Wyden Statement on Finance Chairmanship
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement after becoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee:
“As one of the original Senate committees, Senate Finance has helped shape America’s growth and prosperity over its 200-year history. It has been led by some of the nation’s most prominent Senators. Many of those who held the gavel are household names: Russell Long, Bob Packwood, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Bob Dole. Max Baucus should be included in that illustrious group.
As Chairman, he successfully knocked down unfair trade barriers to American goods, opening up new markets and improving America’s ability to compete overseas. He reformed America’s health care system to provide millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable care. The effect of his efforts will be felt for generations. I am sure that he will bring the considerable knowledge and experience built up over his nearly four decades in the Senate to one of the most important diplomatic posts in the world.
The goal of any Finance chairman is to preserve and improve the ability for American families to get ahead and American businesses to succeed. In the early days of my Chairmanship I intend to meet with my colleagues to find the right paths forward on reforming the tax code, protecting the Medicare guarantee while lowering costs, improving America’s ability to compete overseas and ensuring that Americans continue to have access to quality, affordable health care.
In this highly polarized environment, the route to legislative success must go through cooperation on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, many view bipartisanship as a sign of weakness or little more than a quaint goal. Principled bipartisanship is an opportunity to solve problems that affect all Americans through policies that reflect each party’s bedrock beliefs. When done right, this process takes the best ideas from every side and drops the ideology that results in gridlock. These principles have been the guiding force behind my public service career and I expect them to continue to guide my chairmanship of the Finance committee.
Finally, I want to congratulate my friend Mary Landrieu on carrying on Louisiana’s great legacy of leadership in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Mary is a fierce advocate for her state, and will bring passion and a deep knowledge of energy issues to the chairmanship.”