Press Releases

August 31, 2016

Wyden and Merkley Announce $4.7 Million to Help Homeless Veterans Across Oregon

Washington, DC- Oregon's Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded over $4.7 million in grant funding for homeless veterans in Oregon. The funding comes from the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program and will be distributed to organizations across the state. "Honoring veterans requires a steadfast commitment to extend a helping hand if they are struggling to afford housing when they return to Oregon," Wyden … Continue Reading


August 11, 2016

Wyden: Federal Law ‘Behind the Times’ with DEA Decision Not to Reschedule Marijuana

Washington, D.C. - After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today announced it would not reschedule marijuana from the most restrictive federal drug class, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement: "The DEA's decision flies in the face of choices made freely by voters in Oregon and many other states about the legality of marijuana. The bottom line is the DEA is keeping federal law behind the times," Wyden said. "The one piece of good news in today's announcement is … Continue Reading


August 05, 2016

Wyden, Grassley, Speier Push for Continued Protections Against Whistleblower Retaliation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., filed an amicus brief this week with the Department of Labor (DOL) urging the agency to not weaken existing whistleblower protections in cases of retaliation against private-sector employees. Wyden, Grassley and Speier filed the brief with the DOL's Administrative Review Board as it reconsiders the case of Palmer v. Canadian National Railway/Illinois Central Railroad Company. … Continue Reading


August 04, 2016

Wyden, Broad Coalition of Senate Democrats Call on Top Consumer Agency to Limit Unfair Arbitration Agreements in Everyday Financial Contracts

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and a group of nearly 40 Democratic senators-including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senators Al Franken, D-Minn., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio-called on one of the nation's top consumer advocacy agencies to quickly finalize an important proposal to limit the use of what is called "forced arbitration" in contracts that Americans sign when they need to take out an auto loan, sign up for a checking … Continue Reading


August 04, 2016

Wyden and Merkley Call for Congress to Reconvene to Address Zika Crisis

Portland, OR - Today, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined with 39 other Senate Democrats in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan urging the Republican leaders to immediately call Congress back into session to pass emergency funding legislation to address the growing Zika crisis. Merkley and Wyden have been outspoken about the need for more resources to address this growing threat and recently held a roundtable discussion with Oregon … Continue Reading


August 02, 2016

Wyden, Senate Dems: More To Do To Further Strengthen Education Dept. Rule for Debt Relief In Higher Education

WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., a Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and 18 other Senators in sending a letter to the Department of Education ("the Department") to express support for the proposed "borrower defense" rule and to suggest a number of ways to strengthen the rule to protect students who have been the victims of unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices in higher education. In … Continue Reading


July 19, 2016

Wyden and Senate Colleagues Request Obama Issue Presidential Memo to Promote Diversity at Federal Land Management Agencies

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and 23 other senators have sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to issue a Presidential Memorandum to promote diversity at federal land management agencies like the National Park Service, which celebrates its centennial this August. A renewed focus on diversity will more fully reflect and celebrate the numerous cultures, communities, and people that have … Continue Reading


July 15, 2016

Wyden Statement on Declassification of 28 Pages

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on the declassification of 28 pages of the congressional Joint Inquiry into the September 11 attacks: "There is no excuse for keeping these 28 pages secret for more than a decade, so this release is welcome and long overdue," Wyden said. "It helps illuminate additional details about a major event in our country's history. The FBI believes that they investigated all of these leads in the years after 9/11. But the best … Continue Reading


July 14, 2016

Tribal Lands Legislation Passes Key Senate Committee

Washington, DC - A package of tribal land bills sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley that will help the economic self-sufficiency of Native Americans in Oregon passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "These Tribes have all waited patiently for these bills, each of which will help them as sovereign nations to build their economies," said Wyden, a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "I am gratified this legislation that both corrects … Continue Reading


July 14, 2016

Backed By Coalition of Voting Rights Advocates, Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer, Cicilline Introduce National Vote-By-Mail Bill

Washington, D.C. - Backed by a broad coalition of voting rights groups, Oregon's Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley and Representative Earl Blumenauer and David Cicilline, D-R.I., today introduced a new bill to expand Oregon-style vote-by-mail nationwide and cut through bogus obstacles to voting. "Too many states are making working Americans, people of color, young people and those with disabilities go to absurd lengths just to exercise their constitutional right to vote," Wyden said. "When … Continue Reading


