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Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden
Ron Wyden Spouse Children (1) Laurie Oseran (divorced) (2) Nancy Wyden Adam Wyden Lilly Wyden Ava Rose Wyden William Peter Wyden Portland, Oregon Palo Alto High School, Stanford University, University of Oregon School of Law Legal services executive Judaism

Residence Alma mater

Occupation Religion

Ronald Lee Wyden (born May 3, 1949) is an American politician from Oregon and a member of the Democratic Party. He won a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 1980, and served there until 1996, when he became a U.S. Senator.

Early career
While teaching gerontology at several Oregon universities, Wyden founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers; he led that organization from 1974 to 1980. Wyden is also the former director of the Oregon Legal Services Center for Elderly, a nonprofit law service.

United States Senator from Oregon Incumbent Assumed office February 6, 1996 Serving with Jeff Merkley Preceded by Bob Packwood

Congressional career
In the 1980 Democratic primary, Wyden, who was just 30 years old at the time, upset incumbent Representative Bob Duncan in Oregon’s 3rd congressional district. Later that fall, Wyden easily defeated his Republican opponent, Darrell Conger. Wyden was reelected to the House in each of the following seven elections. In January 1996, Wyden narrowly defeated State Senate President Gordon Smith in a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Bob Packwood; he served briefly as Oregon’s junior U.S. Senator alongside Mark Hatfield; Smith was elected later that year when Hatfield retired. Wyden holds the Senate seat once held by the late Wayne Morse, a man for whom Wyden worked in the

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon’s 3rd district In office January 3, 1981 – February 5, 1996 Preceded by Succeeded by Born Birth name Nationality Political party Robert B. Duncan Earl Blumenauer May 3, 1949 (1949-05-03) Wichita, Kansas Ronald Lee Wyden American Democratic


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summer of 1968 when he served as Morse’s driver[1], and whom Wyden calls his mentor.[2] Ironically, Morse was the last Democrat to represent Oregon in the Senate. Wyden was elected to a full term in 1998, and in 2004, was re-elected to another full term, receiving 64% of the vote compared to 31% for his main opponent, Republican Al King. In the Senate, Wyden serves on the following Committees: Finance; Intelligence; Energy and Natural Resources; Budget and the Special Committee on Aging. He chairs the Energy Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests. As of August 2007, Wyden has an approval rating of 58%, with 33% disapproving.[3]

Ron Wyden
a national system of universal health care through market based private insurance. He has collected a voting record that shows he is in favor of public health care. Wyden has shown support for increasing Medicare funding, enrolling more of the uninsured in federal programs (although his Healthy Americans Act would eliminate many of these programs including Medicaid and SCHIP and replace them with private insurance), importing lower priced perscriptions from Canada, and negotiating bulk drug purchases for Medicare in order to lower costs.[9] Not long after Tom Daschle’s withdrawal as President Barack Obama’s nominee as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services due to a scandal over his failure to pay taxes, The Oregonian reported that Senator Wyden was being touted by many healthcare experts as a likely candidate to succeed Daschle as secretary-designate.[10] Although Wyden was ultimately passed over in favor of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, he took advantage of the interim to reintroduce his Healthy Americans Act, with additional co-sponsorship from Republican senators led by Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander and Utah’s Bill Bennett as well as from fellow Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.[11][12]

Issues and voting record
Wyden characterizes himself as an "independent voice for Oregonians and the nation" and emphasizes his positions on health care reform, national security, consumer protection, and political transparency.[2] On the Issues characterizes him as a "Hard-Core Liberal."[4]

War, peace, and foreign policy
Wyden voted against authorization of the military force in Iraq, but voted for use of military force in Kosovo. He has also voted in favor of expanding NATO into Eastern European former Soviet Bloc countries. [5] Wyden wrote the Stop Arming Iran Act to ban the Defense Department from selling surplus F-14 parts and prohibit buyers who have already acquired surplus Tomcat part from exporting them. Iran is the only nation other than the U.S. to fly the F-14.[6]

Trade and business
Wyden mostly supports free trade. While still in the House, he voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and has subsequently supported many trade deals in the Senate being one of the very few Democrats to vote in favor of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). He has however voted against free trade agreements with Chile, Singapore, and Oman. He was also one of the few Democrats to vote in favor of the Bush-Administration-proposed prescription drug plan passed in 2003. In 1996, he voted against the majority of his party to phase out many farm subsidy programs and also to implement welfare reform policies. The senator has recently voted against restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba and also to end anti-Castro broadcasting to the country. However, in 1998, he supported a proposal that would uphold the status quo of American-Cuban relations.[9]

Health care
Wyden has stated personal opposition to physician assisted suicide,[7] but has also stated a commitment to defending the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which was twice passed by voter referendum. Wyden successfully blocked Senate attempts to pass legislation interfering with the Act by threatening a filibuster.[8] Wyden has also consistently voted against limitations on the use of the death penalty.[5] Wyden has sponsored the Healthy Americans Act, an act with over a dozen co-sponsors from both major parties, that would institute


