Press Releases

December 08, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Feds to Begin Expedited Review of Klamath Dam Removal Plan

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today wrote federal regulators to urge consideration of an amended application for the Lower Klamath Project and begin environmental reviews as soon as possible of the plan's four proposed dam removals. The Oregon senators' letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Secretary Kimberly D. Bose comes in the wake of the Nov. 17 announcement by Oregon and California agreeing to become co-licensees with the Klamath River Renewal … Continue Reading


December 07, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Inclusion of County Payments in End-of-Year Federal Funding Efforts

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that the COVID-19 pandemic is one more reason that payments to counties under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) programs should be prioritized in a year-ending appropriations bill. "In order to assist these rural counties' response to the current public health crisis, as well as to invest in infrastructure, schools, and law enforcement, Congress must include a reauthorization of SRS," Wyden … Continue Reading


December 04, 2020

Wyden Applauds House Passage of Cannabis Legalization Legislation

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded House passage of the MORE Act, legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level - and includes Wyden's proposal, developed in partnership with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to establish clear rules of the road to responsibly tax and regulate cannabis. Wyden released the following statement: "Today commonsense and justice prevailed, and the federal government is closer than ever to closing the chapter on failed cannabis prohibition - a … Continue Reading


December 04, 2020

Wyden Calls For Virtual Exam Software Companies to Improve Equity, Accessibility & Privacy For Students

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is pressing three of the largest virtual testing companies used by schools and testing administrators amid the COVID-19 pandemic to address alarming equity, accessibility, and privacy issues faced by students using the platforms. Recent reports indicate students, particularly students of color and those with disabilities, have had severe issues using the software, been locked out of tests, or wrongly accused of cheating. For example, students of color … Continue Reading


December 02, 2020

Wyden, Warren, Markey, Schatz Secure DHS IG Investigation of CBP Phone Location Data Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, today announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will launch an inspector general investigation into Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) warrantless tracking of phones in the United States following an inquiry from the senators earlier this year. "If federal agencies are tracking American citizens without warrants, the public deserves answers and … Continue Reading


December 02, 2020

Wyden Statement on Trump's Demands to Repeal Section 230 in NDAA

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on Donald Trump's demands to repeal Section 230 in the NDAA: "I'd like to start for the Blazers, but it's not going to happen either. It is pathetic that Trump refuses to help unemployed workers, while he spends his time tweeting unhinged election conspiracies and demanding Congress repeal the foundation of free speech … Continue Reading


December 01, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Ensure More Wildfire Resilient Power Grid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced new legislation to incentivize utility companies to do more to reduce wildfire risks as aging power infrastructure ignite wildfires in Oregon and across the West. Wyden and Merkley's Wildfire Resilient Power Grid Act of 2020 would ensure power companies do their part to reduce the risk of wildfires through power system upgrades such as the undergrounding of power lines, fire safety equipment installation and proper … Continue Reading


December 01, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $1.5 Million in Funding to Improve Health Care on Coquille Tribe’s Kilkich Reservation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that $1.49 million in funding is headed to the Coquille Indian Tribe in North Bend to purchase equipment and medical supplies needed to help the community meet the mounting challenges of the coronavirus crisis. The funds-which are being allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed in March-are being directed to the Ko-Kwel Wellness Center, which is … Continue Reading


December 01, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Extension of Pandemic Unemployment Programs in COVID-19 Relief Package

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged Senate leadership to include extensions of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs in the next coronavirus relief package. Both of these programs are set to expire on Dec. 26,.Wyden and Merkley noted in their letter along with 30 other senators to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "As the virus surges going … Continue Reading


November 30, 2020

Oregon Delegation Press to Extend Open Enrollment Period to Dec. 31

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici today pushed the Trump administration to extend the Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace through the end of the year in light of severe obstacles Oregonians faced due to COVID-19 and historic wildfires. "The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe health and economic consequences for Oregon. To date, nearly 60,000 Oregonians … Continue Reading


November 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer Urge Justice Department to Ensure Portland Police Compliance with Use-of-Force Settlement Agreement