July 14, 2016

Wyden, McCaskill, Markey: New Report Finds Whistleblowers at Risk at Energy Department Sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., today released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that documents examples of retaliation and intimidation against whistleblowers by Energy Department contractors, while the department did little to monitor or stop these abuses. The senators were joined by two whistleblowers who were fired by contractors at the Department of Energy. Sandra Black, a contractor employee at DOE's … Continue Reading


July 13, 2016

Wyden Applauds Rail Transportation Notification for Emergency Responders

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., applauded a proposed rule announced today by the Department of Transportation that would require railroads to provide more notification about shipments of crude oil and other flammable liquids. "First responders must be informed when trains carrying hazardous materials are going to travel through their communities. Today's proposal moves toward greater transparency by requiring railroads to better notify emergency responders about large … Continue Reading


July 13, 2016

Wyden Legislation Helps Oregon UAS sites in Pendleton, Tillamook and Warm Springs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Legislation by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden to provide much-needed certainty for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test sites in Oregon and nationwide to continue their economic growth was approved today by the Senate. The inclusion in a larger FAA bill of Wyden's legislation extends congressional authorization for the test sites in Pendleton, Tillamook and Warm Springs as well as three test sites outside Oregon until Sept. 30, 2019. "Creating greater certainty for Oregon's growing … Continue Reading


July 13, 2016

Frank Moore Steelhead Management Area Bill Advances to Full Senate

Washington, DC - A bill sponsored by Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley that would designate nearly 100,000 acres of public lands in Oregon as the "Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area" today passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The committee action sends to the full Senate the measure designating 99,653 acres of Forest Service land north of the North Umpqua River around Steamboat Creek in Douglas County. "Frank's extraordinary dedication conserving … Continue Reading


July 13, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Address Oil Train Derailments

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., introduced legislation that will take on the threats posed by oil trains and help prevent horrific accidents like what happened in Mosier, Oregon last month. The Mandate Oil Spill Inspections and Emergency Rules (MOSIER) Act would require the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate every major oil train derailment, clarify the Federal Rail Administration's authority to place moratoriums on … Continue Reading


July 12, 2016

Wyden Named to Energy Bill Conference

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement after the Senate voted to proceed to the energy bill conference today: "I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a path forward on an energy bill that advances the low-carbon economy," Wyden said. "I will be working to keep a permanent wildfire funding fix as part of conference talks in order to put an end to the fire borrowing that's bankrupting the Forest Service and … Continue Reading


July 08, 2016

ADVISORY: Wyden, Markey, McCaskill to Hold Press Conference on Whistleblower Retaliation by Contractors at the Energy Department

Washington, D.C. - Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will be joined by federal contractor whistleblowers Sandra Black and Walt Tamosaitis at noon ET on Thursday, July 14, to release a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on whistleblower retaliation at the Department of Energy (DOE). Sandra Black, a contractor employee at DOE's Savannah River site in South Carolina for more than 30 years was fired for cooperating with the GAO during its … Continue Reading


July 07, 2016

Wyden, Senate Dems: VA must do more to prevent and correct abuse of veterans in higher education

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., and 25 other Senate Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) calling for strengthened "oversight, enforcement, and accountability" of colleges receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to fulfill the "Principles of Excellence" Executive Order signed by President Obama in April 2012. The VA's failure to use its full authority to hold colleges accountable … Continue Reading


July 05, 2016

Wyden and Merkley: Port of Coos Bay Earns $11 Million Transportation Grant

Washington - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced today that the Port of Coos Bay has earned an $11 million federal grant to fund critical tunnel projects that will improve transportation connections for southwestern Oregon businesses. Both senators strongly supported the Port of Coos Bay's application for a Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant. "Today's good news provides essential support to … Continue Reading


July 01, 2016

On Anniversary of Violence Against Women Act Reforms, Senators Call on Administration to Hold Colleges & Universities Accountable for Underreporting Sexual Violence on Campus

New campus safety data suggests substantial underreporting of sexual violence by schools: out of 11,600 measured in 2014, 91% reported having no incidents Senator Wyden and 30 Senate Colleagues urge Departments of Education and Justice to ensure compliance with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reforms to the Clery Act, which require higher ed institutions to document and report gender-based violence Senators: "Educational equity for women and all students requires fair, responsive, … Continue Reading

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