Press Releases

October 01, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Demand Trump Administration Develop Vaccine Strategy That Addresses Coronavirus’ Disproportionate Impacts on Communities of Color

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley led 19 of his colleagues-including Senator Ron Wyden-today in demanding that the Trump administration develop a national vaccine distribution strategy that both recognizes and addresses the alarming racial disparities in rates of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. The senators' letter follows the release of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) long-overdue guide to state, territorial, and local public … Continue Reading

October 01, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Walden Announce House Passage of Critical Fix to Help Klamath Irrigators

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representative Greg Walden, today announced that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a critically needed fix to the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that will provide relief to Klamath Basin irrigators who have been hard-hit by drought. The legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate in July of this year, and is now headed to the president's desk to be signed into law. In 2018, WRDA included … Continue Reading

September 30, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Announce $150 Million for Low-Income Students Across Oregon

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced schools across Oregon will receive over $150 million in federal support to better educate low-income students. "As schools grapple with serving a quality education to their students in the middle of a global pandemic, it's unfortunately become even easier for poorer kids to slip through the cracks," Wyden said. "Every student in Oregon deserves a fair shot at success, and this $150 million in federal support will … Continue Reading

September 30, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Warm Springs Community Action Team Secures Federal Grant for Small Business Development

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the Warm Springs Community Action Team has earned a $354,558 federal grant for its small business acceleration project. "Tribal communities in Oregon are working hard to generate jobs in the face of challenges that include longstanding injustices and the one-two punch in 2020 of wildfires combined with the economic fallout from COVID-19," Wyden said. "Today's announcement will help this non-profit develop job-creating … Continue Reading

September 29, 2020

Oregon Delegation Calls for Extension of Deadline to Claim Economic Impact Payments

WASHINGTON, DC -Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici led the Oregon Congressional delegation - Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, and Kurt Schrader - in calling on the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to extend the deadline to claim Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) as Oregonians recover from wildfires. "Historic wildfires have taken lives and destroyed homes and businesses across Oregon," the Members wrote. "Our … Continue Reading

September 26, 2020

Wyden Statement on the Nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Serve on the U.S. Supreme Court

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement in response to the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court: "Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have made it clear they will pull out all the stops to jam through another right-wing Supreme Court nominee - even if that means breaking their own rule pertaining to election-year appointments. If you don't trust Donald Trump and Senate Republicans with your health care, … Continue Reading

September 25, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: “White nationalist hate groups, with their racist rants and glorification of violence, have no place in our hometown or anywhere else in America.”

Portland - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today issued the following joint statement about the planned gathering in Portland by the "Proud Boys" and other extremist right-wing groups: "White nationalist hate groups, with their racist rants and glorification of violence, have no place in our hometown or anywhere else in America. We will always defend the First Amendment right of peaceful demonstrations in Portland and everywhere, no matter how odious we find their views, but reject … Continue Reading

September 25, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Lead Western Democrats, Committee Leaders in Asking Donald Trump to Further Mobilize the Federal Response to Unprecedented Wildfires Ravaging the West

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D- Ore., today led Western Democrats and Ranking Members of key Senate Committees on wildfire relief and prevention in asking Donald Trump to provide additional federal assistance to improve the response to the wildfires and assist the states, Tribes and communities grappling with fires and their aftermath. Wyden and Merkley were joined in their request to Donald Trump by Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., … Continue Reading

September 25, 2020

Oregon Members Demand Answers on Reports of DHS Spying on Portland Protesters’ Phones

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, with Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, today demanded answers from the Department of Homeland Security, following new reports that the department spied on Portland protesters' phones. "These recent reports, which allege that DHS has deployed high-tech surveillance technologies against protesters in Portland, raise serious concerns, which Congress has a responsibility to investigate," they wrote in a … Continue Reading

September 25, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Blumenauer, Bonamici Push Trump Administration to Suspend Public Charge Rule Amid Dual Crises of COVID-19 and Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, are pushing the Trump administration to suspend the public charge rule-which can jeopardize an individual's path to obtaining a visa or green card if they access public services-to ensure that all Oregonians impacted by the wildfires and the coronavirus are able to seek necessary care and emergency assistance. "In response to the devastation caused by the … Continue Reading

