U.S. Senator Russ Feingold

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Feingold-Dodd-Menendez "Use It or Lose It" Bill
July 16, 2008

As Americans face record high energy and gas prices, there have been many suggestions from all sides about how to fix our energy problems. Oil companies and others are suggesting that we can cure our energy woes by opening more federal lands for drilling. But what many people don’t realize is that oil companies in this country already hold leases on 66 million acres of federal land that they are not developing. That is why U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act, also known as “Use It or Lose It” legislation, to spur development on the lands that are already leased.

The New FISA Bill: A Bad Deal
June 23, 2008

The FISA deal announced on June 19 effectively grants retroactive immunity to companies that allegedly participated in the President’s illegal wiretapping program, and it does not provide adequate protections for innocent Americans. Title I of the new bill, which includes a dramatic expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, does not include the most significant safeguards approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it does not include any of the amendments that Senator Feingold offered on the Senate floor earlier this year, each of which received 35 or more Democratic votes. These safeguards would have permitted the government to obtain the intelligence information it needs while also protecting the privacy of law-abiding Americans.

Feingold, Reid Push Administration to Put Fight Against al Qaeda First
February 25, 2008

As our open-ended presence in Iraq strains on our military to the breaking point, we face increasingly dangerous situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. U.S. Senator Russ Feingold and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have introduced legislation to force the administration to focus on those threats and draw down our troops in Iraq.

Potential Feingold Amendments to FISA Bill
January 24, 2008

As the Senate resumes consideration of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s FISA bill, Senator Feingold will continue to oppose any FISA legislation that does not adequately protect the privacy of innocent Americans or contains immunity for telecommunications companies that allegedly participated in the President’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program. He also plans to offer a series of amendments to help fix the deeply flawed bill.

Dodd-Feingold Amendment to Strike Retroactive Immunity
December 17, 2007

S. 2248 would require the courts to throw out lawsuits alleging that telephone companies broke the law by participating in warrantless surveillance. If the immunity provision became law, even if it could be proven that telephone companies clearly and knowingly broke the law, they would not be held accountable, and Americans’ privacy rights would be nullified.

End Racial Profiling Act of 2007
December 12, 2007

In his address to a joint session of Congress on February 27, 2001, President George W. Bush declared that "racial profiling is wrong and we will end it in America." The End Racial Profiling Act of 2007 offers a reasonable and measured response to this destructive practice. The End Racial Profiling Act would, for the first time, prohibit the use of racial profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and agents.

Presidential Funding Act
December 5, 2007

U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Susan Collins (R-ME) and U.S. Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) have introduced legislation to repair and strengthen the presidential public financing system. The Presidential Funding Act of 2007 addresses problems that have developed in the system, which was put in place following the Watergate scandal. The presidential public funding system is intended to protect the integrity of the electoral process by allowing presidential candidates to run competitive campaigns without becoming overly dependent on private donors.

Identifying the Flaws of the FISA Legislation
October 25, 2007

Before adjourning for the August recess, Congress rushed through legislation increasing the government’s po wer to conduct warrantless surveillance. Now, Congress must fix the fundamental flaws of the so-called Protect America Act: the lack of meaningful court involvement, the lack of privacy protections for law-abiding Americans, and inadequate congressional and administrative oversight.

Clean Water Restoration Act
October 17, 2007

October 18th, 2007 marks the 35th anniversary of Congress’s enactment of the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972. Earlier this year, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold introduced the Clean Water Restoration Act, a bill to restore the original protections of our nation’s rivers, streams and wetlands provided by the CWA. The bill is cosponsored by 19 senators and bipartisan companion legislation has been introduced by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Teachers at the Table Act
September 18, 2007

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will be introducing the Teachers at the Table Act of 2007, a bill that would create a Volunteer Teacher Advisory Committee to advise Congress and the Department of Education on the impact of No Child Left Behind on students, their families, and the classroom learning environment. This legislation is the Senate companion to the Teachers at the Table Act introduced by Representatives Carolyn McCarthy and Lee Terry in the House and is fully paid for through offsets.

