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#16 – Ron Wyden

#16 – Ron Wyden published on No Comments on #16 – Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden is a Democratic politician who is currently serving as the senior United States Senator for Oregon, a seat he has held since 1996. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives (1981-1996). He is also the current dean of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation.


Ron Wyden is the son of Edith Rosennow and Peter H. Wyden, both of them who are Jewish Refugees that had fled Nazi Germany. 1 Wyden, while teaching Gerontology at several Oregon universities, founded the Oregon Chapter of the Gray Panthers, which he had led from 1974-1980. He also served as the director of the Oregon Legal Services Center for the elderly, a nonprofit law service. And, from 1977-1979, he served on the Oregon State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators.2


In October 2015, Wyden was one of the Senate Democrats to unveil a new gun control campaign after the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College shooting. Wyden said the three areas the senators were focusing on, which consisted of increasing current background check requirements, closing “loopholes” on background checks when guns are purchased at gun shows or online, and closing the “pipeline of illegal guns” by rendering gun trafficking as a federal crime, were “common sense” and should have bipartisan support. 3


In late 1995, Wyden became the first U.S. Senator to publically support same-sex marriage. 4 He was one of 14 senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. 5 He has voted against the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have proposed an amendment to the constitution to bar recognition of same-sex marriages. Wyden also appeared up in the Senate Chamber in December 2010 to vote for the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.





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