This February, Sen. Ron Wyden took over as chair of the Senate Finance Committee — one of the most powerful positions in Congress. But the position could be short-lived if Republicans take control of the Senate in November, so Wyden may have to act quickly and strategically to get anything done.
He’s outlined his priorities, which include encouraging individuals to save more, overhauling the tax-code, and expanding the government safety net. He’s also proposed a $2 billion program to create a savings account for every American child. But Wyden experienced an early defeat in his chairmanship when Republicans blocked his plan for reforming Medicare physician reimbursement rates.
Wyden stepped down as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to take up the chairmanship of the Finance Committee. He remains the ranking democrat on that committee, where he has taken on the politically fraught issue of how to manage federal forests in Oregon, and what to do about leaking waste tanks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
In his position on the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, Wyden remains one of the most outspoken critics of what he sees as unconstitutional overreach by U.S. intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.
We’re spending the show today with Wyden, and we want to hear from you. What questions do you have for Oregon’s senior senator? What issues do you want him to address?
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017