Press Releases

July 28, 2022

Wyden, Merkley Welcome Federal Approval of Oregon’s State Meat Inspection Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed approval by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) of Oregon's rules and regulations for a state meat inspection program that meets USDA standards. The USDA approval follows a letter from Wyden and Merkley to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, as well as months of follow-up and discussion, pressing for a review of the state meat inspection program. The Oregon senators noted in their letter that large meat … Continue Reading

July 28, 2022

Senate Passes Water Infrastructure Bill, Critical Step towards Modernizing Oregon’s Waterways and Ports

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced Senate passage of critical priorities for Oregon that were included in the Water Resources Development Act?(WRDA) of 2022. "For much of Oregon, our coast and our rivers are the beating heart of our communities, and whether the ports, levees, dams, and other water infrastructure are up to snuff can dictate whether families and business thrive or are at risk from extreme weather events. That's why I fought so … Continue Reading

July 28, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Urge VA to Immediately Offer Abortion Services to Veterans and Eligible Dependents

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined Senate colleagues to call on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to immediately offer abortions and abortion-related services to veterans and eligible dependents. "Last month's disastrous Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization…makes it even more critical that veterans receive access to the reproductive care to which they are entitled. Thus, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must urgently … Continue Reading

July 27, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Announce $52 Million USDA Seafood Purchasing Agreement that Will Boost Oregon’s Seafood Industry

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) approval of a $52 million purchase of Pacific Northwest seafood products. This purchase will support our State's seafood industry which has been hit hard by COVID-19 and climate chaos. "Not only do our fisheries deliver incredible products all around the world, they have been the lifeblood of communities up and down Oregon's coast for generations,"?said … Continue Reading

July 27, 2022

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Restore America's Grasslands

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today led colleagues in the introduction of legislation to prevent further loss of native grasslands and sagebrush shrub-steppe systems, strengthen grassland and rangeland health and management, improve biodiversity and habitat, provide increased recreation and hunting opportunities, and address the climate crisis by mitigating the threats of wildfire and drought and increasing carbon sequestration. Grassland ecosystems are among the most … Continue Reading

July 27, 2022

Wyden Statement on Domestic Semiconductor Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement after today's Senate vote on the domestic semiconductor legislation: "Today's Senate vote takes a huge step forward to cement Oregon's leadership in the domestic chip industry by allowing companies in our state to invest in both R&D and manufacturing here in America," said U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a co-chair of the state's semiconductor task force. "That adds up to a big win for … Continue Reading

July 27, 2022

Wyden, Khanna, Massie Introduce Bill to Protect Whistleblowers, Ensure Journalists Aren’t Targeted for Publishing Classified Information

Washington, D.C. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., re-introduced the Espionage Act Reform Act today to rewrite the hundred-year-old law governing when reporters and whistleblowers can be prosecuted for discussing government secrets. The Wyden-Khanna-Massie legislation reaffirms First Amendment protections for journalists who publish classified information, and ensures whistleblowers can effectively report waste, fraud and abuse to Congress. … Continue Reading

July 27, 2022

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Codify the Right to Contraception

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley with colleagues have introduced legislation that would codify the right to contraception, which the Supreme Court first recognized more than half a century ago in its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut. The introduction follows Justice Clarence Thomas' concurring opinion last month in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization - overturning Roe v. Wade - in which he urged the Court to reconsider its 1965 Griswold decision. Several … Continue Reading

July 26, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Combat Increased Use of Dangerous Gun Conversion Devices

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Senate colleagues introduced legislation this week to combat the increased use and proliferation of dangerous gun conversion devices. "The ease with which a semi-automatic weapon can become a fully-automatic weapon of mass murder is sickening. Period. Full stop," said Wyden. "Congress must urgently tackle the proliferation of illegal gun conversion devices head on to keep our communities safe and put an end to America's gun violence epidemic. The … Continue Reading

July 25, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: Nearly $17.5 Million to Rural Oregon Airports for Crucial Runway Improvements

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that airports in Corvallis, Pendleton and Klamath Falls will receive a combined nearly $17.5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for crucial safety improvements to runways. "Small airports' reliable air service in rural areas is crucial for Oregonians and our state's economy," Wyden said. "I am gratified to see these dollars go toward improving critical runway infrastructure that is often taken for … Continue Reading

