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Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Ron Wyden
Office: U.S. Senate (OR) - Sr, Democratic
First Elected: 01/30/1996
Last Elected: 11/02/2010
Next Election: 2016
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Nancy; 5 Children: Adam, Lilly, William, Ava, Scarlett
Birth Date: 05/03/1949
Birth Place: Wichita, KS
Home City: Portland, OR
Religion: Jewish
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Ron Wyden submitted the 2010 Political Courage Test after the official deadline and release of results to the media. The candidate's late responses are provided here as a public service.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Oregon Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test

Key

Candidate Answer
Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.
Inferred Answer
Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.
Unknown Answer
Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.
Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Pro-choiceCandidate Answera) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Nob) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Yese) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles
1) Spending
Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.
Slightly Decreasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Maintain Status1) Intelligence operations
Greatly Decrease2) Military hardware
Greatly Decrease3) National missile defense
Slightly Increase4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Slightly Decrease6) Research and development of new weapons
Slightly Increased) Education
Maintain Statuse) Environment
Slightly Increasef) Homeland security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical research
Slightly Increasei) Scientific research
Slightly Decreasej) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
Greatly Decreasem) Other or expanded categories

WASTE, FRAUD, ABUSE

2) Taxes
Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.
Slightly Decreasea) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decreased) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
NoCandidate Answer3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
No4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
YesInferred Answer 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy? View Citations
  • Ron Wyden. HR 1. 111th Congress. Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Ron Wyden voted YES on 13 February 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. Issue Position: Standing Up For All of Oregon. "...When Wall Street came looking for a hand out after greedily gambling away billions, I fought every Wall Street bailout - regardless of which party advocated it." (www.sos.state.or.us)
  • Club for Growth. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Ron Wyden supported the interests of the Club for Growth 14 percent in 2008." (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. 2010. The League of Women Voters of Oregon: 2010 Oregon Primary Election Candidate Survey. Responded: "I also voted against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. But we need to do more to reduce our national deficit. We should restore the "pay as you go" principle where any new federal spending must be paid for in the budget," to the question: "What can be done in the next few years to reduce our national budget deficit?" (www.lwvor.org)
  • Ron Wyden. 2010. The Oregonian (Portland, OR): 2010 Oregon Primary Election Candidate Survey. Responded: "We need to get people back to work. Families are suffering and we must reinvigorate that entrepreneurial spirit that drives our country. To do that, we need to get back to an economy where we reward those who play fair and there is real opportunity for the middle class. It means ending the wasteful government bailouts of Wall Street (which I consistently opposed), enacting financial reforms of Wall Street and the big banks and ensuring Oregon businesses have the credit they need to expand. It means creating construction jobs with smart investments in needed improvements in our infrastructure and better mortgage policies to restore confidence in our housing market. And it means reforming taxes to provide middle-class families a badly needed tax cut and end the tax shelters that encourage large corporations to ship jobs overseas. I am fighting for all of these priorities, to get our economy back on track and create jobs for Oregon's working families," to the question: "What specific actions should Congress take to spur economic recovery?" (thevoterguide.oregonlive.com)
  • Ron Wyden. Wyden Fights for Oregon in Economic Recovery Package. 10 February 2009. "Calling the legislation 'a step in the right direction,' U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today cast his vote in favor of the 'American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.' The bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 61 to 37 will create and save thousands of good-paying Oregon jobs, upgrade the state's roads and bridges, expand access to broadband technology, especially into rural communities, and provide essential relief to families facing rising health care costs and the specter of unemployment. 'This bill will give the economy a desperately-needed jump-start so we can finally help Americans begin to re-claim their financial security,' said Wyden. 'I will be spending the next days working with my colleagues in both the House and Senate to restore the much needed funding for our states and schools, but the important message for today is that Congress is taking decisive action to get the economy back on track.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. Wyden Statement on Financial Bailout Package. 1 October 2008. "If even one of these issues had been addressed in this package, I might have been inclined to vote for it, despite its imperfections. I continue to think that Congress should act and help restore confidence - domestically and abroad - in U.S. markets. For that reason, I am voting against this bill tonight with great reluctance, and hope that the Senate is given a second opportunity, as the House will receive, to put forward a more thoughtful response that will deserve and garner the trust of the American public. This vote is made slightly more difficult by the late inclusion of my legislation to reauthorize county payments for four years. This was legislation that I authored over a year ago with the Majority Leader, as well as Chairman Baucus and Chairman Bingaman. Passing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act is vital to the economic survival of Oregon's rural counties, and I asked Senator Reid to include it in this bill, because I promised my constituents that I would attempt to attach it to every conceivable piece of legislation until the President signs it into law. But I also told Senator Reid that including funding for county payments in this package would not guarantee my vote on the bailout. The nation's future is simply too important for us to trade on even the most important constituent concerns." (votesmart.org)
6) Other or expanded principles
NoInferred Answer a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? View Citations
  • Ron Wyden. Issue Position: Standing Up For All of Oregon. "?I never back down when powerful interests threaten our state. I? have been a leader in blocking the privatization of Social Security." (www.sos.state.or.us)
  • Ron Wyden. Issue Position: Preserving Social Security. "Senator Wyden believes that the Social Security safety net ought to be preserved. President Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security would threaten long-term solvency and would result in cuts in benefits." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
c) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
d) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
e) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles
a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
e) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
f) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes? View Citations
  • Ron Wyden. 2004. Project Vote Smart: Oregon Congressional National Political Awareness Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes."
  • Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants. 2005-2006. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Ron Wyden supported the interests of the Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants 100 percent in 2005-2006." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
c) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
d) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
e) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer a) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? View Citations
  • Ron Wyden. HR 1. 107th Congress. To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind. Project Vote Smart Summary: Ron Wyden voted YES on 18 December 2001. (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. 2004. Project Vote Smart: Oregon Congressional National Political Awareness Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Support national standards for and testing of public school students."
  • Home School Legal Defense Association. 1999-2000. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Ron Wyden supported the interests of the Home School Legal Defense Association 60 percent in 1999-2000." (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. Issue Position: Education. "Although standards and assessments are critical to ensuring that students succeed, they must be fair and supported by federal funding." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
c) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
d) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
e) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? View Citations
  • Ron Wyden. S Amdt 4825 to S 3036. 110th Congress. In the nature of a substitute. Project Vote Smart Summary: Ron Wyden voted YES for cloture on 6 June 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. 2004. Project Vote Smart: Oregon Congressional National Political Awareness Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act;" "b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act;" "g) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles;" "i) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution;" "l) Support the U.S. re-entering the Kyoto treaty process to limit global warming."
  • Ron Wyden. 2010. The Oregonian (Portland, OR): 2010 Oregon Primary Election Candidate Survey. Responded: "It is time for Congress to put us on a path to a clean energy future that creates green energy jobs, ends our dependence on foreign oil and cuts our global warming pollution. Senators Kerry and Graham are indicating that an economy-wide cap and trade scheme will likely not be part of the reform package. I support a number of the priorities currently on the table including investing in new energy sources, using energy more efficiently and a sector-by-sector plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions. New energy sources like wind, wave and solar will create good, local jobs and keep our energy dollars here at home. Energy efficiency measures will create construction jobs and cut businesses' and consumers' power bills. And working with each sector individually to cut global warming pollution will protect our economy and jobs," to the question: "Should Congress pass "cap and trade" legislation to combat global warming? Why or why not?" (thevoterguide.oregonlive.com)
  • Environment America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Ron Wyden supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
c) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
d) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
e) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
f) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations
  • Ron Wyden. HR 1025. 103rd Congress. To provide for a waiting period before the purchase of a handgun, and for the establishment of a national instant criminal background check system to be contacted by firearms dealers before the transfer of any firearm. Project Vote Smart Summary: Ron Wyden voted YES on 10 November 1993. (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. HR 4296. 103rd Congress. To make unlawful the transfer or possession of assault weapons. Project Vote Smart Summary: Ron Wyden voted YES on 5 May 1994. (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. S Amdt 1067 to S Amdt 1058 to HR 627. 111th Congress. To protect innocent Americans from violent crime in national parks and refuges. Project Vote Smart Summary: Ron Wyden voted YES on 12 May 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. S Amdt 362 to S 254. 106th Congress. To regulate the sale of firearms at guns shows. Project Vote Smart Summary: Ron Wyden voted YES on 20 May 1999. (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. 2004. Project Vote Smart: Oregon Congressional National Political Awareness Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Renew the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting;" "b) Maintain and strengthen the current level of enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns;" "f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns;" "g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows."
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 2003. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Ron Wyden supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 100 percent from 1988 to 2003." (votesmart.org)
  • Gun Owners of America. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Ron Wyden a grade of F." (votesmart.org)
Yesb) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
Yesc) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Yesd) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles

