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Oregon's Wyden Named Chairman Of US Senate Finance Committee

OPB | Feb. 14, 2014 8:41 a.m.

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The U.S. Senate has named Oregon’s Ron Wyden as the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden

CSPAN

Of all the things Wyden hopes to accomplish as chairman, arguably the most ambitious is his plan to overhaul the tax code. Wyden wants to simplify the system, in part by eliminating many tax breaks in favor of lower rates overall.

But with House Republicans focused on Obamacare, Wyden said that plan is on the back burner for the moment.

On Saturday, Wyden said his immediate priority as chairman of the Finance Committee will be the short-term extension of some recently-expired tax breaks for renewable energy, research and development and mortgage debt relief, among other things.

“I don’t want to see those important tax extenders sacrificed on the altar of inaction on comprehensive reform,” he said.

Wyden wants the extension to serve as a bridge to what he described as “broader reform.”

But with the November elections on the horizon, his ability to oversee those changes will depend on Democrats’ ability to maintain majority control of the Senate.

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