Press Releases

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


March 17, 2020

Wyden Demands Answers from Trump Administration on Shortage of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Kits

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today, along with 15 of his colleagues, sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and federal health officials requesting information on the Trump administration's failure to ensure that diagnostic tests are available for the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). "This failure has resulted in a significant delay in detecting and responding to the first cases of COVID-19 in the United States, dramatically increasing the scope of the … Continue Reading


March 16, 2020

Wyden Statement on FISA Debate Agreement

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement on the Senate agreement today to a short-term extension of expiring surveillance authorities in exchange for an agreement to consider amendments. The first amendment, offered by Senator Wyden, would prohibit warrantless collection of web browsing and internet search history. A second amendment provides for independent oversight of FISA by granting the amicus access to everything … Continue Reading


March 16, 2020

Wyden Urges Trump to Immediately Maximize Telework for Federal Workers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today, along with 26 of his colleagues, sent a letter to Donald Trump urging him to immediately issue an executive order directing agencies to utilize telework capabilities to the maximum possible extent. While the administration has issued guidance recommending agencies expand their telework capabilities, too many federal employees are still required to come to work in-person when they can do their job from home. As the Centers for Disease … Continue Reading


March 16, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Push Veterans Health Administration For Comprehensive Plans to Protect Veterans Against Coronavirus

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with 10 of their Senate colleagues to push the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure that the agency is taking appropriate measures to protect those who served our nation from the coronavirus health crisis. Merkley co-led the letter along with U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. The Senators' letter comes amid reports that additional … Continue Reading


March 13, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge Internet Service Providers to Suspend Policies Limiting Americans’ Access to Internet Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today joined 17 of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the CEOs of eight major internet service providers (ISPs), calling on the companies to take steps to accommodate the unprecedented reliance America will likely have on internet-supported services-including telework, online education, telehealth, and remote support services-in the coming days. "As organizations around the country formulate their responses to … Continue Reading

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