Press Releases

September 12, 2018

Wyden Presses Verizon on its Wildfire Communications Policy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today asked Verizon to explain why it endangered communities threatened by wildfires and first responders by recently throttling the data speeds of firefighters' communications. Wyden's letter to Verizon comes in the wake of troubling reports that Verizon slowed - or "throttled" -- the data speeds on fire officials' unlimited Verizon plans while they were battling one of the biggest blazes devastating the West. "Even more alarming was that at one point … Continue Reading

September 12, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Provisions to Help Klamath Basin Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Water Resources Development Act includes drought relief language to assist Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers, who have been hard-hit by drought in recent years. This language is essential for the irrigators to effectively use $10 million in drought relief funds that Merkley, Wyden and Congressman Greg Walden secured in 2018. "Klamath Basin irrigators have been working collaboratively with the many … Continue Reading

September 12, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $6 Million to Support Oregon Airports

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced more than $5.8 million in U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) grants to fund repairs, upgrades and more at airports across Oregon. "These grants provide much-needed support to rural airports across the state," said Merkley, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee. "That is why I fought to adequately fund transportation, and I will continue to push for the infrastructure funding our communities … Continue Reading

September 12, 2018

Bipartisan Senators Voice Concern over State Department Cybersecurity

Washington, D.C. - Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., today called on the State Department to adopt basic cybersecurity measures to protect against phishing, hacks and other cyberattacks, in a letter released today. Following multiple reports from outside auditors highlighting the department's failure to adopt measures like multifactor authentication and regular security audits which are mandated by the … Continue Reading

September 10, 2018

Oregon Members of Congress Press Trump Administration to Listen to Oregonians on Proposed Fuel Standard Freeze

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader, today pressed the Trump Administration to hold a public hearing in Oregon on its proposed freeze of fuel economy standards. In addition to freezing nationwide standards at 37 miles per gallon (mpg), the proposal would also bar individual states from setting their own, more stringent standards. Oregon, along with 12 other states and the … Continue Reading

September 06, 2018

Wyden Demands Release of Kavanaugh’s Full White House Record amid Republican Stonewalling

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today demanded the White House make Judge Brett Kavanaugh's complete White House record available to the Senate and the public. "Access to a Supreme Court nominee's full record is necessary for the Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty to advise and consent," Wyden and 18 other senators wrote in a letter to the White House. "More important, it is essential for the American people to have confidence in our confirmation process." "The rush and … Continue Reading

September 06, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Secure USDA Relief for Farmers Whose Crops Were Devastated by Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow wheat farmers in Sherman and Wasco counties whose crops were devastated by wildfires to plant cover crops, preserving their land for the next growing season without jeopardizing their crop insurance coverage. "This assistance is a step toward recovery for the farmers and ranchers whose crops have been lost to fires," Merkley said. "In addition to allowing our … Continue Reading

September 06, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Seek Updated Science Measurements for Oregon Farmers and Ranchers Needing Drought Aid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged federal officials to use more accurate, timely, and science-based measurements in determining whether Oregon farmers and ranchers have access to drought disaster aid programs. The Oregon senators wrote Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue that the U.S. Drought Monitor's measurement criteria and process for Farm Service Agency (FSA) disaster programs are unfairly treating Oregonians battling … Continue Reading

September 05, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Push Zinke to Fulfill Agreement with Klamath Tribes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today pushed U.S. Department of Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke to reverse his decision to withhold from the Klamath Tribe almost $500,000 in already allocated funding for critical water quality research in the Upper Klamath Lake. "The loss of this previously approved and dedicated funding source for understanding the impact of water quality on the health and wellbeing of the C'waam (Lost River sucker) and Koptu (shortnose sucker) … Continue Reading

September 05, 2018

Senate Passes Wyden Bill to Ensure Fair Prices at the Pharmacy Counter

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced the Senate unanimously passed his bill that would crack down on outrageous gag clauses blocking pharmacists from telling customers they could pay less for their prescription if they pay out of pocket. "Pharma middlemen have been taking advantage of America's broken drug pricing system for too long - banning pharmacists from telling customers the lowest available price for their medication is another flagrant example," Wyden said. "I'm … Continue Reading

