Press Releases

March 04, 2005

Wyden Calls on White House to Stand against High Oil Prices

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today asked the White House to explain the Department of Energy's failure to push OPEC to help lower oil and gasoline prices at its upcoming March 16 meeting. At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources this week, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman told Wyden he has "a lot on [his] plate" and has not called OPEC on behalf of American consumers; Wyden asked the President in his letter today why the Administration is not … Continue Reading


March 03, 2005

Wyden, Talent Introduces Legislation to Curb Growing Problem of Harmful Electronic Waste

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jim Talent (R-Mo.) today introduced legislation that would give consumers and industry tax incentives to safely dispose of old or outdated personal or office electronics, which contain a number of hazardous toxins including lead, mercury and cadmium. Harmful e-waste is a large and growing problem in the United States, with some experts estimating that more than 150 million tons of electronic equipment were disposed of in 2004 alone. The … Continue Reading


February 28, 2005

Unprecedented Health Care Reform Strategyis Launched with GAO Appointments Today

Washington, DC After decades of frustration and gridlock, a fresh approach to health care reform built around public involvement was unveiled today. This effort, a result of the 2003 Health Care that Works for All Americans Act, creates a Citizens Working Group on Health Care that was named today by GAO Comptroller General David Walker. The 15-member group is tasked with the following assignments: first letting Americans know how the $1.8 trillion dollars now spent annually on health care … Continue Reading


February 17, 2005

Wyden Threatens to Block Energy Department Nominee

Washington, DC U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced his intention to place a hold on the nomination of White House energy advisor Clay Sell to become Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy unless Sell is able to testify at his upcoming nomination hearing that the Bush Administration is willing to consider dropping its plans to privatize the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Privatizing BPA would destroy a major economic driver for the Northwest: the lower-cost power … Continue Reading


February 10, 2005

Wyden, Smith bill would introduce flexibility into fishermens Capital Construction Fund

Washington, DC U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith today introduced legislation that would allow groundfish fishermen to also use their Capital Construction Fund (CCF) savings, without incurring significant tax penalties, for their retirement, for fishery capacity reduction, or for new gear to reduce bycatch. Currently, fishermen lose as much as 70 percent in taxes and penalties if they withdraw their savings from the CCF for non-fishing purposes.We need creative solutions to help reduce … Continue Reading


February 01, 2005

Wyden' "Mend" Act Will Enhance Seniors' Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

WASHINGTON, DC - At a press conference this morning, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) unveiled the bipartisan Medicare Enhancement for Needed Drugs (MEND) Act, legislation he authored with U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) to strengthen the drug coverage offered to seniors under the 2003 Medicare prescription drug benefit. The MEND Act directly addresses the crisis of skyrocketing drug costs in a number of ways, including giving the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human … Continue Reading


February 01, 2005

Wyden, Smith Support Development of Tsunami Warning System

Washington, DC - In the wake of the deadly tsunami in Southeast Asia, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today took a step toward the development of a national tsunami warning system to more fully protect Oregon and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the United States. Wyden and Smith joined with Senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and others in sponsoring the bipartisan "Tsunami Preparedness Act." The legislation would authorize the National … Continue Reading


January 27, 2005

Wyden Seeks to Stop Move to Transport Chemical Weapons

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today took a step to halt the possible transportation of dangerous chemical weapons materials across state borders and into Oregon. Wyden today joined with U.S. Senators Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) in sponsoring legislation to prevent the Department of Defense from funding a study on the feasibility of transporting the chemical munitions at the Pueblo, Colorado Chemical Depot to unnamed out-of-state sites to be destroyed. … Continue Reading


January 19, 2005

Wyden Obtains Promise from Energy Nominee to Oppose Privatization of Bonneville Power

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today asked for and received a commitment from Secretary of Energy nominee Samuel W. Bodman that Bodman does not support the sale or privatization of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Wyden and Bodman's exchange occurred during Bodman's confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Bodman also assured the Senator that to his knowledge, the Administration agrees that BPA should not be sold or … Continue Reading


December 09, 2004

New Funds Mean Every American Will Be Asked For Input on Changing Nations Health Care System

Washington, DC Americans will soon have a chance to help change Americas health care system for the better, thanks to funding signed into law today as part of the FY2005 omnibus appropriations bill. Congress has approved funding for the Health Care that Works for All Americans Act, authored by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and in 2005 citizens will be invited to take part in town hall meetings and online surveys to share their views on whether and how the nations … Continue Reading


