Ron Wyden has been an Oregon senator for 15 years. Before that, he served 15 years in the House of Representatives. Healthcare has long been one of his top issues but last year he set aside his Healthy Americans Act in favor of President Obama’s plans for a healthcare overhaul.
Wyden made waves this year with his strong opposition to a surveillance law. He says there hasn’t been enough transparency about how extending once-contested amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) would affect Americans. Wyden’s objections to an Internet piracy bill have also made news lately. In this case, Wyden put a hold on the bill because of his concerns that it could inhibit freedom of expression online. Opposing these two pieces of legislation has made Wyden popular among civil liberties and Internet freedom activists. His support of two other bills has disappointed environmentalists who normally find themselves allied with the senator.
Of course, all of this has been largely overshadowed by the debt ceiling debate and the financial consequences that have followed. Oregon’s senators, both democrats, found themselves on opposite sides of the vote to approve the debt ceiling deal. Wyden voted for it, saying in a statement,
“This is not the deal that I would have constructed nor should it be held up as a shining example of bipartisanship…we must find better ways to save money than cutting education, job training, infrastructure and research efforts that are essential to this country’s economic future.
Wyden serves on the Senate Finance Committee and before the August recess, he introduced legislation to fund infrastructure projects in a new way.
What questions would you like to ask Senator Ron Wyden?
- Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)