Press Releases

September 25, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Blumenauer, Bonamici Push Trump Administration to Suspend Public Charge Rule Amid Dual Crises of COVID-19 and Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, are pushing the Trump administration to suspend the public charge rule-which can jeopardize an individual's path to obtaining a visa or green card if they access public services-to ensure that all Oregonians impacted by the wildfires and the coronavirus are able to seek necessary care and emergency assistance. "In response to the devastation caused by the … Continue Reading


September 25, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Portland to Receive $3.2 Million for Lead Paint Hazard Reduction

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the city of Portland has secured a $3.2 million federal grant for lead-based paint hazard reduction in 185 housing units for low and very low-income families with children. "All children no matter their families' income levels deserve homes that are safe and free of hazardous materials," Wyden said. "I'm glad these federal funds are heading to Portland and will keep fighting for all parents in Oregon to be secure in … Continue Reading


September 25, 2020

Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Reauthorize SBA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced that he is co-sponsoring legislation to reauthorize a federal program that gives small businesses the opportunity to take out low-interest loans for putting in place mitigation measures to protect their property from future disaster damage. "With the rapidly growing climate crisis, our communities are being hit with bigger and more dangerous natural disasters," said Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. "In the West, this … Continue Reading


September 24, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer, DeFazio Introduce Legislation to Ensure Equal Access to Disaster Relief for Cannabis Businesses

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., today introduced legislation that would ensure state-legal cannabis businesses can qualify for disaster recovery programs like any other business. As wildfires continue to rage across the West, law-abiding, state-legal cannabis businesses in Oregon and elsewhere are shut out from disaster recovery programs simply because of the federal government's … Continue Reading


September 24, 2020

Oregon Delegation Presses Trump Administration to Expedite Burned Area Emergency Response for Oregon Wildfires

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today led Sen. Jeff Merkley and Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici in pressing the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Interior to expedite the initiation and completion of the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program for wildfires in Oregon. "A combination of climate change, historic droughts, a lack of proper forest management, dry forest conditions, and strong winds have brought a series … Continue Reading


September 24, 2020

Wyden, Warren Call for Investigation of IRS Location Tracking Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., today requested an inspector general investigation of the Internal Revenue Service's use of a commercial location tracking service without a court order, after agency officials confirmed the existence of the program this summer. The IRS criminal investigations unit (IRS-CI) paid for access to a commercial surveillance database containing location data from millions of Americans' mobile phones. In a call with … Continue Reading


September 24, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Prohibit Federal Law Enforcement Officers From Wearing Camouflage Patterns in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with 32 of their Senate Democratic colleagues, today introduced legislation to prohibit federal law enforcement officers from wearing camouflage patterns in the United States in most cases, since they can easily be confused for military personnel or even extremist para-military groups when doing so. General Mark A. Milley stated at a House Armed Services Committee hearing in July: "You want a clear definition between … Continue Reading


September 24, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Senate Colleagues Introduce Bill To Stop Trump Administration’s Political Interference In COVID-19 Response

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with 32 of their Senate Democratic colleagues, have introduced the Science and Transparency Over Politics (STOP) Act, legislation to fight back against political interference by the Trump administration in the work of experts and the nation's public health agencies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. "More than 200,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus-more than in any other developed nation-not because of bad … Continue Reading


September 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Defend Property Owners’ Rights from Eminent Domain Claims for Natural Gas Pipelines

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced their legislation that would strengthen the rights of landowners facing eminent domain claims from private companies exploiting public interest provisions to confiscate property in Oregon and nationwide for natural gas pipeline development. The bills, which Wyden and Merkley first announced in August, come in response to the natural gas industry's increased use of eminent domain for pipeline development and the failure … Continue Reading


September 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Push Federal Agencies to Respond to COVID Needs, Make Masks and Gloves Reimbursable Under FSA Guidelines

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are pushing the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Personnel Management to voice workers' concerns over the continued inflexibility of Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) for workers, including those in the federal government. Currently, workers who are following CDC guidelines by wearing personal protective equipment in their workplaces are not able to receive reimbursements for masks and gloves without a … Continue Reading


September 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Gillibrand Introduce Bill To End Long, Unreasonable Lines at Polling Places and Restore Voting Rights

