Russ Feingold on The Economy

Last Updated : Dec 17, 2010

Summary

Senator Feingold supported and voted for the 2009 stimulus bill. He noted that the ultimate goal of the bill was to bring the deficit under control and that massive spending was necessary to do that. He opposed and voted against the bailout bill, or TARP package. He eventually introduced legislation to end the program. Senator Feingold voted against the Bush Stimulus. Senator Feingold also voted against the financial reform package, noting that it did not accomplish the goal of ending too big to fail.

 

Support for the Stimulus

In February of 2009, Senator Feingold spoke about the need for the stimulus package, the cause of the problem (a "Republican Mess"), and hopes that this would lead to a balanced budget through massive deficit spending.

Senator Feingold also wrote an op-ed which stated that while he was hesitant to approve the amount of spending in the legislation, the Stimulus bill was better thought out than the TARP.

 

On Financial Reform Package

In June of 2010, Senator Feingold released a press statement noting his opposition to the financial reform package, and his belief that it missed a number of opportunities.

 

On the Auto Bailout

 

Voting Record

Wall Street Reform

In 2010, the Senate passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. The legislation consolidated many financial regulatory agencies, increased transparency in the derivatives market, regulation of credit rating agencies, and a "resolution regime" to resolve insolvent banks. Russ Feingold voted against the Wall Street Reform Legislation.

Russ Feingold voted against the Wall Street Reform Legislation.

The Stimulus

After the stimulus passed the House, the conference report was voted on to pass the unified version. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Stimulus in the final vote.

Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Stimulus in the final vote.

The Stimulus

The Obama stimulus package passed through the Senate in January of 2009 and received the support of all Democrats and three Republicans. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the stimulus in the initial vote.

Russ Feingold voted in favor of the stimulus in the initial vote.

TARP Funds - Disapproval of Second Installment

In January of 2009, the Senate voted to released the second half of TARP funds to President Obama. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the resolution and against the second installment of TARP funds.

Russ Feingold voted in favor of the resolution and against the second installment of TARP funds.

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 was a program designed to assist those who may be able to remain in their home with a modest amount of government assistance. The bill got wide bi-partisan support in the Senate and passed 91-5. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

The TARP program was designed to prevent the failure of large banks by purchasing their "troubled assets" and allowing them to move them off their records as liabilities. The bill received both bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition and passed 74-25 with the two parties making up about half of each vote. In January of 2009, the Senate voted on granting the second half of the TARP funds to President Obama. Russ Feingold voted against the TARP program.

Russ Feingold voted against the TARP program.

The Bush Stimulus

In early 2008, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008 was passed in an attempt to stimulate the economy. Also known as the Bush Stimulus, the act consisted largely of checks sent to individuals. The bill received wide bipartisan support and passed the Senate 81-16. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Bush Stimulus.

Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Bush Stimulus.

Bankruptcy Reform

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 completely redefined bankruptcy in the United States. The bill made it much more '); echo('for people to walk away from unsecured debt, such as credit cards, and permitted the court to award some compensation to creditors in the event that a bankruptcy was awarded. The bill got bipartisan support and passed 74-25. Russ Feingold voted against the Bankruptcy Reform bill.

Russ Feingold voted against the Bankruptcy Reform bill.

American Jobs Creation Act

The American Jobs Creation Act was a Republican plan that was signed into law in the summer of 2004. The legislation ending some taxes in the agriculture industry, reduced corporate tax rates from 35% to 32%, reduced taxation on overseas income, and provisions to help companies invest in equipment. It passed the Senate 69-17.

Sarbanes-Oxley

In response to Enron and other accounting scandals, Congress passed a bill which imposed a number of book-keeping and accounting regulations on several industries. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The bill received almost unanimous support in the Senate and passed in a 99-1 vote. Russ Feingold voted in favor of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Russ Feingold voted in favor of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999

Also known as GRAMM-LEACH-BLILEY ACT, this legislation ended the Glass-Stegall rule that separated banking institutions from investment institutions. Russ Feingold voted against the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999.

Russ Feingold voted against the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 133; Troubled Asset Relief Program Transparency Reporting Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits the use by a recipient or its subsidiary of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 for lobbying expenditures or political contributions. Requires the Secretary of the Treasury, through enhanced internal reporting and oversight requirements, to develop and publish corporate governance principles and ethical guidelines for such recipients, including specified restrictions. Sets forth recipient reporting and certifying requirements governing such TARP funds. Requires the Secretary to make such reports and certifications publicly available online and free of charge. Subjects persons to civil fines for violating such prohibition on the use of TARP funds or failing to file the required report or certification. Bars recipients from future TARP funds for noncompliance with such guidelines unless the Secretary determines that reasonable steps have been taken to bring their actions into compliance with and to prevent future violations of this Act.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 61; Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends federal bankruptcy law governing a Chapter 13 debtor (adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income). Excludes from computation of debts the secured or unsecured portions of: (1) debts secured by the debtor's principal residence if the current value of that residence is less than the secured debt limit; or (2) debts secured or formerly secured by debtor's principal residence that was either sold in foreclosure or surrendered to the creditor if the current value of such real property is less than the secured debt limit. Declares the credit counseling requirement inapplicable to a Chapter 13 debtor who certifies that he or she has received notice that the holder of a claim secured by the debtor's principal residence may commence a foreclosure on the debtor's principal residence. Requires the court to disallow a claim that is subject to any remedy for damages or rescission due to violations of state or federal consumer protection law, including the Truth in Lending Act, notwithstanding the prior entry of a foreclosure judgment. Allows modification of the rights of claim holders, in the event of a foreclosure notice for a chapter 13 debtor, among other means by: (1) reducing a claim to equal the value of the debtor's interest in the residence securing such claim, and any adjustments to a related adjustable rate of interest; (2) waiving early repayment or prepayment penalties; and (3) extending the repayment period. Denies debtor liability for certain fees and charges incurred while the bankruptcy case is pending and arising from a debt secured by the debtor's principal residence, unless the claim holder observes specified requirements. Adds to conditions for court confirmation of a plan in bankruptcy that: (1) the holder of a claim secured by the debtor's principal residence retain the lien securing the claim until the later of the payment of such claim as reduced and modified or the discharge of a debtor from all debts; and (2) the plan modifies the claim in good faith. Excludes from final discharge of a debtor from all debts: (1) any payments to claim holders whose rights are modified under this Act; and (2) any unpaid portion of a claim as reduced.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 64; A bill to amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to require approval by the Congress for certain expenditures for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - Cosponsor

Amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to revise the process for exercising the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to make purchases of troubled assets in excess of the $350 billion previously obligated.Changes the Joint Resolution of Disapproval, regarding the exercise of such authority, to a Joint Resolution of Approval. Prohibits the Secretary from exercising authority to make such purchases unless a joint resolution approving the plan is enacted into law within 15 calendar days after Congress receives a report of the Secretary's plan to exercise the authority.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 64; A bill to amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to require approval by the Congress for certain expenditures for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - Cosponsor

Amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to revise the process for exercising the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to make purchases of troubled assets in excess of the $350 billion previously obligated.Changes the Joint Resolution of Disapproval, regarding the exercise of such authority, to a Joint Resolution of Approval. Prohibits the Secretary from exercising authority to make such purchases unless a joint resolution approving the plan is enacted into law within 15 calendar days after Congress receives a report of the Secretary's plan to exercise the authority.

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