Press Releases

November 04, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Housing Authorities to Receive $2.3 Million in COVID-19 Aid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that Clackamas, Douglas, Polk, Wasco and Clatsop counties will receive about $2.3 million to help residents with housing choice vouchers during COVID-19. "Heading into winter when temperatures drop and with the battle ongoing against coronavirus, these housing resources are timely and essential to keep Oregonians safe and housed," Wyden said. "I'm gratified this help has been secured for Clackamas, Douglas, Polk, Wasco and … Continue Reading

November 03, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce $3 Million Energy Investment in Umatilla County

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Umatilla Electric Cooperation Association has received a $3 million federal loan to finance major energy efficiency upgrades that will reduce energy waste and cut costs for residents of Umatilla County. The 20 year loan is being administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP)-a program designed by Senator Merkley to allow rural electric co-ops to … Continue Reading

November 02, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Walden Announce Official Signing of Critical Fix to Help Klamath Irrigators

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representative Greg Walden (R-OR-2), today announced that a critically needed fix to the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)-which will provide relief to Klamath Basin irrigators who have been hard-hit by drought-has been signed into law. "Between this year's unprecedented wildfires, a severe drought, and the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis-this has been a difficult time for the … Continue Reading

October 28, 2020

Wyden Slams Trump Claim That He Has “Ended The Pandemic” As COVID-19 Cases Surge Nationwide

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today slammed new claims from the Trump administration that the COVID-19 pandemic is over despite record viral transmissions sweeping the country, and dire warnings that health care may soon need to be rationed as hospitals reach capacity. On Tuesday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a list of accomplishments that included "ending the COVID-19 pandemic," suggesting that his … Continue Reading

October 28, 2020

Wyden Statement on Commerce Committee Section 230 Hearing

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee's hearing on Section 230, a provision of the Communications Decency Act authored by Wyden: "When it comes to writing laws usually you need two things - first, lawmakers need to agree on what the existing law says, and second, they need to know what problem the new law would solve. After watching the hearing today, I don't believe my Republican colleagues have read the First … Continue Reading

October 28, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Demand Trump Administration Put Politics Aside, End Plans to Hold Critical Public Health Resources Hostage

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) led five of their Senate colleagues-including Senator Ron Wyden-in pressing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure that millions of dollars in federal funding for critical public health programs will not be withheld to inflict political retribution in the middle of a pandemic. President Trump and Attorney General Barr have threatened to … Continue Reading

October 27, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Company Secures $70 Million Federal Contract for Air Tankers to Fight Wildfires

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that Hillsboro-based Erickson Aero Tanker has earned a $70.5 million federal contract for next-generation large air tanker services to support wildland firefighting in Oregon and nationwide. "The blazes that devastated so much of Oregon this year unfortunately provide the latest example of the urgent need to build a comprehensive arsenal of tools to fight wildfires in our state and the entire country," Wyden said. "Air … Continue Reading

October 27, 2020

Wyden, Brown Urge Trade Associations to Take Action to Ensure Members Are Not Complicit in China’s State-sanctioned Forced Labor Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter to trade associations urging them to take immediate action to ensure their members are not complicit in China's state-directed human rights abuses, including by relocating production from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Chinese government has violated the human rights of more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslims by coercing them into a forced labor program that has extensively infiltrated … Continue Reading

October 27, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge State Department to Bolster Efforts to Protect Journalists

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with nine of their Senate colleagues, are pushing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration to increase efforts to protect journalists around the world, and hold foreign leaders accountable for suppressing freedom of the press. The lawmakers' letter to the State Department marks the recent anniversary of the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and resident of the U.S. who … Continue Reading

October 26, 2020

Wyden Votes 'No' on Amy Coney Barrett

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., voted 'no' on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court today. Wyden released the following statement: "The Republican agenda - throwing millions of Americans off their healthcare, overturning Roe and their myriad other priorities that threaten fundamental freedoms - is too unpopular to enact through legislation, so Republicans are working to enact it through the Courts. That's really what the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett is … Continue Reading

