Russ Feingold’s Lackadaisical Record on Foreign Policy

Published on Friday, July 1, 2016

In the aftermath of the deadly Orlando terror attack and a final report outlining the Obama Administration’s failure to properly respond to a 2012 attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Wisconsinites are increasingly concerned about the threat of domestic and foreign terrorism. As such, the records of candidates vying to represent our state in Congress and participate in highly consequential national security votes deserve added scrutiny.

Perhaps one of the most startling examples of Russ Feingold’s naivety on foreign policy was a comment he made in 2013, proclaiming President Obama was “As well informed and intuitive about international issues as almost any president we’ve ever had.” Keep in mind that his statement was made after four Americans were killed in a coordinated terrorist attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya –which the Obama Administration attempted to spin as a spontaneous demonstration sparked by outrage over a video.

But a closer look at Feingold’s 18-year voting record in the Senate reveals a dangerously warped perception of how to protect Americans at home and abroad. In 2001, Feingold was the only U.S. Senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act, which greatly enhanced law enforcement investigatory tools to deter further attacks on American soil. The next year, he was one of only nine Senators to vote against the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, a cabinet department with stated missions that include antiterrorism, border security and cybersecurity. Feingold then voted three times against extending a “lone wolf” terrorism provision that would target suspects such as the one who carried out the attack on an Orlando nightclub, which left 49 people dead.

With the world becoming more dangerous by the day, Russ Feingold’s failure to properly address domestic and international terrorism cannot be forgotten.