Russ Feingold on Homeland Security

Last Updated : Dec 17, 2010

Summary

Senator Feingold has been a vocal opponent of the USA PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretapping, and other measures enacted since the 9/11 attacks.  He was the only Senator to vote against the PATRIOT act when it first came up for a vote. He has been an outspoken critic of Guantanamo Bay,and "sneak and peek" searches which allow warrantless searches without notification to the subject. He has introduced legislation to provide notification to those people within 7 days.

 

FISA Legislation

In January of 2008, Senator Feingold released a press statement noting his support for a FISA bill that is coming out of the Judiciary committee over a competing bill that is coming out of the intelligence committee.

In January of 2008, Senator Feingold spoke on the Senate floor about the need for the legislative branch to have access to FISA court rulings so that they can write or make laws which are in agreement with court rulings.

In February of 2008, Senator Feingold released a press statement noting several amendments that he would like to add to the FISA legislation.

As the final version of the FISA legislation did not contain the provisions that Senator Feingold was suggesting, he opposed the final version of the legislation.

 

Interrogation Techniques

In February of 2008, Senator Feingold released a press statement noting efforts he was making to ensure that the only interrogation techniques used are those outline in the Army field manual.

In May of 2003, Senator Feingold released a press statement noting hearings he would be conducting to investigate the enhanced interrogations techniques of the Bush Administration. 

 

Intelligence Overhaul

In May of 2008, Senator Feingold issued a press statement noting legislation he was putting forth to solve intelligence gaps that he stated still existed in the community.

In June of 2008, Senator Feingold gave a speech to discuss a new American foundation in intelligence. Within that speech he noted the flaws that still remain in the intelligence. Within that speech, he cited these areas as failure in intelligence:

  • A Mistaken and Myopic Focus on Iraq
  • Deficit in Strategic Non-Military Resources
  • Intelligence Gaps

In September of 2008, Senator Feingold gave a speech at Georgetown in which he outlined similar problems with the war in Iraq, and the areas where the US had failed in intelligence. 

  

President Obama's Executive Orders

In January of 2009, Senator Feingold issued a press statement noting his support executive orders issued by President Obama to overturn a number of the Bush era policies.

In April of 2009, Senator Feingold gave President Obama a 100 day report card on prisoner and homeland security issues. That report can be seen here. He stated that overall, he was pleased with the progress made.

 

Torture and Detention

In April of 2009, Senator Feingold issued a press statement noting his support for the possibility of President Obama prosecuting those who authorized torture under President Bush.

In June of 2009, while speaking at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Senator Feingold spoke about his opposition to prolonged detention.

 

State Secrets

In April of 2008, Senator Feingold spoke at the Senate Judiciary Committee about the use of secret law by the Bush administration.

Senator Feingold also made a web video to detail actions he was taking to address the practice.

In April of 2009, Senator Feingold noted a ninth circuit court of appeals decision concerning the use of state secrets. He notes his State Secrets Protections Act.

 

Immunity for Companies

In July of 2008, Senator Feingold spoke on the Senate floor about his support for an amendment offered by Senator Dodd to prevent retroactive immunity for communications companies that participated with the Bush administration in wiretapping programs.

 

2010 Campaign Re-Election Website Statements

Senator Feingold discusses homeland security issues on pages titled "National Security" and "Rights and Freedoms"

 

 

Voting Record

FISA Amendment Acts of 2007

In February of 2008, the Senate voted on the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007. The legislation passed the Senate with bipartisan support 68-29, but was never raised in the House. The legislation primarily contained provisions to allow for the monitoring of terrorists overseas that were a continuation of expired provisions in the Protect America Act. It also granted immunity to telecommunications companies against their customers for giving information to the government without a warrant. Russ Feingold voted against the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007.

Russ Feingold voted against the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007.

Restore Habeas Corpus

In September of 2009, the Senate voted on an amendment to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners a Guantanamo Bay. The measure received a majority of the votes, but not enough to pass. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the measure to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners.

Russ Feingold voted in favor of the measure to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners.

Protect America Act of 2007

The Protect America Act of 2007 dealt with certain aspects of electronic surveillance and the overall war on terror. In the vote to pass the legislation, most Republicans supported the bill and only about 1/3 of the Democrats supported the legislation. Russ Feingold voted against the Protect America Act of 2007.

Russ Feingold voted against the Protect America Act of 2007.

Military Commission Act of 2006

The Military Commissions Act passed in response to a supreme court ruling which stated that stated that military tribunals established by the Bush administrations did not align with the UCMJ. The Act defined unlawful enemy combatants and allowed for the military tribunals to be held. It passed the Senate 65-34. Russ Feingold voted against the Military Commission Act of 2006.

Russ Feingold voted against the Military Commission Act of 2006.

USA PATRIOT Reauthorization Act

In March of 2006, congress reauthorized the USA PATRIOT Act. Despite the fact that the PATRIOT Act had become a controversial topic, only 4 Senators opposed the act in the actual vote. Russ Feingold voted against the USA PATRIOT Reauthorization Act.

Russ Feingold voted against the USA PATRIOT Reauthorization Act.

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004

In October of 2004, congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. The act was meant to reform national intelligence, and it created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The act passed the Senate with only 2 dissenting votes. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002

In November 2002, the Senate passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Among other things, the act created the Department of Homeland Security, and set forth the jurisdiction of that department. In the vote, almost all Republicans supported the legislation and only a small percentage of Democrats opposed it. Russ Feingold voted against the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Russ Feingold voted against the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

The Patriot Act

In October of 2001, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Although the act passed the senate with 1 dissenting vote and 1 \"No Vote\", it has become one of the more divisive pieces of legislation. This is partly due to the expansion of governmental wiretapping privileges. Russ Feingold voted against the PATRIOT Act.

Russ Feingold voted against the PATRIOT Act.

Authorization for the Use of Force

Three days after the attacks of September 11, the senate authorized the use of military force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. The vote was unanimous. Russ Feingold voted to give President Bush the Authorization for the use of force.

Russ Feingold voted to give President Bush the Authorization for the use of force.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-S 185; Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Repeals provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that eliminated the jurisdiction of any court to hear or consider applications for a writ of habeas corpus filed by aliens who have been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as enemy combatants (or who are awaiting such determination) and actions against the United States relating to the detention of such aliens and to military commissions (thus restoring habeas corpus rights existing prior to the enactment of such Act).Allows courts to hear or consider legal challenges to military commissions only as provided by the Code of Military Justice or by a habeas corpus proceeding.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 576; Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to provide for the effective prosecution of terrorists and guarantee due process rights.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 2088; National Security Letter Reform Act of 2007 - Prime Sponsor

A bill to place reasonable limitations on the use of National Security Letters, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 2369; Delayed Notice Search Warrants - Cosponsor

A bill to require a more reasonable period for delayed-notice search warrants, to provide enhanced judicial review of FISA orders and national security letters, to require an enhanced factual basis for a FISA order, and to create national security letter sunset provisions.

User Comments