Ron Wyden

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NSA Confirms 'Back Door' Used to Spy on Americans

Sen. Ron Wyden wants to shut it quickly

(Newser) - It took a few months, but Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon finally got his answer from national intelligence chief James Clapper. Yes, Clapper wrote in a letter , the NSA does indeed spy on Americans' emails and phone calls—without a warrant—thanks to a revision in a law originally... More »

NSA Has 'Backdoor' to Search US Emails

Senator Ron Wyden confirms latest Snowden leak

(Newser) - The NSA has a secret legal "backdoor" allowing it to search for emails and other information related to specific Americans without a warrant, the Guardian reports. It's the latest leak from Edward Snowden, and this time it comes with confirmation from Senate Intelligence Committee member and perpetual NSA... More »

Critics Piling On US Intelligence Chief

James Clapper's 'least untruthful' explanation not sitting well

(Newser) - Edward Snowden may be getting vilified in some camps over the NSA leaks, but the nation's intelligence director isn't having such a great time, either. Witness this piece in Slate by Fred Kaplan demanding that James Clapper be fired for lying. The issue, as the Washington Post and... More »

8 Senators: Blow the Doors Open on FISA Court

Bipartisan group wants FISA rulings declassified

(Newser) - Here's one way to cut down on leaks about spy agencies' use of the super-secret FISA court—make the rulings public. Eight senators from both parties backed a bill today that would bring far more transparency to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, reports Roll Call . They want key rulings... More »

Brennan's CIA Hearing: How Dramatic Will It Get?

Drones, torture hang over proceedings

(Newser) - John Brennan will head to Capitol Hill today for his CIA confirmation hearing, and everyone's wondering the same thing: How dramatic is this going to get? Questions are hanging in the air about the Obama administration's drone strikes, classified information, and torture, but there's a chance lawmakers... More »

GOP Rolls Out Budget With Huge Tax Cuts

There would be just two brackets, with the top at 25%

(Newser) - House Republicans rolled out a new Paul Ryan-penned budget proposal today that calls for a drastic tax-code overhaul, major changes to Medicare and Medicaid, and deep cuts in domestic spending, all while softening a set of automatic defense spending cuts set to hit in January. The budget would scrap our... More »

New Ryan Plan Would Keep Medicare

He'll offer new strategy with Democrat Ron Wyden

(Newser) - Paul Ryan looks to be backing off his controversial plan to scrap Medicare entirely—the one Newt Gingrich famously derided as "right-wing social engineering," reports the Hill . Instead, the GOP congressman and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden will unveil a new strategy tomorrow that would allow the program to... More »

Senator Wyden: The Real Patriot Act Is Classified

And he wants the government to make it public information

(Newser) - If you think the Patriot Act is invasive, you don’t know the half of it, Ron Wyden says—and he can’t tell you. In an interview with Wired , the Democratic Oregon senator reveals that the government is operating on a much broader interpretation of the law than it... More »

In Budget Deal, Lobbyists Win Surprising Battle

Ron Wyden's voucher plan scrapped—though that won't save money

(Newser) - Soon after Democrats and Republicans settled on a deal to avoid a government shutdown, Ron Wyden got a call from Harry Reid. “You lost free-choice vouchers,” he said. Translation: Somehow in the budget scuffle, those involved agreed out of the blue to kill a plan Wyden had fought... More »

Sen. Wyden Has Prostate Cancer, May Miss Votes

Democrat will undergo surgery next week

(Newser) - Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has been diagnosed with early-state prostate cancer and will undergo surgery next week. The long-term prognosis is good for the 61-year-old from Oregon, but he will miss votes tomorrow and next week, potentially complicating Democratic efforts to gather 60 votes to pass measures including the START... More »

Senate Faces Another Fight on Extending Benefits

Starring Tom Coburn as Jim Bunning

(Newser) - With the Senate scheduled for a two-week recess after tomorrow, there’s another showdown brewing over unemployment benefits—and this time, the Republicans have introduced a bill of their own in an apparent effort to avoid the negative publicity that came with Sen. Jim Bunning’s one-man filibuster earlier this... More »

Maybe Baucus Bill Is Better Than Nothing

David Brooks wishes Congress had listened to Ron Wyden

(Newser) - Even David Brooks has become convinced that the health care system needs a fundamental overhaul—and unfortunately, it’s not going to get one. The best option, Democrat Ron Wyden’s proposal to let employees take their employer’s contribution and spend it on an open health care exchange, was... More »

Baucus Touts His Bipartisan Bill—Alone

(Newser) - Max Baucus took to the Wall Street Journal opinion page today to make the case for the health care reform bill he’s unveiling this morning. “Our plan would lower costs and would not add to the federal deficit,” he declares in the first of many statements about... More »

Health Care Bills Don't Offer Real Choice

Legislation in Congress seem to settle for status quo

(Newser) - Health insurance firms are essentially monopolies because employers, not individuals, choose which plans to offer. This freedom from competitive forces has allowed insurance to become flaky and opaque—and the reform currently being debated in Washington would do little about it, writes David Leonhardt for the New York Times. Even... More »

Silver: Don't Forget Wyden's Health Plan

(Newser) - When a bipartisan group of six senators sent a letter to Harry Reid yesterday asking him to slow down on health care reform, one name stood out to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com: Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon. At first glance, the liberal-ish senator doesn't seem to fit with the... More »

Senate Odd Couple Crafts Health Care Compromise

(Newser) - One is a 59-year-old liberal who used to advocate for senior citizens. The other is a 75-year-old conservative businessman. But together senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Robert Bennett of Utah may have crafted a bipartisan health plan with legs, writes Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal. Their Healthy... More »

Universal Health Crossing Lines

Post columnist examines bill with 12 Senate supporters, on both sides of aisle

(Newser) - While presidential candidates are busy bickering about how to achieve universal health care, a bill in the Senate has quietly acquired 12 supporters—the biggest bipartisan coalition ever gathered behind universal health care legislation, Ruth Marcus writes in the Washington Post.  Sponsors Ron Wyden and Bob Bennett hope the... More »

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