Press Releases

December 07, 2018

Wyden Urges Protection of Text Messages from Unreasonable Blocking and Discrimination

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to classify text messaging as a telecommunications service. During its open meeting on Dec. 12, the FCC will vote on a proposed declaratory ruling classifying text messaging as an information service, which would permit telephone carriers to block text messages to favor their own texting services and stifle free speech. In 2007, Verizon Wireless blocked mass text messages from Naral Pro-Choice … Continue Reading


December 07, 2018

Wyden Praises Senate Vote on “Compact Migrants”

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden praised yesterday's Senate passage of a bipartisan bill clarifying that citizens of three former U.S. territories now living in the United States can qualify for important identification documents such as driver's licenses. The bill, H.R, 3398, covers more than 30,000 citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau -- including an estimated several thousand living in Oregon. The affected … Continue Reading


December 07, 2018

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Endangered Salmon and Steelhead Passes Senate Without Objection

Washington, D.C. - Critical, bipartisan legislation led by U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to protect Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed salmon and steelhead from extinction has passed the Senate without objection. The entire Northwest Senate delegation, including U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) have cosponsored S.3119, the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act, emphasizing how critical this … Continue Reading


December 07, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Protect Small Businesses From Burdensome Internet Sales Tax Collection Requirement

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced a bill that would prevent new red tape from being imposed as soon as Jan. 1, 2019 on small businesses as a result of the Supreme Court ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. That Supreme Court ruling in June overturned precedent, letting states collect sales tax from out-of-state businesses. This new burden will hurt small businesses, which lack the resources to navigate collecting sales taxes for more than 10,000 … Continue Reading


December 06, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Urge FDA to Go Further In Combatting Youth Tobacco Use

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act quickly to implement plans to ban flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes. In a letter sent this week by Wyden, Merkley and 19 other senators to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the lawmakers also ask Gottlieb to follow the FDA's recent efforts to address rising youth e-cigarette use with additional steps. The lawmakers call for ending the marketing of all tobacco products to … Continue Reading


December 06, 2018

Merkley, Wyden, DeFazio Announce Major Federal Grants for Oregon Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Congressman Peter DeFazio, today announced that the federal Department of Transportation is awarding two major grants to Oregon ports. The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants will go to the Port of Morrow and the Port of Coos Bay. The Port of Morrow in Boardman, OR, will receive $19.4 million, while the Port of Coos Bay will receive $20 million, both for rail investments. "This is … Continue Reading


December 05, 2018

Wyden Calls on Senate Colleagues to Oppose FERC Nominee

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today on the Senate floor urged his colleagues to oppose the nomination of Bernard L. McNamee to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the FERC or the Commission). Video of the floor speech is available here. In his speech, Wyden expressed serious concerns over McNamee's role in developing the U.S. Department of Energy policy that would have reached into American household budgets to pad the pockets of coal and nuclear … Continue Reading


December 05, 2018

Wyden Presses Justice Department on Whitaker, Benczkowski Conflicts of Interest

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is asking the Department of Justice to detail its handling of the serious financial, professional, and political conflicts of interest of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Brian Benczkowski. In a letter this week signed by 10 other senators, Wyden noted that the two officials' activities before arriving at the Justice Department present ethical concerns that agency ethics officials have … Continue Reading


December 03, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Demand Trump Revoke Illegal Proclamation Targeting Asylum Seekers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined their colleagues in calling on Donald Trump to immediately revoke an illegal Presidential Proclamation that would drastically limit the ability of refugees to claim asylum. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar recently granted a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the Proclamation, which directly contradicts existing statute. "There is overwhelming evidence that this Proclamation is plainly illegal. Our immigration … Continue Reading


November 30, 2018

Wyden Calls for Assistance for Winegrape Growers Threatened by Wildfire Smoke Related Losses

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged colleagues to provide additional federal assistance for winegrape growers facing serious losses from wildfire smoke damage. In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee leadership, Wyden requested that any year-end funding bill include an extension of the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program to provide a measure of compensation for winegrape growers and other producers affected by natural disasters. Wyden also requested … Continue Reading


