Press Releases

April 20, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Reintroduce Bill to Allow VA to Prescribe Medical Marijuana to Veterans

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they have joined colleagues to reintroduce legislation to allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans in Oregon and the 35 other states that have established medical marijuana programs. "Plenty of evidence suggests that medical marijuana holds promise for pain management, PTSD and other medical conditions frequently experienced by our wounded warriors. … Continue Reading


April 20, 2021

Wyden Co-sponsors Legislation to Invest in Forest, Watershed Restoration Across the West

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today joined U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., to introduce legislation that would create or sustain more than 2 million jobs in the outdoors by investing in forest and watershed restoration. "The climate crisis is not some distant threat. It's here, and families out West feel its impacts year after year as catastrophic wildfires and extreme weather events devastate their communities," Wyden said. "Climate action and climate resilience efforts go hand … Continue Reading


April 15, 2021

Wyden, Democrats Question DOJ Funding of Unproven Predictive Policing Technology

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., with seven other members, asked the Justice Department to account for how it funds and oversees so-called predictive policing programs, especially whether the programs actually reduce crime, and the potential to amplify biased results that harm marginalized groups. Reps. Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y., and Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and … Continue Reading


April 15, 2021

Wyden Releases Draft Legislation to Protect Americans’ Personal Data From Hostile Foreign Governments

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released a discussion draft of legislation to regulate the export of Americans' sensitive personal information to potentially hostile foreign nations. The Protecting Americans' Data from Foreign Surveillance Act would create new safeguards against exporting sensitive personal information to foreign countries if doing so could harm U.S. national security. "Shady data brokers shouldn't get rich selling Americans' private data to foreign … Continue Reading


April 14, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Co-sponsor Bill to Establish National Paid Sick Days Policy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are co-sponsoring the Healthy Families Act, paid sick days legislation that would help keep workers, communities and the economy in Oregon and nationwide healthy. "The COVID-19 pandemic has both magnified and spotlighted the long-standing need to fix a broken paid sick leave policy that forces far too many hard-working people into the brutal choice between their health and their paycheck," said Wyden, Chair of the Senate … Continue Reading


April 14, 2021

Wyden Seeks Investigation of Former USAGM CEO Following Whistleblower Complaint

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked the State Department Inspector General what steps it has taken to investigate allegations that the former U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack illegally spent taxpayer funds on dangerously insecure technology, in a letter today. USAGM internet freedom funds are intended to develop and support technologies that circumvent internet censorship by repressive regimes, and promote free expression around the world. Wyden's letter … Continue Reading


April 14, 2021

Merkley, Wyden, Bentz Announce Relief for Klamath Basin Irrigators, Klamath Tribes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-OR-2), today announced that irrigators on the Klamath Reclamation Project will receive $15 million in immediate aid and Klamath Basin tribes will receive $3 million in technical assistance, and that another $10 million will be available for drought assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, following the release of a water operations plan for the Klamath Reclamation Project. "While … Continue Reading


April 14, 2021

Wyden, Paul, DeFazio, Davis Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Abolish the Selective Service

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., today introduced a bicameral, bipartisan bill to end the Selective Service. "The Selective Service has far outlived its expiration date, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars per year to prepare for a draft is no longer relevant to our military," Wyden said. "Congress hasn't come close to reinstating a military draft in 50 years, and I can't … Continue Reading


April 14, 2021

Wyden and Merkley: FEMA Will Now Provide Financial for COVID-19 Funeral Costs

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that FEMA is providing financial assistance for eligible COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020 in Oregon and nationwide. "The COVID-19 global pandemic has left thousands of families throughout our state and country shouldering the financial burden of end-of-life care while grieving the losses of their loved ones," Wyden said. "The critical financial support from FEMA for funeral costs … Continue Reading


April 13, 2021

Wyden Statement on Biden Plan to Withdraw U.S. Troops from Afghanistan

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on President Biden's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11: "The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is long overdue, and I hope that President Biden sticks to this newly announced September 11 deadline. This move would finally close the chapter on the longest war in American history, better serving the interests of the American people and U.S. national … Continue Reading


