Press Releases

April 03, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Push for Swift, Effective Implementation of Tribal Provisions of the CARES Act

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today pressed federal agencies to implement the tribal provisions of the CARES Act swiftly and in a manner that upholds the federal trust and treaty responsibilities to tribes, respects tribal sovereignty and provides for meaningful government-to-government consultation in Oregon and nationwide. The senators, along with colleagues in the Senate and House, sent a letter to Donald Trump following the enactment of the CARES Act, the third … Continue Reading


April 02, 2020

Wyden to Introduce Bill Making Older Children and Adult Dependents Eligible for COVID-19 Relief Payments

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced he plans to introduce a legislative fix that would make dependents 17 and older count toward what a family gets in direct payments from the bipartisan coronavirus relief package signed into law last week. "Oregon families facing an economic tsunami from the impact of this public health crisis need financial help to make the rent, pay medical bills, buy groceries, cover college costs and more," said Wyden, ranking member of the Senate … Continue Reading


April 02, 2020

Wyden, Colleagues Demand Expanded Internet Access for Low-Income Americans Throughout COVID-19 Crisis

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today led a group of his colleagues to demand better mobile internet service for low-income Americans impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Improved internet access would help American families better work and learn from home and access vital telehealth resources. The federal Lifeline service program, administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), provides free and discounted voice, text and cellular internet service to 9 … Continue Reading


April 02, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $32 Million in Housing Grants to Support Vulnerable Oregonians During Coronavirus Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is making over $32 million in grants available to communities in Oregon to support a variety of social services and homelessness assistance programs in the face of the coronavirus crisis. The grants come amid a report that 1 in 5 American households has lost work because of the pandemic-a startling indicator of the virus' severe economic impact. … Continue Reading


April 01, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge USDA to Provide Immediate Aid to Cattle Producers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged federal officials to provide immediate assistance to cattle producers in Oregon and nationwide by using resources from the latest coronavirus relief package passed last week. The Oregon lawmakers said in a bipartisan letter from 143 House and Senate members to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue that replenishing the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and additional emergency funding would help … Continue Reading


April 01, 2020

Wyden Calls On Department Of Labor To Do “Everything Possible” To Expedite Unemployment Benefits to Oregonians

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today joined U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to urge Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia "to do everything" within the power of the Department of Labor to help states rapidly disburse unemployment benefits to millions of Americans in desperate financial need. Due to a record-breaking 3.3 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week in the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, reports show jammed … Continue Reading


April 01, 2020

Oregon Delegation Supports Governor Brown’s Request for Oregon National Guard Mobilization

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden in a letter today to the White House backed Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's request for federal support to mobilize up to 1,250 members of the Oregon National Guard in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oregon lawmakers noted in their bipartisan letter that the governor fully activated the state's Emergency Coordination Center in early March and … Continue Reading


April 01, 2020

Wyden Calls for Social Security Recipients to Get CARES Act Direct Cash Assistance Without Having to File Tax Return

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined a group of 42 senators urging the Treasury Department and Social Security Administration to ensure all Social Security beneficiaries in Oregon and nationwide will automatically receive the direct assistance included in the CARES Act without having to file tax returns. While the CARES Act ensured the Treasury Department had the authority to send automatic direct cash assistance to Social Security beneficiaries regardless of … Continue Reading


April 01, 2020

Senator Wyden, Rep. Schrader Request Release of West Coast Fishery Disaster Assistance Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Ron Wyden (OR) and Representative Kurt Schrader (OR-05) led a letter to Secretary of Commerce Ross to expedite the final approval of the West Coast and Tribal Fisheries Disaster Grant. "After months of delay, it is unacceptable that Congressionally appropriated disaster relief funds for West Coast fisheries still have not been released by the Department of Commerce," said Senator Wyden and Rep. Schrader. "We are writing to request assistance in expediting the … Continue Reading


March 31, 2020

Wyden Presses Trump Administration to Provide Guidance to Child Welfare Agencies as Nation Combats Spread of COVID-19

