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Ron Wyden makes taxes his priority on Senate panel

Oregon’s Ron Wyden.

EPA

Oregon’s Ron Wyden.

The incoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said he would make revamping the federal income tax system a top priority.

US Senator Ron Wyden added that he would also focus on creating jobs for the middle class and strengthening the guaranteed benefits of Medicare while holding down costs.

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The Oregon Democrat termed the income tax system a ‘‘dysfunctional, rotten mess.’’ He said he hopes to extend tax breaks that expired in December and use them to bridge comprehensive changes. He made his comments in a phone interview from Los Angeles on Friday.

Wyden is currently chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He is expected to be named Finance Committee chairman next week to replace Senator Max Baucus, who was confirmed Thursday to become US ambassador to China.

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