Press Releases

October 12, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Urge Administration to Support Long-Term Stability in Haiti After Mistreatment of Migrants at Border

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley expressed their disappointment over the United States' inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border and their summary deportations. In a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Wyden, Merkley and 14 of their Senate colleagues also called for the immediate appointment of a new Special Envoy for Haiti as the country reels from natural disaster, gang … Continue Reading

October 08, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Announce $10 Million for Oregon State University Hemp Research

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that Oregon State University (OSU) will receive a $10 million federal grant for research on sustainable hemp production. The grant is part of more than $146 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to invest in research aimed at addressing agriculture-related issues, including climate change impacts. "Hemp is already becoming a cash crop in Oregon, and its many different uses-from hemp … Continue Reading

October 07, 2021

Wyden, Paul Bill Requires Warrants to Search Americans’ Digital Devices at the Border

Washington, D.C. - Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., today introduced the Protecting Data at the Border Act to stop the government from forcing Americans to face indiscriminate and suspicionless searches of their phones, laptops and other digital devices just to cross the border. Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., are lead co-sponsors and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., is introducing the House companion bill. The bipartisan bill prevents law enforcement … Continue Reading

October 07, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Join West Coast Colleagues to Demand Offshore Drilling Ban in Reconciliation Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are co-leading an effort amongst West Coast senators urging Senate leadership to include the West Coast Ocean Protection Act in the "Build Back Better" budget reconciliation bill. In a letter written to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the senators argued that action must be taken after numerous oil spills in recent years have been … Continue Reading

October 05, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Urge Treasury Secretary to Establish an Office of Tribal Affairs

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have teamed up with United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) in a bipartisan push to urge U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to establish an Office of Tribal Affairs within the Treasury Department. Establishing a dedicated office would help to provide enough permanent personnel to help improve the department's tribal consultation process, strengthen the … Continue Reading

October 04, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Tell Ag Dept. That Proposed New Rule Could Hurt Oregon Onion Producers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today raised concerns with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that a proposed new federal rule could hurt U.S. onion growers in Eastern Oregon and nationwide by letting foreign producers unfairly flood the domestic market. The letter from Wyden and Merkley to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack covers the proposed elimination of what's known as Federal Marketing Order 959. "Eastern Oregon and Idaho together make up one of the largest … Continue Reading

October 04, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Urge DHS and USCIS to Waive Afghan Humanitarian Parole Application Fees

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley urged Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Jaddou to implement a blanket waiver on fees for Afghans applying for humanitarian parole to come to the United States. They, along with 25 other senators, also requested that the agencies issue guidance to provide clarity on the current status of these types of applications. Afghans applying … Continue Reading

October 01, 2021

Merkley, Wyden, DeFazio, Bonamici Announce $16.5 Million Purchase of Pacific Seafood

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will purchase $16.5 million of Pacific seafood through its commodities purchasing program, with over 80 percent of the fish and shrimp coming from Oregon. "Not only do our fisheries deliver incredible products all around the world, they have also been the lifeblood of communities up … Continue Reading

October 01, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Cosponsor Bill to Seek Healing for Stolen Native Children and Their Communities

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are co-sponsoring legislation that seeks healing for stolen Native children and their communities by establishing a formal commission that would investigate, document, and acknowledge past injustices of the federal government's Indian Boarding School policies. The Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act also would cover attempts to terminate Native cultures, religions, … Continue Reading

October 01, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: More than $1.2 Million to Oregon Institutions of Learning to Help with Economic Recovery from COVID-19

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that four educational institutions in Oregon will receive a combined more than $1.2 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help programs recover from the economic burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our museums, colleges and universities continue to struggle to stay financially viable as this pandemic rages on," Wyden said. "As our nation builds back better, cultural and educational institutions must … Continue Reading

October 01, 2021

Wyden: New Report Shows Stunning Incompetence and Abuse of Power By Trump DHS in Portland

