WISCONSINREPORT.COM (08/07/2009) - Washington D.C. has extended the Cash For Clunkers program which has been more successful than originally anticipated. Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold says the program has been a boost to local economies, and is pleased to see it continue. Feingold, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also says he was pleased to vote to approve the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Feingold also approves of the cooperative nature of agencies looking into possible anti-competetive practices hampering some parts of the dairy industry.
“I am pleased the Senate voted to keep the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program running. The program, while not perfect, has been a boost to local economies, helped get older, less fuel-efficient cars off the road and put money back in the pockets of Americans," Senator Feingold said.
"I am also pleased I was able to help fix the program so it no longer excludes thousands of Wisconsin drivers who are following the state’s laws," Feingold continued.
"Now that the program will continue, I hope that the Department of Transportation takes steps to address the concerns of consumers and car dealers so the program operates more smoothly. But with several thousand Wisconsinites having participated in the program, this program is clearly a success and this additional funding will help it continue to stimulate local economies," Feingold explained.
More on how Senator Feingold worked to fix the Cash for Clunkers program so thousands of Wisconsin drivers are not excluded is available here: http://feingold.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=316643.
Following the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement:
“I was pleased today to cast my vote in favor of Judge Sotomayor, whose confirmation to serve on the Supreme Court marks a significant moment in our nation’s history. Throughout her career and during the confirmation process, Judge Sotomayor has proven to be a thoughtful, intelligent and careful judge, committed to the rule of law."
"I did not see in her record or in her public statements a strong desire to overturn precedent or to remake constitutional law in the image of her own personal preferences, and I certainly did not see bias of any kind," Senator Feingold said.
"From her humble beginnings to this moment where she becomes the first Latina Justice, and only the third woman to serve on the Court, Judge Sotomayor’s life has been a compelling American story, which will inspire young Americans to study harder and dream bigger," Feingold added.
U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) notes that he is happy that the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture are working together to examine anti-competitive practices in the agriculture industry and consider what antitrust and regulatory actions can be taken to curtail them.
"While I have been particularly concerned by what has been happening in the dairy industry, over the past eight years we also have seen dramatically increased concentration and lax enforcement in virtually every segment of agriculture. I hope these workshops can lead to meaningful action to address these serious problems facing Wisconsin farmers," Feingold said.
Senator Feingold commends the cooperation and collaboration between the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture.
"I hope other agencies, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Federal Trade Commission, which also have important oversight roles in the agriculture industry, are brought into this collaboration," said Feingold.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March, Feingold discussed the grave concerns of Wisconsin farmers about slumping dairy prices and the Bush administration’s failure to take action against anti-competitive behavior in the agriculture industry. Feingold questioned now-Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney on the issue of anti-competitive practices during the hearing. More on Feingold’s questioning is available here: http://feingold.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=309454
Feingold has also sought greater cooperation between the different federal agencies with oversight of agriculture, particularly dairy. Feingold successfully included an amendment in the Senate version of last year’s farm bill to encourage USDA to collaborate with other agencies including DOJ, along the lines of the recently announced joint USDA and DOJ workshops.
More information on the workshops is available on the Department of Justice website: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2009/August/09-ag-771.html