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer today urged federal officials to ensure the Portland Police Bureau is complying with a 2014 settlement agreement addressing the bureau's use of force against people with mental illness. The three Oregon lawmakers wrote in their letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that they are concerned Portland police are not complying with the August 29, 2014, settlement agreement with the Justice Department. "The … Continue Reading


November 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Co-sponsor Legislation to Increase Production of Critical Personal Protective Equipment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are co-sponsoring legislation that would increase the production of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) like N-95 masks and improve the transparency of the supply and distribution of medical supplies needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Protect Our Heroes Act of 2020 was introduced as coronavirus cases spike nationwide and as frontline health care workers face shortages of critical protective equipment. … Continue Reading


November 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Call on GSA Administrator to End Unprecedented Delay, Provide Critical Transition Resources to President-Elect Biden

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have teamed up with 36 of their colleagues in calling on General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily Murphy to end her unprecedented delay, immediately ascertain former Vice President Joe Biden as President-elect and Senator Kamala Harris as Vice President-elect, and make available the transition resources that are provided by law. This delay creates unacceptable risks to national security and Coronavirus … Continue Reading


November 19, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to Receive $350,000 Federal Grant

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will receive a $350,000 federal grant to buy two transit vehicles that will provide service to work, schools, health care and other services. "The economic impact from COVID-19 has landed hard on Oregon's tribes, making it more crucial than ever to continue investments that provide infrastructure support during this crisis and afterward," Wyden said. "I'm glad the Confederated … Continue Reading


November 19, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Bonamici Urge United States Coast Guard to Bring Additional Deep Water Vessels to Tongue Point in Astoria

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following the United States Coast Guard's (USCG) decision to homeport two new Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) at Tongue Point in Astoria, Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), have requested that the USCG consider stationing an additional two FRCs at the port. FRCs are used to strengthen port, waterways and coastal security, as well as conduct fishery patrols, and search and rescue and national defense … Continue Reading


November 18, 2020

Wyden, Underwood Press for Better Oversight of Federal Agencies’ Cybersecurity

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., today introduced a bill to strengthen oversight of the cybersecurity of federal agencies. In 2015, Congress required federal civilian agencies to implement cybersecurity best practices, like data encryption and two-factor authentication. The agencies, however, have the ability to issue themselves blanket, indefinite waivers for these cybersecurity measures. "Lax cybersecurity at federal … Continue Reading


November 18, 2020

Wyden, Jayapal Introduce New Legislation to Provide Alternatives to Incarceration for Parents and Caregivers to Keep Families Together, Children Out of Foster Care

Legislation is endorsed by nearly 100 criminal justice, civil rights and child welfare organizations Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., today introduced new legislation to create an alternative to incarceration for eligible parents and caregivers and provide them the resources they need so their children can stay safely at home instead of entering the foster care system. The Finding Alternatives to Mass Incarceration: Lives Improved by … Continue Reading


November 17, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Statement on Klamath Dam Removal

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley released the following statement on today's Klamath Dam announcement by Oregon and California: "Oregon and California have made the best of a bad situation forced upon the two states when FERC upset the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement dam removal process with an unexpected and unwelcome ruling last summer," said Wyden and Merkley. "We're glad to see the states step up and all the parties that signed the Klamath settlement … Continue Reading


November 17, 2020

Oregon Delegation Urges FEMA to Assume 100 Percent Cost Share for Wildfire Impacts

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's entire congressional delegation is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assume 100 percent of the cost share for debris removal and emergency protective measures from the wildfires that ripped through the state this year. The letter to FEMA from U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader comes in support of a similar state cost-share request. "As you saw when … Continue Reading


November 11, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Armed Services Leaders to Rename Military Bases and Other Assets Honoring the Confederacy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are urging Senate and House Armed Services leaders to retain a bipartisan measure that would require military installations and assets honoring the Confederacy and Confederate officers to be renamed within the next three years. The letter from Wyden, Merkley and 35 of their colleagues to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees comes as those Armed Services leaders begin the final … Continue Reading

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