Press Releases

September 12, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Funding for Rural Communities Hit by Severe Winter Storms

Portland, OR - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that $150 million is now available to help rural communities recover from substantial damages and losses caused by severe winter storms earlier this year, which closed roads and left countless families without power for weeks. Nine Oregon counties-Coos, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Umatilla, and Wheeler-are eligible to apply for the grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which were … Continue Reading

September 11, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Emergency Relief for Wine and Hazelnut Growers Now Available

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that millions of dollars appropriated in the bipartisan disaster relief package this summer is now available for Oregon wine and hazelnut growers. "When disaster strikes, the communities who've been hit need a direct line in DC to the folks who can help them. One of the reasons I wanted to be on the Senate Appropriations Committee was to make sure that Oregon's interests were represented in Congress, and this … Continue Reading

September 11, 2019

Wyden Demands Answers from Commerce IG on Reports of Suppression and Retaliation at NOAA

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wrote this week to U.S. Department of Commerce Inspector General Peggy Gustafson demanding answers following recent reports of improper behavior at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), including one that Commerce Department officials threatened to fire NOAA employees for contradicting the president's false assertions about the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. In the letter led by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and signed by 12 … Continue Reading

September 09, 2019

Oregon Lawmakers Call on EPA to Protect Pollinators from Toxic Pesticide

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici today expressed concerns over the recent decision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve new uses and lift restrictions for sulfoxaflor, a pesticide recognized by the EPA as a danger to pollinators. In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the lawmakers highlighted concerns from beekeepers and other stakeholders in Oregon about the potential … Continue Reading

September 06, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce More Than $7.8 Million for Opioid Treatment Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced more than $7.8 million in federal grants that will support efforts to treat and prevent opioid addiction-one of Oregon's most pressing issues as communities across the state face an increase in opioid-related deaths. "I have heard heart-wrenching stories from Oregonians who have lost loved ones after a prescription for an injury or treatment turned into an addiction," Merkley said. "The opioid crisis will … Continue Reading

September 04, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Condemn Trump Decision to Divert Funding from Military Projects in Oregon, Across the Nation for Vanity Border Wall

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today condemned the Trump administration decision to divert funding from congressionally-approved military construction in Oregon and across the country to fund Donald Trump's border wall. Wyden and Merkley released the following statement: "This decision is both an abuse of presidential authority and a dereliction of duty. Trump's border wall is a cruel vanity project, and nothing more. Americans should not foot the bill, and … Continue Reading

September 03, 2019

Wyden, Crapo, Merkley, Risch Call on TriWest to Ensure Urgent Care Access for Veterans in Rural Communities

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, today pressed TriWest Healthcare Alliance on its implementation of the new urgent care benefit under the VA MISSION Act following reports that veterans in rural Oregon and Idaho are unable to access the benefit. The senators in a letter to the TriWest President and Chief Executive Officer David J. McIntyre, Jr. noted that veterans in rural communities in their state have … Continue Reading

August 30, 2019

Wyden Statement on Caucus Cybersecurity

Washington, D.C.- Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement today on new cybersecurity recommendations for state party caucuses. "One of the biggest lessons from 2016 is that election officials and parties must make cybersecurity a key consideration for every decision in our elections process. The DNC is doing the right thing by insisting on strong security measures for voters who caucus at home. Intelligence officials have made clear that foreign governments will exploit … Continue Reading

August 29, 2019

Wyden, Colleagues Demand Trump Administration End Remain in Mexico Policy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week joined Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and 22 of their Democratic Senate colleagues in calling on the Trump administration to stop restricting access to the U.S. asylum system and end its Remain in Mexico policy. The deceptively named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy blocks legal asylum seekers from being in the United States while they await court hearings in their cases, forcing them to wait in dangerous cities in Mexico for … Continue Reading

August 28, 2019

Wyden, Merkley: OSU to Get More Than $400,000 for Earthquake Research

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon State University will receive more than $400,000 in federal funds to research how large earthquakes, like ones that could strike in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, would affect the western electrical grid. "At a time that scientists are sounding the alarm about the potential for a devastating earthquake to one day hit Oregon and the entire West Coast, it's vital to understand the risks of a quake of … Continue Reading

