November 07, 2011

“What We Do in Congress Should Be About More Than Winning Elections”

Wyden’s YouTube Town Hall Video Discusses How Bipartisanship Can Lead to Better Legislation

Washington, D.C. -- Each month, as part of its YouTube Town Hall series, YouTube invites Members of Congress to submit videos addressing the nation’s most talked about issues, as decided by viewer votes and popular Google News topics.  Videos are posted without party identification giving viewers a chance to weigh the many sides of an issue on its merits versus the political party of the speaker.  

For the third consecutive month, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has submitted a video to the series.  This month’s video tackles the topic of “governance” and the value of political compromise.  

“I subscribe to the radical notion that Congress is at its best when it works to find common ground,” Wyden says in the video. “When you are forced to work with people who don’t always agree with you, you are forced to work harder, test your ideas and consider solutions that neither Democrats nor Republicans would have considered on their own.”

Wyden has not only long spoken about the merits of bipartisanship -even making it the central theme of his recent reelection campaign - he  has led by example, authoring more than 150 pieces of bipartisan legislation during his tenure in the U.S. Senate (cosponsoring thousands more).  

 His bipartisan efforts have led to major initiatives like the elimination of Senate Secret Holds, the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, landmark Internet legislation like Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—which made blogs and content sharing sites like YouTube and Facebook possible—and the declassification of the CIA Inspector General’s report on 9/11.  

“In my experience, bipartisanship doesn’t have to be about compromise, because legislating isn’t a zero-sum game,” said Wyden. “Of course, when both parties are primarily focused on scoring points and preventing the other side from gaining ground, we end up with a lot of compromise and legislation that doesn’t do very much.  But when both sides are determined to reach an agreement and are willing to put in the work in, you often end up with policies that do more and allow both sides to get what they want.”

To learn more about his bipartisan work, visit:

To learn more about YouTube’s Town Hall series and view current and past videos visit:

Note: This video was assembled by Wyden’s staff using existing Senate and public domain resources in compliance with Senate rules. No outside services were contracted for its production.