Press Releases

December 05, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Demand HUD Address Radon Dangers in Public Housing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked federal housing regulators to explain why they have failed to protect tenants living in federally subsidized housing nationwide from the cancer-causing dangers of radon. Citing recent investigative reporting by The Oregonian about unaddressed radon hazards in Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) units, the Oregon senators asked the federal housing agency why it has not followed a 1988 law requiring HUD to deal … Continue Reading


December 05, 2019

Wyden and Leahy Request Ethics Investigation of AG Barr’s Approval of Illegal DEA Mass Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., today asked for an ethics investigation of Attorney General William Barr's decision to approve an illegal mass surveillance program by the Drug Enforcement Administration in a letter to the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility. Barr approved the DEA program in 1992, during his first stint as attorney general, without conducting any analysis of whether it was legal, according to an Inspector … Continue Reading


December 03, 2019

Wyden Welcomes Federal Banking Guidance for Hemp as Important Step for Oregon Farmers and Producers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, author of the legislation that legalized hemp production in 2018, released the following statement on clarifying guidance for banking and hemp-related businesses announced today by four federal financial regulators and the state bank regulators: "Hemp was legalized almost a year ago, yet Oregon farmers and producers have been forced to ride the roller coaster of uncertainty," Wyden said. "Slowly but surely federal regulators are starting to catch up, … Continue Reading


December 03, 2019

Wyden, Booker Demand Answers on Biased Health Care Algorithms

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., ) today called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and five of the largest health care companies in the nation to provide more information on how they are addressing bias in algorithms used in many health care systems. The series of letters follows recent revelations published in the journal Science that a widely-used software program severely underestimated the … Continue Reading


December 03, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Join Senate Democrats to Slam Trump Administration’s Walk Back from Strong Tobacco Regulation

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that they are joining Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and 20 of their Democratic Senate colleagues to call out the Trump administration's recent course reversal on a critical pledge to clear the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes. The Trump administration's abandonment of its proposed action to curb a growing youth vaping epidemic-which has claimed multiple lives and sickened hundreds of … Continue Reading


December 02, 2019

Wyden Sounds Alarm on Energy Nominee Vote as Questions Remain About Former Secretary Perry's Involvement in Ukraine Scandal

Madam President, here's what everybody needs to know before the vote coming up on the nominee to be Energy Secretary. First, Rick Perry, who until yesterday was the Energy Secretary, has refused to comply with a subpoena to testify about his involvement in the Trump-Ukraine scheme. Second, Acting Secretary Dan Brouillette, nominated to replace Perry, has failed to provide substantive answers to key questions about Perry's dealings with Ukranian state-owned energy company Naftogaz. Third, … Continue Reading


December 02, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Major Grant for High-Speed Broadband Infrastructure in Eastern Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a $6 million grant to deploy high-speed broadband internet infrastructure in Grant and Wheeler counties-two of Oregon's most rural, and in greatest need of internet connectivity. The grant is among the first round awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ReConnect Pilot Program, a $600 million program created in the 2018 federal spending bill. Merkley, the top Democrat on the senate … Continue Reading


December 02, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Senate Companion to Remove the Stain Act

Washington, DC - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced the Senate introduction of legislation to revoke the Medal of Honor from the soldiers who perpetrated the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, 1890, when U.S. soldiers slaughtered hundreds of Lakota men, women, and children-most of them unarmed-on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Merkley is co-leading the legislation with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "We have a responsibility to tell the true story … Continue Reading


November 26, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Join Bipartisan ERA Resolution

WASHINGTON - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that they have joined 18 of their Senate colleagues on a bipartisan resolution to remove the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment. Thirty-seven states, of the 38 needed, have already ratified the amendment, which was first proposed in 1972. Earlier this month, the House Judiciary Committee marked up and passed a companion resolution-readying it for a full House vote that could take place as early as December. "True … Continue Reading


November 25, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Urge Trump Administration to Protect Americans From Housing Discrimination

