Press Releases

July 22, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: $120,000 Economic Development Grant to Aid Southern Oregon Businesses Recovering from 2020 Wildfires

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI) received a $120,000 grant to support businesses recovering from wildfire. "In the wake of horrific wildfires in 2020, investments in Main Street small businesses are key to the economic recovery of our local communities," Wyden said. "The Almeda fire devastated Southern Oregon, with nearly 2,800 homes and businesses completely destroyed. … Continue Reading


July 21, 2021

As Bootleg Fire Rages, Merkley, Wyden Introduce Package of Bills to Help Communities Harmed by Wildfire Smoke

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today introduced three bills to help the public, businesses, and agricultural operators combat the effects of wildfire smoke, and recover from the damage it causes: the Wildfire Smoke Emergency Declaration Act, the Smoke Planning and Research Act, and the Wildfire Smoke Relief Act. The introductions are the latest in a years-long effort by Merkley and Wyden to help prevent, fight, and recover from increasingly severe … Continue Reading


July 16, 2021

Merkley, DeFazio Lead Oregon Delegation to Push FEMA for Maximum Readiness for 2021 Wildfire Season

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)-who serves as the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-are leading U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), and Cliff Bentz (R-OR-2) in pushing FEMA for maximum readiness for Oregon's 2021 wildfire season, requesting … Continue Reading


July 15, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Improve Dam Safety, Modernize Hydropower, Restore Rivers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today introduced a bill that would invest $21.1 billion to enhance the safety, grid resilience benefits and power generating capacity of America's dams and provide historic funding to remove dams that are no longer necessary. Companion legislation to the Twenty-First Century Dams Act, was introduced last … Continue Reading


July 15, 2021

Wyden-Thune Bill to Improve Child Support Enforcement for Native American Tribes Passes Senate

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and John Thune applauded the Senate for passing their bill this week to improve child support enforcement for Native American tribes by allowing the 60 tribes that operate their own child support agencies to access the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program to collect past-due child support from non-custodial parents. The bipartisan legislation would also create parity between tribes and states by allowing tribal child support agencies to obtain other … Continue Reading


July 14, 2021

Key Senate Committee Advances Wyden Priorities With Energy Infrastructure Bill

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today voted to advance an energy infrastructure package that includes essential priorities from Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., including securing the power grid from extreme weather and natural disasters to prevent severe wildfires; funding western water and drought assistance; promoting collaborative forestry; and renewing funding for rural communities for essential resources like schools and emergency services. "As the West … Continue Reading


July 14, 2021

Wyden, Merkley to Education Department: Protect Student Borrowers’ Wages and Benefits When Payments Resume

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked how the Department of Education (DoEd) plans to support student borrowers in default as the scheduled end of paused student loan payments, collections and interest approaches in October. "With student loan and interest payments scheduled to resume on October 1, 2021, and a wave of loan delinquencies and defaults likely to follow, we are concerned about the Department resuming these payment collections and are … Continue Reading


July 14, 2021

Wyden Co-sponsors Legislation to Support Direct Care Workforce and Family Caregivers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said today he is co-sponsoring legislation that would authorize more than $1 billion to support the direct care workforce and family caregivers in Oregon and nationwide. "Direct care and family care workers helping Oregon families wanting the best for their parents, children or loved ones with a disability need resources for their essential work," said Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "This longstanding challenge of a fair wage, improved … Continue Reading


July 13, 2021

Merkley, Wyden, Bipartisan Colleagues Push to Include Support for National Guard Firefighting Efforts in Upcoming Funding Bill

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley today led a bipartisan group of 13 of his Senate colleagues-including U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)-in pushing leaders of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to include robust funding in the fiscal year 2022 funding bill for the National Guard to support wildland firefighting efforts in communities across western states, which are already facing severe drought and wildfires. There are currently more than 12,200 firefighters … Continue Reading


July 08, 2021

Oregon Delegation Pushes Federal Agencies to Prepare for 2021 Wildfire Season

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, alongside Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), and Cliff Bentz (R-OR-02), are pushing agencies in charge of federal wildfire response to step up preparedness efforts for the 2021 wildfire season-which could be as bad or worse than the unprecedented 2020 season. In a letter to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture, … Continue Reading


