ron wyden

Democrats Predict Same Pitfalls for a Speaker Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has laid out his terms and is now running for speaker of the House. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats on both sides of the Rotunda see Paul D. Ryan as a reliable legislator, but someone likely to face the same pitfalls as his predecessor if elected speaker.  

As the Wisconsin Republican spent Wednesday reaching out to the various factions of the House GOP conference, Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said in a brief interview there were many aspects of Ryan's background he feels "good about." He cited the 2013 budget agreement with Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and a 2013 appearance in Chicago with Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., in support of an immigration overhaul , saying the latter "showed more courage than most people in the House Republican caucus." Durbin said it was too soon to tell what kinds of policies Ryan, now chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, would pursue as speaker, but he expects "to see some conservative suggestions that I might not agree with."  

More Than a Decade Later, Senators Look Back on 9/11

Burr is 1 of 4 Intelligence Committee members who were on the committee on 9/11 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fourteen years ago, the 9/11 terror attacks shattered the illusion that Americans were safe on their own soil.  

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard M. Burr, a member of the House Intelligence Committee at the time, recalls the panel had spent a tremendous amount of time the preceding summer listening to warnings by George Tenet, a top CIA official at the time, and intelligence reports that something was going to happen.  

Democrats Filibuster Obama's Fast-Track Trade Bill (Updated) (Video)

Wyden, left, earlier shepherded fast-track through committee, but balked at advancing it on the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:49 p.m. | The Senate blocked President Barack Obama's top trade priority Tuesday, with the president's own party abandoning him en masse. Many Democrats insisted that several issues be bundled into the so-called fast-track trade authority bill, including a currency-related bill, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., balked, only agreeing to votes on amendments instead.  

Wyden Ponders Release of CIA Torture Report Without White House Consent

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A senior Senate Democrat is firing a warning shot at the White House against stalling the release of a report about the past use of torture by the U.S. intelligence community.  

Sen. Ron Wyden is talking with his colleagues about the possibility of using a seldom-invoked procedure to declassify an Intelligence Committee report on the use of torture in the event the White House does not move ahead quickly.  

Internet Sales Tax Bill Dealt a Blow; Wyden Cheers

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Majority Leader Harry Reid is quietly stepping back from his intention to bundle an Internet tax moratorium with a more contentious proposal to allow states to collect online sales taxes, at least for now.  

The Nevada Democrat had said July 16, "I think it's fair to say the two are going to be together." The move, backed by Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., would have constituted a run around Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who opposes the legislation known as the Marketplace Fairness Act.  

Wyden Continues to Blast Obama Administration on 'Backdoor' Surveillance (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden is raising additional concerns about "backdoor" queries of communications by American citizens by federal intelligence and law enforcement authorities.  

"I and other reformers in Congress have argued that intelligence agencies should absolutely be permitted to search for communications pertaining to counterterrorism and other foreign threats, but if intelligence officials are deliberately searching for and reading the communications of specific Americans, the Constitution requires a warrant," Wyden said in a statement. "The bipartisan, bicameral legislation that I and other reformers have supported would permit the government to conduct these searches pursuant to a probable cause warrant or emergency authorization, and it would include an exception for searches for individuals who are believed to be in danger."  

Senators Seek More Information About Targeted Killings With Drones (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Senate Democrats want the public to know more about the rules behind the targeted killing of American citizens using drones.  

"I believe every American has the right to know when their government believes it is allowed to kill them, and the public release of this memo is a positive step toward reducing the secrecy that surrounds this question," Sen. Ron Wyden said in a statement. "However, there are many important questions that this memo does not address."  

Wyden Touts Whistleblower Protections in Intelligence Bill (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden is chastising a recent policy directive while highlighting new whistleblower protections in the intelligence bill that the Senate quietly passed Wednesday evening .  

In a widely-reported April directive, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. prohibited intelligence agency personnel from making unauthorized contact with members of the media. In the view of Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has been a longtime skeptic of surveillance programs, the policy could be implemented in far too many circumstances.  

Democrats Hint DOJ Misled Court on Surveillance

Udall and Wyden are raising new concerns about the government's surveillance techniques. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are blasting the Obama administration for potentially misleading the Supreme Court about the scope of surveillance activities back in 2012.  

The New York Times  reported Tuesday evening that Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado are expressing fresh concerns that the Justice Department Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act may have misrepresented the breadth of collections.