Press Releases

January 17, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Press Trump Administration on Forest Restoration Projects

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are urging federal officials to include full funding for proven forest restoration programs in the Department of Agriculture's FY2019 budget. "Without adequate funding for these programs, rural communities will continue to sink into further economic and ecological distress due to the many overstocked and unhealthy tree stands within some of our national forests," the Oregon senators wrote in their Jan. 16 letter to Agriculture Secretary … Continue Reading


January 11, 2018

After Interior Exempts Florida from Controversial Offshore Drilling Plan, Merkley and Wyden Call on Trump Administration to Ban Drilling Off Oregon Coast, Too

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today joined a group of U.S. Senators representing coastal states to tell the Trump administration that they don't want oil and gas drilling off their coasts, and are demanding the same respect for their states that was recently given to Florida, which was granted a special exemption by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. In a letter sent to Secretary Zinke today, Merkley and Wyden, along with 20 of their colleagues, requested that … Continue Reading


January 11, 2018

Wyden Statement on Investigation of VA Roseburg

Washington - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today issued the following statement after meeting with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials about the ongoing investigation into the VA's Roseburg healthcare system: "Our country's commitment to the veterans who have served so proudly demands they receive the best possible health care when they return home. And that objective in turn depends on hardworking VA staff who provide that care getting the top-notch support they need for their … Continue Reading


January 11, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Demand Critical Disaster Funding for Coastal Communities Hurt by Fishery Disasters

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today called on their colleagues to include funding for coastal communities damaged by fisheries disasters as part of any disaster relief package that moves through Congress. In the letter, the senators noted that as of this month, Congress has yet to address nine fisheries disasters, with several other disasters pending official declaration. The senators urged swift action to provide emergency funding to communities that depend on … Continue Reading


January 10, 2018

Wyden Calls for Investigation into Interior Department’s Misuse of Wildfire Preparedness Funds

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called for an investigation into the Interior Department's misuse of federal wildfire preparedness funding to pay for Secretary Ryan Zinke's unrelated travel. News reports from recent weeks indicated the Interior Department used funds intended to go to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, for a Zinke helicopter trip around Nevada. The National Interagency Fire Center coordinates federal, state and private fire … Continue Reading


January 09, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Shred Trump Administration’s Offshore Drilling Reversal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with more than 30 of their colleagues, today sharply criticized the Trump administration's decision to reopen offshore drilling leases three years ahead of schedule. This decision puts vast stretches of coastline in the Arctic and along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts at risk, including in Oregon. "This draft proposal is an ill-advised effort to circumvent public and scientific input, and we object to sacrificing public … Continue Reading


January 09, 2018

Wyden, Colleagues Call on Justice Department to Maintain Critical Funding for Local Law Enforcement, Violence Prevention Programs

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has joined a group of Senate and House lawmakers in filing a congressional amicus brief in support of preventing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) from blocking critical violence prevention funds from American cities in order to boost the Trump administration's extreme immigration agenda. In July, DOJ attempted to place new and onerous conditions on local law enforcement's access to federal funding … Continue Reading


January 05, 2018

Wyden Statement on New Border Search Guidelines

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today said new restrictions on searches by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers of Americans' phones, laptops and other personal devices at the border are an improvement, but still allow far too many indiscriminate searches of innocent Americans. The new guidelines require "reasonable suspicion" for Customs agents to conduct a deep, forensic examination of Americans' devices at the border. CBP agents will continue to be able to … Continue Reading


January 04, 2018

Wyden Statement on Trump Administration’s Decision to Allow West Coast Drilling

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans to allow oil and gas exploration off the Pacific Coast. The move reverses a decades-long ban that protected the West Coast from oil and gas drilling. "Just a week after the Trump administration proposed to eliminate critical offshore drilling safety and environmental protections, Zinke now wants to open nearly the entire United States' coast to drilling. With … Continue Reading


January 04, 2018

Wyden Unveils Bill to Repair, Replace Bridges Across America, Promote U.S. Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today unveiled new legislation to repair and replace outdated bridges, and require all bridge projects funded by the bill to use American-made steel and iron. "Reliable bridges are critical to Oregonians' safety and for local Oregon businesses to successfully transport world-renowned agriculture products, athletic apparel, manufactured goods and so much more, " Wyden said. "Over half of the bridges in our state were built more than half a … Continue Reading