April 13, 2021

Merkley, Wyden, Bentz Push for Emergency Resources for Klamath Basin

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-OR-2), today released the following statement after meeting with U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland about the dire water year the Klamath Basin will face, and the emergency resources needed to provide the community relief: "Communities in the Basin are facing another year of hardship. As drought conditions persist and worsen, the water supply that is critical for tribal, … Continue Reading


April 09, 2021

Wyden Sets April 15 Community Meeting for Lincoln County on Debris Removal From Echo Mountain Fire

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced that his staff as well as staff from FEMA, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), will hold a 5 pm meeting April 15 by Zoom for Lincoln County residents to get their ongoing questions answered about debris removal from the Echo Mountain Complex fire that ripped through the region last September. The April 15 Zoom meeting follows Wyden's online Lincoln County town hall April 2 in … Continue Reading


April 08, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon to Receive More than $66 Million for Affordable Housing

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon will receive more than $66 million in federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for affordable housing to help low-income Oregonians in the cities of Corvallis, Salem, Portland and Eugene as well as Clackamas, Marion and Washington counties. "Housing is a human right, period, and the economic fallout of this public health crisis has underlined just how badly Oregonians need more … Continue Reading


April 05, 2021

Oregon Delegation: 31 Counties in State Receive More Than $39 Million in Secure Rural School Funding

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader said today that 31 Oregon counties will receive about $39.3 million in Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments for schools, roads, law enforcement and other essential services. These payments to Oregon counties are the last ones under the SRS program's current authorization. Wyden, Merkley and Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) … Continue Reading


April 05, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: More Than $10 Million Heading to Oregon Airports for Improvements

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that more than a dozen airports throughout Oregon will receive about $10.3 million in federal grants for improvements that include better preparation for winter weather, runway repairs, improved guidance systems, perimeter fencing and more. "Oregonians living and working in communities large and small need safe and modern airport services for commerce that supports local jobs as well as for quality-of-life," Wyden said. "The … Continue Reading


April 02, 2021

Wyden, Bipartisan Senators, Question Online Ad Exchanges on Sharing of Americans’ Data with Foreign Companies

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., questioned eight digital advertising exchanges about the possible sale of Americans' personal information to foreign-owned companies, in a series of letters sent yesterday with Senators Bill Cassidy, R-La., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Mark Warner, D-Va., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. The senators are seeking information about the sharing of Americans' data through "real time bidding" - the auction process used to place … Continue Reading


April 02, 2021

Wyden Urges FCC to Include State and Local Input in Broadband Buildout

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined with 16 colleagues in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging that federal regulators ensure state, local, and tribal governments are included in efforts to update nationwide broadband maps. Following decades-long use of inaccurate data maps that denied broadband funding to eligible communities, Congress charged the FCC with creating new maps in 2020 to accurately depict the current state of broadband access in our … Continue Reading


March 31, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Announce Oregon Fisheries to receive $13 Million in Disaster Assistance

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced today that Oregon fisheries will receive more than $13 million in fisheries assistance from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "Oregon's fishing industry up and down the coast has been cast adrift by the pandemic's economic riptide, "Wyden said. "West Coast seafood is prized internationally, and Oregonians in this signature state industry must be able to earn a family wage. These resources will … Continue Reading


March 31, 2021

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to Address Racial Disparities in Housing Appraisal Industry

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined a group of 34 lawmakers in urging the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) to work with the housing appraisal industry to address disparities in home valuations for communities of color. Recent reports have shown significant disparities in the assessments of home valuations for white families and families of color-in fact, a 2018 Brookings Institute report found that homes in majority-black … Continue Reading


March 31, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Onward Eugene Awarded $300,000 NSF Grant for Broadband

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced today that Onward Eugene will receive a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for $300,000 to provide broadband to Oregonians in remote areas of the McKenzie Valley. "Internet connections in 2021 are critical for rural communities to stay connected every day of the year," Wyden said. "Resilient broadband is also critical in a disaster, whether that's a global health pandemic forcing people to learn and work from home, or a … Continue Reading

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