Taxes, forestry, infrastructure and housing on Ron's Leadership Summit agenda

At the state’s 16th annual Leadership Summit this week in Portland, Ron outlined four opportunities that he said Congress can make progress on in 2019 – tax reform, forestry, infrastructure and housing.

“This is urgent business and it can be achieved,” he said about all those opportunities after speaking at the summit with Sen. Jeff Merkley.

On tax reform, Ron said the Trump administration’s own recent troubling climate change report spotlights the need next year for his proposal to scrap the tax code’s 40-plus subsidies primarily for fossil fuels that give away billions of dollars, and replace them with three provisions to support clean energy options that will reduce carbon and cost half of what the current subsidies cost!

The senator also spoke of the opportunity to build in 2019 on the bipartisan gains he achieved this year on wildfires such as passage of his bill eliminating federal agencies’ flawed practice of borrowing from wildfire prevention funds; and successfully urging the Forest Service to develop a plan addressing the hazardous fuels backlog in the woods.

Ron stressed the importance of achieving a bipartisan consensus next year on repairing the country’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure. And he said 2019 can be the year that housing policy gets the remodel it needs for low-income housing and first-time homebuyers as well as middle-income renters.

As the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Ron also spoke about trade, the need for real enforcement, and on health care, ensuring the Trump administration does not undermine health care by trying to return it to when it was reserved for the healthy and wealthy.

Before the summit, the senator met with Southern Oregon leaders at their breakfast to share his ideas, including his proposal to help vintners hurt by wildfire smoke in their part of the state.

The leadership summit followed a busy weekend of town halls in Washington, Clackamas and Lane counties. For the year, Ron has held 52 town halls in Oregon – increasing the total number of annual town halls he has held in each of the state’s 36 counties to 913, so far.

As part of his #ListeningToTheFuture pledge with Oregon students, Ron also sat down with students in Portland over the weekend to hear their concerns at a weekend workshop at Wilson High School.  He also met with students in Tualatin and Eugene.