Press Releases

October 29, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Announce $40 Million To Boost Geothermal Energy in Oregon

Washington, D.C. - Continuing efforts to advance alternative energy resources and break our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced nearly $40 million in Recovery Act funding for the exploration and development of geothermal energy technologies in Oregon. "This funding will literally help to bring Oregon's geothermal energy potential to the surface," Wyden said. "It will create and sustain jobs improving alternative … Continue Reading

October 28, 2009

Wyden Forwards U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal Finalists to President Obama

Portland, OR - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden forwarded to President Obama today the names of the finalists chosen by a selection committee for U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal for the State of Oregon. The 13-member selection committee appointed by Wyden and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley made their recommendations to Wyden after interviewing candidates and deliberating over last weekend. The committee chaired by Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan was comprised of a diverse group of police, … Continue Reading

October 26, 2009

Senator Wyden Responds to Majority Leader Reid's Decision on Public Option

Washington, D.C.-. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement in response to Senate Majority Leader Reid's decision to include a public option with an opt-out provision in the Senate health reform legislation: "I agree with Senator Reid that health reform should give Americans more options. Now, I want to work with him to ensure that all Americans can choose those options. The bottom line is that the public option can't really hold private insurers accountable if it is … Continue Reading

October 22, 2009

Defense Authorization Bill Passes, Including Wyden Proposals on Back Pay for Troops and Ban on Burn Pits

Washington, D.C. - Persisting in his work to safeguard the financial and physical health of our troops, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) secured retroactive pay for 864 Oregon soldiers under the Post Deployment and Mobilization Respite Absence (PDMRA) program along with a ban on the burning of hazardous chemical waste in war zones as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (H.R. 2647)."This bill takes concrete action on some really important issues for our troops," … Continue Reading

October 22, 2009

Wyden's Position on Net Neutrality Upheld at FCC

WASHINGTON, DC - Extolling the economic benefits of a free and open Internet provided by the policy of net neutrality, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released a statement today in response to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) vote to begin writing net neutrality regulations. The FCC will prevent internet service providers (ISP) from being able to act as gatekeepers, favoring their own applications or services over those provided by others and blocking or slowing certain internet … Continue Reading

October 21, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Help Save Oregon Manufacturing Jobs

Washington, D.C. - Fighting against a decision by the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) that would have devastated Oregon knife manufacturers, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) saw the amendment they co-sponsored to prohibit the reclassification of certain knives as switchblades included in the final FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill that passed the Senate today. The amendment was sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and a number of senators … Continue Reading

October 15, 2009

Wyden to Meet with Central Oregon Soldiers Headed for Afghanistan

Portland, OR - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will be in Redmond on Saturday, October 17, 2009, to meet with the National Guard troops from Central Oregon who are scheduled to be deployed next year to the Middle East, possibly Afghanistan. On the same day, Wyden will hold a town-hall style meeting with students at the National Guard Youth Challenge Alternative High School near Bend. The Department of Defense has alerted more than 3,500 members of the Army National Guard's 116th Cavalry Brigade … Continue Reading

October 15, 2009

Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Clears Senate and Heads For President's Desk

Washington, D.C. - Working to improve Oregon's waterways and alternative energy technology capabilities, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced today that the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act is on its way to the President's desk for signature. The bill, which includes nearly $200 million in projects for Oregon and the Northwest, has been approved by both the House and the Senate. The bill also includes millions in funding for … Continue Reading

October 14, 2009

Three More Wyden Amendments Included in America's Healthy Future Act; Ten Total

Washington, D.C. - Three amendments written by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) were accepted to the final version of the America's Healthy Future Act of 2009. Ten Wyden-authored amendments are included in total. The "Rewarding High Quality Medicare Advantage Plans" amendment will provide incentives for providing high-quality care by increasing payments for Medicare Advantage plans that voluntarily improve their services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) score Medicare … Continue Reading

October 13, 2009

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden: Statement announcing his vote to pass "America's Healthy Future Act" out of committee

Mr. Chairman and Colleagues, I think we all understand that health Reform legislation is unlike any other bill. Apart from the fact that it affects all Americans and our entire economy, writing a health reform bill is fundamentally different than anything else the Congress does.Take for example an appropriations bill or a tax bill, these kinds of bills are largely collections of a variety of different provisions, some of which are so important to a particular a state or a particular Senator … Continue Reading

