Press Releases

June 17, 2004

Wyden obtains Energy Dept. commitment to meet maximum cleanup standards forHanford Nuclear Waste Tanks

Washington, DC U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today obtained a commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy that the agency will not attempt to weaken standards for cleaning up nuclear waste in tanks at Hanford, Wash. Under questioning from Wyden, Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management Jessie Roberson said that an Energy Department proposal to leave 10 percent of existing waste in the Hanford tanks far more than the one percent currently allowed under legal agreements is … Continue Reading

June 17, 2004

Wyden, Smith Announce more than $6.2 Million for Oregon Counties

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) announced that today, 34 Oregon counties will receive payments totaling $6,245,153 as part of the federal government's Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The PILT program is designed to compensate local communities for tax revenue lost because of nontaxable federal land in their counties. "It is critical for the federal government to provide the proper amount of funding to communities that support federally … Continue Reading

June 16, 2004

Wyden Legislation Will Target Offshore Outsourcing

Washington, DC - Companies that outsource American jobs would lose tax benefits, and outsourced service sector and technology employees would for the first time see training and income relief, under legislation introduced today by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The "Keep American Jobs at Home Act" would eliminate tax deductions for businesses that ship American jobs overseas, provide wage insurance and training assistance for service sector workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas, and … Continue Reading

June 14, 2004

GAO Releases Smith-Wyden Requested Report on Pacific Groundfish

Washington, DC Today, U.S. Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden announced the release of a General Accounting Office (GAO) report, Pacific Groundfish: Continued Efforts Needed to Improve Reliability of Stock Assessments. In December 2002, Smith and Wyden requested the investigation into the reliability of the data being used by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to conduct stock assessments on the multi-species Pacific groundfish complex. Stock assessments provide estimates of the … Continue Reading

June 01, 2004

Forest Service Agrees to Wyden Request to Split Biscuit Plan

Washington, DC Today, the Forest Service agreed to pursue U.S. Senator Ron Wydens proposal to split its salvage plans (Records of Decision) in the Biscuit fire area so some salvage can proceed while more controversial plans are likely to be contested in the courts.In April of this year, Wyden wrote U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman (text follows) asking that the Biscuit salvage plan be broken down to three separate proposals one each for matrix, Late Successional Reserves (LSRs), and … Continue Reading

May 28, 2004

Wyden, Smith Applaud Federal Waiver to Aid Oregon Nursing Homes

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today applauded the granting of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help Oregon improve its nursing home industry. The waiver will allow Oregon to provide better Medicaid reimbursements to the state's nursing homes and to attract additional Medicaid matching funds. Increases in rates will be used to enhance working conditions for employees and improve the quality of care they provide to … Continue Reading

May 26, 2004

Wyden praises 9th Circuit decision to maintain Oregon's Death with Dignity law

Portland, OR U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today praised the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's ruling upholding Oregon's Death with Dignity law. Today's ruling thwarts U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's appeal of an April 2002 U.S. District Court ruling that also upheld Oregon's law, which has faced serious opposition since being approved by Oregon voters in 1994 and again in 1997.Wyden has twice defeated Congressional efforts to overturn Oregon's physician assisted suicide law and … Continue Reading

May 20, 2004

Senate Agriculture Committee extends pilot summer lunch program for kids to Oregon

Washington, D.C. At the request of U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee has extended the Lugar Summer Food Pilot Program to include Oregon. The pilot program increases the availability of food to children who received free or reduced-priced meals during the school year but who cannot access such meals during the summer months.We cant allow hungry children to slip through the cracks for even a couple of months, Wyden said. With this … Continue Reading

May 19, 2004

Wyden Placing "Hold" on FTC Nominee Deborah Majoras

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced his intention to place a "hold" on the nomination of Deborah Majoras to become Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Wyden, who has called on the FTC in the current and previous Administrations to take action to protect consumers from high gasoline prices, received no indication from Majoras that under her leadership the agency would take any steps to end numerous and well-documented anti-competitive practices … Continue Reading

May 13, 2004

Senators Hail EPA Inspector General's Decision to Review Administration's Mercury Rule

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sens. Jim Jeffords, I -Vt., Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., Joe Lieberman, D-Ct., Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY., Barbara Boxer, D-Ca., Tom Carper, D-De., and Ron Wyden, D-Or., today hailed the decision by the EPA Inspector General Nikki Tinsley to review the process in which EPA formulated its December proposed rule to regulate mercury emissions from electric utilities.In an April 12 letter, the seven Senators asked the Inspector General to examine serious concerns with how the … Continue Reading

