If Congress and states don’t act immediately, our country could face an electoral Chernobyl this fall.

Georgia’s train wreck of an election showed nearly every way that Election Day can go wrong: Start with a base of shoddy electronic election equipment and a system that was unprepared for a surge in mail-in ballots. Add a failure in leadership from state election officials, who had no contingency plans for extremely predictable COVID-related complications. And top it all off with Republicans’ usual affinity for ensuring that Black voters and other people of color face huge hurdles to get to the ballot box.

Every summer, communities across the West brace themselves for the threat the wildfire season poses to lives, property and nature. Lately, the fires that have raged in Oregon and surrounding states are not your grandfather’s wildfires. They are bigger. They are more powerful. They are more dangerous. And they are more destructive.

This wildfire season there is an added, deadly challenge: an historic global pandemic. COVID-19 coupled with catastrophic wildfires adds up to a prescription for major problems to our public health and our rural jobs.

That is why I, and ten other Western Senators, are asking the Forest Service…

M. President, the Republican Leader is reportedly on the verge of “going nuclear” to speed through the confirmation of more right-wing nominees. He says Democrats are guilty of extreme, unprecedented obstruction. And so he claims his hand has been forced, and that’s why he needs to force this change to Senate rules.

Here in the real world, however, the facts tell a different story. So today I want to lay out a few key points as to why this is the wrong way to go.

When you look at the numbers, you see the Republican Leader’s argument is a fantasy…

Mr. President, I have come to the floor today to discuss the nomination of William Barr to be Attorney General. I am firmly opposed to the nomination for many reasons, from his past attacks on the Mueller investigation to his endorsement of torture. More generally, I am deeply concerned about his view that the President is effectively royalty, that he is unaccountable to the laws of our country or to the constraints imposed by the U.S. Congress.

That brings me to the topic I want to focus on today, which is Mr. Barr’s dangerous views on surveillance and his contempt…

From Paisley to Portland, last week reminded me how many different ways public service plays out at home in Oregon.

After having the honor to speak in southern Oregon at Memorial Day ceremonies in Eagle Point and Central Point, I awoke the next morning back home in Portland ready for jury duty in Multnomah County.

I did not get called this time to serve on a jury. …

Right now, copyright for music and other sound recordings from before 1972 aren’t covered by federal laws. Instead there’s a confusing patchwork of state laws, and a huge amount of uncertainty about what rights apply to streaming music online.

I’ve proposed the ACCESS to Recordings Act, which would give artists new rights in two ways: first it would apply the current 95-year copyright to pre-1972 works, starting in 1923. So if you are an artist who wrote a top ten hit in 1958, for example, you would immediately get copyright to that song until 2053.

For absolutely every living artist…

It is with sadness and reflection that I take a moment today to remember the shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, 20 years ago.

At the time, we thought of Thurston as a tragic anomaly and not as the forerunner of the horrific epidemic of gun violence in our schools we are living today. This plague rips away the lives of children and teachers, forever wounding the body and spirit of entire communities which never truly heal.

Twenty years have passed since a 15-year-old Thurston student went to his school, after killing his parents in their home, and…

Mr. President, as the Senate moves to vote on the nominee to head the CIA, here’s the bottom line: while the American people have been told that Gina Haspel likes Johnny Cash and talked to Mother Teresa, Ms. Haspel has been exercising the unprecedented power to personally censor any facts that might get in the way of her confirmation.

When the Senate votes on a nomination when all the relevant information is by design kept secret, how is this any different from a cover up? …

M. President, right now there’s a vitally important debate happening on this floor with respect to judicial nominations. What’s clear to me is, the majority is chipping away at a century of bipartisan tradition that has protected the interests of people in our home states and served as a check on the powers of the executive. It’s the Senate bowing down to the White House, derelict in its constitutional duty to provide or withhold advice and consent on nominees. And in my view, it’s a dangerous mistake that will have harmful consequences for decades.

Today the debate is over the…

M. President, I stand on the Senate floor today in firm agreement with my colleagues that the Congress must do more to combat the scourge of sex trafficking. It is a profound and tragic failure of American institutions that trafficking has not only continued to plague this nation — it has increased.

Federal law enforcement has failed to root out and prosecute traffickers, even when they’re operating in plain sight. So, too, have internet companies failed when it comes to sex traffickers operating on their platforms.

I fear that the legislation before the Senate will be another failure. I fear…

Ron Wyden

U.S. Senator from Oregon. @SenateFinance Ranking Member. wyden.senate.gov

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