Six influential things Dianne Feinstein has done in the U.S. Senate
Over the past quarter of a century, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has cast thousands of votes in Congress on behalf of California.
Here’s a brief look at some of her biggest or most controversial moves in Washington.
Assault weapons ban
Feinstein is perhaps best known for her 25-year quest to enact stricter national gun control laws, including writing and passing a 10-year assault weapons ban in 1994 over the objections of the National Rifle Assn.
Iraq war vote
Feinstein is one of just five Democrats still in the Senate who voted in 2002 for the resolution authorizing the Iraq war.
She told Mother Jones earlier this year that “it is the decision I regret most, and I have to live with it.”
Feinstein led the drive to expose the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. She pushed to declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee’s full report and she made a summary of the report public in 2014 over President Obama’s objections.
She sponsored the Desert Protection Act of 1994, which created Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve in the California desert.
Defense of Marriage Act
Feinstein was one of just 14 senators to vote against the original Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. She authored legislation to repeal DOMA and joined an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage.
In 2000, Feinstein helped pass the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, a nearly $2-billion public-private partnership to restore Lake Tahoe over 10 years. In 2016, Congress extended the partnership for another 10 years to continue working on water clarity, eradicating invasive species and shoreline protections.
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