Press Releases

March 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Demand Answers from President Trump About Testing and Equipment Shortages

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have joined 45 of their Senate colleagues in pressing President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for answers about supplies and equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) critical to addressing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The senators asked the president and vice president to confirm any relevant supply equipment shortages in the SNS, to outline their strategy to close any such … Continue Reading


March 22, 2020

Wyden Statement on Status of Third Coronavirus Response Bill

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement of the status of the third coronavirus response bill: "Moving forward without a bipartisan deal that covers workers and small businesses, and includes needed health provisions will add insult to the injuries many Americans are experiencing due to COVID-19. Significant progress had been made, including on a major expansion of unemployment insurance, but rather than completing our work, Leader … Continue Reading


March 22, 2020

Wyden: Americans Experiencing Homelessness Must Also Have Access to Cash Payments Under Consideration in COVID-19 response

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he is urging Senate leadership to ensure that Americans experiencing homelessness can also get access to direct payments under consideration in response to the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Wyden wrote in a letter with four colleagues to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer that people experiencing homelessness are exceptionally vulnerable to the Coronavirus and face … Continue Reading


March 21, 2020

Schumer, Warren, And Wyden Unveil Plan To Increase Benefits By $200 Per Month For All Social Security Beneficiaries

Washington, D.C.- Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) today unveiled a plan to increase by $200 the monthly benefit for all Social Security, Veterans, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries through the end of 2021, which would improve the lives of millions of Americans and help our economy stabilize and recover from the national emergency caused by the spread of the … Continue Reading


March 20, 2020

Wyden Urges Protections for Airline Employees and Contractors in Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Legislation

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged Senate leadership to include protections for employees and contractors in any financial assistance to the airline industry. The outbreak of coronavirus has dealt a financial blow to the country's airlines. However, the industry's business practices over many years have exacerbated the issues they currently face. Following years of corporate tax cuts and consolidation, airlines spent the last five years using 96 percent of their cash flow on … Continue Reading


March 20, 2020

Wyden Calls for Increased Funding for Schools and Education Support Professionals Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called for increased federal funding for schools and school employees, such as cafeteria staff, bus drivers, and custodians, who are working overtime to support their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. As the pandemic continues, schools are continuing to provide essential services in their communities, from providing meals to implementing distance-learning to serving as community hubs. Given these demands, Wyden, U.S. Senator … Continue Reading


March 20, 2020

Oregon Delegation Announces Small Businesses Can Now Access Economic Disaster Loans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Congresspeople Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden, today announced that, following their letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) supporting the governor's request, Oregon has been declared an economic disaster, giving small businesses access to emergency resources. The Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides critical resources to small … Continue Reading


March 20, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Push To Protect Working Families from Utility Shut Offs in Next Coronavirus Relief Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Senator Merkley's fellow co-chairs of the Senate Environmental Justice Caucus and four other senators, today pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to include protections for Americans against utility shut-offs in the next coronavirus relief package. "As closures and quarantines disrupt and eliminate income for many American families, low-wealth communities and … Continue Reading


March 20, 2020

Wyden Supports Bill Canceling Student Loan Payments During Coronavirus Emergency

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will support an emergency student loan payment and relief plan that would provide much-needed relief to federal student loan borrowers through immediate cancellation of monthly student loan payments during the national emergency caused by coronavirus. The proposal would require that Congress authorize the U.S. Department of Education to make monthly student loan payments on behalf of borrowers, equivalent to the amount due for all … Continue Reading


March 19, 2020

Wyden Statement on FERC Decision to Approve Jordan Cove Energy Project in Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., opposed today's decision of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve the controversial and complex Jordan Cove energy project in Oregon over the objection of all three of Oregon state environmental regulatory agencies and while the Commission remains imbalanced and the country is in the midst of a public health crisis. Wyden released the following statement: "A few days ago, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell stacked the … Continue Reading


March 19, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Federal Government To Expand Access To Telehealth Services For Rural Communities

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase subsidies to health care providers through the Rural Health Care Program so providers have the resources they need to deliver and expand telehealth services for rural communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "In this time of crisis, it is imperative we do our part to ensure the safety and security of our health care providers and patients," the Oregon … Continue Reading


March 18, 2020

With Unprecedented Disruptions From Coronavirus, Wyden And Merkley Introduce Bill to Expand Oregon-Style Vote-By-Mail and Ensure Americans are Still Able to Vote

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to introduce legislation that would ensure Americans are able to vote this year, despite disruptions caused by COVID-19. The bill would expand early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail to all states, and allowing voters who did not receive an absentee ballot to use a printable ballot currently only provided for military and overseas voters. The legislation comes as five … Continue Reading


March 18, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Announce Senate Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the Senate passage of bipartisan legislation to strengthen the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic and support Oregon families. "There are families across Oregon who are too worried to go to the doctor because they can't afford to get hit with a massive medical bill, and individuals who can't stay home when they or their families are sick because it means lost wages and bills unpaid," Wyden said. … Continue Reading


March 18, 2020

Wyden Introduces $17B Bill to Relieve Small Business Loan Payments for 6 Months

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) today joined U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), to introduce legislation that would be a lifeline for a wide range of Oregon small businesses fighting for their survival during the COVID19 public health crisis. The Small Business Debt Relief Act would ensure every small business with a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) would be relieved of their loan payments-including principal, interest, and fees-for the … Continue Reading


March 18, 2020

Wyden Demands Answers on Coronavirus Preparedness in Immigration Detention Facilities

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined colleagues to demand information about the policies and procedures U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have in place to prepare for and manage a potential spread of the novel coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) among detainees and staff in DHS facilities. In a letter to DHS Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf, ICE Acting Director … Continue Reading


March 18, 2020

Wyden Introduces Bill to Hold Off on REAL ID Enforcement During Coronavirus Outbreak

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he is introducing a bipartisan bill that would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to delay enforcement of REAL ID for at least one year in response to the coronavirus outbreak. "In the middle of this public health crisis, it would be irresponsible and dangerous to ask Oregonians to crowd into lines at their Department of Motor Vehicles to receive the REAL ID documents they need," Wyden said. "This legislation would postpone this … Continue Reading


March 17, 2020

Wyden to Introduce Updated Emergency Paid Leave, Small Business Support Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced plans to introduce a comprehensive emergency paid sick days and paid family and medical leave bill-fully funded by the federal government during this public health emergency-to provide additional support to workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak and future public health emergencies. "Working Oregonians must not be forced into making an impossible choice between going to work and risking their health or their family's … Continue Reading


March 17, 2020

Wyden to Introduce Updated Emergency Paid Leave, Small Business Support Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced plans to introduce a comprehensive emergency paid sick days and paid family and medical leave bill-fully funded by the federal government during this public health emergency-to provide additional support to workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak and future public health emergencies. "Working Oregonians must not be forced into making an impossible choice between going to work and risking their health or their family's … Continue Reading


March 17, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Call on FEMA to Mobilize Land Management Agencies to Support COVID-19 Emergency Response in Rural Communities

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate with other federal agencies so thousands of federal civil servants, who have experience with rapid emergency response, can help rural communities that are increasingly overwhelmed by the challenge of responding to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. "We write to request your immediate assistance in mobilizing your agencies to offer … Continue Reading


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

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