Press Releases

February 18, 2022

Oregon Lawmakers Ask Federal Agencies to Protect and Restore Old Growth Forests

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Suzanne Bonamici this week asked the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture to follow congressional intent in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to protect and restore old-growth forests as well as protect other carbon-rich mature forests in Oregon and nationwide. The Oregon lawmakers wrote that the U.S. Forest Service's climate plan and 10-year wildfire strategy of … Continue Reading


February 18, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Sound the Alarm, Urge More Funding to Address Sudden Oak Death

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management strongly urging the agency to put funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to go towards the mitigation and treatment of Sudden Oak Death, a disease that poses severe economic and environmental threats to counties in Southern Oregon. "Sudden Oak Death poses a significant threat to a multitude of ecosystems and plant species and has already killed millions of … Continue Reading


February 17, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Secure Over $1.5 Million in Federal Funding to Strengthen Oregonian’s Seafood Economy Amidst the Ongoing Pandemic

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a total investment of $1,532,089 million in grant money headed to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). These funds will be distributed to Oregon seafood processing facilities and processing vessels to cover expenses incurred preparing for, preventing exposure to, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon is among 24 other states that will be receiving this funding. "Our seafood processors and … Continue Reading


February 16, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Urge DOJ to Investigate Sackler Family Members for Role in Fueling Opioid Epidemic

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined six colleagues in calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether members of the Sackler family personally engaged in criminal conduct in connection with Purdue Pharma's admitted criminal wrongdoing in fueling the devastating opioid epidemic. The senators also urged DOJ to investigate whether any of the Sacklers' subsequent conduct warrants criminal investigation as well. In 2020, DOJ resolved its civil and criminal … Continue Reading


February 14, 2022

Wyden, Senators Urge U.S. Labor Department to Process Firefighter Injury Claims Faster

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and a bipartisan group of senators calling on the Labor Department to expedite the creation of a special claims unit to handle firefighter compensation claims in advance of the 2022 wildfire season in Oregon and nationwide. "Federal wildland firefighters have recently reported difficulty getting their medical treatment costs for work-related injuries covered by the government within a reasonable … Continue Reading


February 14, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Retain Talented International Graduates with Advanced STEM Degrees

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has joined six colleagues in introducing a bill that would remove unfair barriers for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educated international graduates who want to work in the United States after they complete their advanced degrees. "Retaining talented and enthusiastic international students with advanced STEM degrees is a no-brainer," Wyden said. "The Keep STEM Talent Act will allow international students to build their … Continue Reading


February 14, 2022

Wyden, Markey Urge FCC to Promote Communications Network Resiliency During Emergencies Such as Extreme Weather, Climate-related Events

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., today wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressing support for the agency's recent notice of proposed rulemaking to enhance the resiliency of communications networks during emergency situations as aging infrastructure and climate change ignite wildfires in Oregon and across the West. Strong action by the FCC is necessary to address the growing threats to communications networks created by … Continue Reading


February 14, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon To Receive More than $35 Million in Federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Grants

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon will receive more than $35.1 million in federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) grants. "This partnership with hunters, anglers and others builds even stronger recreational opportunities in Oregon while also protecting sustainable resources," Wyden said. "Our state's world-renowned natural treasures generate recreation jobs and the ability for everybody to enjoy the outdoors. I'm glad this … Continue Reading


February 14, 2022

Oregon Delegation Calls for Additional Emergency Rental Assistance Funding

WASHINGTON, DC [02/14/2022] - Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici led members of Oregon's congressional delegation - including Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, and Kurt Schrader - in calling for additional emergency rental assistance funding to be sent to Oregon. The letter to the Treasury Department supports a request made by Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Congress created the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in December 2020 to … Continue Reading


February 10, 2022

Wyden and Heinrich: Newly Declassified Documents Reveal Previously Secret CIA Bulk Collection, Problems With CIA Handling of Americans’ Information

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for new transparency about bulk surveillance conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency, following the release of documents that revealed a secret bulk collection program and problems with how the agency searches and handles Americans' information. Wyden and Heinrich requested the declassification of a report by the Privacy and Civil Liberties … Continue Reading


