Russ Feingold is an independent voice in the United States Senate. He is known as an effective, bipartisan legislator who is well respected in both domestic and foreign policy. Throughout his service, Russ has always done what he thought was right for Wisconsin – even when it meant going against the status quo in Washington.Upholding Wisconsin’s Traditions
Russ follows in the long progressive Wisconsin tradition of open government, fighting for families and fiscal responsibility. When he first ran for the U.S. Senate, Russ pledged to hold town hall-style Listening Sessions in each one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties every year. These Listening Sessions provide the people of Wisconsin an opportunity to discuss issues directly with Russ without an appointment, without making a political contribution, and without having to go to Washington, DC. To date he’s held more than 1,200 of these town hall meetings and they’ve become the foundation and driving force behind Russ’s bipartisan legislative agenda.
Since the beginning of his Senate career, Russ has fought for the interests of all families across our state. He’s advocated trade policies that make sense for Wisconsin workers and businesses – not foreign interests. Russ has put forward legislation – dubbed the E-4 initiative – that supports Wisconsin’s economy and strengthens Wisconsin’s workforce. He’s been a leader on everything from standing up for our service members and veterans, to protecting the Great Lakes; from supporting Wisconsin farmers, to strengthening our health care and education systems.
Russ is also a recognized leader in the bipartisan fight to cut wasteful spending and reduce the nation's growing deficit. A multi-year winner of the Concord Coalition's deficit hawk award, he leads efforts to reinstitute the Pay-As-You-Go budget rule that enforces anti-deficit limits on federal budgeting in Congress. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, he has worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reform budget rules and restore fiscal sanity to the congressional budgeting process.Reforming the System
Best known for leading the fight for campaign finance reform in the Senate with Republican Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Russ has been a tireless leader in a number of bipartisan reform efforts - including his key role in the successful effort in 2007 to pass historic congressional gift ban and lobbying disclosure legislation. Russ and Senator McCain have teamed up yet again to cut wasteful spending by eliminating earmarks that send billions of taxpayer dollars to unauthorized projects across the country every year.
He has worked with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on efforts to reform our health care system and give states the power and resources to ensure that all of their citizens have affordable health care coverage. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has teamed up with Russ on issues ranging from providing good dental care and life-saving defibrillators to people around Wisconsin and across the nation, to efforts aimed at ensuring that our first responders – those on the front lines every day – have the resources they need to keep our communities safe.Strengthening America
As a member of the Intelligence Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee, and as Chairman of the Africa Subcommittee, Russ brings a critical focus to the fight against terrorism. He strongly supported going after al Qaeda in Afghanistan following the attacks of September 11, 2001. He opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, which took our focus away from finishing the job in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and al Qaeda forces have reconstituted themselves. Russ advocates targeting al Qaeda aggressively, so that Afghanistan will not be used again as a launching pad for attacks on America. However, it is far from clear after years of warfare that a larger military presence there would advance this goal. Russ believes we must heed the lessons of Iraq and recognize that in the long run, regional diplomacy, government reforms, and infrastructure development may be more important to Afghanistan 's success – and to our own national security – than committing additional troops.Protecting Our Rights
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feingold has brought critical attention to the need to combat terrorism without undermining our rights and freedoms. He has been a leader in the fight to fix the USA PATRIOT Act, as well as wiretapping legislation. As Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee, he’s consistently fought against various types of discrimination so that all Americans are equal under the law.Background
In 1917, Feingold's family settled in Janesville, Wisconsin, where he was born to parents Leon and Sylvia on March 2, 1953. Feingold graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975, received a degree from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 1977, and then went on to Harvard Law School, where he earned his degree in 1979.
In 1982, in his first try for elective office, Feingold defeated a longtime incumbent and was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate for the 27th District. Feingold was reelected in 1986 and 1990. When Feingold first ran for the U.S. Senate in 1992, he won a tough three-way primary, and went on to defeat a two-term incumbent. Feingold was reelected to the Senate in 1998 and 2004.
Senator Feingold has two daughters, Jessica and Ellen. Feingold is a member of Beth Hillel Temple in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He lives in Middleton, Wisconsin.Senate Committees
-- Committee on the Judiciary
-- Constitution Subcommittee, Chairman
-- Committee on Foreign Relations
-- Africa Subcommittee, Chairman
-- Committee on the Budget
-- Committee on Intelligence
- Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992; Re-elected in 1998 and 2004.
- Elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 1982; Re-elected 1986 and 1990
- Practicing Attorney, Madison, Wisconsin, 1979 to 1985, at Foley & Lardner and La Follette & Sinykin
- Harvard University Law School, Juris Doctor with Honors, 1979
- Rhodes Scholar, Final Honours School of Jurisprudence, Magdalen College, Oxford University, Bachelor of Arts with Honours, 1977
- University of Wisconsin - Madison, Phi Beta Kappa, Bachelor of Arts with Honors, 1975
- Janesville Craig High School, Janesville, Wisconsin, 1971
Courtesy Feingold campaign.