November 28, 2018

Congress Sends Wyden, Merkley Earthquake Resilience Act to President’s Desk

Washington, D.C. - The House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to improve earthquake preparedness in Oregon and nationwide. The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act modernizes earthquake-safety programs that help states prepare for and respond to earthquakes. "Being as prepared as we can be for natural disasters is the name of the game. When the West Coast is struck by a large earthquake it is … Continue Reading


November 28, 2018

Wyden, Crapo Lead Bipartisan call to Reauthorize Secure Rural Schools Funding in Year-end Legislation

WASHINGTON - Citing the importance of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today led a bipartisan call with 23 of their Senate colleagues calling for a one-year reauthorization of the program in any year-end funding measures. "Over the last nearly two decades, SRS has been a critical lifeline for over 775 counties in over 40 states across the country by helping fund more than 4,400 schools, road maintenance, law enforcement, and search … Continue Reading


November 27, 2018

Wyden, Heinrich, Reed Introduce Bill Requiring Public Report on Khashoggi Murder by Saudi Arabia

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., introduced legislation today requiring a public report on the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, following Donald Trump's announcement that his administration will not respond to Khashoggi's killing by Saudi officials. "Bowing to the Saudi government over the murder of a Washington Post columnist is unacceptable for any American president, let alone one who claims to put … Continue Reading


November 20, 2018

Wyden Statement In Response to Khashoggi Announcement

Washington, D.C. -Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement in response to Donald Trump's announcement today giving Saudi Arabia a pass for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi: "Donald Trump's statement makes clear that he does not care who ordered the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. "Putting America first does not include subservience to the leaders of an authoritarian and murderous monarchy. Under Donald Trump's reasoning, there is no atrocity Saudi … Continue Reading


November 19, 2018

Wyden, Crapo, Merkley, Risch Urge Re-authorization of Rural Resource Advisory Committees

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and James Risch (R-ID) today urged federal officials to reauthorize citizen committees that provide key advice for important natural resources work in national forests. The senators' bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue seeks prompt reauthorization of the national Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) charter under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act … Continue Reading


November 19, 2018

Wyden Says Radioactive Waste Changes Need More Public Input

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today asked the federal Department of Energy (DOE) to extend the public comment period about its proposed new definition of high-level radioactive waste. Wyden said in a letter to DOE that its 60-day public comment period starting Oct. 10 is far too short given the magnitude of the proposed changes. "You recently received a request by more than six dozen organizations from across the country requesting that you extend the comment period in this … Continue Reading


November 16, 2018

Wyden, Merkley Press Private Prison Companies on Compliance with Federal Immigration Detention Standards

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked the country's two largest private immigration detention contractors for information about their compliance with federal immigration detention standards. The letters from Wyden, Merkley and nine other senators to contractors GEO Group and CoreCivic follows a troubling report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) about unsafe conditions and mistreatment of immigrants at a number of … Continue Reading


November 16, 2018

Wyden, Crapo Introduce Secure Rural Schools Extension Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Mike Crapo today introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the Secure Rural Schools program by one year, through Fiscal Year 2019. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) was first introduced in 2000 to assist counties containing tracts of federally-owned land that is tax-exempt. Critical services at the county level have historically been funded in part with a 25 percent share of timber receipts from federal Forest … Continue Reading


November 15, 2018

Wyden, Welch Introduce Legislation to Improve Child Nutrition

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Representative Peter Welch, D-Vt., today introduced the Local School Foods Expansion Act, legislation to improve child nutrition by expanding access to locally-grown, unprocessed fruits and vegetables for school meal programs. "No child should be hungry in school-it's devastating to their health and ability to learn. This bill will help address hunger and improve child nutrition in communities across America, all while supporting … Continue Reading


November 15, 2018

Wyden Opposes FERC Nominee Who Wants to Bailout Coal & Nuclear Corporations at the Expense of Everyday Americans

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced that he will oppose the nomination of Bernard L. McNamee to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the FERC or the Commission). Wyden released the following statement: "It is clear that Mr. McNamee played a pivotal role in developing the U.S. Department of Energy policy that would have reached into American household budgets to pad the pockets of coal and nuclear corporations-a policy so outrageous that it … Continue Reading

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