Press Releases

May 07, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Press Feds to Restore $14 Million in SRS Payments

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked the U.S. Agriculture Department to restore recent payments the agency wrongly reduced for schools and counties under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Act by more than $14 million. In their letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the Oregon senators cited reports that the agency withheld 6.2 percent of the resources intended for distribution under SRS to Oregon and other states. "The loss to schools and counties … Continue Reading

May 07, 2019

Six Senate Intelligence Committee Members Request Public Update On Status of NSA Phone Records Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - Six Senate Intelligence Committee members today requested the National Security Agency (NSA) provide a public update on the status of the NSA's phone records surveillance program. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Vice-chair Mark R. Warner, D-Va., Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., sent the request in a letter to NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone today. The text of the letter is below. View a … Continue Reading

May 03, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Press Veterans Affairs on Clinic Wait Times

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are pressing Veterans Affairs about wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Salem, which, according to a report by the Statesman Journal newspaper, is subjecting veterans to multi-month waits for routine appointments. According to the most recent information in the VA database, veterans who are new primary care patients will to wait an average of 80 days for an appointment. … Continue Reading

May 03, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Introduce Bill to Protect West Coast from Dangerous Offshore Drilling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden on Thursday joined colleagues in introducing the West Coast Ocean Protection Act to permanently ban offshore drilling in federal waters off the coast of Oregon, Washington and California. Last year, the Trump administration released its five-year offshore leasing plan that proposed opening up the entire West Coast to new drilling despite widespread opposition in Pacific coast states. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt … Continue Reading

May 02, 2019

Wyden Calls on Attorney General Barr to Resign

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today called on Attorney General William Barr to resign. "Attorney General William Barr yesterday continued his campaign of misinformation. I have warned for months that AG Barr was hired to protect Trump's presidency at all costs and erode constitutional checks on the president's power. That is why I strongly opposed his confirmation. In his short time in office, AG Barr's partisan lies and … Continue Reading

May 02, 2019

Wyden Presses Interior Solicitor General Nominee on “Non-existent Record of Ethics Enforcement”

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today at a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing raised serious concerns about Department of the Interior Solicitor General nominee Daniel Jorjani's "non-existent record of ethics enforcement during his time as Acting Solicitor." Wyden cited several examples for his concerns, including investigations into wrongdoing at the agency that were closed without resolution due to a lack of cooperation or records production, … Continue Reading

May 01, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Oregon Recreation Enhancement Act

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced legislation that would boost recreation opportunities in Southwestern Oregon and on the Molalla River in Clackamas County while preserving wildfire prevention work in both of those regions. The senators' Oregon Recreation Enhancement (ORE) Act would create the Rogue Canyon Recreation Area and the Molalla Recreation Area, expand the Wild Rogue Wilderness Area, and prohibit destructive mining on pristine rivers in … Continue Reading

April 30, 2019

Wyden Statement on ODNI Transparency Report: Congress Must Oppose Reauthorizing Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act Without Answers to Questions on Surveillance

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called for answers to several outstanding questions following the release of the annual transparency report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). “The annual ODNI transparency report, while welcome, nonetheless provides a valuable window into how much the American public still doesn’t know about how sprawling surveillance authorities are being used by the federal government. “To start, this report is … Continue Reading

April 30, 2019

Oregon Delegation Seeks Relief for Late February Storm

Washington, D.C. - The entire Oregon congressional delegation today sought a federal disaster declaration for damages in the state caused by a late February storm that brought snow, freezing rain, floods and landslides. U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader estimated in their bipartisan letter to the White House that especially hard-hit Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jefferson and Lane counties are eligible … Continue Reading

April 30, 2019

Wyden Introduces Bill to Protect LGBTQ Americans From Housing Discrimination

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and colleagues today introduced a bipartisan bill that would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the classes protected from discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to ensure equal housing opportunities for all Americans. “It’s 2019 and Americans can still be denied housing based on who they love or how they identify. That alone is unconscionable. LGBTQ Americans deserve explicit and equal protection under the law, especially when it … Continue Reading