October 26, 2020

Wyden Takes to Senate Floor to Oppose Rushed SCOTUS Confirmation

Mr. President, everything that's happened since the untimely passing of the legendary Justice Ginsburg is a clear reminder that much of what goes on in Washington DC is not on the level. Right now, this country is hurting. Mass death. Mass unemployment. Mass hunger and suffering among children. The two sides in Congress ought to address those challenges together. Now more than ever, while so many people are fearful about the future, the rules we play by and the agreements we make ought to … Continue Reading

October 26, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Five Oregon Tribes Receive Expanded Access to Wireless Broadband

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that five Oregon Tribes have secured spectrum licenses from federal regulators that will help to close the digital divide by providing Tribes with expanded access to broadband and other advanced wireless services. The good news for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Coquille Indian Tribe, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Improve Soil Health, Crop Resilience and Address the Climate Crisis

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation to help address the climate crisis by encouraging farming practices that improve soil health and crop resilience and lower the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. "In 2020 alone, the climate crisis has delivered devastating wildfires, severe droughts and floods that decimated crops and with them the livelihoods of countless family farmers in Oregon and nationwide," Wyden said. "Tackling the climate crisis head on … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley to DEA: Interim Rule on Hemp Contradicts Congressional Intent by Criminalizing Intermediate Steps in Hemp Processing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today expressed strong objections to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)'s unilateral and uncalled for actions on hemp that run counter to the 2018 Farm Bill and congressional intent by treating this legal crop as a Schedule I controlled substance whenever its THC content exceeds 0.3%. Authors of the provision in the 2018 Farm Bill to legalize hemp, Wyden and Merkley said in their letter to the DEA that the agency's Interim Final … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Wyden, Warren, Brown, Markey, Schatz Push for Investigation of CBP Phone Location Data Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, today requested an inspector general investigation into Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) warrantless tracking of phones in the United States. As revealed by public contracts, CBP has paid a government contractor named Venntel nearly half a million dollars for access to a commercial database containing location data mined from … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Move to Block William Pendley’s Illegal Leadership at BLM: Don’t Tread on Our Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following William Perry Pendley's refusal to follow an order from a Federal district court judge to vacate his position as de facto Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined four of their Democratic colleagues in introducing legislation to immediately resolve the matter by barring the Department of Justice from appealing Pendley's case. The court has found that Pendley was illegally installed in his … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Wyden, Van Hollen, Davis Introduce Legislation to Improve Federal Programs to Promote Healthy Relationships and Financial Stability for Low-Income Families

WASHINGTON - Today, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Representative Danny Davis (D-Ill.) introduced legislation to make important improvements to our nation's child support program to ensure that low-income children and families get the financial support they need. The current child support program aims to ensure that all non-custodial parents contribute financially to their children. However, right now, if families receive … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, 135 Democratic Lawmakers to Senate and House Leadership: We Must Take Bold and Comprehensive Action to Prevent the Next Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with a group of 135 Democratic lawmakers to send a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to prioritize the development of comprehensive policy plans to prevent and mitigate the impact of future pandemics. In the letter, the lawmakers outline the steps necessary to prevent future pandemics while also noting that Congress must act to provide relief to Americans suffering from the current economic downturn … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Wyden, Leahy, Schumer, Merkley Ask National Guard for Wildfire Readiness Assessment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today led colleagues in asking the National Guard for a report on its readiness to help states prepare, fight and recover from wildfires. In a letter to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson, the senators wrote, "As devastating fires of historic proportion continue to ravage the United States, we ask you to provide us an assessment of the … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Blumenauer, Bonamici Demand Answers From DOJ Following Prolonged Deputations of State and Local Law Enforcement Officers in Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1) today to press the Department of Justice (DOJ) for more information regarding the recent special deputation of state and local law enforcement officers in Oregon, which the DOJ now indicates will last for the remainder of the year against the wishes of local authorities. "Despite the temporary nature of the public safety emergency caused by … Continue Reading

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