BEND, Ore. - Before his Bend town hall meeting Monday evening, Sen. Ron Wyden appeared on NewsChannel 21 Fox at Four, talking about issues ranging from North Korea and China to the new U.S. Supreme Court justice and whether the Senate can find a path to bipartisan progress on issues like tax reform.
“The fact is, China keeps expanding its trade with North Korea, and that has really been what’s sustained their economy, Wyden said in response to a question from Lee Anderson about the current crisis atmosphere.
“I just hope they send a message to the North Koreans now, that unless North Korea takes steps to make the world more peaceful, they’re going to hold the line on some of this expansion of trade,” Wyden said.
Asked by Anderson about President Trump’s recent welcome to China playing a bigger role in the matter, the senator said, “I hope so, and I think we need to insist on it.”
Wyden called on the administration “to use all the tools in the toolbox” — “hard power,” like the Syrian missile raid, as well as “soft power and diplomacy. He ought to use all of it.”
As or Syria, the senator said, “There’s some key players we ought to be pushing to take additional steps toward peace. The Iranians have to be thinking Assad is not giving the Shiite religion a good name.” He called it “essential” to get Assad “off the world stage, after 400,000 deaths” of his own people.
Anderson also asked whether, after Senate Republicans changed the rules to confirm new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, does that move "signal an end to bipartisanship in the Senate?”
“I certainly hope not,” Wyden said, though he noted, “Sometimes, when you set things in motion in the Senate, you don't know where it’s going to end.”
But the senator said that “to do big things, you have to be bipartisan” to make changes with lasting impact — such as tax reform.
Wyden noted that this week, as Americans are rushing to get their taxes filed, and they face a system that is compulsory: “There are no special Cayman Island deals for you. They just take the taxes out of your paycheck.”
But “if you are one of the fortunate few” who can work the system, “you can pretty much pay what you want, when you want,” Wyden said. “That’s not right, and so I proposed a bipartisan tax reform that would change it.”
You can watch the whole 6-plus-minute interview above.