April 30, 2019

Wyden Calls for Investigation into AG Barr’s Handling of the Mueller Report

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today joined with 11 other senators in urging an investigation into Attorney General William Barr’s conduct while handling Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and report. “Attorney General Barr’s actions raise significant questions about his decision not to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel’s investigation, whether his actions with respect to the release of the report complied with Department of Justice policies and practices, … Continue Reading

April 25, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Join Effort to Preserve Sea Grant Program Funding After Trump Administration Proposed Cuts

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined 25 of their Senate colleagues in an effort to preserve funding for the National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) following the Trump administration's proposal to eliminate its funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget. In a bipartisan letter to U.S. Senators Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and … Continue Reading

April 24, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Press USDA to Ensure Timely Implementation of Conservation and Forest Management Programs

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today sought answers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) following concerns that new agency policy is derailing vital and time-sensitive conservation and forest management programs in Oregon. The USDA has thousands of cooperative agreements in Oregon and across the United States with a vast array of partners to provide the agency with the ability to more effectively conduct essential projects, including collaborative … Continue Reading

April 19, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce More than $7 Million in AmeriCorps Funding for Oregon

PORTLAND, OR - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that Oregon has received more than $7 million in AmeriCorps funding to deploy 402 members to serve nonprofits in Bend and Portland. "Last month I had the opportunity to visit a Heart of Oregon program, YouthBuild, in Bend, and it is clear from the young people I heard from that AmeriCorps volunteers have a hugely positive impact on our communities," Merkley said. "They exemplify the Oregon spirit of service and … Continue Reading

April 18, 2019

Wyden Statement on the Special Counsel Report

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on the special counsel report: "The special counsel's report provides a detailed look at Russia's attack on our democracy and the Trump campaign's eager embrace of a foreign adversary's assistance, as well as the repeated lies of Trump operatives about those communications. There is no question the president and his campaign put their self-interest above the national interest over and over again. … Continue Reading

April 17, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Demand Answers From ICE Following Investigation of For-Profit Contractors Running Immigration Detention Facilities

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden this week joined their colleagues in a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) demanding answers following the senators' investigation of private prison companies' compliance with federal immigration detention standards and the private auditor responsible for inspecting detention facilities. Co-signers include Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Edward J. … Continue Reading

April 16, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Urge Increased Funding for Affordable Housing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week joined 39 of their colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to the Senators who lead the housing subcommittee urging increased funding for the Section 4 Capacity Building program. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 4 Program works with local community development organizations to improve affordable housing, finance small businesses, and provide for other community needs. In their letter, the … Continue Reading

April 15, 2019

Wyden, Hirono Welcome Interior IG Decision to Open Investigation Regarding Bernhardt

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, today welcomed the decision of the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of the Interior (Interior IG) to open an investigation regarding allegations against Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. The decision follows separate requests by Wyden and Hirono asking the Interior IG to investigate allegations that Bernhardt inappropriately blocked a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) assessment of the … Continue Reading

April 15, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Announce Affordable Housing Grants for Oregon Tribes

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon tribes will receive more than $15 million in federal grants to support affordable housing. "Quality of life throughout our state requires housing that Oregonians can afford," Wyden said. "These fresh federal resources for Oregon's tribes will help them achieve that essential quality-of-life goal and help to honor America's historic obligations for people living and working in these communities." "The country … Continue Reading

April 15, 2019

Wyden: “Americans have a right to know how Donald Trump benefits from Donald Trump’s tax laws”

Portland, Ore. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today spoke at a rally in Portland, Ore. and called for Donald Trump's tax returns to be released: It is wonderful to be here with Senator Fagan and Commissioner Hoyle. I'm going to start with one request: Will you be as loud now as Rip City was for the Blazers yesterday? We want to make sure Donald Trump gets our message loud and clear on Tax Filing Day. Wherever he is - Mar-a-Lago, got his Twitter feed going, maybe one of his ritzy golf … Continue Reading

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