Press Releases

September 15, 2023

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Keep Guns Away from Convicted Hate Crime Offenders

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley and Senate colleagues this week introduced legislation that would prevent individuals convicted of violent misdemeanor hate crimes from buying or possessing firearms. “Congress needs to pass commonsense gun legislation that keeps guns away from criminals who have been convicted of violent hate crimes,” Wyden said. “That’s why I’m proud to introduce legislation that would close the dangerous gap that lets hate crime offenders buy and own … Continue Reading


September 15, 2023

Merkley, Wyden Announce $450,000 for Water System Improvements in Echo

Washington, D.C. - Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be awarding the City of Echo $450,000 to replace water service connections that are over 30 years old and create a digital mapping system.  “Outdated and underfunded water infrastructure is at a greater risk of failing, leaving community members and businesses without clean, safe water - especially in rural communities,” said Senator Merkley, Chair of … Continue Reading


September 15, 2023

Wyden, Merkley: $70,000 in Federal Funds for Economic Development to the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs will receive $70,000 in federal funds for regional economic development. “Investing in Tribal communities is vital to spur economic prosperity in reservations across Oregon and nationwide,” Wyden said. “This federal investment will help strengthen the economy of the Warm Springs Reservation and create jobs in the region. And I’ll continue fighting to ensure all the … Continue Reading


September 14, 2023

Wyden, Merkley: Oregon to Receive $58.2 Million in Federal Funds to Fight The Climate Crisis

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon has earned more than $58 million in federal grants from the Inflation Reduction Act to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change, and improve access to nature in cities, towns and suburbs. “Sweltering heat and record-breaking temperatures harm public health and create huge energy demands that drive up costs for Oregonians,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified the Inflation Reduction Act that … Continue Reading


September 14, 2023

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $1 Million Coming to Oregon Tribes for Environmental Improvements

Washington, D.C. - Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding three Oregon Tribes a combined total of $1,104,088 for projects to improve water and air quality and reduce pollution. “Tribal families and community members rely on clean air and water for the health, safety, and the economic growth of their communities,” said Senator Merkley. “It is vital that we support environmental projects that ensure … Continue Reading


September 14, 2023

Wyden Reintroduces Bill to Protect Social Security Benefits from Garnishment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today reintroduced legislation that would restore federal protections of Social Security benefits to prevent the federal government from garnishing them for the repayment of all non-tax federal debt —such as student loans. “It is plain wrong to take away the Social Security benefits seniors earned through a lifetime of work because of the increasing burden of student loan debt,” Wyden said. “It’s past time Congress protects seniors and the Social … Continue Reading


September 13, 2023

Wyden, Colleagues Demand Answers from AI Companies on Use of Underpaid, Overworked Data Workers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Senate colleagues today wrote to nine of the nation’s leading companies developing and deploying artificial intelligence technology to call on them to answer for the working conditions of their data workers. “Despite the essential nature of this work, millions of data workers around the world perform these stressful tasks under constant surveillance, with low wages and no benefits,” Wyden and colleagues wrote to the CEOs of Google, OpenAI, … Continue Reading


September 12, 2023

Wyden, Merkley: $750,000 in Legal Assistance to Help Immigrant and Refugee Survivors of Domestic Violence in Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties will receive $750,000 for legal assistance to aid immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence. “Survivors of domestic violence deserve access to comprehensive legal services for legal matters arising out of that violence,” Wyden said. “This grant will provide much needed legal assistance to immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence in the … Continue Reading


September 12, 2023

Wyden, Merkley: Eastern Oregon Regional Airport Receives $150,000 in Federal Aid

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton will receive $150,000 in federal aid for safety improvements. “Eastern Oregon residents and small businesses count on Pendleton’s airport to travel, transport goods and medical supplies, and contribute to their quality of life,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified these federal infrastructure funds are heading to this rural hub so it can keep being a secure and dependable … Continue Reading


September 11, 2023

Merkley, Wyden, Newhouse Announce Nearly $3 Million for Columbia Gorge Regional Airport

Washington, D.C. - Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (WA-04) announced today that the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport will be awarded $2,965,213 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for airport infrastructure improvements under the FY23 Airport Improvement Program. “The Columbia Gorge Regional Airport is an important hub serving community members, businesses, and visitors who wish to explore the Gorge’s remarkable economic … Continue Reading


