Press Releases

October 27, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge State Department to Bolster Efforts to Protect Journalists

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with nine of their Senate colleagues, are pushing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration to increase efforts to protect journalists around the world, and hold foreign leaders accountable for suppressing freedom of the press. The lawmakers' letter to the State Department marks the recent anniversary of the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and resident of the U.S. who … Continue Reading

October 26, 2020

Wyden Votes 'No' on Amy Coney Barrett

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., voted 'no' on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court today. Wyden released the following statement: "The Republican agenda - throwing millions of Americans off their healthcare, overturning Roe and their myriad other priorities that threaten fundamental freedoms - is too unpopular to enact through legislation, so Republicans are working to enact it through the Courts. That's really what the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett is … Continue Reading

October 26, 2020

Wyden Takes to Senate Floor to Oppose Rushed SCOTUS Confirmation

Mr. President, everything that's happened since the untimely passing of the legendary Justice Ginsburg is a clear reminder that much of what goes on in Washington DC is not on the level. Right now, this country is hurting. Mass death. Mass unemployment. Mass hunger and suffering among children. The two sides in Congress ought to address those challenges together. Now more than ever, while so many people are fearful about the future, the rules we play by and the agreements we make ought to … Continue Reading

October 26, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Five Oregon Tribes Receive Expanded Access to Wireless Broadband

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that five Oregon Tribes have secured spectrum licenses from federal regulators that will help to close the digital divide by providing Tribes with expanded access to broadband and other advanced wireless services. The good news for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Coquille Indian Tribe, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Improve Soil Health, Crop Resilience and Address the Climate Crisis

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation to help address the climate crisis by encouraging farming practices that improve soil health and crop resilience and lower the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. "In 2020 alone, the climate crisis has delivered devastating wildfires, severe droughts and floods that decimated crops and with them the livelihoods of countless family farmers in Oregon and nationwide," Wyden said. "Tackling the climate crisis head on … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Wyden, Merkley to DEA: Interim Rule on Hemp Contradicts Congressional Intent by Criminalizing Intermediate Steps in Hemp Processing

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today expressed strong objections to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)'s unilateral and uncalled for actions on hemp that run counter to the 2018 Farm Bill and congressional intent by treating this legal crop as a Schedule I controlled substance whenever its THC content exceeds 0.3%. Authors of the provision in the 2018 Farm Bill to legalize hemp, Wyden and Merkley said in their letter to the DEA that the agency's Interim Final … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Wyden, Warren, Brown, Markey, Schatz Push for Investigation of CBP Phone Location Data Surveillance Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, today requested an inspector general investigation into Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) warrantless tracking of phones in the United States. As revealed by public contracts, CBP has paid a government contractor named Venntel nearly half a million dollars for access to a commercial database containing location data mined from … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Move to Block William Pendley’s Illegal Leadership at BLM: Don’t Tread on Our Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following William Perry Pendley's refusal to follow an order from a Federal district court judge to vacate his position as de facto Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined four of their Democratic colleagues in introducing legislation to immediately resolve the matter by barring the Department of Justice from appealing Pendley's case. The court has found that Pendley was illegally installed in his … Continue Reading

October 23, 2020

Wyden, Van Hollen, Davis Introduce Legislation to Improve Federal Programs to Promote Healthy Relationships and Financial Stability for Low-Income Families