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Ron Wyden

Social issues
Wyden has opposed most limits on abortion. He has voted against proposals to ban partial birth abortion, prevent abortions from occurring on military bases, and prohibit minors from crosing state lines to obtain abortions. He has been rated 100% by the pro-choice NARAL.[13] Wyden has been an advocate of gun control. He voted against limiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers and has voted in favor of increasing background checks. Wyden has consistently opposed a constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration. He has also publicly announced support for same-sex marriage and was one of 14 Senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.[14] He also voted against the 2006 proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage, and he has cast votes in favor of legislation designed to prevent job descrimination and hate crimes against homosexuals. In June 2007, Wyden was among the minority of Democrats to vote in favor of declaring English the official language of the United States.[15]

Civil liberty and law
On November 10, 2005, Wyden was one of five Senate Democrats who joined 44 Republicans in voting "yes" on Amendment no. 2516, brought to the floor by Republican senator Lindsey Graham, which ruled that enemy combatants did not have the right to Habeas Corpus. Wyden spoke in favor of John Roberts during his confirmation hearing as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and voted with the Republican majority to confirm him. Wyden has been a passive opponent of the Patriot Act. On March 2, 2006, he was one of 10 senators to vote against renewing the bill.[16] citing concerns about privacy protections.[17] Wyden voted against the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, a Republican effort to restrict the number of class actions suits against businesses and the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, a bipartisan change in bankruptcy law designed to make if more difficult to file for bankruptcy and to make those in bankruptcy pay more of their debts. However, he voted for the previous Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2001

Ron Wyden (S-420, substituted by amendment into H.R. 433) [18] which contained many of the same provisions.

Tax policy
Wyden is critical of the estate tax, which he feels is inefficient, and has voted repeatedly to abolish it. He co-authored the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act, which bans internet taxes in the United States. He has also voted with Republicans to lower the capital gains tax, to encourage the study of the flat tax, and to require a 3/5 majority to raise taxes. However, Wyden voted against the Bush tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003. He has also voted against the balanced-budget amendment.

During the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, Wyden voted against the financial bailouts backed by the Bush administration.[19] He did not vote on the automobile industry bailout,[20] though he said he would have voted for cloture if he had been present. Wyden added, "While I continue to have


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Ron Wyden

Oregon’s 3rd congressional district: Results 1980–1994[25] Year Democrat Votes 1992 Ron Wyden 1994 Ron Wyden Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Pacific Green Votes Pct 11,413 4% *

3rd P Party

208,028 77% Al Ritter

50,235 19% Blair Bobier

161,624 73% Everett Hall 43,211 19% Mark Independent 13,550 6% Brunelle • • Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security • Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security • • Subcommittee on Energy • Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests (Chairman) • • Source: 2009 Congressional Record, Vol. 155, Page S729 and S730

Gene L Nanni

concerns about ensuring that taxpayers are protected if this loan is to occur, I believe that if the President can unwisely provide $750 billion of taxpayer money for the investment banks who took horribly unacceptable risks and helped trigger an economic collapse, we certainly have a duty to attempt to preserve a cornerstone domestic industry and the jobs of hundreds of thousands of working people whose personal actions are in no way responsible for the current economic crisis."[21] Wyden was among several moderate Democratic senators who in early January 2009 criticized President-elect Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, calling for a greater emphasis on "tangible infrastructure investments" and warning that an effort had to be made to differentiate it from the Bush bailouts Wyden had opposed.[22] However, Wyden ultimately voted for the bill and voted mostly with his party on various amendments to the bill.[23]

Electoral history
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1992, minor candidates received 203 votes. In 1994, minor candidates received 273 votes. *Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1998, minor candidates received 1,413 votes. **Packwood resigned in 1995, and the remainder of his term was filled by Wyden. The 1996 election was the January 1996 special election, not the general election in November 1996 (won by Wyden’s opponent in the special, Gordon Smith).

Wyden is a supporter of environmental protection measures, and was among the minority of senators to vote against confirming the appointment of Gale Norton as Secretary of the Interior. In May 2007, Wyden also opposed the appointment of Lyle Laverty as assistant interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks (this time on ethical grounds.)[24]

Personal life

Committee assignments
Wyden serves on the following committees and subcommittees: • • • Subcommittee on Health Care • Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight, and Long-Term Growth • Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness (Chairman) Ron Wyden and wife Nancy in New York City.


