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Wyden Firsts: Building a Stronger Economy that Helps Everyone Get Ahead

With the help of Wyden policies, technology has become a key Oregon and National jobs producer with wages in the sector averaging more than double the annual Oregon wage. Ron saw early that every sector of our economy, like manufacturing and agriculture, would incorporate state of the art technologies and that updating federal laws would help Oregon lead in technology job creation. He was the first elected official to recognize that the old brick and mortar rules would have strangled Oregon startup businesses that have competed against and replaced older dominant multinational corporations. Ron wrote the key laws often described as the legal foundation for a free and open internet economy. These include the laws banning online tax discrimination against small businesses and taxes on internet access. Ron also wrote the law that legalized digital signatures. He introduced the first strong net neutrality bill in the United States Senate.

Recognizing that building infrastructure -- from roads and transportation systems to schools -- is a job creator in construction, equipment, services, and other fields, Ron wrote and passed into law the Build America Bonds program. This first-ever federal transportation bonding program helped Oregonians and Americans who were hit hard by the 2008 recession. The program led to more than $180 billion in infrastructure investment over the lifetime of the program.

To boost hard hit rural economies, Ron was the first to find a new strategy to fund rural roads, schools, infrastructure, and law enforcement. His bipartisan Secure Rural Schools law has delivered more than $3 billion to Oregon’s rural communities for these services. As public opposition to clear cutting forests grew, this essential law and Ron’s efforts to use “stewardship” contracts were key to increasing crucial rural community services and timber supply in eastern Oregon.

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Meet Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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