Press Releases

July 31, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Push to Support School Meal Programs Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are urging the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue critical flexibility that has allowed students to access much-needed meals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If extended throughout the 2020-2021 school year, children would maintain access regardless of school opening status, and struggling school nutrition programs would benefit from additional financial relief. "The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools … Continue Reading

July 30, 2020

Wyden Opposes Trump Nominee to National Counterterrorism Center

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., opposed the nomination of Christopher Miller to be director of the National Counterterrorism Center, after Miller failed to meaningfully respond to concerns about the federal occupation of downtown Portland that has caused escalating chaos and violation of Oregonians' constitutional rights. Wyden, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released the following statement after the committee yesterday voted to advance Miller's … Continue Reading

July 29, 2020

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Advances Wyden and Merkley Bills to Support Oregon Tribes

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs today passed the Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act of 2019, legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to improve water quality and services for tribal communities in Oregon. The Committee also advanced legislation sponsored by Merkley and Wyden that seeks to correct an error made in a 1994 piece of legislation to correct an old survey error. This legislation would allow the Confederated Tribes of Grand … Continue Reading

July 29, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Press Feds to Improve Hemp Farming Rules

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked federal officials to change costly and confusing rules for farmers in Oregon and nationwide that cover the growing and testing of hemp. "We fear that without these changes, our past work and efforts to support hemp farmers and the industry across the country may be for naught and we will not be able to achieve the growth and success we all know is possible with the right support and policies in place," Wyden and Merkley … Continue Reading

July 28, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $15 Million in Federal Funding for Oregon Department of Forestry Following Garner Complex Fire

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Oregon Department of Forestry will receive nearly $15 million in federal reimbursements for costs associated with fighting the Garner Complex Fire, freeing up critical resources for future firefighting needs. The Garner Complex fire began in July 2018, when a lightning storm near Grants Pass set off a total of 12 fires that cumulatively burned more than 25,000 acres of land. "On behalf of all … Continue Reading

July 28, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Announce $4.3 Million Grant to Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport will receive nearly $4.3 million in federal grants to improve taxiways, storm drains, guidance systems and more. "Airports serving rural communities are critical in order to keep local economies running," Wyden said. "This multi-million dollar federal investment in the Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport provides essential help for people and small businesses in … Continue Reading

July 28, 2020

Wyden Statement on Republican Plan to Fast-Track Cuts to Social Security and Medicare in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released a statement after Senate Republicans released the text of their COVID-19 relief legislation, which includes a provision that would set up privileged special committees with authority to make sweeping changes to Social Security and Medicare: "Instead of helping Americans who are struggling to pay rent and keep food on the table, Republicans want to put cuts to Social Security and Medicare in the fast lane. The TRUST Act … Continue Reading

July 28, 2020

Wyden Statement on DOD Nomination of Anthony Tata

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement regarding the nomination of Anthony Tata to serve in a senior policy making position at the Department of Defense (DOD): "Anthony Tata's long history of rampant Islamophobia, conspiratorial claims and hyper-partisanship make him entirely unfit to serve as the Pentagon's policy chief. He has shown such atrocious judgment that retired generals have publicly withdrawn their support for this nomination. "In addition to … Continue Reading

July 27, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce $25 Million in CARES Act Business Support Grants Headed to Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced $25 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants are being distributed among thirteen organizations across Oregon, which will use the funds to offer loans to businesses to help them mitigate the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus crisis. The grants, which total $25,268,000, were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed in … Continue Reading

July 27, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $350,000 in EPA Grants for Tribal Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission will receive $227,028 and $125,000 in federal grant funding, respectively, for environmental programs and studies. Both grants are being administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Now is the time to not only make sure each of us is doing our part to fight the coronavirus crisis, but … Continue Reading

July 24, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Introduce Senate Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., to introduce a Senate resolution to declare racism a public health crisis. "The coronavirus has laid bare the racial inequities in our public health systems. It's clearer than ever that racism is a public health crisis in urgent need of federal intervention," Wyden said. "I hope that the Senate will swiftly pass this resolution to … Continue Reading

July 24, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Press for Significant New, Flexible Funding for State and Local Governments in COVID-19 Response

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and 34 other colleagues to urge Senate Republican leadership to support significant, new and flexible funding for state and local governments in Oregon and across the nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., requesting that he support the funding amount and flexibility for state and local … Continue Reading

July 24, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Call for Congress to Use the Power of the Purse to Stop Trump's Constitutional Abuses in Portland and Other American Cities

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today led eight of their Senate colleagues in calling on congressional leaders to include provisions in future funding legislation that would explicitly prohibit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) from infringing upon the constitutional rights of Americans. The senators' letter to Senate Appropriations Committee leaders follows weeks of heavily-armed, unmarked federal forces … Continue Reading

July 23, 2020

At Request of Oregon Delegation, DHS and DOJ Offices of Inspector General Open Investigations into Federal Operatives in Portland

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, today announced that at their request, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offices of Inspector General (OIG) are opening investigations into the unrequested presence and violent actions of recently deployed federal forces in Portland. The delegation yesterday sent a letter formally requesting the investigations, … Continue Reading

July 23, 2020

Wyden Touts Importance of Improving and Expanding Water Conservation for Agriculture, Fish and Wildlife

Washington, D.C. - During an Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power hearing, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., yesterday highlighted the importance of his Water for Conservation and Farming Act, S. 4189, to help communities in Oregon and across the West experiencing high levels of drought. "Water is the lifeblood of the northwest. Right now in Oregon, 35 out of 36 counties are experiencing at least some level of drought. And of course with climate change causing … Continue Reading

July 23, 2020

Wyden Votes No on Defense Policy Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement after voting against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in light of the federal occupation in Portland, Ore.: "I cannot, in good conscience, vote in support of this bill while federal agents occupy my hometown and put Oregonians at risk, all to sell a lie that liberal cities are overrun by anarchists. These occupying forces have made Portland far more volatile and more dangerous. Federal agents … Continue Reading

July 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Introduce The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and 45 other senators in introducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bipartisan bill to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act, end the scourge of minority voter suppression and help preserve the legacy of John Lewis - one of America's greatest civil rights heroes. "We all stand in the shadow of John Lewis' legacy as a fierce advocate for the voting rights of all Americans. He … Continue Reading

July 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Warren Press Interior Department on Agency's Disregard for COVID-19 Safety

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., urged the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to immediately issue guidance for its employees on mask and personal protective equipment (PPE) policies consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The senators also asked that DOI agency employees be directed to follow state guidelines and cooperate with county-level and state-level coronavirus … Continue Reading

July 22, 2020

Wyden to Oppose Nomination of DOJ Official Over Unconstitutional Abuses in Portland

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced his opposition to the nomination of Justice Department official Patrick Hovakimian, after Hovakimian refused to answer questions about the federal occupation of Portland, Ore. in a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence open hearing. "If the line is not drawn in the sand right now, America may be staring down the barrel of martial law in the middle of a presidential election," Wyden said. Wyden pressed Hovakimian, the … Continue Reading

July 22, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Western Senators Call for Expedited Hearing on Anti-Public Lands Crusader William Perry Pendley’s Nomination to Bureau of Land Management

Washington, D.C. - Following Donald Trump's formal nomination of anti-public lands activist William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and other Western colleagues in calling for an expedited confirmation hearing so Pendley can answer for his troubling record of anti-public lands advocacy before the American public. The senators wrote that Pendley, who was installed as the de facto acting … Continue Reading

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