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today called on the Trump administration to reject proposed changes to the Fair Housing Act that would effectively eliminate the disparate impact standard, a key tool to root out and eradicate hidden housing discrimination. In a letter to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, the Oregon senators joined 44 other colleagues to urge Secretary Carson to reject changes proposed in the Department of … Continue Reading


November 22, 2019

Wyden Will Co-sponsor Housing Bill to Help Foster Youth

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will co-sponsor legislation that would extend housing vouchers for young people to use for up to three years after they become adults and leave foster care. The bipartisan Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act would let federal and local housing authorities match up aging-out foster young people with Family Unification Program (FUP) Housing Choice vouchers when needed. The vouchers would phase out after three years and go back … Continue Reading


November 21, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Call Out Trump Admin Efforts to Promote Junk Plan Coverage Under Questionable Legal Authority

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today called out the Trump administration's promotion of junk health care plans on HealthCare.gov. In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Oregon senators joined with 21 colleagues to request that the agencies answer for the Trump administration's efforts to promote junk plans to the American public during the Open … Continue Reading


November 21, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Critical Investments in Oregon’s Public Transit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced over $2.6 million in grant funding for bus and bus facilities upgrades for communities across Oregon. Wasco and Yamhill Counties, as well as the cities of Woodburn, Salem, Eugene, and Florence are recipients of the awards. "Public transportation upgrades are great for the health, inclusiveness, and economy of our communities," said Merkley. "These grants will help six cities and counties reduce congestion and … Continue Reading


November 21, 2019

Oregon Lawmakers Press DEA on Barriers Faced by People Seeking ‘Death with Dignity’

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader today questioned the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on its role in barriers faced by people seeking death with dignity, including prohibitively high costs and availability of medication prescribed by physicians. In a letter to DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, the Oregon lawmakers asked for details on the agency's process for approving applications to … Continue Reading


November 21, 2019

Wyden Presses DOE Nominee on Secretary Perry’s Role in Ukraine Scandal

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today pressed U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette on Secretary Rick Perry's role in pressuring the Ukrainian government to make changes to the advisory board of state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz. Wyden's questions follow recent testimony by Brouillette about the issue before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources as part of his … Continue Reading


November 21, 2019

Wyden: We Have to Secure Rural Communities Against Financial Roller Coaster

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today highlighted the importance of providing financial security for rural communities in Oregon and nationwide by ensuring long-term funding for schools, road maintenance, law enforcement and other essential services. At a hearing considering pending legislation on Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) programs, Wyden said, "We've got to get rural … Continue Reading


November 21, 2019

Wyden Welcomes Google Decision to Stop Microtargeting Political Ads

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today praised Google's decision to end microtargeting of political ads, which it announced last night. Wyden first called for an end to microtargeted online ads in August, and again in additional views to the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on election interference released in October. "Google's decision to stop microtargeting political ads is a welcome and commendable step that will improve America's defenses against foreign interference in the 2020 … Continue Reading


November 20, 2019

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Stop Rising Airline Fees Ahead of Holiday Travel Season

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation that would prohibit airlines from charging fees - including cancellation, change and bag fees - that are not reasonable and proportional to the costs of the services actually provided. "Airlines are committing highway robbery when they blindside passengers with unexpected and unscrupulous fees," Wyden said. "The American consumer deserves far better, especially during the holiday season when families and loved … Continue Reading


November 20, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Request Changes to USDA Rule on Hemp Production to Better Support Oregon Farmers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., as authors of the legislation that legalized hemp production nationwide, today requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) make several changes as it develops its final rule for the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. Wyden and Merkley, in a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, welcomed the interim rule recently released by the agency as a necessary step to establish a domestic federal hemp … Continue Reading


November 20, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Key USDA Wastewater Investments for Rural Oregonians

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced nearly $3 million in federal grants, and over $4.5 million in federal loans, for critical wastewater treatment and municipal water system upgrades. The rural development funds will go to the cities of Cascade Locks and Amity. "When I meet with local leaders from every corner of Oregon, urban and rural, they tell me that water infrastructure is a top priority. Investments in water infrastructure create good jobs … Continue Reading

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