Press Releases

December 02, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Senate Companion to Remove the Stain Act

Washington, DC - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced the Senate introduction of legislation to revoke the Medal of Honor from the soldiers who perpetrated the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, 1890, when U.S. soldiers slaughtered hundreds of Lakota men, women, and children-most of them unarmed-on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Merkley is co-leading the legislation with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "We have a responsibility to tell the true story … Continue Reading

November 26, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Join Bipartisan ERA Resolution

WASHINGTON - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that they have joined 18 of their Senate colleagues on a bipartisan resolution to remove the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment. Thirty-seven states, of the 38 needed, have already ratified the amendment, which was first proposed in 1972. Earlier this month, the House Judiciary Committee marked up and passed a companion resolution-readying it for a full House vote that could take place as early as December. "True … Continue Reading

November 25, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Urge Trump Administration to Protect Americans From Housing Discrimination

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today called on the Trump administration to reject proposed changes to the Fair Housing Act that would effectively eliminate the disparate impact standard, a key tool to root out and eradicate hidden housing discrimination. In a letter to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, the Oregon senators joined 44 other colleagues to urge Secretary Carson to reject changes proposed in the Department of … Continue Reading

November 22, 2019

Wyden Will Co-sponsor Housing Bill to Help Foster Youth

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he will co-sponsor legislation that would extend housing vouchers for young people to use for up to three years after they become adults and leave foster care. The bipartisan Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act would let federal and local housing authorities match up aging-out foster young people with Family Unification Program (FUP) Housing Choice vouchers when needed. The vouchers would phase out after three years and go back … Continue Reading

November 21, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Call Out Trump Admin Efforts to Promote Junk Plan Coverage Under Questionable Legal Authority

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today called out the Trump administration's promotion of junk health care plans on In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Oregon senators joined with 21 colleagues to request that the agencies answer for the Trump administration's efforts to promote junk plans to the American public during the Open … Continue Reading

November 21, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Critical Investments in Oregon’s Public Transit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced over $2.6 million in grant funding for bus and bus facilities upgrades for communities across Oregon. Wasco and Yamhill Counties, as well as the cities of Woodburn, Salem, Eugene, and Florence are recipients of the awards. "Public transportation upgrades are great for the health, inclusiveness, and economy of our communities," said Merkley. "These grants will help six cities and counties reduce congestion and … Continue Reading

November 21, 2019

Oregon Lawmakers Press DEA on Barriers Faced by People Seeking ‘Death with Dignity’

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader today questioned the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on its role in barriers faced by people seeking death with dignity, including prohibitively high costs and availability of medication prescribed by physicians. In a letter to DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, the Oregon lawmakers asked for details on the agency's process for approving applications to … Continue Reading

November 21, 2019

Wyden Presses DOE Nominee on Secretary Perry’s Role in Ukraine Scandal

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today pressed U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette on Secretary Rick Perry's role in pressuring the Ukrainian government to make changes to the advisory board of state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz. Wyden's questions follow recent testimony by Brouillette about the issue before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources as part of his … Continue Reading

November 21, 2019

Wyden: We Have to Secure Rural Communities Against Financial Roller Coaster

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today highlighted the importance of providing financial security for rural communities in Oregon and nationwide by ensuring long-term funding for schools, road maintenance, law enforcement and other essential services. At a hearing considering pending legislation on Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) programs, Wyden said, "We've got to get rural … Continue Reading

November 21, 2019

Wyden Welcomes Google Decision to Stop Microtargeting Political Ads

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today praised Google's decision to end microtargeting of political ads, which it announced last night. Wyden first called for an end to microtargeted online ads in August, and again in additional views to the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on election interference released in October. "Google's decision to stop microtargeting political ads is a welcome and commendable step that will improve America's defenses against foreign interference in the 2020 … Continue Reading

November 20, 2019

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Stop Rising Airline Fees Ahead of Holiday Travel Season