WASHINGTON - Today, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Representative Danny Davis (D-Ill.) introduced legislation to make important improvements to our nation's child support program to ensure that low-income children and families get the financial support they need. The current child support program aims to ensure that all non-custodial parents contribute financially to their children. However, right now, if families receive … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, 135 Democratic Lawmakers to Senate and House Leadership: We Must Take Bold and Comprehensive Action to Prevent the Next Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with a group of 135 Democratic lawmakers to send a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to prioritize the development of comprehensive policy plans to prevent and mitigate the impact of future pandemics. In the letter, the lawmakers outline the steps necessary to prevent future pandemics while also noting that Congress must act to provide relief to Americans suffering from the current economic downturn … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Wyden, Leahy, Schumer, Merkley Ask National Guard for Wildfire Readiness Assessment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today led colleagues in asking the National Guard for a report on its readiness to help states prepare, fight and recover from wildfires. In a letter to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson, the senators wrote, "As devastating fires of historic proportion continue to ravage the United States, we ask you to provide us an assessment of the … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Blumenauer, Bonamici Demand Answers From DOJ Following Prolonged Deputations of State and Local Law Enforcement Officers in Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden teamed up with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1) today to press the Department of Justice (DOJ) for more information regarding the recent special deputation of state and local law enforcement officers in Oregon, which the DOJ now indicates will last for the remainder of the year against the wishes of local authorities. "Despite the temporary nature of the public safety emergency caused by … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Wyden and Schumer: FBI Must Not Launch Political Investigations to Influence the Election

Washington, D.C. - The FBI must reject pressure from Donald Trump to announce investigations of Joe Biden or his family to influence the presidential election, or else it risks doing lasting harm to our democracy and national security, Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. Following a widely questioned article in the New York Post, that alleged to have obtained … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Denounce Trump Administration’s Historically Low Refugee Resettlement Goal

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today denounced the Trump administration's proposal to cap refugee admissions at 15,000 for Fiscal Year 2021-the lowest ceiling in the history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program -and urged the administration to restore refugee admissions to their long-standing historic average. "The United States has a long, bipartisan legacy of providing refugees protection through resettlement-prior to 2016 we resettled an average of more than … Continue Reading

October 22, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Urge DeVos to Help 8.2 Million Federal Student Loan Borrowers Currently Unable to Access Relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are among 34 Senate Democrats urging Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to ensure all struggling federal student borrowers can gain access to crucial federal relief. Since March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has provided forbearance, waived interest, and halted collections for borrowers whose student loans were directly held by the U.S. Department of Education. But, according to new … Continue Reading

October 21, 2020

Wyden Calls for Disaster Assistance for Winegrape Growers Amid Destructive Wildfire Season

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked Senate appropriators to provide additional disaster assistance for winegrape growers devastated by smoke during this year's destructive wildfire season. In the 2019 disaster relief package, Congress provided $3 million through the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) for winegrowers whose grapes were damaged by wildfires in 2018 and 2019. Due to the fact that wildfires have burned millions of acres of land throughout … Continue Reading

October 21, 2020

Wyden, Merkley Co-sponsor Heroes Small Business Lifeline Act

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today co-sponsored a new comprehensive package of measures that would provide more than $370 billion to the hardest-hit, most vulnerable small businesses in Oregon and nationwide. Both senators said the HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act is a must to respond to the economic fallout of COVID-19 on small business, including minority-owned businesses and industries, such as restaurants and live venues. "Oregon is an overwhelmingly small … Continue Reading

October 19, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: Feds Investing $7.2 Million for Affordable Rental Housing in Morrow, Tillamook and Yamhill Counties

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed more than $7.2 million in federal resources to renovate affordable housing units in Heppner, McMinnville, Newberg, and Tillamook. "Oregonians working hard to pay rent as well as their bills for groceries, prescription drugs and more know full well how the pandemic's economic fallout has worsened the longstanding challenge of affordable housing," Wyden said. "This much-needed investment will help rural Oregonians to meet … Continue Reading

October 19, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Demand Trump Administration Abandon Plans for Expanded Biometric Data Collection in Immigration System

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), are urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to abandon plans to dramatically expand U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) collection of information about individuals' bodies, both non-citizens and U.S. citizens alike. The Department's proposal would allow DHS to collect biometric information as it … Continue Reading

October 16, 2020

Wyden, Merkley: La Pine Community Health Center Earns $5.5 Million Federal Investment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the La Pine Community Health Center has secured $5.5 million in federal resources that will help the non-profit clinic provide services to thousands of rural Central Oregon residents. "High-quality health care goes hand in hand with high quality of life in rural Oregon, especially now during a pandemic," Wyden said. "I'm gratified the La Pine Community Health Center has earned this investment that will help provide … Continue Reading

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