May 12, 2004

Wyden, Lott Support 9/11 Families' Call to Declassify Entire Commission Report

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) today called on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, more commonly known as the "9/11 Commission," to declassify and make public all sections of the Commission's upcoming report on the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Wyden and Lott, members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, made the request after speaking with leaders of the 9/11 victims' families groups … Continue Reading

May 07, 2004

Wyden calls for full wildfire prevention funding for Healthy Forests Restoration Act

Washington, D.C. Speaking from the floor of the U.S. Senate today, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden called on the House-Senate Budget conference committee to fully fund hazardous fuels reduction projects under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA). Wyden successfully spearheaded a $343 million budget amendment in March to fully fund the law, but rumors circulating on Capitol Hill suggest that the Budget conference committee plans to eliminate this funding, even though it received unanimous … Continue Reading

May 07, 2004

Senators: Heavy Filling of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Drives up Gas Prices

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and twenty-nine colleagues in the U.S. Senate today called on the Bush Administration to, at a minimum, slow the filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The Senators cited recent reports that filling the SPR at a very high rate contributes to higher crude oil and gasoline prices. In a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, the senators questioned why the administration has sped filling the SPR to 300,000 barrels per day, … Continue Reading

May 06, 2004

Wyden, Graham Legislation Would Expand McCain-Feingold Accountability Rules for Campaign Advertising

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) today unveiled their bipartisan legislation to make candidates for federal office take more explicit personal responsibility for ads on the Internet, in print or in prerecorded phone calls referring directly to the candidate's opponent. The Political Candidate Personal Responsibility Act of 2004 follows Wyden's original "Stand by Your Ad" provision on which current accountability rules for TV and radio ads … Continue Reading

May 05, 2004

Portland to Receive $8 Million for Homeland Security

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that the Oregon Department of State Police will receive $8,112,992 for homeland security preparedness in the Portland area. Funds are being awarded to help Portland prevent, deter, respond to, and recover from threats and incidents of terrorism. This grant is being awarded by the Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Program through the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic Preparedness. … Continue Reading

May 05, 2004

Portland Community Development Projects to Receive Nearly $200 Million in Tax Credits

Washington, DC - Today, Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden announced that three Portland community development programs have been awarded federal tax credits totaling almost $200 million to invest in Oregon's low-income communities under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. The awards will be announced officially tomorrow, May 6. "This is a great example of how private enterprise can be used in the public interest," Smith said. "These credits will make it possible to restore historic … Continue Reading

April 29, 2004

Senate Approves 4-Year Extensions of Ban on Unfair Discriminatory Internet Taxes

Washington, DC -- U.S. Senators George Allen (R-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) today hailed full Senate passage of the Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act (S. 150), legislation extending the ban on multiple and discriminatory taxation on Internet access and online sales. The legislation bans three types of taxes that unfairly single out the Internet, including taxes on Internet access, double taxation (for example, by two or more states) of a … Continue Reading

April 13, 2004

Wyden Calls for Declassification of Bin Laden Documents Since 1998

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) this week called for the declassification of "all documents distributed to or created by officials of both the current and former [presidential] administrations regarding the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda organization, and the way in which policymakers perceived, considered, planned and responded to this threat, dating back to the August 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania." In a letter to the … Continue Reading

April 08, 2004

Forest Service accepts Wydens proposal to create a Prineville forest health research center

Washington, DC U.S. Senator Ron Wydens proposal to create a forest health research center at the headquarters of the Ochoco National Forest in Prineville has been accepted by the Administration. The Prineville center will be established under existing authority and could begin operations as soon as late 2005.After all the twists and turns of working to get this facility established, Im extremely pleased the Forest Service accepted my proposal to create a forest health research center in … Continue Reading

April 02, 2004

Wyden calls on Administration to move quicklyand protect Oregon jobs in Biscuit salvage

Washington, DC Saying that "time is clearly of the essence," U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today called on the Administration to move quickly on salvage operations in the Biscuit fire area. In doing so, Wyden also urged the Administration to give a "strong preference" in jobs to Oregonians, who bore the brunt of the Biscuit fire."I believe the people of my state, who bore the burden and fears of the Biscuit fire, and who now bear the burden of a half million acre burn area, should have a strong … Continue Reading

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