Press Releases

December 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Major Investments in Oregon Communities Included in Spending Package

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley-who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee-and Ron Wyden today announced a wide range of investments that will benefit Oregon and are included in the fiscal year 2021 spending bill that has passed the Senate. The next step is for the president to sign the bill into law. Taken together, the investments announced by the senators impact virtually all communities in every corner of the state, addressing some of Oregonians' biggest … Continue Reading

December 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden Announce Investments in Rural Communities Included in Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley-who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture and rural development-and Ron Wyden today announced that the Senate has passed a fiscal year 2021 agriculture spending bill that will benefit Oregon's farms and families. The next step for the bill is to be signed into law by the president. "In every corner of our state, I've heard about the need for investments in our farms and rural industries, … Continue Reading

December 20, 2020

Wyden Statement on the Broadband Provisions in COVID Relief Package

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement on the broadband provisions in the COVID relief package, which include his Emergency Broadband Connections Act, providing $3.2 billion to keep working families connected to the internet. It provides a $50 a month emergency broadband benefit for anyone laid off or furloughed during the pandemic: "Broadband connections are essential for Americans seeking to get new jobs, and to access school, health care and other government services. … Continue Reading

December 20, 2020

Wyden: COVID Relief Bill Contains Multiple Wins for Oregon Families and Small Business

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said tonght that the COVID relief bill contains significant Oregon wins for top priorities he fought to include for families and small business -- broadband assistance, help for renters, improved access to capital for women and minority-owned businesses, and more. Those gains, he said, come in addition to the relief package's provisions Wyden negotiated on unemployment insurance for Oregonians who are out of work through no fault of their own, health … Continue Reading

December 16, 2020

Wyden Presses for Relief for Foster Youth Facing Unique COVID-19 Challenges

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide relief for young people in the foster care system as they continue to face a number of unique challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis. In a letter to Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson, Wyden and 11 other senators asked that HHS work with states to extend relief to foster families and implement temporary and long-term changes to help foster youth weather this crisis … Continue Reading

December 14, 2020

Wyden, Merkley, Senators Press Trump Administration On Decision Not to Pre-Order More Doses of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine, Need for Transparent Plan Going Forward

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked top Operation Warp Speed officials about recent reports that earlier this year the Trump Administration declined to buy additional doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine when given the opportunity. The letter from Wyden, Merkley and 16 other senators to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Chief Advisor of Operation Warp Speed, and General Gustave Perna, Chief Operating Office of Operation Warp Speed, expresses concern about the Trump … Continue Reading

December 11, 2020

Wyden Votes No on Defense Policy Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement after voting against the conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): "I want to be clear that I support plenty of provisions in this NDAA. I even introduced or negotiated some of the language to improve the bill - like anti-money laundering provisions and amendments to push the Pentagon toward encrypting its computers and require the Army to provide a plan to finish cleaning up the … Continue Reading

December 11, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Western Senators Push Senate Leadership To Provide Housing Assistance To Communities Impacted by 2020 Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with with U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to push Senate leaders to deliver critical housing assistance to Americans struggling to find reliable shelter in the wake of catastrophic wildfire damage in western states. This year alone, fires in the west burned over 5.8 million acres, claimed over 30 lives, and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their … Continue Reading

December 10, 2020

Wyden, Portman Introduce Open Courts Act to Reform Federal Court Record System to Ensure Easy & Free Use For All Americans

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rob Portman (R-OH) have introduced the Open Courts Act to reform the federal government's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), a database of federal judicial filings. This consensus legislation builds off the Electronic Court Records Reform Act that Wyden and Portman introduced in 2019. The PACER system is outdated and charges exorbitant fees to users. This bill will reform PACER to solve these problems and ensure easy and free … Continue Reading

December 10, 2020

Wyden, Casey Release New Report Showing Nursing Home Rates of Death and Infection are Rising Rapidly

Washington, D.C. - As the nation enters what experts predict will be the most severe months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of COVID-19 deaths and infections among residents and workers in nursing homes is rapidly rising. Today, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, and Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Special Committee on Aging, are releasing a report that shows that the already dire situation in nursing homes is worsening. In November, more … Continue Reading

