Press Releases

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


December 06, 2006

Wyden: Intelligence Reports Overclassified, Public Should Have Access to More

Washington, DC - Following the Senate Intelligence Committee's release of two of five planned reports on pre-war Iraq intelligence, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today criticized the excessive classification of the report and said he would urge an independent board that oversees classification of information to review the documents to determine if in fact too much was kept secret.Wyden, who serves on the Intelligence Committee, said he would ask the Public Interest Declassification Board to examine … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

U.S. Senate passes Defense spending bill with millionsfor Oregon nanotech, other defense projects

Washington, D.C. - The full U.S. Senate last night approved its Defense appropriations bill, which includes millions of dollars in funding for Oregon projects advocated by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith. In addition to more than $11 million for Oregon nanotechnology projects through the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), the legislation includes significant funding for research and development of new medical, energy and other technologies with the potential … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Sen. Wyden co-sponsors no permanent bases resolution for Iraq

Washington, DC U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today signed on as a co-sponsor of an amendment to express the sense of Congress that the United States should not establish permanent military bases in Iraq or exercise control over the natural resources of Iraq. The provision will be offered as an amendment to the emergency supplemental appropriations bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate."We need to send a message to the Iraqi people and the rest of the world that the United States is not in … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden, Smith Introduce Mount Hood and Columbia River Gorge Wilderness Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith today will introduce legislation to permanently protect more than 128,000 acres of wilderness on Mount Hood and in the Columbia River Gorge - an increase of almost 70 percent over existing wilderness protections.The Senators' bill also would grant Wild and Scenic River protections to more than 80 additional miles of rivers in Oregon. It would create more than 18,000 acres of Mount Hood National Recreation Areas, improving access for … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden, Dorgan Raise Security Concerns at Army Explosives Plant

Washington, DC - After learning of disturbing allegations of lax security at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport, Tennessee, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) are calling for an immediate investigation into the practices of Wackenhut Corporation, the private contractor responsible for security at the facility. The Holston plant produces explosives used in U.S. weapons systems, including the Sidewinder, Hellfire, Tomahawk and Javelin missiles. As one Army … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Pension Reform Bill with Key Provision for PGE Employees Now Heads to President

Washington, DC A provision by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith to help Portland General Electric (PGE) employees catch up on their retirement savings was included in a major pension reform bill passed by the full U.S. Senate late last night.Many PGE employees lost much of their retirement savings through Enrons unforgivable actions, Wyden said. This catch-up language will help the folks hurt by Enron to rebuild their retirement savings."No one should be faced with a loss of their … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden to Hold Up EPA NomineeOver High Levels of Benzene in Oregon, Northwest

Portland - Saying that Oregon and the Northwest could be hurt - not helped - by a proposed new federal rule regarding the amount of the cancer-causing chemical benzene that can be in gasoline, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today said he would hold up the confirmation of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) General Counsel nominee Roger Martella unless the rule is changed to protect Oregonians and others in the Northwest.According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden Calls for Investigation of Chinese Hardwood Plywood Issue, Says Practices Are Hurting U.S, Oregon Industries

Washington, D.C. Noting that approximately 70 percent of North Americas hardwood plywood is manufactured by companies headquartered in Oregon, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today called on three federal agencies to investigate alleged abuses by the Chinese that have greatly harmed the domestic hardwood plywood industry.Nearly 2,000 Oregonians work in the hardwood plywood industry.In separate letters to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of … Continue Reading

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