Press Releases

June 21, 2022

Wyden, Merkley Welcome Biden Administration Announcement on Federal Wildland Firefighter Pay, Renew Call for Immediate Implementation of Changes

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley welcomed today's announcement from the Biden administration on its plans to increase federal wildland firefighter pay and establish a new occupational series for these firefighters as required by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Following up on a letter they sent to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last week, the senators today renewed their call for the administration to immediately implement these changes which are one … Continue Reading

June 21, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: More than $1 Million to Oregon for Sagebrush Conservation

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week announced that more than $1 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds will go to Oregon projects conserving sagebrush ecosystems. These projects will combat invasive grasses, safeguard precious water resources, prevent wildfire, and promote community and economic sustainability. "Oregon sagebrush restoration and conservation projects curb destructive, wildfire-causing invasive grasses, while also contributing to the … Continue Reading

June 21, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce My Body, My Data Act to Protect Reproductive Health Data

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today introduced legislation that would protect personal reproductive health data in response to the leaked draft decision indicating the Supreme Court's plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. "The draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe shows that the fundamental rights of a woman over her own body and privacy are on the chopping block. Congress needs to step up and offer real protections for people seeking reproductive health care, and lots of people … Continue Reading

June 17, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Ban Data Brokers from Selling Americans’ Location and Health Data

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said today he is cosponsoring the Health and Location Data Protection Act, legislation that bans data brokers from selling Americans' health and location data. "When abortion is illegal, researching reproductive health care online, updating a period-tracking app, or bringing a phone to the doctor's office all could be used to track and prosecute women across the U.S," Wyden said. "It amounts to uterus surveillance. Congress must protect Americans' … Continue Reading

June 16, 2022

Wyden Applauds Senate Passage of the Bipartisan PACT Act

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Wyden today voted yes as part of the Senate majority passing historic legislation that ensures access to essential health care services for U.S. soldiers exposed to toxic chemicals, including those from toxic burn pits, used for waste disposal in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Veterans exposed to toxic chemicals in burn pits and in other settings have long deserved far better in their health care, " Wyden said. "They earned these benefits with their service to our … Continue Reading

June 15, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: Two Oregon Colleges Receive $2.44 Million to Recruit and Retain Rural Students

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week announced that Umpqua Community College and Eastern Oregon University will receive a combined $2.44 million to help recruit and retain students from rural Oregon, as well as provide them with career opportunities in high-skill, high-wage and in-demand industry sectors in the region. "Students exposed to quality college and career preparation graduate from high school at higher rates and are more prepared to get good-paying … Continue Reading

June 14, 2022

Wyden Presses Bureau of Reclamation Official on Agency's Plans to Address Water Emergency in Oregon and Across West

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton how the agency plans to efficiently deliver new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to make sure the best available science is used to address water management challenges in Oregon and across the West -- especially with the potential of another devastating wildfire season. "The summer begins next week and more than half of my state is already suffering extreme or severe … Continue Reading

June 14, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Fight for Increased Investments for Land and Water Conservation

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced he is calling for increased investments in the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for fiscal year 2023. In a bipartisan letter addressed to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, Wyden and colleagues requested an investment of $450 million in discretionary funds, in addition to mandatory LWCF funding to address the numerous ready-to-go project opportunities. "From protecting clean drinking … Continue Reading

June 14, 2022

Wyden: No “Reset” with Saudi Arabia Without Justice for Victims of Mohammed bin Salman’s Violence

Washington, D.C. - Amid reports that President Biden is seeking to "reset" relations with Saudi Arabia, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, urged President Biden to insist on accountability for those responsible for the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the killing of Portland's Fallon Smart and other victims of Saudi citizens who have fled U.S. justice. "The United States cannot value Saudi oil more highly than … Continue Reading

June 13, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon to Receive $3 Million to Ensure Workers Receive Earned Jobless Benefits

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Oregon Employment Department (OED) will receive $3 million in federal grants to ensure that eligible Oregonians can access the unemployment insurance (UI) program and receive the benefits they have earned. "I'm gratified to see federal investment so that Oregon can build out its UI resources to help jobless Oregonians receive their benefits without delay," Wyden said, who secured Pandemic Unemployment … Continue Reading