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on a newly public report that reviewed the activities of the Trump Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis in Portland, beginning in the summer of 2020: "This report is 76 pages of stunning incompetence, mismanagement, and abuse of power by the Trump Administration's Department of Homeland Security, in order to politicize and inflame conflict in Portland. Independent investigators confirmed that DHS … Continue Reading

October 01, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Creswell Airport to Receive Nearly $3.3 Million in Federal Funds

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Hobby Field Airport in Creswell will receive about $3.3 million in federal funds to reconstruct its runway as well as rebuild its runway lighting and airfield guidance signs. "Small community airports like Hobby Field in Creswell play a key role in the quality of life in rural communities, creating jobs and economic activity by providing recreation opportunities like skydiving as well as supporting flight … Continue Reading

October 01, 2021

Wyden Asks Forest Service to Answer Questions About Proposed New Helicopter Contracting Systems for Wildfire Fighting

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden this week asked the U.S. Forest Service to answer several questions about its proposed modifications to contracts for helicopters that fight wildfires in Oregon and nationwide. "Helicopters play a critical role in America's wildland firefighting arsenal and it is important to ensure they remain a viable tool for fire managers," Wyden wrote in his letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. "I have heard a number of concerns raised about proposed … Continue Reading

September 30, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Announce Passage of Major Funding for Wildfire Response and Drought Relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that key legislation to fund the federal government until December and respond to recent natural disasters has passed both chambers of Congress and will be signed into law. Merkley serves as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, one of the key subcommittees directing the funding. This legislation includes billions of dollars in funding for wildfire disaster response, drought relief, … Continue Reading

September 30, 2021

Wyden, Veasey Lead Resolution to Designate September as ‘National Voting Rights Month’

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced a resolution with Congressman Marc Veasey, D-Texas, to designate September as "National Voting Rights Month." The resolution will encourage voter registration in the month of September, and push Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to preserve the right to vote amid Republican-led voter suppression attempts. "There is no right more essential to the functioning of our democratic nation than the right to vote," … Continue Reading

September 30, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Fund Urban Parks Projects

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation that would create a dedicated source of funding for projects that expand outdoor recreational opportunities in urban and low-income communities in Oregon and nationwide. "Appreciation of the outdoors is in Oregon's DNA, and we must make sure green spaces and local parks are accessible to everyone," Wyden said. "Cementing the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program into federal law … Continue Reading

September 29, 2021

Wyden Secures Review of DHS Law Enforcement Policies, Answers to Questions About Trump Administration Use of Force; Finance Committee Will Begin Consideration of Magnus Nomination for U.S. CBP Commissioner

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced the Finance Committee will begin advancing the nomination of Chris Magnus to be the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner, following a call today with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. "I have heard firsthand from Oregonians how Donald Trump's dispatch of troops to Portland back in the summer of 2020 led to tear gas damaging their health and from school officials how tear gas canisters … Continue Reading

September 29, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: More than $1.3 Million to Oregon Housing Services for Transitional Living & Outreach

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that housing services organizations in five Oregon counties have earned a combined $1.3 million in grant dollars for street outreach and transitional services to help young Oregonians facing housing insecurity. "The epidemic of housing insecurity among young Oregonians puts them at risk on the streets and undermines their opportunity to learn in school so they can lead stable and successful lives," Wyden said. "I'm … Continue Reading

September 29, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Announce $18 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding for Oregon Health Centers

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the federal department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded more than $18 million in funding for health centers all across Oregon. The funding-provided through the American Rescue Plan, which Merkley and Wyden helped to pass last spring-comes as Oregon is facing its most difficult COVID-19 surge yet, fueled by the Delta variant. Health centers will use this funding to help pay for new needs … Continue Reading

September 28, 2021

Following a Summer of Massive Heat Waves, Merkley and Wyden Press FEMA on Extreme Heat Preparedness

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following a summer of scorching heat waves that set record temperatures in many parts of Oregon, Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are joining a bipartisan effort to push the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for better assistance in dealing with extreme heat events. "This summer has produced historic heat waves and high temperatures across the United States, particularly in the West, devastating communities and causing hundreds of heat-related … Continue Reading

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