July 25, 2022

Wyden, Merkley Announce an Additional Nearly $8.5 Million in Emergency Rental Assistance for Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon will receive a combined nearly $8.5 million in federal emergency rental assistance funds. "The pandemic's deep economic impact, including the challenges it placed on the consistent need to pay rent, continues to ripple even as Oregonians go back to work," said Wyden. "Housing is a human right, so I'm glad to see more federal funds come into our state to help renters get extended assistance to cover costs. … Continue Reading

July 25, 2022

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Express Support for FDA’s Proposed Life-Saving Ban on Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today joined Senate colleagues to express support for the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) proposed rules that would ban menthol in cigarettes and flavored cigars. Menthol numbs the throat and mitigates the harshness of tobacco smoke, making menthol cigarettes more appealing to youth and people beginning to smoke. "By increasing youth smoking and making cessation more difficult, menthol cigarettes have magnified the public health … Continue Reading

July 22, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Press IRS on Tax Return Backlog

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said today he has joined Senate colleagues to press the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the backlog of unprocessed tax returns and express concern about the broader effects of budget constraints on taxpayers in Oregon and nationwide. "We write to express our concern about the unprocessed tax return backlog, ongoing customer service challenges, and the effect of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget constraints on the agency's ability to serve … Continue Reading

July 22, 2022

Merkley, Wyden: Smith River National Recreation Area Expansion into Oregon Clears Key Hurdle

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced the Smith River National Recreation Area Expansion Act (Smith River NRA), legislation to expand the Smith River NRA, cleared a key hurdle by passing out of a Senate committee on a bipartisan vote. Expanding the Smith River NRA by 58,000 acres into Oregon would protect the diverse ecosystems of the rivers, streams, and adjacent lands of the North Fork Smith River watershed, and help boost the local fishing and … Continue Reading

July 21, 2022

Wyden, Cornyn, Colleagues Call on Russia to Release Brittney Griner From Wrongful Detention

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Cornyn (R-TX) today led colleagues in the introduction of a bipartisan Senate resolution calling on the Russian government to immediately release U.S. citizen Brittney Griner from her wrongful detention, and urging the U.S. government in all its interactions with the Russian government to press for the WNBA player's release. In addition to demanding action to end the 5-month-long wrongful detention of Griner, the resolution also … Continue Reading

July 21, 2022

Wyden Urges Senate to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding

Mr. President, earlier this week my colleagues Senator Smith, Senator Murray and Senator Warren introduced a proposal called The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act, which I'm proud to cosponsor. I want to commend them for bringing it before the Senate today. The basic idea behind this legislation is simple. The Supreme Court overturned Roe against the will of the American people. States are criminalizing abortion. Many women and girls are now being forced to carry pregnancies to term … Continue Reading

July 21, 2022

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today cosponsored legislation that protects access to critical reproductive health care services - like birth control, cancer screenings and more - by providing a consistent and strong source of funding for the Title X Family Planning Program. "Every year, thousands of Oregonians rely on Title X family planning services for essential information about contraception and reproductive health care options," Wyden said. "With basic family … Continue Reading

July 20, 2022

Wyden, Brown, Casey Urge Social Security to Include Children in Eligibility Outreach Programs

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy Subcommittee Chair Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Senate Special Committee on Aging Chair Bob Casey, D-Pa., today urged the Social Security Administration (SSA) to incorporate children in ongoing outreach efforts, to help families eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). "We share President Biden and SSA's priority to advance equity throughout the Federal Government, … Continue Reading

July 18, 2022

Wyden, Merkley Urge SBA to Process All Eligible COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Applications

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are urging the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to process COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications that were received prior to the agency's May 6, 2022 deadline. "While we recognize the agency has assisted an unprecedented number of small businesses throughout the pandemic, our offices continue to hear from thousands of prospective borrowers awaiting consideration," Wyden and Merkley wrote in a … Continue Reading

July 18, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Join Murray in Letter to VA Secretary Urging End Discrimination against Same-Sex Spouses

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough pressing for answers and immediate action to ensure same-sex veteran couples have access to the full scope of spousal benefits they are owed. "Each of our veterans and their spouses deserve the same quality care and services once they leave the military - no matter who they love. Our veterans and their … Continue Reading

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