December 09, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge Help for Working Class in COVID-19 Relief Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined four of their colleagues in urging their fellow senators to recognize the enormity of the economic and public-health crisis posed by the pandemic, by ensuring that any COVID-19 relief proposal includes $1,200 in direct payments to adults and $500 to their children, and rejecting any provisions that give liability shields to corporations that threaten the health and safety of their workers and customers. In a letter to … Continue Reading

December 09, 2020

Wyden, Colleagues Press FBI and DHS for Information on QAnon Threat Posed to America and Abroad

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined his colleagues in requesting from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a written assessment to Congress on the threat posed by QAnon in the United States and abroad. The senators also requested information on the role of foreign influence operations in the inception and amplification of QAnon conspiracy theories. In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Principal Deputy … Continue Reading

December 08, 2020

Wyden, Neguse Lead Call for Wildfire Relief Funds to be Included in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., today led their colleagues in sending a letter to House and Senate leadership requesting that funds for wildfire risk mitigation and recovery efforts be included in the next COVID-19 relief package. "Entire communities in Oregon and across the West were leveled to ash in the wake of this year's wildfire season-lives lost and homes and small businesses destroyed, and all on top of a life-threatening global … Continue Reading

December 08, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Feds to Begin Expedited Review of Klamath Dam Removal Plan

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today wrote federal regulators to urge consideration of an amended application for the Lower Klamath Project and begin environmental reviews as soon as possible of the plan's four proposed dam removals. The Oregon senators' letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Secretary Kimberly D. Bose comes in the wake of the Nov. 17 announcement by Oregon and California agreeing to become co-licensees with the Klamath River Renewal … Continue Reading

December 07, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Urge Inclusion of County Payments in End-of-Year Federal Funding Efforts

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that the COVID-19 pandemic is one more reason that payments to counties under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) programs should be prioritized in a year-ending appropriations bill. "In order to assist these rural counties' response to the current public health crisis, as well as to invest in infrastructure, schools, and law enforcement, Congress must include a reauthorization of SRS," Wyden … Continue Reading

December 04, 2020

Wyden Applauds House Passage of Cannabis Legalization Legislation

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded House passage of the MORE Act, legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level - and includes Wyden's proposal, developed in partnership with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to establish clear rules of the road to responsibly tax and regulate cannabis. Wyden released the following statement: "Today commonsense and justice prevailed, and the federal government is closer than ever to closing the chapter on failed cannabis prohibition - a … Continue Reading

December 04, 2020

Wyden Calls For Virtual Exam Software Companies to Improve Equity, Accessibility & Privacy For Students

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is pressing three of the largest virtual testing companies used by schools and testing administrators amid the COVID-19 pandemic to address alarming equity, accessibility, and privacy issues faced by students using the platforms. Recent reports indicate students, particularly students of color and those with disabilities, have had severe issues using the software, been locked out of tests, or wrongly accused of cheating. For example, students of color … Continue Reading

December 02, 2020

Wyden, Warren, Markey, Schatz Secure DHS IG Investigation of CBP Phone Location Data Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, today announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will launch an inspector general investigation into Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) warrantless tracking of phones in the United States following an inquiry from the senators earlier this year. "If federal agencies are tracking American citizens without warrants, the public deserves answers and … Continue Reading

December 02, 2020

Wyden Statement on Trump's Demands to Repeal Section 230 in NDAA

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on Donald Trump's demands to repeal Section 230 in the NDAA: "I'd like to start for the Blazers, but it's not going to happen either. It is pathetic that Trump refuses to help unemployed workers, while he spends his time tweeting unhinged election conspiracies and demanding Congress repeal the foundation of free speech … Continue Reading

December 01, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill to Ensure More Wildfire Resilient Power Grid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced new legislation to incentivize utility companies to do more to reduce wildfire risks as aging power infrastructure ignite wildfires in Oregon and across the West. Wyden and Merkley's Wildfire Resilient Power Grid Act of 2020 would ensure power companies do their part to reduce the risk of wildfires through power system upgrades such as the undergrounding of power lines, fire safety equipment installation and proper … Continue Reading

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