posed by current surveillance authorities and programs. While more details are clearly necessary, the President's … Continue Reading

August 01, 2013

Wyden Stands Up for Rural Counties

Washington, D.C. -To protect Secure Rural Schools payments, which provide vital funding for counties in Oregon and across the country, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today placed a public hold on S. 101, a bill to prohibit the provision of federal funds to state and local governments for payment of obligations. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act funds schools, roads and law-enforcement services in rural and timber counties across the country, to compensate for the loss … Continue Reading

August 01, 2013

Wyden, Thune Seek to Make Permanent Protections Against Unfair Internet Taxes

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D) today introduced legislation, the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, to make permanent the existing ban on Internet access taxes and on multiple and discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), originally enacted in 1998 and extended three times, is currently scheduled to expire November 1, 2014. "As the Internet Tax Freedom Act enabled and promoted Internet access and adoption across … Continue Reading

August 01, 2013

Blumenthal, Wyden, Udall Unveil Major Legislation To Reform FISA Courts

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) - joined by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) - unveiled two bills that would ensure FISA courts properly balance the need to protect national security with constitutional and statutory requirements to safeguard individual rights to privacy and liberty. The first bill - the FISA Court Reform Act of 2013 - would create a Special Advocate with the power to argue in the FISA courts on behalf of the right to privacy … Continue Reading

July 31, 2013

Wyden: Declassified Documents Show How Inaccurate Statements Have Misled Congress

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement regarding the declassified documents released by the Director of National Intelligence today: "The newly declassified briefing documents released today show that the executive branch repeatedly made inaccurate statements to Congress about the value and effectiveness of the bulk email records collection program that was carried out under the USA PATRIOT Act until 2011. These statements had the effect of … Continue Reading

July 30, 2013

Wyden Statement on Japan’s Decision to Resume Purchases of Oregon Wheat

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement today on the decision by the Japanese government to resume purchases of U.S. western-white wheat. The decision ends a two-month ban on the grain purchases following the apparent discovery of unapproved gene-altered crop on an Oregon farm. "With the wheat crop ready for harvest, the news that Japan will join South Korea and Taiwan in resuming purchasing of Oregon wheat comes at the perfect time for wheat … Continue Reading

July 29, 2013

Wyden Statement on Voting Present on the Nomination of James Comey to be FBI Director

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement regarding his decision to vote "present" on the confirmation of James Comey to be the next Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: "Today, I voted present on the nomination of James Comey to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The head of the FBI is responsible for approving and overseeing a large number of surveillance activities, and it is an unfortunate fact that the FBI's … Continue Reading

July 26, 2013

Wyden and Udall: Intelligence Community's Response Leaves Important Surveillance Questions Unanswered

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mark Udall, D-Colo., released the following statement after receiving a response from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to their June 27, 2013 letter sent along with 24 fellow senators: "This response is appreciated, but the intelligence community still has left many of the questions most important to the American people unanswered. Given the implications for the privacy of the millions of law-abiding Americans, intelligence … Continue Reading

July 25, 2013

Wyden, Thune Bill Protects Innovative Digital Goods from Multiple and Discriminatory Taxes

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), both members of the Senate Finance Committee, today introduced legislation to prevent discriminatory and duplicative taxes on digital goods and services, including online downloads of music, literature, movies, mobile apps, and cloud computing services. Their bill would clarify federal rules related to the taxation of digital goods and services, and prevent unfair and duplicative taxation. The potential for multiple … Continue Reading

July 24, 2013

Wyden Statement on Amash/Conyers Amendment to End Dragnet Collection of Americans’ Records

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement regarding the amendment to the House Defense Appropriations bill offered by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and John Conyers (D- Mich.) that would have ended the NSA's dragnet collection of Americans' records: "Today the debate on warrantless surveillance of ordinary Americans finally took place where it should have been occurring all along: in public and on the floor of the Congress, rather than another closed … Continue Reading

