Press Releases

June 12, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Introduce Major 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 four bills to help the public, businesses and agricultural operations combat the effects of wildfire smoke, and recover from the damage it causes: the Smoke-Ready Communities Act, the Wildfire Smoke Emergency Declaration Act, the Farmworker Smoke Protection Act, and the Smoke Planning and Research Act. "Last August in the Rogue Valley, I looked up at a sun that was neon pink through the thick haze of smoke … Continue Reading

June 12, 2019

Wyden, Klobuchar Question FBI Response to Hack of Florida Election Software Company

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee, today asked the FBI to explain its response to the potential Russian hack of VR Systems, a Florida-based election software company. Wyden and Klobuchar pressed the FBI to explain what steps it took to investigate a potential hack of VR Systems. The company provides election software, including electronic poll … Continue Reading

June 12, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce $5.6 Million Investment in Lake County Railroad

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a $5.6 million investment in railroad safety and rehabilitation in Lake County. "This is the kind of significant investment our country needs to be making in infrastructure," Merkley said. "This grant will make railroad crossings safer and improve service reliability-creating jobs and economic opportunity for the entire Lake County region. As I've traveled around the state, I've seen firsthand the need for … Continue Reading

June 11, 2019

Wyden Statement on Senate Floor on Net Neutrality

Mr. President, today I'm joining my colleague Senator Markey on the floor to continue the fight for a free and open internet - what's known as net neutrality. Exactly one year ago, the repeal of net neutrality orchestrated by Ajit Pai and the Trump FCC went into effect. Let me explain what this is all about. Net neutrality -- the free and open internet -- says that once you have access to the internet, you get to go where you want, when you want and how you want. That's the basic principle … Continue Reading

June 10, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Introduce Bill Directing Trump Administration to Meet Paris Climate Agreement Standards

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced legislation with a group of 44 senators, directing the Trump administration to meet the standards established by the historic Paris Climate Agreement. The legislation - the International Climate Accountability Act - would prevent the president from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Instead, the bill directs the Trump administration to develop a strategic plan for the country to meet its … Continue Reading

June 07, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Join Colleagues in Calling on Trump Administration to Protect Consumers from Abusive Debt Collection Tactics

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have joined 24 colleagues in calling on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger to reverse a proposed rule that would, for the first time, allow debt collection companies to send unlimited texts and e-mails to consumers. Just last year, often abusive and threatening debt collection tactics led to some 82,000 consumer complaints to the CFPB and nearly 458,000 to the Federal Trade Commission. "By … Continue Reading

June 06, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Introduce Legislation to Help Communities Protect Coastal Shorelines

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have joined colleagues to introduce the Living Shorelines Act, legislation that would create a new grant program for nature-based shoreline protection projects known as living shorelines. As sea-level rise and coastal storms continue to threaten thousands of coastal communities and economies, investing in living shorelines can help reduce risk from floods and storms and increase the resiliency of Oregon's coast. "Coastal … Continue Reading

June 06, 2019

Wyden Reintroduces Legislation to Bolster Renewable Energy Development, Protect Power Grid from Natural Disasters

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has reintroduced three pieces of legislation that would make renewable energy more reliable and affordable for consumers by providing federal funding to states to update the power grid and encouraging research and development of new technologies. All three bills also include a provision that protects the privacy of Americans' electric usage information from warrantless government surveillance. "Climate change is not some distant threat in the … Continue Reading

June 06, 2019

Merkley, Wyden, Bipartisan Senate Colleagues Team Up to Protect Civilian Conservation Corps from Closure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are teaming up with a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues to protect the country's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) centers from closure, introducing bipartisan legislation to prevent the removal of funds from these critical programs. CCC centers in Oregon provide job training to youth and young adults and provide critical wildfire prevention and response services. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) employees 126 people at … Continue Reading

June 05, 2019

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio Announce Improved Security for Eugene Airport

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio today announced that Eugene Airport has been approved for a fourth explosives detection system (EDS) machine. The three Oregon lawmakers had written the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in April in support of the airport's request for a fourth EDS machine, noting that eight straight years of passenger growth required the additional machine for airport security and efficiency. With the World Track … Continue Reading