July 08, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Submit Public Comment on Rulemaking to Department of Education, Urge Accountability of For-profit Colleges

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said today he joined 11 colleagues in sending a public comment to the U.S. Department of Education regarding its upcoming accountability rulemaking related to improving program integrity, oversight accountability, and consumer protection for institutions of higher education that receive taxpayer-funded federal financial aid. The letter laid out the senators' priorities for rulemaking, urging the Education Department to address the Trump … Continue Reading


July 07, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Urge Education Department to Expand Debt Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined colleagues in urging Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to expand student debt relief in the Department's upcoming higher education rulemaking. In a letter to Secretary Cardona, the members highlighted the need for policies that improve and expand our existing student loan repayment and forgiveness programs to ensure borrowers can access the relief they are owed. Specifically, the Senators urged Secretary Cardona to make key … Continue Reading


July 07, 2021

Oregon Delegation Announces Major Step Up in Recovery Resources for Oregon Following 2020 Labor Day Fires

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, alongside Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), today announced that the federal government has agreed to pay 100 percent of the costs associated with debris removal and emergency protective measures following last year's Labor Day fires. The Oregon delegation pushed the White House four times to make this determination, citing estimates … Continue Reading


July 06, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Announce $5.4 Million American Rescue Plan Investment in Head Start for Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced $5.4 million in Head Start funding going to Oregon from the American Rescue Plan. "Head Start programs give low-income kids in Oregon and nationwide a leg up, preparing them to excel in school," Wyden said. "It's critical to get the Head Start programs of our state back in person as quickly and safely as possible to make sure Oregon's youngsters don't fall behind. This funding from President Biden's American Rescue … Continue Reading


June 30, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Statements on Nomination of Jennifer Sung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today issued the following statements about the Biden administration's nomination of Jennifer Sung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. "I wholeheartedly applaud the Biden administration for its nomination of Jennifer Sung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Ms. Sung brings broad and extensive experience to this judicial opening. She has worked with distinction in public service on Oregon's … Continue Reading


June 30, 2021

Wyden Statement on Biden Administration’s Announcement on Response Strategy For 2021 Wildfire Season

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today commended the Biden administration for responding to his request for the administration's response plan for the 2021 wildfire season. "With record-breaking heat here in Oregon and across the American West, the next catastrophic wildfire weighs heavily on the minds of every living soul in the West. Fortunately, we now have an administration taking this crisis seriously," Wyden said. "At my request, the Biden administration has announced its comprehensive … Continue Reading


June 29, 2021

Wyden Introduces Children’s Savings Accounts to Invest in Economic Future of Nation’s Children

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to ensure every child in America has an opportunity to be economically secure, Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have introduced legislation that would establish children's savings accounts, seeded annually with $500 in government contributions, for every child whose parent(s) or guardian earns less than $100,000 per year. "Many Americans don't begin to save for the future until later in life, making it far more difficult … Continue Reading


June 29, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Co-Sponsor Legislation to Impose Sanctions on Perpetrators of Global Violence against LGBTI Communities

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley with colleagues reintroduced legislation that would impose sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals abroad. "No one should face persecution because of who they love or how they identify," Wyden said. "America must stand with the global LGBTI community and make it clear that LGBTI rights are human … Continue Reading


June 28, 2021

Wyden Releases New Bill To Protect Journalists’ First Amendment Rights Against Government Surveillance

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released new legislation to protect reporters and journalists against unnecessary government surveillance that can chill First Amendment activities. Wyden proposed these new legal restrictions on government surveillance of reporters following recent revelations about the Trump administration's abusive, politicized surveillance of reporters at CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post. "The Trump Administration spied on reporters it … Continue Reading


June 25, 2021

Wyden, Merkley Unveil Key Legislation to Make Historic Investment in Care Economy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they have introduced legislation with colleagues that would make a historic investment in home- and community-based services by expanding access to quality home care services, making it easier for families to navigate the process of making a long-term care choice, and providing good-paying jobs for caregivers. "For too long, American families have struggled to help their mom, dad, relative or child with a disability find … Continue Reading

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