Standing up for all of Oregon
When he was first elected to the U.S. Senate, Ron Wyden pledged to represent all of Oregon. He has kept that pledge to this day. Holding a town hall meeting in every Oregon county, every year since 1996. He feels it is important to hold these meetings so that not only can he hear from Oregonians, but so that every Oregonian has an opportunity to personally hold their U.S. Senator accountable. The countless stories and experiences that Oregonians have generously shared at these meetings have directed Ron’s work in Washington, often giving him the ammunition he needs to get the job done.
Looking Out For Oregon Men and Women in Uniform
With thousands of Oregon troops serving overseas in recent years, Ron Wyden is deeply committed to making sure we recognize their service and sacrifice. When soldiers were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals in Iraq, he took up the fight to ensure they receive lifelong medical care and Purple Hearts. He’s voted repeatedly for military pay raises and supported health insurance coverage for families of active duty members of the military.
To assist those returning from active duty, Ron Wyden has been fighting for his “soft landing” package to help our troops transition back into civilian life. And Wyden continues to push to extend full G.I. Bill benefits to Oregon guardsmen and reservists serving on active duty.
Fighting For Oregon’s Timber and Forest Products Industry
For the first time in decades, timber companies and conservationists are not only not at war, they are working together. Thanks to Ron Wyden’s Eastside Forest Plan these historic enemies have been brought together to find a way to increase harvests, decrease the risks of catastrophic fires, improve the health of forests and put people back to work in the woods. A recent analysis found the plan will create 500 to 800 new jobs and nearly $100 million in economic activity over the next three years alone. The Oregonian editorial board described it as, “A crucial agreement that means healthier forests, survival for the dwindling number of eastside lumber mills and hundreds of jobs for struggling rural Oregon communities.”
The Blue Mountain Eagle of John Day said, “It is the closest thing to a lifeline that Eastern Oregon's fire-prone forests and struggling communities have had in years.”
And The Oregonian editorial board declared it, “A crucial agreement that means healthier forests, survival for the dwindling number of eastside lumber mills and hundreds of jobs for struggling rural Oregon communities.”
Click below to hear mill owner John Shelk on the plan:
Wyden has taken a stand against illegal foreign logging that threatens Oregon jobs and forest conservation around the globe. He secured new federal sanctions to halt the trade in illegal timber and timber products, protecting wood flooring companies in Lane County from unfair trade practices by China and other countries.
Holding the Federal Government Accountable For Their Promises to Oregon Counties
Thanks to Ron Wyden, rural Oregon counties have survived the loss of federal timber payments. The Wyden-authored “Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act" – commonly known as the “county payments law” – has brought more than $2 billion to Oregon counties. This funding has kept schools open, prevented law enforcement lay-offs and ensured that roads get plowed when it snows. Wyden first authored and passed the county payments law in 2000 and led the fight for its successful reauthorization in 2008.
Preserving Oregon’s Natural Treasures
Oregon is home to some of the most beautiful natural spaces in the country. Ron Wyden cares deeply about protecting them for future generations, which is why he pushed through a bipartisan law that designated over 200,000 acres as protected wilderness, including around Mt. Hood, Soda Mountain in the Siskiyous, Copper Salmon and Spring Basin on the John Day River. He believes it is vital we prevent these areas from being over-developed or clear cut, so we can pass them on tour children and grandchildren and protect the watersheds that provide clean water to communities across the region. Wyden has always made our natural spaces a priority, protecting the Bull Run reservoir that supplies the Portland Metro area with clean water and the Steens Mountains in Southeast Oregon. Now Wyden is working to pass a moratorium on mining that threatens the Chetco River and to designate the Devil's Staircase, Oregon Caves and the Lower Rogue River as protected wilderness areas.
Getting Oregonians Back to Work By Better Connecting Our Economy
Ron Wyden has revolutionized the way local governments finance infrastructure projects with the introduction of Build America Bonds. This Wyden-authored program – being touted as the one of most successful recovery projects “spurring productive investment, job creation, and creating a more progressive and democratic method of local finance” – has provided badly needed financing for construction projects while upgrading the U.S.’s transportation infrastructure. It has already saved American taxpayers over $12 billion, with $56 million of those savings being realized in Oregon. Here is a list of some of the projects Wyden’s Build America Bonds are making possible in Oregon:
• Improving the U.S. 26/Glencoe Road Interchange in Washington County
• Adding an auxiliary lane to the I-5/I-205 Interchange in Washington County
• Fixing the Westside onramp to the Sellwood Bridge in Multnomah County
• Adding a lane to portions of U.S. 26 in Washington County
• Adding a lane to portions of OR 212 in Clackamas County
• Improving the interchange at I-84 and 257th Street in Multnomah County
• Improving the Hood River exit on I-84 in Hood River County
• Improving the I-5/OR 214 Interchange in Woodburn (Marion County)
• Building the Dundee Bypass on 99W in Yamhill County
• Completing work on the I-5/Beltline interchange in Lane County
• Rebuilding the I-5/Fern Valley Road interchange in Phoenix (Jackson County)
• Adding capacity on OR 62 in North Medford (Jackson County)
• Straightening the curves on the OR 42 in Douglas and Coos Counties
• Repaving 6th Street in Redmond on U.S. 97 (Deschutes County)
• Improvements to the U.S. 97/Murphy Road interchange in Deschutes County
• Making improvements to the Port of Umatilla (Umatilla County)
• Rebuilding the Izee-Paulina Highway in Grant County
Supporting the Farmers of the Klamath Basin
Ron Wyden has worked across party lines to stand up for Klamath farmers who were left without water to grow their crops and recently secured drought relief funds for the region. He knows the uncertainty facing Klamath Basin agriculture is the greatest concern for the county’s health and a economic drain on the whole region. That is why Wyden is working hard with Congressman Greg Walden and Senator Jeff Merkley to ensure we preserve Klamath farms, communities and wildlife for the future.
Cutting Through Red Tape to Build World’s Largest Wind Farm Here in Oregon
When the federal government stalled the construction of the largest wind farm in the world in Gilliam and Morrow counties, Ron Wyden stepped in to demand accountability from the bureaucracy. He took on the Pentagon to get the project moving ahead, bringing together the federal government, local officials and developers to resolve the issue and keep the $2 billion project that will create more than 700 jobs moving forward.