Press Releases

December 06, 2006

Wyden, Smith Secure FundsFor Oregon Natural Resource Projects

Washington, DC- U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that Oregon could soon receive nearly $5 million, and share in additional funds for natural resource projects across the state. Wyden and Smith secured this funding as part of the Senate's FY2007 Interior funding bill, approved this week by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill will now be considered by the full Senate for approval. "Part of what makes Oregon so special is the unique combination … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden, Bennett Launch Plan to Put Millions of Energy-Saving Vehicles on American Roads

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) today proposed a plan that would reward drivers for buying more fuel efficient cars, trucks and SUVs.The Oil Independence, Limiting Subsidies and Accelerating Vehicle Efficiency (OILSAVE) Act would offer consumers a tax credit for purchasing qualified energy saving vehicles. The credit would be fully funded by eliminating a single, unneeded tax deduction currently available to oil companies."By limiting just one … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden blocks Telecom Legislationover ineffective net neutrality provision

Washington, DC-U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced that he has placed a "hold" on major telecommunications legislation recently approved by the Senate Commerce Committee until clear language is included in the legislation that prevents discrimination in Internet access. The legislation as currently written does not provide an effective policy on net neutrality, and instead opens the Internet up to large telecommunications companies and cable providers to charge consumers and small … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden provision keeps companieswith ailing pension plans from hoardingcash for executives

Washington, DC A provision championed by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden to keep companies with significantly under-funded employee pension plans from locking away retirement funds for top company executives was included in a major pension reform bill passed by the full U.S. Senate late last night."Everyones retirement savings, whether theyre an executive or an entry-level employee, should be treated fairly, Wyden said. This provision will ensure that if a companys pension plan is in financial … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden, Smith Propose More than 125,000 Acres for Wilderness Designation on Mount Hood and in Columbia River Gorge

Portland, OR - More than two decades after the last wilderness areas were added to protect Mount Hood, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith today unveiled their bipartisan proposal to permanently protect more than 125,000 acres of wilderness on Mount Hood and in the Columbia River Gorge - an increase of almost 70 percent over existing wilderness protections. It also would grant Wild and Scenic River protections to an additional 79.8 miles of rivers in Oregon and create more than 18,000 … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden: "It's d?j? vu all over again."

Washington, D.C. - As already reported voting difficulties continue to frustrate voters in another decisive election, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden renewed his proposal to simplify the way Americans vote. Wyden has introduced legislation to provide funds to help states adopt Vote by Mail election systems, such as Oregon's. "The great Yogi Berra said it best: 'It's Déjà vu all over again.' Except instead of the boys of October, we're talking about the long lines and … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden Amendment to End Secret Holds Approved by Senate

Washington, DC - After nearly a decade-long effort, the Senate today passed an amendment by a vote of 84-13 to end the process of secret holds championed by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), along with Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.). The Wyden-Grassley-Inhofe-Salazar amendment requires a Senator who intends to object to a unanimous consent request to publish in the Congressional Record within three days a notice of the objection. It does not … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Salmon Fisheries Failure DeclaredEfforts turn to securing funding

Portland, OR - U.S. Department of Commerce officials met with Oregon salmon fishermen today and declared a salmon fisheries failure. The declaration reinforces Senators Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) and Ron Wyden's (D-OR) efforts to secure direct aid for the fishermen."Oregon's fishermen now have priority for aid," Smith said. "The declaration clears the way for federal funds to be distributed to the fishermen and businesses supported by salmon fishing. I am going to continue pressing … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden addresses national coalition,continues drumbeat for county payments

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today called on Congress and the Administration to make a fully-funded, long-term extension of the county payments law a top priority in the year ahead. Wyden's remarks came at a speech before the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., today."We need to remind the rest of Congress and the Administration how much these funds mean to rural communities - for schools, for roads, and for basic county operations," … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

West Coast Senators Urge Disaster Relief forFishing Communities

Washington, DC - In the wake of a declaration of fishery resource disaster off the Western U.S. coastline, the Senators from California, Oregon and Washington joined forces today to urge $73 million in relief for affected fishing communities.The six Senators, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden, Smith win critical commitment from administration to work on county funding for Oregon's rural communities