I SUPPORT THE LEAST INTRUSIVE REGULATIONS ON THE PURCHASE AND POSSESSION OF GUNS PRACTICABLE TO ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY AND PRESERVE THE SECOND AMENDMENT.

YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Noc) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yese) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Nob) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
c) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles
NoInferred Answer a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations
  • Peace Action West. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Ron Wyden supported the interests of Peace Action West 70 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Ron Wyden. Wyden Statement on President's Afghanistan Speech. 2 December 2009. "I am skeptical that committing tens of thousands of additional men and women -- and billions of additional tax dollars -- to Afghanistan will help meet the President's stated goals. To the contrary, I remain concerned that this proposed surge will take away desperately-needed resources to restore our economy and put people back to work. I agree that America must continue its efforts to eliminate and disrupt safe havens for terrorism, and it is essential as we do so to determine if there are better, less-costly ways to go about that mission. The question is whether an 18-month troop surge in Afghanistan will have an enduring impact on the ability of terrorists and other bad actors to operate in that region. I will reserve final judgment on the troop surge until after the Senate Intelligence Committee receives its classified briefing from the Obama Administration. As of tonight, my strong preference is to keep those troops and billions of dollars right here at home to help re-build America." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
c) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
d) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
e) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yesf) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesg) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yesh) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Yesi) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles

SEVERAL QUESTIONS IN THIS SECTION ARE FAR TOO COMPLEX TO DISTILL A YES/NO ANSWER.

NoCandidate Answera) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Nod) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

Three of my top priorities will be tax reform, forest policy and health reform. My bipartisan tax reform plan will cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses and end the incentives for shipping jobs overseas. We also need to adopt the Oregon Eastside Forest Plan that has brought together conservationists and timber companies to devise a balanced approach that will create healthier forests and jobs. Finally, I will help Oregon move forward on it's own model of health reform.

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