September 05, 2018

Wyden Urges Support of Key National Forests Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged the U.S. Forest Service to continue its Legacy Roads and Trails program that addresses plugged culverts, landslides, and washouts of roads and trails in our national forests. Wyden and two other senators wrote Interim Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen to ask that her agency continue tracking and reporting annual accomplishments under the program. "For ten years, the Legacy Roads and Trails program has played a necessary and … Continue Reading

September 04, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Millions of Dollars in Affordable Housing Support in Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced more than $2.7 million for new Section 811 Housing Choice Vouchers that will assist people with disabilities in accessing affordable housing and an array of supportive services. "These vouchers allow public housing authorities to better serve Oregonians with disabilities," Merkley said. "As communities in Oregon and across the nation face their biggest housing affordability crises in decades-with rents … Continue Reading

August 29, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Urge Court to Reinstate Net Neutrality Rules, Restore Equal Access to Internet

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined their colleagues in filing a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) December 2017 decision to eliminate net neutrality rules. "In sum, the FCC's reclassification decision in its 2017 Order is based entirely in the misuse of language," the members of Congress wrote in their amicus brief. "It is divorced from the practical realities that supported the FCC's … Continue Reading

August 29, 2018

Wyden Bill to Require Paper Ballots, Strengthen Election Security Gains Support from Sanders, Harris, ACLU

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced the addition of Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as cosponsors to his bill to strengthen election security and require paper ballots, as well as an endorsement of the bill by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act of 2018 requires the use of paper ballots and "risk-limiting" audits for all federal elections, ensuring that election results have not … Continue Reading

August 28, 2018

Wyden Introduces Clean Air Refugee Assistance Act

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced legislation that would help people forced to seek shelter from wildfire smoke when it reaches unhealthy levels in communities throughout Oregon and the West. Wyden's Clean Air Refugee Assistance Act of 2018 would allow those seeking temporary shelter from wildfire smoke to apply for relief under a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that covers temporary lodging for people who can't immediately return home after a … Continue Reading

August 27, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Major Grant for Underserved Youth in Portland

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a five-year, nearly $28 million U.S. Department of Education grant to Self Enhancement, Inc. will serve more than 7,000 underserved students and families in Portland. "When I was a child, my father took me to the doors of the schoolhouse and told me that if I worked hard, I could do just about anything, because we live in America," Merkley said. "That is the promise of our nation. But all too often, that … Continue Reading

August 23, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Continued Funding to Train National Guard to Fight Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As wildfires continue to blaze across Oregon, Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden today announced that the Department of Defense 2019 appropriations bill includes $7 million to train National Guard members to fight wildfires. The bill passed the Senate floor today. "I've met with the people on the front lines of these serious wildfires, and they say the hundreds of National Guard members have been a huge … Continue Reading

August 23, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill Aimed at Reducing Racial Disparities in Maternal Mortality

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced a bill aimed at reducing significant racial disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity. The Oregon senators joined with a dozen colleagues introducing the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act, in response to statistics showing the United States is one of only 13 countries where the maternal mortality rate is worse than it was 25 years ago. For African-American women, the risk of death from … Continue Reading

August 22, 2018

Wyden Presses for Comprehensive Approach to Address Threat of Wildfires to Crooked River Ranch

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said today at a hearing on Crooked River Ranch that the central Oregon wilderness area needs action urgently to reduce the devastating potential of wildfire. Wyden's concerns come as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today considered a House bill introduced by U.S. Representative Greg Walden, R-Ore., about the dangers posed by wildfires to Crooked River Ranch. "I have spent my time in Congress leading the charge to protect … Continue Reading

August 22, 2018

Wyden Introduces Housing Affordability Bills

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced two bills that would create new tax credits to help first-time homebuyers and middle-income renters. Both pieces of legislation aim to provide a comprehensive affordable housing package in tandem with the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), a tool Wyden has long supported that's helped to finance construction of affordable rental units. "Repairing the country's housing policy to help people in Oregon and nationwide afford a place to … Continue Reading

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