Improving Student Testing Act
September 17, 2007

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will be introducing the Improving Student Testing Act of 2007, a bill that will make changes to the No Child Left Behind Act to improve the quality of education assessments used in our schools and support innovative state and local school reform efforts. The legislation is fully paid for through offsets.

The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act
July 31, 2007

The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which the House and Senate will vote on this week, is landmark lobbying and ethics reform legislation. It includes many provisions that were contained in or are based on Sen. Feingold’s original bill, which was introduced in July 2005 (S. 1398), and/or the bill introduced by Senators Feingold and Obama in January 2007 (S. 230).

Call to Censure the President and Administration Officials
July 24, 2007

On Sunday, July 22, Senator Feingold announced that he will introduce two censure resolutions condemning the President, Vice President and possibly other administration officials for misconduct relating to the war in Iraq and for their repeated assaults on the rule of law. Below are some of the ways that these resolutions can both hold the President and his administration accountable, and allow Congress to focus on the many other pressing issues facing the country.

The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007
July 12, 2007

When Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), its goal was to allow an alternative forum for parties on equal footing to resolve their disputes. Yet a series of court decisions moved the law away from its original intent and opened the door for arbitration to be used to deprive ordinary citizens in employment, consumer, and franchise disputes of their constitutional right to use the civil justice system.

Core of McCain-Feingold Untouched by Supreme Court Decision
June 27, 2007

While the Wisconsin Right to Life decision is disappointing, McCain-Feingold is alive and well. The primary purpose and achievement of McCain-Feingold was to ban unlimited “soft money” contributions. The Supreme Court’s decision in WRTL left this central provision of McCain-Feingold intact. The ban was upheld by the Supreme Court in its 2003 McConnell decision; it is being enforced, and remains in effect.

Feingold-Reid Bill to End the Open-Ended Military Mission in Iraq
June 25, 2007

The Feingold-Reid legislation requires the safe redeployment of U.S. troops by March 31, 2008. The Senate is expected to vote on Feingold-Reid during the upcoming debate over the Department of Defense authorization bill.

Feingold-Graham State-Based Health Care Reform Act
April 25, 2007

The bill is designed to provide more uninsured Americans with health care coverage. The legislation seeks to accomplish this goal by establishing a pilot grant program to enable states or localities to propose and administer health insurance expansion projects. These state-based reforms will provide the country with the evidence and experience necessary to address nationwide health care reform.

Feingold and Ryan Team up to Target Wasteful Spending
April 23, 2007

Senator Russ Feingold and Congressman Paul Ryan introduced new legislation to create a line-item veto to target wasteful earmarks, improve congressional accountability, and deter lawmakers from inserting "Bridges to Nowhere" or other frivolous spending into future bills.

Efforts to Support Working Wisconsinites
February 16, 2007

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold supports a wide range of efforts to improve conditions for working families in Wisconsin. Earlier this year, he voted to increase the federal minimum wage and has backed a number of initiatives to support Wisconsin’s workers.

Community-Based Health Care Retraining Bill
February 15, 2007

Senator Russ Feingold has introduced the Community-Based Health Care Retraining Act to help displaced workers retrain for jobs in the health care sector. The Community-Based Health Care Retraining Act would amend the Workforce Investment Act to help communities create programs that would retrain displaced workers and prepare them for high-demand health care jobs if a community has both significant manufacturing or service sector job losses and shortages in the health care professions.

Buy American Improvement Act
February 14, 2007

Under current law, the federal government is supposed to support American manufacturers and American workers by buying goods made in the U.S., but the law contains loopholes that allow agencies to buy foreign goods in some circumstances. The Buy American Improvement would strengthen American manufacturing by making it harder to waive the Buy American requirement.

Resolution to Establish Minimum Trade Standards
February 13, 2007

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has introduced a resolution that establishes some minimum standards for the trade agreements into which our nation enters. The legislation addresses the major problems with our nation’s failed trade policies and sets forth principles for future trade agreements. It is a break with the so-called NAFTA model, and instead advocates the kinds of sound trade policies that will spur economic growth and sustainable development.

Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007
January 30, 2007

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold today introduced the Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007. Feingold’s bill uses Congress’s power of the purse to force the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq by prohibiting funds for continued operations six months after enactment. Feingold’s legislation allows for specific operations to continue in Iraq beyond six months, including counter-terrorism efforts, protection of U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and training of Iraqi security forces. The six-month timeframe provides the President with adequate time to safely redeploy the troops from Iraq.

On the Affordable Housing Expansion and Public Safety Act
November 16, 2006

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has introduced the Affordable Housing Expansion and Public Safety Act, a bill that would provide housing assistance to Americans facing the current severe shortage of affordable housing. The legislation builds on effective federal programs and targets resources to the nation’s most vulnerable families. It is fully paid for through offsets, making funding available right away and allowing the programs to take effect immediately.

On Leading the Effort to Create and Extend the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR)
November - December 2006

For over three years, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has led the effort to create and extend the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR.) The SIGIR serves as a watchdog over the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars allocated for Iraq reconstruction. The SIGIR's office has been effective in its role, uncovering a wide range of problems relating to the waste, fraud and abuse of U.S. taxpayer funds in Iraq.

Senator Specter's NSA Wiretapping Bill Still a Failure
September 25, 2006

A new version of the Senator Specter’s S.2453, the National Security Surveillance Act, was introduced in the Senate on Friday, September 22. But the changes to the bill do nothing to address its core problems, and in some ways make it worse. Here are some of the ways that the new version of Senator Specter’s bill still fails:

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold’s Record on Jobs and Trade

Throughout his Senate career, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has been a strong advocate for Wisconsin’s working families. His comprehensive efforts to prevent the outsourcing of American jobs by opposing flawed trade agreements, encouraging the purchasing of American-made goods, and helping displaced workers retrain in growing fields to compete in a new job market include the following.

Gulf Coast Housing Accessibility Act of 2006
August 24, 2006

Senator Feingold has announced that he will introduce, the Gulf Coast Housing Accessibility Act, a bill that seeks to provide immediate and long-term housing assistance to the victims of last year’s hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast, as well as future disaster victims.

Presidential Funding Act of 2006
July 27, 2006

Senator Feingold and Representatives Shays and Meehan have introduced bills in the House and Senate to reform the presidential public funding system. This bill would take effect for the 2008 election.

State-Based Health Care Reform Act
July 24, 2006

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will introduce the State-Based Health Care Reform Act in order to end the political stalemate in Congress that has been preventing meaningful health coverage from being enacted.

Wiretapping Agreement: Not as Advertised
July 17, 2006

A review of Senator Specter’s legislation shows why the President would agree to this “compromise” – because it gives him even more power than he has asserted under his illegal NSA wiretapping program, based on public descriptions of that program. What’s more, as Senator Specter has emphasized, the President will only agree to judicial review of the NSA program if these broad new authorities – and every aspect of the bill – remain unchanged.

527 Reform Act

Senators McCain, Feingold and Lott have introduced the 527 Reform Act to close the 527 loophole. The 527 Reform Act is designed to clarify and reaffirm that such 527 groups are required to comply with federal campaign finance laws.

March 12, 2006

Senator Feingold’s resolution of censure condemns the President for breaking the law by authorizing an illegal wiretapping program, and for misleading Congress and the American people about the existence and legality of that program.

Patriot Act
February 10, 2006

The White House has agreed to only a few minor changes to the Patriot Act conference report – the same report that could not get through the Senate back in December. These changes do not address the major problems with the Patriot Act that a bipartisan coalition has been trying to fix for the past several years. Senator Feingold strongly opposes this deal, and any reauthorization of the Patriot Act that does not protect the rights and freedoms of law-abiding Americans with no connection to terrorism.

Warrantless Domestic Wiretaps
January 11, 2006

Senator Feingold and members of Congress from both parties have expressed deep concern about the President authorizing the National Security Agency (NSA) to wiretap American citizens on American soil without a warrant. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) makes it a crime to wiretap Americans in the United States without a warrant or a court order.