Press Releases

March 24, 2021

Wyden and Merkley Bill to Improve Water Quality and Services for Tribes Passes Committee Vote

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs today passed the Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to improve water quality and services for tribal communities in Oregon and nationwide. "Clean drinking water is the lifeblood of communities; it's a human right. The water crises faced by The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and Native American Tribes nationwide demand swift federal action to fix a … Continue Reading

March 24, 2021

Blumenauer and Wyden Introduce Legislation to Support Growing U.S. Kombucha Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, and Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) reintroduced legislation to put a stop to unfair and outdated federal alcohol taxes on kombucha companies in Oregon and across the country. Specifically, the KOMBUCHA Act would ensure that kombucha beverages are exempt from excise taxes and regulations intended specifically for beer and other alcoholic beverages. "The past year has been … Continue Reading

March 24, 2021

Wyden Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Exempt Trafficking Survivors’ Restitution from Federal Taxes

Washington, DC - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today he is reintroducing bipartisan legislation that would exempt civil and criminal damages, restitution, and other monetary awards given to human trafficking survivors from federal income taxes. "Human trafficking survivors face many hurdles in securing justice against their abusers," Wyden said. "This legislation exempts critical financial relief from federal taxes, ensuring survivors have resources to rebuild their lives." Under current Internal … Continue Reading

March 23, 2021

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Urge the Office of Management and Budget to Reconsider Change That Could Harm Mid-Sized Towns

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are urging the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to reconsider proposed changes made by the Trump administration to the 2010 classifications of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas that in Oregon would affect Albany, Bend, Corvallis and Grants Pass. These classifications are tied to several housing and transportation programs and have important impacts on their respective cities and towns. The senators wrote that … Continue Reading

March 23, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Town of Powers Secures $30,000 Federal Grant for Stormwater System Improvements

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the Oregon town of Powers has secured a $30,000 federal grant to help that Coos County community plan the development of a stormwater system to replace its inadequate system of open channels, ditches, culverts, and pipelines. "Oregonians living and working in small towns throughout our state deserve big-league infrastructure," Wyden said. "I'm gratified that Powers has earned these federal resources to improve water … Continue Reading

March 22, 2021

Wyden Will Hold Ten Online Town Halls for Oregonians

Portland - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will have live on-line town halls hosted by People's Town Hall for residents of Clackamas, Linn, Lincoln, Tillamook, Hood River, Jefferson, Deschutes, Klamath, Lake, Josephine and Polk counties Wyden has held 970 in-person town halls statewide in fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one town hall each year in each of Oregon's 36 counties. Wyden has postponed in-person town halls until there are clear-cut public health guidelines that a … Continue Reading

March 22, 2021

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Call on DOJ Inspector General to Conduct Comprehensive Review of Bureau of Prison COVID-19 Deaths

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged federal officials to conduct a comprehensive review of all COVID-19-related deaths of incarcerated individuals in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and BOP staff since the beginning of the pandemic. In a letter from Wyden, Merkley and several colleagues to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the lawmakers requested information about whether incarcerated … Continue Reading

March 22, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Urge Department of Education to Issue Guidance for Summer Enrichment Programs

Washington, DC - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged the U.S. Department of Education to issue guidance for how to use funding from the American Rescue Plan to provide summer enrichment programming for children and families. In a letter with 10 colleagues to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, the senators stressed the importance of the department's leadership in ensuring that states maximize the potential of these funds to address the academic, emotional, and social needs of students, … Continue Reading

March 19, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Nine Oregon Tribes to Receive $10.5 Million for Affordable Housing

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that nine Oregon tribes will receive more than $10.5 million in affordable housing grants under the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help with the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. "Tribes in Oregon have been rocked by COVID-19, and affordable housing is a must to keep community members safe during this pandemic and beyond," Wyden said. "I'm proud to have helped pass the American Rescue Plan … Continue Reading

March 19, 2021

Wyden, Neguse Ask President Biden to Prioritize Support for Conservation Corps in FY22 Budget and Build Back Better Infrastructure Package

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR); and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) today sent a letter to President Biden, requesting that funds for a Civilian Climate Corps be included in the FY2022 budget and that their 21st Century Conservation Corps Act be included in the upcoming Build Back Better infrastructure plan. Wyden and Neguse unveiled their 21st Century Conservation Corps Act earlier this year, a plan which would create a reimagined civilian conservation corps, make major … Continue Reading