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation that would prohibit airlines from charging fees - including cancellation, change and bag fees - that are not reasonable and proportional to the costs of the services actually provided. "Airlines are committing highway robbery when they blindside passengers with unexpected and unscrupulous fees," Wyden said. "The American consumer deserves far better, especially during the holiday season when families and loved … Continue Reading

November 20, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Request Changes to USDA Rule on Hemp Production to Better Support Oregon Farmers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., as authors of the legislation that legalized hemp production nationwide, today requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) make several changes as it develops its final rule for the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. Wyden and Merkley, in a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, welcomed the interim rule recently released by the agency as a necessary step to establish a domestic federal hemp … Continue Reading

November 20, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Key USDA Wastewater Investments for Rural Oregonians

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced nearly $3 million in federal grants, and over $4.5 million in federal loans, for critical wastewater treatment and municipal water system upgrades. The rural development funds will go to the cities of Cascade Locks and Amity. "When I meet with local leaders from every corner of Oregon, urban and rural, they tell me that water infrastructure is a top priority. Investments in water infrastructure create good jobs … Continue Reading

November 20, 2019

Wyden, Markey, Van Hollen, Coons, Peters Question Ring’s Data Security Practices

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., today questioned the data security practices of Ring, the home security company, after media reports suggesting its lack of regard for customers' privacy and U.S national security. In a letter to Amazon, which purchased Ring last year, the senators wrote, "Ring devices routinely upload data, including video recordings, to Amazon's servers. … Continue Reading

November 14, 2019

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Protect America’s Small Business Owners from Predatory Debt Collection

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced the Small Business Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to protect small business owners from predatory and abusive debt collection practices that can cripple their businesses and weaken the U.S. economy. A House companion bill (H.R. 5013) introduced by U.S. Representative Al Lawson, D-Fla., will be voted on by the House Financial Services Committee today. Wyden's Small Business Fair Debt Collection Practices Act expands the … Continue Reading

November 14, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Introduce New Legislation to Expand Smith River National Recreation Area to Include Oregon

Washington, D.C. - Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today introduced new legislation to expand the Smith River National Recreation Area by 58,000 acres, a move that would protect the diverse ecosystems of the rivers, streams, and adjacent lands of the North Fork Smith River watershed and help boost the local fishing and recreation industries that many Oregonian families rely on. In 1990, Congress enacted legislation to establish the Smith River National Recreation Area … Continue Reading

November 14, 2019

In Letter to Wyden, ODNI Reveals the Government Has Stopped Collecting Phone Location and GPS Data Under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called on Congress to ban warrantless tracking of Americans' locations, following a new letter from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) today revealing that the government has stopped collecting phone location and GPS data under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. In the letter, which Wyden released today, ODNI says it stopped warrantless location-tracking last year, after the Supreme Court ruled that the government must … Continue Reading

November 14, 2019

Wyden, Merkley Bill Would Bar Use of SRS Funds for Lobbying

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today introduced legislation that would ensure counties receiving Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funds cannot spend those federal resources on any activity related to lobbying. Wyden and Merkley said their bill is to ensure SRS funds remain dedicated to their intended purposes of helping rural counties in Oregon and nationwide pay for schools, roads, bridges, law enforcement and other services. "The importance of SRS for rural communities … Continue Reading

November 13, 2019

Wyden and Merkley Introduce House-Passed Violence Against Women Act

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today joined all of their Senate Democratic colleague in introducing the Senate companion to the House-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The bill, which would reauthorize VAWA through 2024, preserves advancements made in previous reauthorizations and includes a number of additional improvements to the current law. "More than 1 million women and girls in Oregon have been sexually or domestically assaulted. … Continue Reading

November 12, 2019

Wyden Statement on Rick Gates' Testimony in Roger Stone's Trial

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement in reaction to Rick Gates' testimony in Roger Stone's trial: "Rick Gates today provided blockbuster testimony indicating that Donald Trump lied under oath when he told Special Counsel Mueller that he did not recall discussing with Roger Stone the release of emails stolen by Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 campaign. Gates painted a picture of a campaign that was not only informed about the releases of stolen … Continue Reading

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