• Ron Thanks Two Oregon Veterans for Their World War II Bravery

    Ron proudly dedicated the start and finish of last week’s Veterans Day work period to honoring two Oregonians whose World War II service earned them the well-deserved title of “heroes.”

    On Nov. 11, before walking in Albany’s Veterans Day parade, Ron met with 100-year-old Dean Powell to give him the public recognition he missed when he returned to Oregon 70 years ago from his World War II service in the Pacific theater.

    And on Nov. 14, Ron presented the Air Medal to 91-year-old Donald Cresap in Milwaukie for his World War II service in Italy.

    In between, Ron:

    • Listened to members of the Oregon Students of Color Coalition at their annual conference at Portland State University to get feedback on his legislation with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley that targets escalating college costs and learn about other issues they face
    • Ron met Mr. Powell and his family before Albany’s 64th annual Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11 because he wanted to give the veteran a personal letter of thanks for his service.

    Ron said he was gratified to help Mr. Powell get the public honors he never received when he returned home to Myrtle Creek seven decades ago from his World War II service in the Pacific theater.

    Veterans Day also gave Ron the opportunity to talk with Oregon reporters about the importance of providing the best possible health care for veterans, including better staffing at VA health centers and ensuring that veterans needing mental health treatment get that care.

    Ron’s meeting with Mr. Cresap on Nov. 14 in Milwaukie came the day after the terrorist killings in Paris. As he presented Mr. Cresap with his Air Medal, Ron thanked Mr. Cresap for his service 70 years ago in Europe and noted that heroism remains an important lesson for today.

    Yesterday’s cowardly killings in Paris remind us so cruelly that freedom always has its enemies, and we grieve with the families who lost loved ones in yesterday’s attacks,” he told the audience gathered at Rose Villa Retirement Community to honor Mr. Cresap.

    But today’s ceremony also reminds us,” Ron said, “that freedom prevails in the end because of brave Americans like Don, who fought in Europe with such distinction.”

  • You may not want to answer that

    Last week, during a hasty and unhealthy budget process, Congress gave debt collectors carte blanche to robocall the cell phones of millions of Americans. Anyone with a student loan, mortgage, and [whatever else] is now fair game.

    But, wait, aren’t robocalls illegal? They used to be. For a quarter-century, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), banned autodialing and pre-recorded calls to mobile phones without your consent. Last week’s decision runs roughshod over the most basic premise of this law: whether at home or on their mobile phones, consumers should not be subject to intrusive and unsolicited calls.

    Today, Ron, along with Senators Markey, McCaskill, Menendez, Blumenthal, Leahy, Warren, Sanders, Franken, Klobuchar and Baldwin introduced the HANGUP (Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone calls) Act. The bill strikes down the section of the budget agreement (signed into law on Monday) that gave debt collectors permission to unleash robocalls and texts on Americans.

    “Congress delivered an early present to debt collectors: a new way to harass people through robocalls,” Wyden said. “The Hangup Act will protect Americans from an onslaught of aggressive phone calls and costly cellphone charges.”

    It is unfair to consumers to return to the days of no-holds-barred robocalling. The Hangup Act can reinstate Americans’ right to say NO to unwanted robocalls.

    Ron also urged the Senate and pledged to work to return to a regular budget process so that consumers’ rights aren’t trampled on as Congress lurches from crisis to crisis.

  • Ron fights to make sure Medicare guarantee is protected in budget deal

    Budget agreement passed by Congress includes important protections for seniors and vulnerable Americans championed by Ron

    Last week, Congress passed a major budget agreement that will put a stop to the destructive budget battles in Washington that have threatened our economy for more than four years.

    Ron championed two critical parts of the agreement to ensure seniors and people receiving Social Security don’t face the threat of increased health costs or benefit cuts next year.

    First, the agreement keeps Medicare Part B premiums from spiking by more than 50% for nearly a third of Medicare beneficiaries. That’s more than 300,000 Oregonians. And it prevents a similar rise in deductibles for everyone in Medicare. Earlier this month Ron led the charge to make sure this issue was addressed by the end of the year by introducing a bill backed by nearly a third of the Senate.

    Second, the budget agreement prevents a benefit cut for millions of disabled Americans who count on the Social Security Disability Insurance program. All workers who use the program have paid in, and it is unfair and wrong if they don’t receive what they have earned. Ron made it clear he would go to the mat for these vulnerable Americans when he led the introduction of a bill to ensure nobody faced benefit cuts next year. 

    Bipartisan compromise is tough and rarely perfect, but when it protects benefits Americans have earned it’s important to step up and take action. In the coming months, Ron will continue fighting for folks who receive Medicare and Social Security and all those who don’t have powerful interest groups in Washington to stand up for them.