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith have secured a commitment from the Administration to work to enact a one-year, fully-funded extension of the county payments safety net under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The agreement represents a significant shift in the Administration's stance on the county payment program.An extension would provide up to $401 million nationally for 700 rural counties in more than 40 states. Oregon's share, … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden introduces resolutionopposing Presidents stated intentionof keeping troops in Iraq until at least 2009

Washington, DC U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced a resolution to express the sense of the Senate that the Presidents March 21, 2006 stated intention that future Presidents will determine whether there are American troops in Iraq undermines the preparedness of the United States military to respond to other crises and should not be supported. In March 2006, President Bush gave a press conference and discussed Iraq. The following exchange took place between a reporter and the … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden: 15 Reasons "Vote by Mail" is the Right Direction for America

Washington , D.C. - As election officials scramble to sort out voting irregularities and other problems in yesterday's elections, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden renewed his call to pass his proposal to simplify the way Americans vote. Wyden is one of the nation's foremost advocates of "Vote by Mail," Oregon's very successful electoral process that has made Oregon synonymous with high voter turn-out and hassle-free elections. Wyden introduced legislation last September to provide funds to … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden, Snowe Urge HHS Secretary Leavitt to Support Extension of Medicare Drug Benefit Deadline Without Penalty

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), both members of the Senate Finance Committee, urged Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt to support an extension without penalty of the enrollment period for those seniors signing up for the Medicare Drug Benefit through December 31st of this year. The Senators are concerned that without an extension, the cost to seniors could be devastating, leading many to not sign up for the benefit and … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Snowe, Wyden Urge HHS Secretary to Reconsider Position to Allow Negotiation for Medicare Prescription Drugs

Washington, D.C. Following criticism by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt that allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices would create government run health care and fail to lower prices, U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) today urged Leavitt to reconsider his position in the wake of building momentum to take this step to bring lower drug prices for seniors.We believe sound management of the [Medicare] program would mean … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Senators Bill Bradley and Ron Wyden Call forNew Tax Reform Push on Eve of Election

Washington, D.C.Twenty years after the last major tax reform act was signed into law, former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) today teamed up to urge President George W. Bush to join Congress in once again enacting real tax reform for the American people.Bradley, the original senator to push for tax reform and author of legislation that was a model for the 1986 Tax Reform Act, remains one of the nations leading advocates for a fairer and simpler tax code. Wyden is … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden Blocks Two Interior Department Nominees over County Payments Funding

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, keeping his promise to block Administration nominees until there is "an acceptable way to fully fund county payments," today placed a "hold" on the nominations of two Interior Department nominees: John Ray Correll, nominated to be Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and Mark Myers, nominated to be a Director of the United States Geological Survey. The county payments law provides vital funding for rural schools, roads … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden, Grassley, Senate Rules Committee Leaders Announce Offensive Against Secret Holds

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Trent Lott (R-MS) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) today announced a new offensive against the Senate's practice of secret holds, under which a single Senator can block legislation or a nominee without revealing his or her identity.Wyden has worked with Grassley for more than a decade to end the practice of secret holds. Their amendment requiring a Senator who places a hold to make it public within three days was included in the … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden slams Administrationproposal for salmon disaster relief

Newport, OR - After meeting with commercial fishers in Newport to discuss the Administration's latest response to the salmon fishery crisis, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today blasted the Commerce Department for proposing Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to help salmon fishers instead of direct aid or a declaration of a commercial fishery failure."What our fishing communities needed to hear from the Secretary of Commerce is that real help is on the way now," Wyden said. "Instead, our … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

White House budget proposes 50% cutto County Payments funding

Portland, Ore. The Administration today released its FY2007 budget plan, which includes a 50 percent funding cut to the successful Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (or county payments). Under the White House proposal, Oregon counties would see a $650 million reduction, including $85 million that currently goes into Oregon classrooms.Governing is about priorities, and this proposal to cut funding to rural counties by 50 percent tells rural Oregon that were not very … Continue Reading

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