March 19, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: OSU Earns Federal Grant to Study Feeding Spent Hemp Biomass to Cattle

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that Oregon State University has earned a $299,950 federal Agriculture Department grant to study feeding spent hemp biomass to cattle. "OSU's world-renowned hemp research plus the crop's ongoing growth possibilities add up to a potential big win for farmers and ranchers in our state and nationwide to feed their cattle with this biomass byproduct," said Wyden, who led the successful fight to ensure farmers and ranchers could … Continue Reading

March 18, 2021

Wyden and Leading Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Expand Emergency Broadband Benefit Access

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., with 15 leading democrats introduced new legislation building on the Emergency Broadband Connections Act to ensure working families can stay online through the current economic and health crisis. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Edward Markey, D-Mass, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., … Continue Reading

March 17, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Send Bipartisan Letter to President Biden Urging Funding for Energy Efficiency Programs to Combat Climate Change & Create Jobs

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today signed a bipartisan letter to President Biden urging him to prioritize robust investments in programs that promote energy efficiency in his upcoming budget proposal to Congress. In the letter, Wyden and the senators noted these investments would combat climate change by reducing harmful emissions and pollution and stimulate our economy by creating sustainable jobs and reducing energy costs for consumers. "We applaud your commitment to restoring our … Continue Reading

March 16, 2021

Wyden Co-sponsors Legislation Closing Loophole to Protect Domestic Abuse Survivors

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today he is co-sponsoring legislation that would protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence. "Back in 2018, Oregon closed the 'boyfriend loophole,' protecting domestic abuse survivors from gun violence at the hands of their abusers. Domestic abuse survivors in every single state deserve the same level of protection as Oregonians," Wyden said. "Congress must swiftly pass this needed public safety measure to help keep our most vulnerable … Continue Reading

March 16, 2021

Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Tackle Homework Gap, Provide Wi-Fi on School Buses

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today he is co-sponsoring legislation that would provide E-Rate support for school bus wi-fi to help close the homework gap while students travel on their daily school bus routes in Oregon and nationwide. "Oregon students in rural and Tribal communities taking long bus rides to and from school need wi-fi during those long stretches to keep up with daily assignments and tackle homework," Wyden said. "All students regardless of their zip code should … Continue Reading

March 12, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Nine Oregon Health Centers to Join Federal Vaccine Program

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that clinics in Portland, Oregon City, Grants Pass, Eugene, Tillamook, Prineville and Medford will be invited to join the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program over the next six weeks. The nine clinics join Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, the Neighborhood Health Center in Portland, Multnomah, and Lane counties in the program. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for … Continue Reading

March 11, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Expand Access to Affordable High-Speed Internet

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today introduced comprehensive broadband infrastructure legislation that would expand access to affordable high-speed internet for all Americans. "In my town halls across Oregon, I've seen first-hand how reliable broadband can lift up rural towns. And I've seen how rural and lower-income communities without first-class infrastructure are being left behind," Wyden said. "Senator Klobuchar and Congressman Clyburn's legislation is a strong … Continue Reading

March 11, 2021

Wyden Speaks on Senate Floor in Support of the Nomination of Deb Haaland to be Interior Secretary

Mr. President, on Monday the Senate will vote on the nomination of Congresswoman Deb Haaland to serve as Secretary of the Interior. This is truly an historic moment. I've voted on a lot of nominations over the years. I've never felt more proud to support a nominee than I do right now supporting Congresswoman Haaland. I could be here all weekend talking about what she represents and the opportunities that lie ahead for the Interior Department, public lands and rural communities. But I'll … Continue Reading

March 11, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Ensure More Disaster Resilient Power Grid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today introduced legislation that would provide incentives to utility companies to do more to protect against power outages and wildfires as the climate emergency hits communities in Oregon and nationwide with extreme weather events. Wyden and Merkley's Disaster Safe Power Grid Act would ensure that power companies do their part to reduce the risks of power blackouts and wildland fires through power system upgrades, … Continue Reading

March 10, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Address Long-Term Student Needs Related to COVID-19

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today introduced legislation that would help accelerate academic progress and address students' social, emotional, mental, behavioral, and physical health needs related to COVID-19. "Before this pandemic even began, students in Oregon and around the country were rightly demanding more support for their emotional, mental and physical health. This crisis has only made these needs even more acute, especially for marginalized communities that … Continue Reading

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