U.S. Senator Russ Feingold

Podcasts and RSS Feeds

Subscribe with iTunes
Podcast RSS

RSS Feed
What are Podcasts and RSS Feeds?

More Information

Office of Senator Russ Feingold | 202/224-5323

Take a moment to read our Privacy Policy.

Comments on my website? Contact my webmaster

En Español

Top Banner Photo Credits

In July 2005, I introduced a comprehensive ethics and lobbying reform bill in the Senate. Later that same year, in December 2005, the indictment of Jack Abramoff put the issue of reform on the front burner in Congress. Joined by Senators Barack Obama (D-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), and others, I pushed for tough legislation to seriously change the way Washington works. Unfortunately, the congressional leadership at the time talked a good game, but was not really committed to reform. The bill that passed the Senate in May 2006 fell far short of what was needed to end some of the worst abuses in Washington. I opposed that bill, which later stalled in Congress.

In November 2006, fed up with lobbying scandals and Congress’s failure to take action, the American people voted for change. When a new Congress took office in 2007, I continued pushing for real lobbying and ethics reform that holds elected officials to the highest ethical standards. Senator Obama and I introduced a bill containing far-reaching reforms in January based on my 2005 proposal.

In the summer of 2007, Congress finally passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (“HLOGA”). I played a major role in crafting this bill. It contains many provisions from my 2005 proposal and from the Feingold-Obama 2007 legislation. On September 14th, 2007, the president signed the bill into law.

The bill curbs lobbyists’ gifts and privately funded travel, slows the revolving door between Congress and lobbying groups, improves lobbying disclosure, prohibits elaborate parties for members of Congress at party conventions, and does away with secret holds used by senators to block legislation anonymously.

The bill has been called “a major accomplishment” and its reforms were hailed as “the most important lobbying and ethics reforms since the Watergate era” by a non-partisan coalition of watchdog groups including Democracy 21, Common Cause, the Campaign Legal Center, League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG.

The enactment of HLOGA was a historic step towards ensuring Congress is working to advance the interests of the American people, not those of well-connected lobbyists in Washington.

Get more information on the legislation I introduced from a fact sheet.

Gift Ban
Revolving Door

Related: Deficit Reduction - Congressional Pay Raise
Related: Campaign Finance Reform


More Releases and Statements