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Six influential things Dianne Feinstein has done in the U.S. Senate

Six influential things Dianne Feinstein has done in the U.S. Senate
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) holds up an advertisement for a Striker shotgun during a 1994 news conference in Washington to discuss her proposed restrictions on assault weapons. (John Duricka / Associated Press)

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.

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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.

Feinstein, then chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, talks with reporters in the Senate subway before sharing a report on the CIA and it's interrogation methods in 2014
Feinstein, then chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, talks with reporters in the Senate subway before sharing a report on the CIA and it's interrogation methods in 2014 (Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

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."

Torture report

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.

Desert protections

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.

Feinstein and California Gov. Jerry Brown follow then-Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) onstage at the Lake Tahoe Summit on Aug. 31, 2016.
Feinstein and California Gov. Jerry Brown follow then-Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) onstage at the Lake Tahoe Summit on Aug. 31, 2016. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Lake Tahoe

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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