December 08, 2004

Intelligence Reform Bill Gives Congress Ability to Appeal Classification Decisions

WASHINGTON, D.C. Intelligence reform legislation passed by the U.S. Senate today will for the first time give Congress an independent, standing body to which it can appeal national security classification decisions, said U.S Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). This provision in the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 was authored by Wyden and U.S. Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.), and gives Congress the authority to appeal classification decisions to the Public Interest Declassification Board. The … Continue Reading


December 06, 2004

Wyden to Join Senate Finance Panel

Washington, DC - Incoming Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced today that U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will take a seat on the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance when the 109th Congress convenes in January 2005. The panel oversees a number of key issues including Federal health programs, tax policy, Social Security and trade. Wyden plans three major areas of focus for his service on the Finance panel: reforming the nation's health care system, continuing to restore Oregon's … Continue Reading


December 03, 2004

Wyden Internet Tax Moratorium Bill Signed Into Law at White House

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden attended a White House ceremony today as President Bush signed the Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act (S. 150) into law. The legislation authored by Wyden, U.S. Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.) and U.S. Senator George Allen (R-Va.) extends the ban on multiple and discriminatory taxation on the Internet until October 31st 2007. The bill, which passed in the Senate earlier this year and cleared the House of Representatives last month, bans three types of taxes … Continue Reading


November 30, 2004

Federal Government Owes Oregonians Nearly $710,000 in 2003 Tax Refunds

Washington, DC The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) owes nearly $710,000 to more than 1,100 Oregonians whose 2003 tax refund checks were mailed to them but returned to the post office, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) said today.The refund checks were returned likely due to bad addresses, the Senators said, urging Oregonians to contact the IRS to check on any outstanding refunds. Taxpayers who think that they might be missing a refund check can call the IRS toll-free … Continue Reading


November 22, 2004

Wyden, Smith Win $2.7 Million for Nanotech Research, North Macadam development in FY2005 Funding Bill

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced $2.7 million in appropriations for nanotechnology- and biotechnology-related funding for Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and for affordable housing in the North Macadam area being developed as a hub for biotechnology in Oregon. The $2.25 million in funding for OHSU research, development, and facilities, as well as $450,000 in housing funds, are contained in the FY2005 omnibus spending bill … Continue Reading


November 21, 2004

Congress Passes Wyden-Smith Provisions to Help Provide Eastern Oregon Residents with Access to Oregon Television Channels

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that the fiscal year 2005 omnibus appropriations bill approved by Congress includes a Wyden-Smith provision to remove the legal obstacles that can prevent people in four rural Oregon counties from receiving TV channels from their own home state. Currently, "local stations" serving Grant, Wallowa, Umatilla and Malheur counties can mean stations from across the state border. Additionally, legal … Continue Reading


November 21, 2004

Wyden, Smith, Secure Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Oregon Projects

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that Oregon will receive several hundred million dollars in Federal funding for key projects throughout the state. Wyden and Smith secured this funding in the fiscal year 2005 omnibus spending bill, which has passed the Senate and the House of Representatives and is expected to move shortly to the White House for signature into law. The measure will fund numerous Oregon agriculture, energy and … Continue Reading


November 19, 2004

Congress Passes Final Legislation to Renew Ban on Unfair, Discriminatory Internet Taxes

Washington, DC -- U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and George Allen (R-Va.) and Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.) today hailed passage in the House of Representatives of the Allen-Wyden Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act (S. 150). The House action is the final step in a compromise to end the stalemate over extension of a ban on multiple and discriminatory taxation on Internet access and online sales; the legislation now moves to the White House, where the President has indicated he will sign the ban, … Continue Reading


November 16, 2004

Wyden Fights for Better End-of-Life Health Care

Washington, DC As part of his ongoing efforts to improve healthcare for all Americans, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at providing better care options for dying patients. The first Wyden bill, the Palliative Care Training Act, recognizes the need for a larger pool of health care professionals who know how to help terminally ill patients to have a better quality of life. The second bill, the Medicare Hospice Demonstration Act, seeks to test … Continue Reading


November 09, 2004

Statement of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden on Department of Justice challenge to Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law

"I am extremely disappointed that Attorney General Ashcroft has chosen to continue ignoring the will of the voters of Oregon. The people of our state have spoken twice on the matter, and so have the Federal courts. I certainly plan to look into how many taxpayer dollars Mr. Ashcroft has wasted in his attempt to disenfranchise Oregon … Continue Reading

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