June 09, 2022

Wyden Sounds the Alarm on Wildland Firefighter Shortage, Backlog of Prevention Work at U.S. Forest Service Budget Hearing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today pressed U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore on how the agency plans to use the money secured for wildfire in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address the critical shortage of permanent wildland firefighters and make sure Oregon and the entire West are prepared for what is expected to be another catastrophic wildfire season. At the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Forest Service budget, Wyden also called … Continue Reading

June 09, 2022

Wyden and Moran Urge Administration to Update Executive Order on Classification System, Invest in New Declassification Technology

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., urged President Biden to update the executive order governing classification and declassification in order to solve urgent problems that undermine both national security and transparency into government actions. "The failures of the current obsolete system have been extensively documented in reports from the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) of the National Archives and the Public Interest … Continue Reading

June 08, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Join Warren and Murray Urging President Biden to use Executive Powers to Defend Reproductive Rights for Americans

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) in a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to immediately issue an executive order directing the federal government to develop a national plan to defend Americans' fundamental reproductive rights, including the right to an abortion. "Abortion access is under attack in the United States and already completely eliminated in swaths of the country," wrote … Continue Reading

June 07, 2022

Merkley, Wyden: Oregon Tribes to Receive Over $34 Million for Water and Sanitation Systems

Washington, DC -- Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a total of $34,013,174 allocated by the Indian Health Service is headed to three tribes in Oregon. Senator Merkley, as Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Subcommittee that funds these projects, and Senator Wyden, author of the Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act, fought hard to ensure funding for tribal water improvements was included in the Infrastructure and Investments Jobs Act (IIJA). "Turning on the … Continue Reading

June 07, 2022

Wyden Presses Interior and USDA on Making Sure Oregon is Equipped with Funding and Workforce Needed for Wildfire Season

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture about the agencies' plans to make sure Oregon is equipped with the firefighting workforce and funding it needs to meet the demands of another potentially catastrophic wildfire season. Wyden's questions come ahead of this Thursday's U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Forest Service budget, where Wyden - a senior committee … Continue Reading

June 06, 2022

Wyden, Merkley Statement on Nomination of Natalie Wight to be U.S. Attorney for Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley issued the following joint statement about today's announcement from the White House that Natalie Wight will be nominated to be U.S. Attorney for Oregon. "We strongly support President Biden's nomination of Natalie Wight to be the next U.S. Attorney for Oregon. She brings an outstanding combination of leadership, integrity, independence and community connections to this crucial post. We look forward to advancing her through the … Continue Reading

June 06, 2022

Wyden, Merkley Announce More Than $12.7 Million in Federal Grants for Covid-19 Response in Central Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the St. Charles Medical Center Foundation will be receiving a total of $12.79 million in federal funds for Covid-19 emergency response measures such as hiring additional staff, creating additional space for testing and treatment and more during the pandemic in Central Oregon. "The economic fallout of this public health crisis landed hard on hospitals and clinics in Oregon and nationwide, generating massive new and … Continue Reading

June 03, 2022

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Introduce Resolution Recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they have joined their Senate Democratic colleagues in introducing a Senate resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month. "As we celebrate the milestones and contributions of the LGBTQ community this Pride Month, we must continue the fight for full equality of LGBTQ individuals in Oregon and nationwide. Period. Full stop," Wyden said. "The radical far-right majority on the Supreme Court is on the verge of overturning … Continue Reading

June 02, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $4 Million for Mass Timber and Wood Projects

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced Oregon will be receiving a total of $4,170,737 to fund 2022 wood innovations and community wood grants. As Chairman of the Subcommittee that funds the Forest Service, Senator Merkley secured $20 million for these nationally-competitive grants in addition to $12 million provided in the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act. Oregon will be receiving approximately one-eighth of the $32 million national … Continue Reading

May 31, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Urge Biden Administration to Address Disparate Treatment of Afghan and Ukrainian Refugees

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has joined his colleagues in sending a letter to the Biden administration with concerns about the stark inconsistencies in the treatment of humanitarian parole applicants from Ukraine and Afghanistan. "The inconsistent treatment of Afghan and Ukrainian humanitarian parole applications is troubling. Afghans and Ukrainians have turned to humanitarian parole because other pathways out of their respective countries and to the United States, such as family … Continue Reading

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