Press Releases

February 25, 2021

Oregon, Idaho Senators Lead Bipartisan Push For Critical County Payments

Washington, D.C. - Oregon and Idaho congressional leaders are pushing to ensure counties do not lose out on essential services due to federal land ownership. The bipartisan push for reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program is led by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho). The bill would reauthorize the SRS program through September 2022. The program, which helps fund essential services in rural communities … Continue Reading

February 24, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Improve Water Quality and Services for Western Tribes

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced legislation to improve water quality and services for tribal communities in Oregon. Native American tribes in Oregon and across the West are suffering from inadequate water infrastructure, with aging drinking water treatment and distribution systems subjecting these communities to serious problems such as failed pressure relief valves, burst pipes and unsafe drinking water. Wyden and Merkley's Western Tribal … Continue Reading

February 24, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Call for Passage of 9/11 Style COVID-19 Commission

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced bipartisan legislation that would create an independent, non-partisan commission -- closely modeled after the 9/11 Commission that investigated the September 11, 2001 terror attacks -- to assess the nation's pandemic preparedness and response, and provide recommendations to improve our country's readiness for future public health crises. "More than 500,000 Americans have lost their lives. There is no ignoring that number. I believe … Continue Reading

February 24, 2021

Merkley, Wyden, DeFazio Continue Push to Ensure That Every Affected Oregonian Receives Federal Wildfire Recovery Resources

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley led U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4) this week in sending a letter to Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph Diemont, urging the Biden administration to continue delivering assistance to Oregonians affected by the 2020 wildfire season, and to address barriers that are making it harder for some survivors to access resources. "Last year was the most devastating wildfire season in our state's recent history. In the … Continue Reading

February 23, 2021

Wyden Statement Following Interior Secretary-Designate Deb Haaland's Nomination Hearing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released the following statement after the first day of Interior Secretary-Designate Deb Haaland's nomination hearing: "Deb Haaland's experience and commitment to restoring the public trust and the mission of this important agency is a breath of fresh air after the last four years of her predecessors' shameful neglect and outright mission abandonment. As the … Continue Reading

February 23, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Push to Provide Disabled Veterans Full Military Benefits

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today joined colleagues to introduce the Major Richard Star Act, bipartisan legislation to provide combat-injured veterans with less than 20 years of military service their full benefits. "I have fought long and hard to ensure that veterans in Oregon and nationwide can receive their full military retirement pay and disability benefits," Wyden said. "This bill represents an important down payment on that principle and will … Continue Reading

February 22, 2021

Wyden Statement on DOI Plans to Halt Trump Administration's Destructive Northern Spotted Owl Rule

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued a statement after the U.S. Department of the Interior announced it is initiating steps to delay the effective date of the Trump administration's rule to remove critical habitat protections for the Northern Spotted Owl: "David Bernhardt ended his corrupt and destructive tenure at Interior with this parting blow to science and the public interest, raising even more questions about scientific meddling by Trump political appointees. I'm glad to see … Continue Reading

February 19, 2021

Wyden, Neguse Unveil Plan to Establish 21st Century Conservation Corps, Invest in Wildfire Resiliency

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, today unveiled legislation to establish a 21st Century Conservation Corps. The 21st Century Conservation Corps Act, originally introduced in July 2020, would provide critical funds to support a natural resource management and conservation workforce and bolster … Continue Reading

February 18, 2021

Wyden Calls on Biden Administration to Fully Fund Community Development Block Grant Program

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today called on the Biden administration to prioritize funding in its upcoming budget proposal for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which funds local initiatives that support jobs, housing, infrastructure, and public services for millions of Americans. "The Community Development Block Grant has proven to be a tried-and-true jobs generator and, now more than ever, we must get these funds out to the communities in Oregon and … Continue Reading

February 18, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: Hermiston Playground to Receive $250,000 Federal Grant to Rebuild after Fire

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that a Hermiston playground destroyed by fire in 2019 will receive $250,000 in federal funds to rebuild. "Oregonians prove time and again their resilience and commitment in the face of adversity, and these federal dollars are greatly needed to restore a much-beloved playground," Wyden said. "I am proud to team up with the leadership at Umatilla Electric Cooperative and Hermiston leaders who continue to build safe and … Continue Reading

February 18, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $7.5 Million in Emergency Resources to Assist with Vaccine Distribution in Benton, Josephine Counties

