Ron Wyden

Democrats Nervous About Sen. Wyden Being Keen To Work With Republicans

The Oregon Democrat will soon be chairman of the Finance Committee

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A maverick senator's ascension to the chairmanship of the Finance Committee next month could break years of legislative gridlock on one of the most influential panels in Congress.

Republicans are looking forward to working with Sen. Ron Wyden, a pragmatic Democrat from Oregon who has reached across the aisle on healthcare and taxes. 

Wyden will soon take the gavel from Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who has presided over the panel as chairman or ranking member since 2001. Baucus is expected to be confirmed as President Obama's ambassador to China.

"I'm excited," said Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), who has co-sponsored a comprehensive tax reform bill with Wyden.

"He knows you've got to have bipartisan support to get a tax bill that's going to pass and be worth anything."