January 04, 2018

Wyden Statement on Reports of AG Sessions Rescinding Cole Memo

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement after reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind the Cole Memo, which prevents the federal government from interfering with state-legal marijuana businesses. "Trump promised to let states set their own marijuana policies. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade. Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states' rights … Continue Reading


December 22, 2017

Western Oregon Tribal Restoration Bill Passes Senate, Goes to President’s Desk to Become Law

Washington, D.C. - Legislation authored by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Representatives Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., to address western Oregon tribal priorities passed the Senate unanimously last night. The bill now goes to the president to be signed into law. The Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act would place 17,519 acres of federal land currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) into trust for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua … Continue Reading


December 22, 2017

Mt. Hood Land Exchange Legislation Goes to President’s Desk to be Signed into Law

Washington, D.C. - Legislation written by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Representatives Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to protect and enhance Oregon's land conservation and recreation priorities on Mt. Hood passed the Senate unanimously last night. The bill now goes to the president to be signed into law. Wyden, Merkley, Walden and Blumenauer introduced the Mt. Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act in the Senate and House … Continue Reading


December 21, 2017

Wyden Will Vote ‘No’ on Spending Bill Without Solutions on CHIP and DACA, or Reforms to Warrantless Surveillance

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced he will vote no on a spending bill that fails to address health insurance for millions of children, does not address DACA, or includes an extension of warrantless surveillance under FISA Section 702. "The House's flawed, slapdash bill fails to give families and states long-term security and peace of mind when it comes to the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides essential health care to more than 80,000 children across … Continue Reading


December 20, 2017

Wyden Slams Cobbled-Together House Surveillance Bill

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., slammed the latest House bill to extend warrantless surveillance under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, in a statement issued today. "This bill is an eleventh-hour attempt to sneak an unchecked warrantless surveillance program through Congress. This kind of rushed, secretive process is exactly the wrong way to write laws governing important national security programs," Wyden said. "The legislation posted late yesterday is a … Continue Reading


December 18, 2017

Wyden Becomes First Senate Cosponsor of Landmark Bill to End Federal Prohibition of Marijuana

WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) today became the first U.S senator to cosponsor Senator Cory Booker's (D-NJ) landmark bill to end the federal prohibition on marijuana. He announced his support in a Facebook live tonight with Booker. The Marijuana Justice Act would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level. "Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration are still trying to fight a 1980s drug war that is socially unjust, … Continue Reading


December 14, 2017

Wyden Blasts FCC’s Repeal of Net Neutrality

Washington - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today sharply criticized the Federal Communications Commission's vote to repeal net neutrality and said he will work to restore key rules that successfully prohibited internet service providers from devising fast and slow lanes they could use to block or stunt internet traffic. "Today's historically awful FCC action undoing net neutrality unwraps an early Christmas present for Big Cable and unravels essential protections for consumers in Oregon and … Continue Reading


December 11, 2017

Wyden Statement on Vera Katz

Washington - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today issued the following statement about the passing of former Portland Mayor Vera Katz: "I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend Vera Katz. My memories of this indomitable woman stretch back more than 40 years to our work together during the 1975 state Legislature to reduce prescription drug costs," Wyden said. "Vera recognized early on the importance of standing up for senior citizens and I fondly remember how older people gravitated to her house … Continue Reading


December 07, 2017

Wyden, Merkley, 33 Bipartisan Senators Urge Extension of Secure Rural Schools Program

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and a bipartisan group of 33 senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., this week urging them to include a reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program in any end-of-year legislation. SRS supports public schools, public roads, forest health projects, emergency services, and many other essential county services for more than 775 counties across the … Continue Reading


December 07, 2017

Wyden, Bipartisan Western Senators Introduce Bill to Protect Public Lands, Promote Economic Growth

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has joined a group of bipartisan western Senators in introducing a bill to reauthorize an expired law that allowed the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service in the western United States to use the proceeds from sales of certain federally designated areas to protect lands of exceptional conservation value. "The success of these programs has shown that economic growth and … Continue Reading

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