Press Releases

August 13, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Will 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 said today they will introduce legislation that would strengthen the rights of landowners facing eminent domain claims from private companies exploiting public interest provisions to confiscate property for natural gas pipeline development. Both senators said their bills come in response to the natural gas industry's increased use of eminent domain for pipeline development and the failure of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission … Continue Reading

August 12, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Press White House To Restore Full Funding For National Guard’s COVID-19 Response

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden wrote to President Trump today asking him to restore full funding to states to cover the cost of the National Guard responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The senators were joined by 32 of their colleagues in seeking answers and a restoration of the lost funding. Since March, National Guard units in every state and territory have supported response to help Americans, from distributing much-needed food, to running remote … Continue Reading

August 12, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Confederated Tribe of Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw Indians to Receive $900,000 Federal COVID-19 Grant

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the Confederated Tribe of Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw Indians will receive a $900,000 federal grant to help alleviate a housing shortage and reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 "Additional housing provides a vital defense against the spread of this pandemic that has landed so hard on tribes in Oregon and nationwide," Wyden said. "These federal funds for the Confederated Tribe of Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw Indians … Continue Reading

August 12, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Welcome $2.2 Million in Glacier Study Grants for OSU, UO

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that a combined $2.2 million in new collaborative research grants for Oregon State University and the University of Oregon to study tidewater glaciers will generate key climate change data. Noting that sea-level rise will affect millions of people in coastal communities within the next several decades, the National Science Foundation (NSF) said its grants will study tidewater glaciers' role in that threat. "Comprehensive … Continue Reading

August 11, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Blumenauer, Bonamici Join Oregonians in Calling for Long-Overdue Senate Action on Coronavirus Relief

PORTLAND, OR - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, today joined more than 80 Oregonians in a virtual event calling for the Senate to finally act on a fourth coronavirus relief package. The coronavirus has killed over 163,000 Americans and cost more than 40 million their jobs, but despite the fact that the House passed an additional relief package nearly three months ago, the Senate's leadership has refused to vote since … Continue Reading

August 11, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Blumenauer, Bonamici Demand Fair Census, Slam Trump Administration Decision to Cut Count Short

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), are demanding that the Trump administration reverse course on its decision to undermine the 2020 census by closing the data collection period on September 30, a full month earlier than planned. If current response rates hold, only 70% of Oregonians would be counted before the Trump administration's new deadline-which could jeopardize funding … Continue Reading

August 11, 2020

Wyden and Grijalva on New Interior Inspector General Report: Officials “Orchestrated A Cover-up To Protect Secretary Bernhardt During His Confirmation”

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., today called for a criminal investigation into Interior Solicitor General Daniel Jorjani after a new report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) confirmed that DOI political appointees may have violated a court order by withholding documents to protect Secretary David Bernhardt during his confirmation process. The IG's findings further clarify … Continue Reading

August 11, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $6.5 Million in Transit Grants for Oregon

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Lane Transit and Rogue Valley Transportation Districts will receive $3,952,851, and $2,687,000, respectively, in federal grants to support critical bus and bus facility upgrades. The Rogue Valley Transportation District's grant will help replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment. The Lane Transit District will use its award to replace costly older buses with newer, zero emission … Continue Reading

August 07, 2020

Wyden Calls for Inspector General to Investigate Postal Service Policy Changes and Delivery Delays Under New Trump-Appointed Postmaster General

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today requested that the United States Postal Service (USPS) Inspector General investigate all recent staffing and policy changes put in place under former Trump megadonor and current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The letter from Wyden and eight colleagues from the Senate and House comes as recent changes have slowed mail delivery, threatening the well-being of millions of Americans who rely on the Postal Service for delivery of Social Security checks, … Continue Reading

August 07, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $7 Million to Help First-Generation, Low-Income Students, and Students with Disabilities Succeed in College

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that over $7 million in TRIO grants are headed to 19 higher education institutions across Oregon to support first-generation, low-income students, and students with disabilities through the Student Support Services Program. Students who receive the grant will have access to tutoring, assistance in course selection, financial aid advice, guidance on scholarship opportunities, and more. "I was the first in my … Continue Reading

