Press Releases

July 28, 2021

Wyden Secures Key Provisions to Protect Whistleblowers, Defend Democracy and Strengthen Oversight in Intelligence Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., secured key provisions that protect Intelligence Community whistleblowers, defend the security of Congress and strengthen oversight as part of the Intelligence Authorization Act that passed the Senate Intelligence Committee today. Wyden, a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, applauded the committee for including his provisions in the bill. "Smart intelligence policy doesn't have to be a boxing match," Wyden said. "I thank my … Continue Reading

July 27, 2021

Oregon Delegation Pushes Feds for More Relief Following Historic Wildfires, Droughts, Heat

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's entire congressional delegation today joined with Western colleagues in the House and Senate to urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to secure more relief for farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture producers in the West affected by historic wildfires, droughts, and extreme heat. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack signed by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader, … Continue Reading

July 27, 2021

Wyden, Jayapal Reintroduce Legislation to Provide Alternatives to Incarceration for Parents and Caregivers to Keep Families Together, Children Out of Foster Care

Legislation is endorsed by nearly 100 criminal justice, civil rights and child welfare organizations Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., today reintroduced legislation to create an alternative to incarceration for eligible parents and caregivers and provide them the resources they need so their children can stay safely at home instead of entering the foster care system The Finding Alternatives to Mass Incarceration: Lives … Continue Reading

July 27, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Redmond Airport to Receive $800,000 Federal Grant

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today the Redmond Airport has earned an $800,000 federal grant to recruit, initiate and support new air service from Central Oregon to Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport. "Expanded air links for the Redmond Airport strengthen the Central Oregon economy by adding options for visitors attracted by the region's world-class recreation, and make it easier for local families wanting to connect with loved ones," Wyden … Continue Reading

July 26, 2021

Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Reform Disaster Recovery, Speed Up Aid to Families

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today he is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation that would help communities in Oregon and nationwide plan for and recover faster from wildfires and other major disasters. "Oregonians struggling to put their lives back together after a wildfire or other disaster deserve the smoothest possible path for the federal response that's needed to help them with a recovery," Wyden said. "The Reforming Disaster Recovery Act would iron out the bureaucratic … Continue Reading

July 26, 2021

Wyden, Cantwell, Kelly Introduce Legislation to Revive, Sustain Trusted Local News

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said today he has introduced legislation with U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) that would help financially support local news organizations through tax credits to incentivize hiring more journalists, subscriptions, and advertising from local small businesses. "The decline of local news has had devastating effects on our communities," said Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "Local news has often been the only window … Continue Reading

July 26, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Co-Sponsor Bill to Close Retirement Gap for Women

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are co-sponsoring the Women's Retirement Protection Act of 2021 (WRPA) legislation to address the retirement gap and bolster women's financial security. "Coming out of a pandemic where more than 4 in 10 women expect to see long-term impacts on their finances, it is time to invest in economic equality so that everyone has the opportunity for a stable and secure retirement," Wyden said. "WRPA legislation would … Continue Reading

July 23, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: High Desert Museum to Receive $1.2 Million Grant for STEM Education in Rural Oregon

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon's High Desert Museum in Bend will receive more than $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand STEM education for rural students and their families. "Income or zip code should not determine your access to culturally relevant STEM education," Wyden said. "I'm proud to see an Oregon institution like the High Desert Museum center the community in their program development, … Continue Reading

July 23, 2021

Wyden Co-Sponsors Bicameral Bill to Close Homework Gap, Ensure Students have Reliable Broadband Access

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today co-sponsored legislation close the homework gap by ensuring reliable access to broadband for all. The bill builds on the Emergency Connectivity Fund created under the American Rescue Plan and provide schools and libraries with $8 billion a year over five years-for a total of $40 billion-to continue to provide Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet-enabled devices to students, staff, and library patrons following the coronavirus pandemic. … Continue Reading

July 23, 2021

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Make Pell Grants Tax-Free

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today introduced the Tax-Free Pell Grant Act to help students take full advantage of higher education tax credits and Pell Grants to pursue a college education. "Pell grants have allowed millions of first-generation college students to afford higher education and build a better future, but there's more we can do to ensure students are able to take advantage of federal financial help. Tax free financial aid is a good place to start," Wyden said. … Continue Reading