October 07, 2009

Senate-Passed Defense Appropriations Bill Includes Over $60 Million to Protect Troops and Boost Oregon's Development of Advanced Technologies

Washington, D.C. - The United States Senate last night passed the fiscal year 2010 Department of Defense appropriations bill, which includes over $60 million for Oregon projects. Included at the request of Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, these projects will provide research and development of clean energy technologies, equipment to help ensure military personnel land aircraft safely in severe weather conditions, and updated data and voice communications systems. The bill also … Continue Reading

October 05, 2009

Wyden Responds to Amtrak Study of the Pioneer Line

Portland, OR - A preliminary study of the Pioneer Line needs to more fully explore key issues of cost and ridership before Congress can make a decision about restoring passenger rail service to Eastern Oregon, Senator Ron Wyden said in a letter to the president and CEO of Amtrak. "It is apparent that the Pioneer has the potential to greatly benefit the State of Oregon by providing an alternative means of passenger transportation," Wyden said in the letter to Joseph H. Boardman. "However, the … Continue Reading

September 30, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Announce Investigation Into National Guard Exposure to Carcinogen

Washington, D.C. - The Inspector General for the Department of Defense will investigate whether actions by the U.S. Army and a contractor exposed Oregon National Guard troops to a harmful carcinogen in Iraq in 2003.The investigation is in response to a letter written by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and five other senate colleagues calling on Inspector General Gordon Heddell to investigate whether the U.S. Army and KBR - a contractor hired to restore the Qarmat Ali … Continue Reading

September 29, 2009

Wyden Votes for Public Option

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today released the following statement regarding his vote in the Senate Finance Committee in favor of the public option:"The legislation before us currently does not offer enough real competition to keep Americans from continuing to be abused by health insurers and held captive by large employers. Without the ability to hold insurers accountable for their costs and quality of service, without the ability to get a better deal and stop the … Continue Reading

September 25, 2009

Committee Interview Schedule Setto Select U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden's selection committee has chosen six candidates to interview for the position of U.S. Attorney and six candidates to interview for the position of U.S. Marshal. The interviews will take place October 24 - 25, 2009. The candidates interviewing for U.S. Attorney are: John FooteJohn HaroldsonDwight HoltonJoshua MarquisAmanda MarshallKent Robinson The candidates interviewing for U.S. Marshal are: Russel BurgerJames FerrarisGerald GregEric MellgrenCarla … Continue Reading

September 24, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Announce USDA Funding for Rural Renewable Energy Grants

Washington, D.C. - In recognizing the importance of energy efficiency in America's rural businesses, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D- Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be awarding more than $866,000 in grants and a $2.2 million loan guarantee to rural businesses in Oregon to promote alternative energy production."This funding will help 24 farms and agricultural businesses in rural Oregon create and save energy using sustainable, alternative … Continue Reading

September 24, 2009

Senate Approves FLAME Act, Over $8 Million for Oregon Projects to Improve Communities and Preserve Natural Areas

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the Interior Appropriations bill, which includes over $8 million for Oregon projects, passed the U.S. Senate. The bill includes funding to protect and conserve natural recreation areas, replace outdated infrastructure, and provide farmers the resources they need to bring their crops to market. "We must continue to preserve Oregon's natural treasures so that future generations will benefit from the recreation … Continue Reading

September 23, 2009

Seven Wyden Amendments Adopted on First Day of Revision of America's Healthy Future Act

Washington, D.C. - Seven amendments written by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) were accepted today for inclusion in the revised Chairman's Mark of the America's Healthy Future Act of 2009.· The "Exchange Plans as Good As Members of Congress" amendment ensures that all Americans will be able to have a health insurance policy option available to them through their state exchange that is actuarially equivalent to the plans that their Members of Congress can choose. At least one plan … Continue Reading

September 22, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Join Effort to Set Aside Money to Fight Major Forest Fires

Washington, D.C - Recognizing the high cost of fighting large-scale forest fires, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today co-sponsored an effort to set aside millions of dollars to help pay the cost of fire suppression on federal land."These large fires are not only devastating to forests, wildlife and property, they are causing havoc with budgets, forcing the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to take money from other programs to pay for wildfire suppression," Wyden said. "A … Continue Reading

September 18, 2009

Senate Approves More than $8 Million for Oregon Infrastructure Projects

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