September 06, 2023

Wyden, Merkley: Nearly $2.2 Million to Rural Oregon Fire Departments for Recruitment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that four rural Oregon fire departments will receive a combined nearly $2.2 million from FEMA for firefighter recruitment and retention. “Firefighters have been working hard this past summer and year-round to protect lives and livelihoods throughout Oregon, and they deserve quality pay and time off,” said Wyden, who has been pushing the federal government to increase pay for wildland firefighters. “This federal … Continue Reading


September 06, 2023

Wyden, Merkley Statement on White House Nomination of Mustafa Kasubhai for U.S. District Court in Oregon

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today issued the following statement on the White House nomination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Mustafa Kasubhai for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Oregon. “We fully support President Biden’s nomination of U.S. Magistrate Mustafa Kasubhai to the U.S. District Court in Oregon. The nominee brings an outstanding mix of experience as a federal magistrate, a trial judge in Lane County and attorney in private practice representing … Continue Reading


September 06, 2023

Wyden, Merkley: Nearly $2.3 Million to Help Rural Oregon Business Owners, Farmers and Ranchers Lower Energy Costs, Generate Income, and Expand Operations

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon businesses and organizations will receive a combined nearly $2.3 million for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements that will lower their energy costs, generate new income, and strengthen the resilience of their operation. This funding is made possible in part by the Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis. “We can address high energy … Continue Reading


September 06, 2023

Wyden, Merkley, Bonamici, Hoyle Announce BOEM to hold Public Meetings for Comments on Offshore Wind Energy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with U.S. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Val Hoyle today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will host public meetings on two draft proposals for wind energy off the Oregon coast and opened a 60-day public review and comment period. “Renewable energy is an essential piece of the strategy to combat the climate crisis. However, local communities and fishermen have to be at the center for decisions about offshore wind … Continue Reading


September 05, 2023

Merkley, Wyden: Over $600,000 Coming to Oregon for Crucial Wildfire Risk Reduction Projects

Washington, D.C. - Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a total of $661,720 coming to Oregon from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). These funds will be split across three projects in the state to support wildfire risk reduction, habitat restoration, and collaborative prescribed fires. These investments will strengthen forest health, protect public lands, and restore essential ecosystems harmed by past wildfires. “As wildfire seasons become increasingly longer and … Continue Reading


August 31, 2023

Merkley, Wyden Announce $7.5 Million for New Housing in Warm Springs

Washington, D.C. - Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding $7,500,000 to the Warm Springs Housing Authority to construct additional housing units, which will expand available housing options to Tribal families in Warm Springs.  “It’s critical that Tribal families have affordable, safe places to live to foster community and connect them to their land,” said Senator Merkley. “This critical … Continue Reading


August 31, 2023

Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $1 Million Coming to City of Haines to Improve Water Distribution and Infrastructure, Fire Safety

Washington, D.C. - Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $1,015,000 to the City of Haines to repair and upgrade 10,000 linear feet of water distribution pipes. This funding will also be used to install fire hydrants throughout the community.   “When I meet with local leaders in rural Oregon across the state, they make it clear that water infrastructure is a top priority,” said Senator Merkley. … Continue Reading


August 31, 2023

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $1.5 Million to Promote Healthy Pollinator Populations

Washington, D.C. - Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced the University of Oregon and Oregon State University are receiving a combined total of $1,499,973 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support research into bee populations and habitats. “Protecting pollinators, like bees and butterflies, is an urgent issue that requires bold and sustainable solutions,” said Senator Merkley, who as a champion for pollinator … Continue Reading


August 30, 2023

Wyden Statement on HHS Recommendation to Classify Cannabis as Schedule III Controlled Substance

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement after reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) formally recommended that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act: “Ultimately, I believe that cannabis should be descheduled with strong federal regulations put in place to protect public health and safety - that’s why I introduced the … Continue Reading


August 24, 2023

Wyden, Merkley Announce More than $25.7 Million to Oregon for Rural Broadband

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that four Oregon counties will receive a combined $25.7 million from the USDA Rural Development’s ReConnect program to bring broadband to homes and businesses in the Mid-Valley and Central Coast. “I will not rest until 100 percent of Oregonians get the broadband necessary to access jobs, education and telehealth,” said Wyden, who advocated for expanding rural broadband access by successfully pushing the Department of … Continue Reading

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