September 25, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Portland to Receive $3.2 Million for Lead Paint Hazard Reduction

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the city of Portland has secured a $3.2 million federal grant for lead-based paint hazard reduction in 185 housing units for low and very low-income families with children. "All children no matter their families' income levels deserve homes that are safe and free of hazardous materials," Wyden said. "I'm glad these federal funds are heading to Portland and will keep fighting for all parents in Oregon to be secure in … Continue Reading

September 25, 2020

Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Reauthorize SBA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced that he is co-sponsoring legislation to reauthorize a federal program that gives small businesses the opportunity to take out low-interest loans for putting in place mitigation measures to protect their property from future disaster damage. "With the rapidly growing climate crisis, our communities are being hit with bigger and more dangerous natural disasters," said Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. "In the West, this … Continue Reading

September 24, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Blumenauer, DeFazio Introduce Legislation to Ensure Equal Access to Disaster Relief for Cannabis Businesses

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., today introduced legislation that would ensure state-legal cannabis businesses can qualify for disaster recovery programs like any other business. As wildfires continue to rage across the West, law-abiding, state-legal cannabis businesses in Oregon and elsewhere are shut out from disaster recovery programs simply because of the federal government's … Continue Reading

September 24, 2020

Oregon Delegation Presses Trump Administration to Expedite Burned Area Emergency Response for Oregon Wildfires

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today led Sen. Jeff Merkley and Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici in pressing the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Interior to expedite the initiation and completion of the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program for wildfires in Oregon. "A combination of climate change, historic droughts, a lack of proper forest management, dry forest conditions, and strong winds have brought a series … Continue Reading

September 24, 2020

Wyden, Warren Call for Investigation of IRS Location Tracking Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., today requested an inspector general investigation of the Internal Revenue Service's use of a commercial location tracking service without a court order, after agency officials confirmed the existence of the program this summer. The IRS criminal investigations unit (IRS-CI) paid for access to a commercial surveillance database containing location data from millions of Americans' mobile phones. In a call with … Continue Reading

September 24, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Prohibit Federal Law Enforcement Officers From Wearing Camouflage Patterns in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with 32 of their Senate Democratic colleagues, today introduced legislation to prohibit federal law enforcement officers from wearing camouflage patterns in the United States in most cases, since they can easily be confused for military personnel or even extremist para-military groups when doing so. General Mark A. Milley stated at a House Armed Services Committee hearing in July: "You want a clear definition between … Continue Reading

September 24, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Senate Colleagues Introduce Bill To Stop Trump Administration’s Political Interference In COVID-19 Response

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with 32 of their Senate Democratic colleagues, have introduced the Science and Transparency Over Politics (STOP) Act, legislation to fight back against political interference by the Trump administration in the work of experts and the nation's public health agencies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. "More than 200,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus-more than in any other developed nation-not because of bad … Continue Reading

September 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Defend Property Owners’ Rights from Eminent Domain Claims for Natural Gas Pipelines

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced their legislation that would strengthen the rights of landowners facing eminent domain claims from private companies exploiting public interest provisions to confiscate property in Oregon and nationwide for natural gas pipeline development. The bills, which Wyden and Merkley first announced in August, come in response to the natural gas industry's increased use of eminent domain for pipeline development and the failure … Continue Reading

September 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Push Federal Agencies to Respond to COVID Needs, Make Masks and Gloves Reimbursable Under FSA Guidelines

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are pushing the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Personnel Management to voice workers' concerns over the continued inflexibility of Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) for workers, including those in the federal government. Currently, workers who are following CDC guidelines by wearing personal protective equipment in their workplaces are not able to receive reimbursements for masks and gloves without a … Continue Reading

September 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Gillibrand Introduce Bill To End Long, Unreasonable Lines at Polling Places and Restore Voting Rights

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced legislation to end hours-long lines at polling places that suppress hundreds of thousands of Americans' votes, and to restore our Constitutional rights to vote in free and fair elections. Studies estimate that nearly 3 million voters waited more than 30 minutes to vote in 2018, and that more than 500,000 Americans were denied the ability to vote because of long lines, with … Continue Reading

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