August 21, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Send Names of Four Finalists for Judicial Vacancy to the White House

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today sent to the White House the names of four finalists for a vacant seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The four finalists were chosen after review by a bipartisan selection committee comprised of attorneys appointed by Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and Congressman Greg Walden. Following interviews with eight applicants for the vacancy, each committee member ranked the candidates. The four highest ranked … Continue Reading

August 15, 2019

Wyden Welcomes FCC Move Toward New National Three-Digit Mental Health and Suicide Number

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today welcomed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff recommendation to designate a new nationwide three-digit phone hotline for people facing a mental health crisis and for suicide prevention. Citing alarming suicide statistics from Oregon and throughout out the United States, Wyden had strongly urged the FCC in recent months to take such a step. "A three-digit number designated for people in a mental health crisis or considering suicide can … Continue Reading

August 09, 2019

Wyden Presses FCC to Protect Consumers from Cellphone Fraud

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action that protects consumers from cellphone fraud and helps victims to understand their recourse options. "Consumer protection is a core responsibility of the FCC," Wyden wrote the FCC in a letter signed by eight colleagues. "While we recognize that consumers can take steps to better protect themselves from this fraud by securing their cellphone account with a pin number through their … Continue Reading

August 09, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Announce Investment in Conservation Program to Protect Whales Off Oregon Coast

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced a $26,205 federal grant awarded to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for its program to improve environmental conditions for whales off the Oregon Coast by reducing the risk of whales entangled in fishing gear. "Oregon has a proud history of conservation, and fishing is the lifeblood of our coastal communities economies," Wyden said. "This important investment is a win-win on both fronts, protecting threatened … Continue Reading

August 07, 2019

Wyden on Reports that Trump May Cut Refugee Cap to Zero: “A Shameful Assault on America’s Most Basic Values”

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week called on the Trump administration to reject its misguided plans to set the refugee cap for 2020 at zero, which would effectively shut down refugee admissions for the year. In a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Wyden called the reports "a shameful assault on some of America's most basic values." He urged the … Continue Reading

August 02, 2019

Wyden Statement on Trump Withdrawing his Nomination of John Ratcliffe for Director of National Intelligence

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on Donald Trump withdrawing his nomination of John Ratcliffe for Director of National Intelligence:“That John Ratcliffe was even nominated speaks to the deep disregard for America’s national security at the core of this rotten administration. Given the widespread opposition to Ratcliffe’s nomination, Donald Trump had little choice but to seek a new … Continue Reading

August 02, 2019

Wyden Introduces Bill of Rights for Airline Passengers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., this week to introduce comprehensive legislation that would expand protections for American air travelers. The Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights requires airlines to pay at least $1,350 to passengers denied boarding due to an oversold flight, prevents airlines from shrinking their seats until a minimum standard size is set … Continue Reading

August 01, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Reintroduce Bill to Protect Small Businesses From Burdensome Internet Sales Tax Collection Requirement

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week reintroduced legislation that would stop states with a sales tax from creating red tape for small businesses as a result of last year's Supreme Court ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. "Small businesses in Oregon have been tied up in a sea of red tape since the Supreme Court's decision in Wayfair allowed other states to require them to collect sales tax on online purchases," said Wyden, ranking Democrat on the Senate … Continue Reading

August 01, 2019

Wyden Leads Bipartisan Group of Senators to Protect Funding for BLM and Forest Service Wildfire Prevention Efforts

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today, along with a bipartisan group of senators, urged that savings from the Wildfire Disaster Account be reinvested in the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to ensure the agencies can continue critical wildfire prevention, as intended. Wyden was joined by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, in sending a letter to the Senate … Continue Reading

August 01, 2019

Wyden Praises Federal Funding Extension for Community Clinics

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden welcomed this week's congressional extension of federal funding for 12 community clinics in Oregon that provide localized crisis and outpatient behavioral health services. Wyden said the federal funding extension until Sept. 13 will help ensure no interruption in critical services performed by the certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs) as well as provides more time to achieve a longer-term extension for states that continue the … Continue Reading

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