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. today led colleagues in urging the Trump administration to issue national guidance for child welfare agencies that must still work to protect and support children during the COVID-19 outbreak. The child welfare system is not currently designed for the social distancing recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The senators, therefore, urged the administration to issue comprehensive guidance to states and tribes to ensure … Continue Reading


March 31, 2020

Wyden Urges Trump Administration to Address Child Care Needs of Frontline Workers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined his colleagues to urge Donald Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) to take additional steps to expand child care options for health care workers and others on the frontlines responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "Frontline workers are needed at their places of employment now more than ever, but in many cases do not have safe child care for their children," the senators wrote to Shannon … Continue Reading


March 30, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Announce Additional Air Tanker Availability for Wildfires

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the U.S. Forest Service is bringing on five additional airtankers for use when needed to battle wildfires in Oregon. The additional contracts awarded by the Forest Service means the agency has 18 airtankers currently under exclusive use with the agency, each with a base period of one year and then four one-year options. In total, the agency will have up to 35 air tankers available under all available contracting … Continue Reading


March 30, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Plan to Introduce Legislation to Protect Oregonians’ Access to Electricity and Gas

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with six of their Senate colleagues, today announced a congressional resolution urging states and utility companies to issue a moratorium on gas and electric service disconnections, late fees, reconnection fees, rate hikes, and other penalties for all consumers as a result of the ongoing national emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although various utility companies in Oregon have voluntarily committed to … Continue Reading


March 30, 2020

Wyden Calls on DeVos to Return All Garnished Federal Tax Refunds for Entire 2020 Filing Season

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined a group of his colleagues to call on the Department of Education to return all amounts garnished from the federal tax refunds of student loan borrowers since this year's filing season began on January 27, 2020. The administration previously announced it would halt all collection activity on certain defaulted federal student loans during the COVID-19 emergency and would retroactively return $1.8 billion that had been garnished from … Continue Reading


March 27, 2020

Wyden: Coronavirus Package Will Bring an Estimated $3.3 Billion to Unemployed Oregonians

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced the historic expansion of unemployment insurance he worked to get into the just-passed Senate coronavirus package will work out to an estimated $3.3 billion in much-needed help this year for unemployed Oregonians. "This urgent crisis demands an urgent response and $3.3 billion for Oregon workers will help them throughout this year to pay the rent, buy groceries and cover medical expenses. That's essential assistance for workers and … Continue Reading


March 27, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge FDA to Change Discriminatory Blood Donation Policies to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with 15 of their Senate colleagues, are pressing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reverse course on discriminatory blood donor deferral policies that effectively prohibit many healthy gay and bisexual men from donating. The senators' letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn comes amid a nationwide shortage of donated blood caused by the coronavirus pandemic. "We write to express our concern with the Food … Continue Reading


March 26, 2020

Wyden Urges Federal Trade Commission to Protect Seniors from Coronavirus Scams

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect seniors from coronavirus-related scams. In response to the recent increase in these scams, Wyden joined a group of bipartisan senators on a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons calling on the FTC to better inform seniors about coronavirus scams and assist victims in understanding their recourse options to ensure that seniors are protected from those attempting to financially exploit … Continue Reading


March 25, 2020

Wyden Welcomes Senate Passage of COVID19 Stimulus Package

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden welcomed tonight's Senate passage of the bipartisan legislative package to respond to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and worsened by the Trump administration's failure to ensure widespread testing in the United States. The legislation now advances to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. "From the start, Democrats made it clear that struggling families and small businesses must be the priority in any economic … Continue Reading


March 25, 2020

Oregon Delegation Seeks Federal Disaster Declaration for State

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden in a letter today to the White House supported Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's request for a major disaster declaration for the entire state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oregon lawmakers said in their bipartisan letter that in addition to the serious and growing health toll from the virus, that the virus' rapid spread has generated … Continue Reading


March 25, 2020

Wyden Secures Provisions in COVID-19 Stimulus Package to Help Oregon Workers and Small Businesses

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced several provisions that will support Oregon workers and small businesses are included in the bipartisan legislative package to respond to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. "From the start, Democrats made it clear that the priority of this stimulus package must be workers and the small businesses they support," Wyden said. "Oregon's small businesses are the backbone of our state's economy, and these provisions … Continue Reading

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