February 10, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon to Receive $7.7 Million for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon will receive $7.7 million in federal funds this fiscal year from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help create a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the state. "Electric vehicles are an essential step on the road to a clean energy future that's a must to combat the climate crisis," Wyden said. "I'm gratified the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing this federal investment in … Continue Reading


February 10, 2022

Wyden to Hold 1,000th Town Hall

Portland - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will hold his 1000th town hall on Feb. 24 in Lane County as part of an upcoming schedule of four live on-line town halls hosted by People's Town Hall that also will include Columbia, Washington and Multnomah counties. "Nothing has been more important in my public service than keeping my promise to listen to Oregonians in each of our state's 36 counties each year," Wyden said. "I'm honored that Oregonians have given me the opportunity to answer … Continue Reading


February 10, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: U.S. Forest Service Contracts With Eight Oregon Businesses to Provide Wildland Firefighter Crews

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed news that the U.S. Forest Service is awarding contracts to Oregon companies in Merlin, Redmond, Salem, Ashland, Philomath, Merrill, Sutherlin and Independence to provide crews to fight wildland fires. "Fighting wildfires and protecting lives, homes and small businesses in Oregon and nationwide demand trained crews that can respond quickly and reliably," Wyden said. "I'm pleased the Forest Service has recognized these … Continue Reading


February 10, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $1.2 Million in Health Service Federal Funding Headed to Tribes in Multnomah County

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced the Department of Health and Human Services will be awarding a grant totaling $1,169,999 to the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. Over the next year, these funds will be used by the health board to partner with other national organizations to increase access to vaccines in underserved communities. "The challenges of this pandemic have further emphasized what so many of us have long known: health … Continue Reading


February 09, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $1.3 Million for Deschutes River Conservancy to Combat Drought Conditions

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a total of $1,370,473 in grant money from the Bureau of Reclamation to reduce the impact of drought in Central Oregon. These funds will help establish and administer a water bank for the Deschutes Basin of Central Oregon, increase water monitoring within irrigation districts, and improve drought forecasting. This is one of 13 initial projects nationwide selected by the Bureau of Reclamation in 2022 to build … Continue Reading


February 09, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Urge Biden to Step Up Efforts to Demilitarize Police

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined nine colleagues in calling on President Biden to step up efforts to demilitarize the police. In their letter to the president, the senators cite reports showing that police militarization fails to reduce rates of violent crime or change the number of officers assaulted or killed. Instead, arming police departments with military equipment has led to an increase in officer-involved shootings and civilian deaths, they wrote. "We urge you to … Continue Reading


February 09, 2022

Senators Merkley and Wyden Announce More than $262 Million in U.S. Forest Service Funds Headed to Oregon

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a total of $262,736,000 headed to Oregon to help the state recover from wildfires. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will allocate nearly $1.1 billion in disaster assistance funding nationally to support different regions dealing with post-disaster recovery and other emergency needs as a result of natural disasters occurring in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Today's announcement is a direct result of funding that Senator … Continue Reading


February 08, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Businesses Statewide Receive Rural Business-Cooperative Grants and Loans

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week announced that farms and other small businesses in Oregon have earned a combined total of over $32 million in rural business grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help them grow and continue to create job opportunities statewide. "Our rural economies thrive when small businesses thrive," Wyden said. "Grants and loans that help emerging businesses grow will mean more jobs and opportunity for … Continue Reading


February 08, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Announce Bill to Reauthorize Deschutes River Conservancy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an effort to address restoration of wildlife and reduce agricultural runoff in central Oregon rivers, Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced critical legislation to reauthorize the Deschutes River Conservancy's (DRC) federal eligibility to receive federal funding for water quality and conservation projects. Founded in 1996, DRC initially focused on grazing and timber issues impacting river health, but has shifted to water management in recent … Continue Reading


February 03, 2022

Wyden, Booker and Clarke Introduce Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022 To Require New Transparency And Accountability For Automated Decision Systems

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., with Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Representative Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., today introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022, a landmark bill to bring new transparency and oversight of software, algorithms and other automated systems that are used to make critical decisions about nearly every aspect of Americans' lives. "If someone decides not to rent you a house because of the color of your skin, that's flat-out illegal … Continue Reading

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