In 2013 Russ Feingold revealed his feelings about American exceptionalism while speaking at the World Affairs Council, describing it as damaging and insulting. His comments reflect what can only be described as a dangerous and lackadaisical voting record when it comes to funding key U.S. military programs – including consistent opposition to the vital ballistic missile defense system. During Feingold’s 18-year Senate tenure, he often stood with a small, fringe group of colleagues to vote against funding and testing for the missile defense system.
A Timeline of Feingold’s Record on Missile Defense:
- September 1993: Feingold voted to cut ballistic missile defense funding by $400 million
- August 1995: Feingold voted against killing an amendment that would cut missile defense funding by $300 million
- August 1995: Feingold voted to cut missile defense funding by $300 million
- June 1996: Feingold voted against cloture on a bill that would require deployment of a missile defense system by 2003
- June 1996: Feingold voted to cut missile defense funding by $300 million
- October 2000: Feingold was one of only three senators that voted against a defense authorization bill, which funded missile defense by $4.8 billion
- October 2002: Feingold was the only Senator that voted against a defense appropriations bill, which funded ballistic missile defense by $7.4 billion
- June 2004: Feingold voted to restrict the conditions on missile defense deployment
- June 2004: Feingold voted against establishing criteria for testing the ballistic missile defense system
- June 2004: Feingold voted to shift funding away from missile defense
With hostile nations such as Iran and North Korea racing to complete development of a nuclear missile, the United States must remain committed to protecting its assets at home and abroad. Russ Feingold’s repeated efforts to obstruct the testing and funding of a robust missile defense system were reckless and contrary to protecting American lives.