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that over $7.5 million of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding is headed to Benton and Josephine counties to boost the distribution of coronavirus vaccines to Oregonians. "One of the most important things we need to be doing right now to save lives and get to the other side of this crisis is getting vaccines into as many arms as possible, as quickly as possible," said Merkley. "We fought to get … Continue Reading

February 17, 2021

Oregon Lawmakers File Legal Brief to Support Oregonians' Access to Reproductive Health Care

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Ron Wyden last week led 148 Members of Congress, including Sen. Jeff Merkley, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Peter DeFazio and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, in filing a legal brief in a case challenging the in-person dispensing requirement of the abortion medication mifepristone during the COVID-19 public health emergency. "Lifting the in-person requirements for mifepristone is consistent with various FDA and HHS actions that encourage and promote the use of … Continue Reading

February 17, 2021

After Windstorm-Wildfire Events Pummel the State, Oregon’s Congressional Delegation Urges President Biden to Send Additional Federal Assistance

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, in an effort led by Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04), whose committee has jurisdiction over FEMA, the entire Oregon congressional delegation called on President Biden to approve a February 9 request from Governor Kate Brown for additional federal funds to respond to recent windstorm-wildfire events. Damage from the unprecedented series of fires that began in September is estimated at nearly $1 billion, including more than $600 billion for debris removal alone. In the … Continue Reading

February 13, 2021

Wyden Statement on Trump Acquittal

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump: "Senators swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Today 43 Republican senators have chosen Donald Trump over the Constitution, and in so doing they have betrayed their oath. There can be no doubting the evidence that Donald Trump inspired, fomented and ultimately called for the assault on the Capitol. Once it was happening, he stalled … Continue Reading

February 11, 2021

Wyden Will Hold Several Virtual Town Halls Next Week Throughout Oregon

Portland - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will have multiple live on-line town halls next week hosted by Town Hall Project for residents of Multnomah, Marion, Douglas and Jackson counties A two-time winner of Town Hall Project's MVP award as well as a winner of Town Hall Project's Democracy Defender award, 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 … Continue Reading

February 11, 2021

Wyden To Senate Leadership: We Must Fund Summer Enrichment Opportunities For Low-Income Children In Next Covid-19 Relief Package

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is urging Senate leadership to include funding for summer enrichment opportunities for low-income children in the next COVID-19 relief package. "Due to COVID-19, millions of students have been learning remotely and missing out on extracurricular activities, sports, and summer camp in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines necessary to stem the spread of COVID-19. This interruption will result in academic achievement loss and … Continue Reading

February 10, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Join Colleagues to Reintroduce COVID-19 in Corrections Data Transparency Act

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they are joining colleagues to reintroduce the COVID-19 in Corrections Data Transparency Act, legislation that would require the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and state governments to collect and publicly report detailed statistics about COVID-19 in federal, state, and local correctional facilities. "Nearly a year after lockdowns started to be implemented across America … Continue Reading

February 09, 2021

Wyden, Rubio Urge Biden Administration to Press Turkey on Its Troubling Human Rights Record

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today urged the new Biden administration to press the Turkish government to improve its human rights record, which includes an increasingly authoritarian crackdown on dissent both domestically and abroad. The bipartisan letter signed by more than 50 other senators cited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for marginalizing domestic opposition, silencing or coopting critical media outlets, purging independent judges … Continue Reading

February 09, 2021

Merkley, Wyden Announce $1 Million in Federal Funding to Repair Detroit Water System Destroyed by Wildfire

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the City of Detroit is receiving a $1 million grant to support the rebuilding of the city's water system, which was destroyed by the Lionshead Fire in September 2020, during the state's unprecedented wildfire season. "When I went to Detroit to see up close the damage of the Lionshead fire and meet with affected Oregonians, I saw an unfathomable amount of destruction and heard heartbreaking stories of … Continue Reading

February 09, 2021

Wyden Joins Colleagues to Introduce Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency (SECURE) Act to Allow Qualifying Recipients to Apply for Permanent Residency

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he is co-sponsoring the SECURE Act, which will allow qualified Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients to apply for legal permanent residency. "Families facing threats in their native land deserve a path to citizenship, especially considering the danger and volatility they fled in their home countries," Wyden said. "I can't help but be reminded of how my Jewish parents lived in fear for … Continue Reading

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