Posted: Sun, January 6 2013 at 7:19 PM, Updated: Mon, January 7 2013 at 8:34 PM
From the fiscal cliff to the debt ceiling, the drama in Washington may be just beginning. And one man many Oregonian's have their eye's on is senator Ron Wyden. He was in Southern Oregon today to talk with constituents about what's on tap for 2013.
At two town hall style meetings Sunday, Senator Ron Wyden addressed crowds in Jackson and Josephine counties about their concerns for the coming year, including the future of programs like medicare. Cuts to services a big worry as some Washington leaders are pushing for decreased spending.
"I want to know how we can fix those programs so they will be able to continue into the future without cutting benefits."
And the senator assured the crowd he's working to make sure that doesn't happen. Back east, in Washington, Wyden supported the deal which averted the so called fiscal cliff last week. Within the bill is a provision which would help local businesses like Brammo Motorsports in Ashland by giving tax credits to those who purchase electric two and three wheeled vehicles. It's a small market that Wyden hopes to expand.
"I think there is a real export market for these kinds of motorcycles. I'd like to make sure we get our hands on the market, especially in Asia which is going to be big," said Wyden.
Analysts say the fiscal cliff and hitting the debt ceiling last week is just the beginning of the political drama of the year. Senator Wyden says he couldn't agree more.
"The real challenge right now is cutting the deficit. Right now what you have is our country going out and borrowing from China in order to fund priorities that nobody in an Oregon town hall meeting agrees with."
And he says his next challenge? To get leaders in Washington to work together.
"One of the biggest priorities for me is to show that democrats and republicans can find common ground without giving up their principles."
Meanwhile, Senator Wyden will spend the next several weeks traveling throughout Oregon to find out what residents are concerned about here at home. Wyden began his town hall meetings back in 1995, hosting more than 330 since then. If you missed today's meetings, you can visit Senator Wyden's website for a schedule of when he will return.