Press Releases

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


December 06, 2006

Smith-Wyden Unveil Health Care Plan

PORTLAND, OR - Today, U.S. Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) unveiled a proposal creating a pilot program to give access to provide health insurance to uninsured Americans and those with catastrophic health care costs. The Catastrophic Health Coverage Promotion Act creates at least four state-based pilot projects that target the uninsured and individuals with catastrophic … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden Urges Senate Energy Panel to Bring Kempthorne to Hill to Answer Questions about Interior Ethics Abuses

Washington, D.C. - In the wake of a scathing Inspector General's report and news accounts alleging serious charges against personnel at the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today urged the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to hold a hearing so that Senators may question Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne about the allegations and what he has done to address ethics problems since becoming Secretary.Wyden, a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden, Bond, Senators Ask for Review of Classified Information in Senate Intelligence Report, Say Documents Were Overclassified

Washington, DC - A bipartisan group of Senators who serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee today asked an independent board that oversees classification of information to review the documents to determine if in fact too much was kept secret in the recently released Senate Intelligence reports.in a letter to the head of the Public Interest Declassification Board, the Senators wrote, "The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on which we serve, recently released two reports addressing … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Oregon Speaks Out for Net Neutrality

PORTLAND -- Sen. Ron Wyden today joined large and small business owners, labor leaders and consumer advocates in calling on Congress to protect Network Neutrality -- the endangered principle that ensures all Web sites and services are treated equally."The powerful interests that control the pipes are trying to take control of the Internet away from their consumers by creating discriminatory networks that play favorites," said Senator Wyden, the first member of Congress to introduce legislation … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden blocks legislation to overturnOregon's physician aid in dying law

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today took swift action to prevent the U.S. Senate from considering legislation that squarely takes aim at Oregon's physician aid in dying law and the will of the state's voters."We are just two months from Election Day in which local, state, and federal elections will be held. Many states will have numerous ballot initiatives covering every issue imaginable. Voters need to know they can debate even the most emotional wrenching issues through the … Continue Reading


December 06, 2006

Wyden Says Congress Must Vote on Iraq

Washington Today, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) went to the floor of the Senate to call for a vote on the Presidents plan and budget for Americans continued involvement in Iraq. Wyden, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, cited the need for Congress to have a role as a co-equal branch of government in the future of the war-ravaged nation.I rise today to offer a simple proposition: Congress should act like a co-equal branch of government and vote on whether or not to keep … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Wyden, DeFazio, Blumenauer, Hooley and Wu Back Oregon Voters as Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Assisted Suicide Case

Washington, DC As the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a case aimed at overturning Oregons twice-approved physician-assisted suicide law, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.) and David Wu (D-Ore.) reiterated their support for the states case. Earlier this year, these members of Oregons congressional delegation filed an amicus brief opposing efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice to overturn … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Wyden Wins Protection of Privacy Rights in Intelligence Authorization Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced that the FY2006 Intelligence Authorization bill has been rewritten to address serious concerns he expressed earlier this month about provisions that would have compromised the privacy rights of American citizens, and that he will remove the "hold" he placed on the legislation earlier this month to force a debate on the provisions. This move means that the legislation is likely to be passed by the full Senate today. … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Wyden, Smith Praise BRAC Commission Vote to Save 142nd Fighter Wing

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today praised the vote of the Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission to reject a Pentagon proposal to gut the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard in Portland. Senators Wyden and Smith testified against the proposal at a June 17 hearing, telling the Commission that the plan to reduce the number of alert fighter jets at the air base would seriously compromise Northwest and national security; state … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Wyden Provides Real Tax Relief for Middle Classin Simpler, Flatter, Fairer Reform Plan

Washington, DC At a press conference today, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced comprehensive tax reform legislation that contains major tax relief for Americas middle class as it makes the U.S. income tax code simpler, flatter and fairer. Wydens bill, the Fair Flat Tax Act of 2005, allows every taxpayer to file taxes on a simplified, one-page 1040 form, collapses individual tax brackets from the current six down to three and sets one, flat corporate rate. It also ends the Alternative … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Senate Approves New Efforts to Fight Oregon's Growing Meth Problem

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that the U.S. Senate has approved legislation they championed to stop the creation, distribution and use of methamphetamine. The Combat Meth Act, which Wyden and Smith cosponsored along with U.S. Senators Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), has been included as part of the Fiscal Year 2006 Commerce, Justice Science (CJS) Appropriations legislation. The CJS appropriations bill now moves … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Congress Will Not Preempt State Measures in Federal Methamphetamine Legislation

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that the Combat Meth Act approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today will not preempt tougher state laws restricting access to cold medicines containing methamphetamine precursors. The preemption provision, opposed by both senators, was removed from the bill prior to committee approval. "Federal legislation is desperately needed to confront the country's growing methamphetamine crisis, but it … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Wyden, Smith Announce Funding to Fight Methamphetamine in Oregon

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that a number of Oregon community-based anti-methamphetamine programs will soon receive Federal funding as part of appropriations legislation to be approved by Congress this week. Additionally, the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund and oceanic observation research efforts at Oregon State University (OSU) are slated to receive funding. The Federal dollars approved for the projects were included in the … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Wyden Testifies on Strategies to Reduce Gasoline Price Gouging

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a longtime advocate for American consumers hit by unfairly high gasoline prices, testified today before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing on energy pricing. In a 2004 report, Wyden sharply criticized the Federal Trade Commission for its failure to act on behalf of American consumers when oil company practices caused price spikes; in light of huge price increases following Hurricane Katrina he is suggesting more aggressive measures … Continue Reading


December 05, 2006

Wyden, Emanuel Join Forces for Middle Class Tax Reliefand Simpler, Flatter, Fairer Tax Plan

Washington, DC At a press conference today, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) touted their comprehensive, bicameral tax reform legislation that contains major tax relief for Americas middle class as it makes the U.S. income tax code simpler, flatter and fairer. Wyden introduced the Fair, Flat Tax Act of 2005 in the Senate in October; Emanuel announced plans today to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Specifically, the … Continue Reading

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