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Ron Wyden
Oregon Senator (Class III)

Year Democrat Votes 1992 Les AuCoin 1996 Ron Wyden 1998 Ron Wyden 2004 Ron Wyden 639,851


Republican Votes


3rd Party


Votes Pct 12,934 1%

46% Bob Packwood ** 48% Gordon Smith 61% John Lim

717,455 52% Miscellaneous

571,739 682,425

553,519 47% Karen E. Shilling 377,739 34% Karyn Moskowitz

American 25,597 2% Independent Pacific Green 22,024 2%

1,128,728 63% Al King

565,254 32% Teresa Keane Pacific Green

43,053 2%

Wyden was born Ronald Lee Wyden in Wichita, Kansas to Edith Rosenow and Peter H. Wyden, both of whom were Jewish and had fled Nazi Germany a few years earlier.[27] After graduating from Palo Alto High School, Wyden attended the University of California, Santa Barbara on a basketball scholarship before receiving his B.A. in 1971 from Stanford University. He received a J.D. degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1974.[28] Wyden’s home is in Portland, and he has an apartment in Washington, DC. He has two grown children, Adam and Lilly, by his first wife, Laurie. Wyden married his current wife, Nancy Wyden (née Bass), the owner of New York’s Strand Bookstore, on September 24, 2005, in a ceremony performed by Rabbi Ariel Stone of Portland. On October 26, 2007, Nancy gave birth to twins, Ava Rose Wyden and William Peter Wyden.[29]

References and footnotes
Specific references: [1] One Senator’s Solution for Health Care Expansion from an April 2007 story on Morning Edition [2] ^ Meet Ron Wyden from his official Senate website [3] SurveyUSA News Poll #12490 [4] Ron Wyden from On the Issues [5] ^ Ron Wyden on Crime from On the Issues [6] "Sen. Ron Wyden: Stop Pentagon Sales of Surplus F-14 Parts." Associated Press, January 30, 2007. [7] assisted_suicide/index.ssf?/special/ oregonian/suicide/031405.html

[8] "Assisted suicide debate not over?", CBS News, January 18, 2006, 01/18/politics/main1217013.shtml. [9] ^ Ron Wyden from On the Issues [10] Wyden gains traction as possible health secretary [11] Wyden, with new allies, reintroduces ambitious health care bill [12] Senators Identify Key Components of a Successful Health Care Reform Plan [13] Ron Wyden on Abortion from On the Issues [14] "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 104th Congress - 2nd Session on Passage of the Bill (h.r.3396 )", United States Senate, roll_call_lists/ roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=104&session=2&vo retrieved on 2008-04-07. [15] issue_keyvote_detail.php?cs_id=13888&can_id=2703 [16] Stout, David (March 2, 2006), "Senate Approves Renewal of Antiterrorism Bill", The New York Times, politics/02cnd-patriot.html, retrieved on 2007-02-21. [17] 12142005_oppose_patriot_act.html [18] "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2001" [19] Wyden Issues Statement on Administration Proposal to Address Financial Crisis [20] A look at the Senate auto bailout vote [21] Congressional Record: Wyden Statement on Auto Bailout Vote [22] Doubts arise over Obama stimulus plan [23] [1]


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United States House of Representatives Preceded by Robert B. Duncan

Ron Wyden

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Succeeded by Earl Blumenauer from Oregon’s 3rd congressional district January 3, 1981 – February 5, 1996 United States Senator (Class 3) from Oregon Incumbent February 6, 1996 – present
Served alongside: Mark Hatfield, Gordon Smith, Jeff Merkley

United States Senate Preceded by Bob Packwood

[24] Sleeth, Peter (May 1, 2007), "Wyden delaying key appointment to Interior agency", The Oregonian, oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/ 117798452930130.xml&coll=7, retrieved on 2007-05-01. [25] ^ "Election Statistics", Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, electionInfo/index.html, retrieved on 2007-08-08. [26] "Oregon Special Election Official Results", Oregon Secretary of State, jan3096/, retrieved on 2007-12-19. [27] Entry on, created by Robert Battle ( [28] Ron Wyden (Dem) from The Washington Times [29] Mapes, Jeff (October 30, 2007), "Wyden twins head home with parents", Oregonian blog, breakingnews/2007/10/ wyden_twins_meet_the_world.html, retrieved on 2008-05-17. General references: • World Internet News: "Big Oil Looking for a Government Handout" • Sen. Ron Wyden on Soaring Oil Prices and Company Profits and the Senate Investigation into Prewar Intelligence

• Voting record maintained by The Washington Post • Campaign finance reports and data at the Federal Election Commission • Campaign contributions at • Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart • Issue positions and quotes at On The Issues • Collected news and commentary at The New York Times Representatives to the 106th–111th United States Congresses from Oregon 106th Senate: House: D. Wu | R. Wyden G. Walden | | G. Smith E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley 107th Senate: House: D. Wu | R. Wyden G. Walden | | G. Smith E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley 108th Senate: House: D. Wu | R. Wyden G. Walden | | G. Smith E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley 109th Senate: House: D. Wu | R. Wyden G. Walden | | G. Smith E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley 110th Senate: House: D. Wu | R. Wyden G. Walden | | G. Smith E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley 111th Senate: R. Wyden | J. Merkley House: D. Wu | G. Walden | E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | K. Schrader

External links
• Official U.S. Senate website • Stand Tall For America, Wyden’s official policy and campaign website • Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

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Ron Wyden

Categories: 1949 births, Living people, People from Wichita, Kansas, German-American Jews, Jewish United States Senators, Delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Oregon, Oregon Democrats, Palo Alto High School alumni, Stanford University alumni, UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's basketball players, United States Senators from Oregon, University of Oregon School of Law alumni This page was last modified on 26 April 2009, at 22:27 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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