June 04, 2019

Oregon Delegation Announces Millions of Dollars for Improvements at Oregon Airports

PORTLAND, OR - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and U.S. Congressmen Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Greg Walden, today announced more than $16.2 million in grant funding for taxiway improvements at airports in Oregon. "Oregon's airports connect our state to economic opportunity-not to mention wildfire fighting resources, health care, and more," Merkley said. "This significant investment in airport taxiways will improve both safety and access for Oregon's airports, and I … Continue Reading

June 04, 2019

Wyden Introduces New Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Affordable Housing Crisis

Washington, D.C. - As Oregon and the country face an affordable housing and homelessness crisis, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and a bipartisan group of legislators to introduce a bill that would increase investment in affordable housing and provide more resources and stronger protections for at-risk groups. “Housing is a right, and the lack of affordable housing is at crisis levels in communities all over America,” Wyden said. “Working … Continue Reading

June 04, 2019

Oregon Judicial Selection Panel Resumes Taking Applications for 9th Circuit Vacancy

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden today announced that new applications are being accepted through June 21 for the Oregon vacancy on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Finalists chosen by the three Oregon lawmakers' bipartisan judicial selection committee will be forwarded to the White House for its consideration. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacancy arose when Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain went on senior status in 2017. Interested … Continue Reading

June 03, 2019

Wyden Calls for Investigations into Trump Administration Efforts to Undercount Minority Communities, Politicize 2020 Census

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined a group of 13 senators in calling for federal investigations after new evidence came to light last week, revealing deeply partisan and undemocratic motives behind the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. In a letter to the inspectors general of the departments of Justice and Commerce, the senators raised concerns that government officials concealed the role of a partisan political operative who pushed the Trump … Continue Reading

May 23, 2019

Wyden Statement on the Use of the Espionage Act in Indictment of Julian Assange, Potential Threats to First Amendment

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement in response to the use of the Espionage Act in indicting Julian Assange and its potential threats to the First Amendment: "This is not about Julian Assange. This is about the use of the Espionage Act to charge a recipient and publisher of classified information. I am extremely concerned about the precedent this may set and potential dangers to the work of journalists and the First Amendment." … Continue Reading

May 23, 2019

Wyden, Crapo, Merkley, Risch Reintroduce Legislation to Provide Long-term Stability for Secure Rural Schools Program

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, today reintroduced legislation to provide much-needed financial certainty for rural counties to ensure they have the long-term funding needed for schools, road maintenance, law enforcement and other essential services. The bipartisan Forest Management for Rural Stability Act, which the senators first introduced in December 2018, makes the Secure Rural Schools program-which … Continue Reading

May 23, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Relief for Oregon in Bipartisan Disaster Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the $19.1 billion bipartisan disaster package passed by the Senate includes relief for Oregon agriculture affected by severe wildfires and storms, as well as a provision to require the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to make crop insurance available to hemp farmers, and $720 million to address fire borrowing. "One of the reasons I wanted to be on the Senate Appropriations Committee was to make sure … Continue Reading

May 23, 2019

Wyden, Merkley, Walden Urge Feds to Keep Letting Local Firefighters Battle Blazes on Federal Lands

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden urged federal officials today to restore a proven practice that lets the federal government keep using local fire departments as partners to fight wildfires. The three Oregon lawmakers wrote Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt about their agencies' recent suspension of a practice dating back to 1955 that authorizes local fire departments in Oregon to participate and support … Continue Reading

May 22, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Press Union Pacific on Layoffs

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today demanded Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) answer questions about its proposed layoffs of nearly 200 people in Hermiston and the damage those job cuts would do to worker safety, transportation and the regional economy. "These UPRR decisions to reduce jobs at Hinkle Yard, and close the Hinkle Supply Warehouse and Mechanical Locomotive Shop in Hermiston, Oregon will devastate this rural community by hamstringing the economic … Continue Reading

May 22, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Honor Keanon Lowe in Senate

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week honored Keanon Lowe with Congressional Record statements praising the Parkrose High School coach and security guard for his heroism last week during a gun scare at the northeast Portland school. The senators noted that Lowe, a former University of Oregon football player, likely saved lives of students, teachers and administrators when he spotted an armed student in a classroom, tackled the student, wrestled away the gun, and … Continue Reading

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