July 22, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: $120,000 Economic Development Grant to Aid Southern Oregon Businesses Recovering from 2020 Wildfires

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI) received a $120,000 grant to support businesses recovering from wildfire. "In the wake of horrific wildfires in 2020, investments in Main Street small businesses are key to the economic recovery of our local communities," Wyden said. "The Almeda fire devastated Southern Oregon, with nearly 2,800 homes and businesses completely destroyed. … Continue Reading

July 21, 2021

As Bootleg Fire Rages, Merkley, Wyden Introduce Package of Bills to Help Communities Harmed by Wildfire Smoke

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today introduced three bills to help the public, businesses, and agricultural operators combat the effects of wildfire smoke, and recover from the damage it causes: the Wildfire Smoke Emergency Declaration Act, the Smoke Planning and Research Act, and the Wildfire Smoke Relief Act. The introductions are the latest in a years-long effort by Merkley and Wyden to help prevent, fight, and recover from increasingly severe … Continue Reading

July 16, 2021

Merkley, DeFazio Lead Oregon Delegation to Push FEMA for Maximum Readiness for 2021 Wildfire Season

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)-who serves as the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-are leading U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), and Cliff Bentz (R-OR-2) in pushing FEMA for maximum readiness for Oregon's 2021 wildfire season, requesting … Continue Reading

July 15, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Improve Dam Safety, Modernize Hydropower, Restore Rivers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today introduced a bill that would invest $21.1 billion to enhance the safety, grid resilience benefits and power generating capacity of America's dams and provide historic funding to remove dams that are no longer necessary. Companion legislation to the Twenty-First Century Dams Act, was introduced last … Continue Reading

July 15, 2021

Wyden-Thune Bill to Improve Child Support Enforcement for Native American Tribes Passes Senate

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and John Thune applauded the Senate for passing their bill this week to improve child support enforcement for Native American tribes by allowing the 60 tribes that operate their own child support agencies to access the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program to collect past-due child support from non-custodial parents. The bipartisan legislation would also create parity between tribes and states by allowing tribal child support agencies to obtain other … Continue Reading

July 14, 2021

Key Senate Committee Advances Wyden Priorities With Energy Infrastructure Bill

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today voted to advance an energy infrastructure package that includes essential priorities from Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., including securing the power grid from extreme weather and natural disasters to prevent severe wildfires; funding western water and drought assistance; promoting collaborative forestry; and renewing funding for rural communities for essential resources like schools and emergency services. "As the West … Continue Reading

July 14, 2021

Wyden, Merkley to Education Department: Protect Student Borrowers’ Wages and Benefits When Payments Resume

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked how the Department of Education (DoEd) plans to support student borrowers in default as the scheduled end of paused student loan payments, collections and interest approaches in October. "With student loan and interest payments scheduled to resume on October 1, 2021, and a wave of loan delinquencies and defaults likely to follow, we are concerned about the Department resuming these payment collections and are … Continue Reading

July 14, 2021

Wyden Co-sponsors Legislation to Support Direct Care Workforce and Family Caregivers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said today he is co-sponsoring legislation that would authorize more than $1 billion to support the direct care workforce and family caregivers in Oregon and nationwide. "Direct care and family care workers helping Oregon families wanting the best for their parents, children or loved ones with a disability need resources for their essential work," said Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "This longstanding challenge of a fair wage, improved … Continue Reading

July 13, 2021

Merkley, Wyden, Bipartisan Colleagues Push to Include Support for National Guard Firefighting Efforts in Upcoming Funding Bill

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley today led a bipartisan group of 13 of his Senate colleagues-including U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)-in pushing leaders of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to include robust funding in the fiscal year 2022 funding bill for the National Guard to support wildland firefighting efforts in communities across western states, which are already facing severe drought and wildfires. There are currently more than 12,200 firefighters … Continue Reading

July 08, 2021

Oregon Delegation Pushes Federal Agencies to Prepare for 2021 Wildfire Season

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, alongside Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), and Cliff Bentz (R-OR-02), are pushing agencies in charge of federal wildfire response to step up preparedness efforts for the 2021 wildfire season-which could be as bad or worse than the unprecedented 2020 season. In a letter to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture, … Continue Reading

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