Press Releases

April 15, 2005

Smith, Wyden Announce Support for National Drought Preparedness

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden have announced the introduction of the National Drought Preparedness Act (S.802), which will finally bring a national, coordinated approach to drought preparedness and response efforts. The legislation authorizes, for the first time, the Federal Emergency Management Agency to respond to the economic and human suffering resulting from drought conditions. "Currently our ability to respond to the devastation of widespread drought is … Continue Reading


April 12, 2005

Wyden Launches Online List of Drought Resources

Portland, OR - Following a promise at his Drought Preparedness Forum, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has posted a list of drought resources on his website. The list includes resources for various water users - agricultural users, fishermen, small businesses, those impacted by increased energy costs, recreational users, and others - who may suffer the consequences of a dry spring and summer in Oregon. "When drought impacts our state, people shouldn't have to spend weeks trying to figure out who to … Continue Reading


April 07, 2005

Senators Wyden and Smith Announce Bipartisan Goals for Oregon, Nation

Washington, DC - Extending their shared priorities beyond Oregon's borders, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced their joint legislative plan for the 109th Congress (2005-2006): a "Bipartisan Agenda for Oregon." This year, Wyden joined Smith on the Senate Committee on Finance, which oversees many areas of health care and tax policy the Senators intend to address. The agenda features eight aims on health, trade, technology and tax issues that will fall … Continue Reading


April 05, 2005

Wyden, Smith Seek to Improve Long-Term Health Care

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today introduced legislation that rewards health providers who administer high quality health care and provides better treatment options for long-term care patients. The Long Term Care Quality and Consumer Information Act would increase government payments from Medicare to those nursing homes which provide the highest levels of care, and also would provide for better sharing of information about treatment options and … Continue Reading


March 21, 2005

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Protect Computer Users from "Spyware" and Other Hidden Downloads

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced the introduction of legislation to prohibit a variety of surreptitious practices that result in spyware, adware and other unwanted software being placed on consumers' computers. The bipartisan SPYBLOCK (Software Principles Yielding Better Levels of Consumer Knowledge) Act, introduced with Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), would prohibit the installation of software on a computer without the owner's notice and consent. The … Continue Reading


March 16, 2005

Wyden Will Not Block Energy Department Nominee

Washington, DC U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced that he will not block the confirmation of Jeffrey Clay Sell to become Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. Wyden threatened to halt Sells confirmation because of the Administrations plans to privatize the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Today Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) assured Wyden that he will work to block the market rate proposal if it reappears in any … Continue Reading


March 14, 2005

As OPEC Reveals More on Plans for Oil Prices, Still Time to Act for American Consumers

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released the following statement today in advance of Wednesday's March 16 OPEC meeting, and in light of the Administration's continued inaction on behalf of American consumers struggling with high gasoline prices. Wyden is seeking relief for American families and businesses that can expect to pay an average $2.15 per gallon for gasoline during the upcoming high driving season. OPEC's likely action at its Wednesday meeting is the first of several … Continue Reading


March 10, 2005

Wyden, Smith Work To Allow Oregon Universities To Compete For New Tsunami Programs

Washington, DC Oregon universities could have the chance to compete to host a pilot project to conduct regional assessments of coastal vulnerabilities to tsunami and other coastal hazards under a bill co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and approved by the Senate Commerce Committee today. The provision allowing for university competition to host one of three pilot projects is included in the bipartisan Tsunami Preparedness Act, which would authorize the … Continue Reading


March 08, 2005

Bush Administration Offers Support Today For Wyden's Bipartisan County Payments Law

Washington, D.C. At a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Forests and Public Lands today, Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey told U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) that the Bush Administration will support the reauthorization of the bipartisan Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act the county payments law if the cost of the bill can be covered in the Federal budget. The county payments law was written by Wyden and … Continue Reading


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

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