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced legislation to end hours-long lines at polling places that suppress hundreds of thousands of Americans' votes, and to restore our Constitutional rights to vote in free and fair elections. Studies estimate that nearly 3 million voters waited more than 30 minutes to vote in 2018, and that more than 500,000 Americans were denied the ability to vote because of long lines, with … Continue Reading


September 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Applaud House Passage of Legislation to Address the Murder and Abduction of Native Women and Girls

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today applauded the House passage of Savanna's Act-legislation to combat the epidemic of murdered and missing Native women and girls by improving the federal government's response to the emergency. The legislation was passed by the Senate with bipartisan support on March 11, 2020, and is now headed to the president's desk. "Murder rates for Native women are 10 times that of the national average," said Merkley. "Today's … Continue Reading


September 23, 2020

Walden, Merkley, Wyden Applaud House Passage of Bill to Rename Bend VA Clinic after Robert Maxwell

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) and?Senators Jeff Merkley?(D-OR)?and Ron Wyden?(D-OR) applauded the House passage of a bill introduced by the delegation to rename the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Bend after Robert Maxwell, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient who lived in Bend.?? At the time of Maxwell's passing, he was the oldest Medal of Honor recipient in the nation and one of four remaining veterans from World War II to be … Continue Reading


September 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Senate Colleagues Introduce Resolution Recognizing Children’s Fundamental Rights and Climate Recovery Planning

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-CT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today to introduce a resolution to protect the fundamental rights of the nation's children in the face of climate chaos' increasingly destructive effects-which include recent raging wildfires and catastrophic hurricanes. The resolution was also introduced today in the U.S. House … Continue Reading


September 22, 2020

Oregon Delegation Presses FEMA for Wildfire Aid with Removal and Disposal of Hazardous Waste and Solid Waste Debris

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio today led Sen. Jeff Merkley, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici in urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide aid for removing and disposing hazardous materials and solid waste debris during the ongoing response and recovery to the wildfires that have devastated Oregon. The lawmakers' letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor comes as Oregon first responders and firefighters continue … Continue Reading


September 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce $3.7 Million in Federal Funds for Railway Safety Upgrade for Willamette Valley Passengers and Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that $3.7 million in federal funding is headed to Oregon to finance a critical rail upgrade for Amtrak and freight services in the Willamette Valley. "Between the unprecedented wildfires and their hazardous smoke and this pandemic-Oregonians are fighting crises on many fronts," said Merkley. "While we address these crises, we also need to keep building a strong foundation for a prosperous future. That … Continue Reading


September 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Walden Applaud House Passage of Legislation to Correct Historic Travesty Inflicted on the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Representative Greg Walden, today applauded the House passage of the 1865 Treaty Nullification Act, legislation that would finally nullify the fraudulent Treaty with Middle Oregon Tribes, which prohibited members of the Warm Springs Tribe from leaving their reservation and relinquished all of their off-reservation rights. The bill has already been passed by the Senate and is now headed to the President's … Continue Reading


September 21, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Investigation of Alleged Forced Hysterectomies at ICE Facility

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Merkley have joined more than 40 other senators to call on the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general to expeditiously investigate a whistleblower complaint alleging forced hysterectomies at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Ga. "Forced sterilizations infringe on reproductive rights and autonomy," Wyden, Merkley and their colleagues wrote. "To understand whether such violations may have been committed against … Continue Reading


September 21, 2020

Oregon Delegation Pushes Federal Emergency Management Agency for Urgently Needed Housing Assistance as State Reels from Unprecedented Wildfire Damage

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader, and Suzanne Bonamici, are pressing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deploy robust transitional housing options to ensure affordable, stable housing as communities begin to rebuild in the wake of unprecedented wildfire damage. "With several large fires still burning across the state, the full scale of damage will not be known for … Continue Reading


September 18, 2020

Wyden Condemns Trump Wealth Test For Immigrants

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today condemned a decision by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to allow the Trump administration's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deny visas and green cards to certain immigrants who use key safety net programs, including Medicaid and SNAP. "It is outrageous and cruel to impose a wealth test on immigrants in the middle of the pandemic," Wyden said. "Workers across the country are already struggling … Continue Reading

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