August 07, 2020

Wyden Urges Trump Administration to Renew Foreign Journalist Visas

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) to renew J-1 visas for foreign journalists employed by public international broadcasters after reports indicated the agency was considering otherwise. In a letter to USAGM CEO Michael Pack, Wyden wrote, "The USAGM and its grantees employ foreign journalists to carry out the agency's mission to 'inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.' … Continue Reading

August 07, 2020

Wyden Presses For Outfitters and Guides to Receive Financial Help in COVID-19 Package

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged Senate leadership to help the outdoor economy in Oregon and nationwide by providing funds for outfitters and guides in the next COVID-19 package. Wyden noted that although the pandemic forced many outfitters and guides to suspend parts of their season, their businesses have largely been unable to have access to emergency funds in earlier coronavirus relief packages. "These businesses represent an important component of the outdoor economy, … Continue Reading

August 07, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Join Colleagues to Introduce Comprehensive Legislation to Help Achieve Environmental Justice for All

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley recently joined U.S. Sens. Kamala D. Harris, D-Calif., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., to introduce the Environmental Justice for All Act to improve health equity and climate justice for all, particularly underserved communities and communities of color. As the nation reckons with systemic racism, the fight for clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment cannot be disentangled from the fight for justice. … Continue Reading

August 06, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Introduce Resolution Celebrating the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

WASHINGTON - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today introduced a Senate Resolution to recognize, commemorate, and celebrate the 55th anniversary of the enactment of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. President Lyndon Johnson proposed the legislation just days after the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during which the late Representative John Lewis was savagely beaten by law enforcement officers while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on what was to … Continue Reading

August 06, 2020

Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Study, Address Health Impacts of Social Inequities on Communities of Color

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today he is co-sponsoring legislation that would study the role of unemployment, hunger, lack of affordable housing, education and other social determinants in worsening health inequities for communities of color. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, Wyden has prioritized addressing systemic racism in the nation's health care system and the economy as a whole. "COVID-19 spotlights what's been true for far too long - that … Continue Reading

August 06, 2020

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Close Dangerous Loophole to Protect Domestic Abuse Survivors

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and colleagues to introduce legislation to protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence by closing loopholes that allow domestic abusers to legally obtain weapons. In 2018, Oregon closed the "boyfriend loophole" by expanding the definition of intimate partner to include people who weren't married, didn't share children or hadn't lived together. Today's legislation would expand the … Continue Reading

August 06, 2020

Wyden Joins Colleagues in Fight to Secure Child Care Relief in Next Senate COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week joined U.S. Sens. Tina Smith, D-Minn., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and colleagues in calling on Senate leadership to prioritize the inclusion of their plan for a $50 billion child care bailout in the next COVID-19 relief package. The Child Care is Essential Act would stabilize the child care system, keep providers in business, and ensure parents are able to go back to work when it is safe to return. It was recently passed in the U.S. … Continue Reading

August 06, 2020

Wyden and Clarke Introduce Bill to Eliminate Barriers to Fixing Critical Medical Equipment During the Pandemic

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y., today introduced legislation to allow trained experts to maintain and repair essential medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and temporarily suspend restrictions that are blocking needed repairs. The Critical Medical Infrastructure Right-to-Repair Act of 2020 would allow trained repair technicians to more easily access information and tools required to complete maintenance and repair of critical medical … Continue Reading

August 06, 2020

As Oregonians Report Health Issues, Wyden Demands Answers from DHS and DOJ on the Health Impacts of Tear Gas Used Against Peaceful Protesters

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today pressed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the agencies' sustained use of tear gas against peaceful protesters in Portland, Ore., following reports that a number of Oregonians have reported irregularities in their menstrual cycles after being tear gassed. In a letter, Wyden demanded Attorney General William Barr and DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf answer questions on the negative impacts … Continue Reading

August 05, 2020

Wyden, Cortez Masto Propose Bill to Reduce Police Violence During Mental Health Crises

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., today proposed a new bill to help states adopt mobile crisis response teams that can be dispatched when a person is experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder (SUD) crisis instead of immediately involving law enforcement. "It's long past time to re-imagine policing in ways that reduce violence and structural racism, and health care can play a key role in that … Continue Reading

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