July 22, 2013

Wyden Letter to Comey Seeks FBI Director Nominee’s Views on Surveillance Activities

Washington, D.C. - As former U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Comey's nomination to become the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is being considered by the U.S. Senate, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent Mr. Comey a letter seeking his views on current and former U.S. surveillance activities. Mr. Comey served as the Deputy Attorney General during the Administration of President George W. Bush and was involved in the legal debate surrounding Bush-era surveillance activities. If … Continue Reading

July 16, 2013

Wyden Statement on Bonneville Power Administration Inspector General Report

Washington, D.C. - Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement following an Inspector General report on allegations that the Bonneville Power Administration failed to follow federal rules for veteran hiring, and retaliated against whistleblowers. "Veterans have made a special commitment to our country, and it's only right that the government make the same commitment to them. The veterans preference in federal hiring is … Continue Reading

July 08, 2013

Sens. Wyden and Merkley, Rep. Walden, and Gov. Kitzhaber Form Klamath River Basin Task Force

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Congressman Greg Walden, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber today announced the creation of a task force to make recommendations on a long-term solution to water and power issues in the Klamath River Basin. The task force is charged with developing specific recommendations that build on prior basin agreements by September 10, 2013. In a bipartisan letter sent last week, Wyden, Merkley, Walden and Kitzhaber asked stakeholders to … Continue Reading

July 02, 2013

Wyden, Udall Statement on the Disclosure of Bulk Email Records Collection Program

Washington, D.C. - U. S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released the following statement regarding the recent disclosure by intelligence officials that the NSA operated a bulk email records collection program under the authority of the Patriot Act until 2011. This program is distinct from the internet-related collection carried out under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (which involves the PRISM computer … Continue Reading

June 28, 2013

Bipartisan Group of 26 Senators Seek Answers from DNI Clapper on Bulk Data Collection Program

Washington, D.C. - The recent public disclosures of secret government surveillance programs have exposed how secret interpretations of the USA PATRIOT Act have allowed for the bulk collection of massive amounts of data on the communications of ordinary Americans with no connection to wrong-doing. Reliance on secret law to conduct domestic surveillance activities raises serious civil liberty concerns and all but removes the public from an informed national security and civil liberty debate. In … Continue Reading

June 27, 2013

Bipartisan Legislation Would Provide $50 billion for Transportation Infrastructure

WASHINGTON -U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., and U.S. Representatives Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Allison Y. Schwartz, D-Penn., today introduced legislation that would make $50 billion available for transportation infrastructure projects by leveraging private investment. The bipartisan, bicameral Transportation and Regional Infrastructure Project (TRIP) bonds legislation would allow states to issue up to a total of $50 billion - $1 billion per state - in bonds for … Continue Reading

June 26, 2013

Wyden, Toomey’s Wireless Tax Fairness Act Protects Consumers and Promotes Wireless Phone and Internet Services as an Engine of Innovation

Washington, D.C. - Mobile technology is getting faster, smarter and more capable every year. The level and pace of innovation in the mobile wireless industry is unlike any other sector of the economy, but that innovation could be threatened by multiple and discriminatory taxes levied by state and local governments. In an effort to protect consumers from overbearing taxation and keep the mobile Internet as an innovation juggernaut, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) have … Continue Reading

June 26, 2013

Wyden Statement on SCOTUS Overturning DOMA

Washington - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act: "I voted against DOMA in 1996, and I've long said that if you don't like gay marriage, don't get one. Gay marriage isn't the government's business, and the freedom to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should not depend on who you choose to love. It's important to celebrate today's decision and the progress it signals, … Continue Reading

June 26, 2013

Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Strengthen Medicare by Keeping Seniors Healthy

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and U.S. Representatives Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., Ron Kind, D-Wisc., Tim Griffin, R-Ark., and Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, today introduced legislation aimed at saving Medicare billions by encouraging seniors to get and stay healthy. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would create the Medicare Better Health Rewards program. This entirely voluntary program is designed to help motivate Medicare beneficiaries to get and stay … Continue Reading

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