108th Congress

Accomplishments in the Senate: 1993-2021

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108th Congress (2003-2004) | 107th Congress (2001-2002)
106th Congress (1999-2000) | 105th Congress (1997-1998)
104th Congress (1995-1996) | 103rd Congress (1993-1994)

108th Congress (2003-2004)

Total Information Awareness Amendment - Limited the scope of the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness (TIA) project and prevented it from being used to invade Americans' privacy and civil liberties. (Sponsored amendment with Senator Ron Wyden, was approved by a Senate voice vote and incorporated in the FY 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill; P.L. 108-7, 2/20/03)

National “Do Not Call" Telemarketing List - Authorized the Federal Trade Commission to establish a national “Do Not Call” telemarketing registry.  (Cosponsored with Senators John Ensign, Mike DeWine and others; P.L. 108-10, 3/11/03)

Interoperable Communications – Secured $109 million to help police and firefighters obtain communications systems that function between agencies during times of crisis. (Advocated inclusion in War and Homeland Security Supplemental Appropriations Conference Committee Report; P.L. 108-106, 11/6/03)

Lake Tahoe Restoration – Provided authorization to fully fund the federal share of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act from 2004 through 2011 from sales of federal land, amounting to $30 million per year.  (Sponsored with Senators John Ensign and Harry Reid, folded into the FY 2004 Interior Appropriations bill; P.L. 108-108, 11/10/03)

Overseas Military Facility Structure Review Act – Established a Congressional panel to conduct a detailed study of United States military facilities overseas, consider the advisability of closing any installations overseas, and provide recommendations for a comprehensive overseas basing strategy. (Sponsored with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison - S.Amdt.3661, folded into FY’04 Military Construction appropriations; P.L. 108-132, 11/22/03)

Fighting Wildfires
  • Healthy Forests Restoration Act - Reduced the risk of catastrophic forest fire by expediting the thinning of hazardous fuels and providing the first legal protection for old-growth forests in our nation's history. (Senators Feinstein and Wyden were the chief architects of the bill’s final compromise language; P.L. 108-148, 12/3/03)
  • Successfully lobbied the U.S. Department of Agriculture to waive the 25 percent local cost-share requirements for fire-prevention grants and reduce the local cost-share requirements for U.S. Forest Service funding to remove hazardous fuels on private lands from 50 percent to 25 percent. (Communication, 05/05/04)
  • Secured $500 million in emergency funding to assist federal firefighters in responding to the severe fire threat in national forests in California and throughout the West. (Advocated in Committee; folded into FY 2005 Defense Appropriations bill; P.L. 108- 287 on 8/5/04)
Aircraft Cabin Air Quality Improvement – Provided for a study of cabin air pressure and altitude effects, established a new air quality reporting system, and required the FAA to monitor ozone levels on a representative number of flights, collect pesticide exposure data, and analyze sample from aircraft ventilation ducts to identify contaminants. (An amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill; P.L. 108-176, 12/23/03) 

Breast Cancer Research Stamp – Authorized U.S. Postal Service to continue selling for at least two more years the Breast Cancer Research Stamp, which has generated more than $60 million for breast cancer research since it was begun in 1998 (since Sept. 2006).  (Sponsor – S.2000, incorporated as an amendment to the FY’04 Omnibus Appropriations Bill; P.L. 108-199, 1/23/04)

DC Scholarship Program – Established educational scholarships in a five-year pilot program for 2,000 students in troubled public schools in Washington, DC, and boosted funding for other charter schools and public school programs in the city. (Sponsor – S.Amdt.1783 to FY’04 Omnibus Appropriations bill; P.L. 108-199, 1/23/04)

Improving Irvine Basin's Water Supply – Authorized funds for three projects to improve water quality and increase water supply in the Irvine Basin. (Sponsor – S.649; P.L. 108-233, 5/28/04)

Economic Sanctions Against Burma – Renewed economic sanctions against Burma, first imposed in 2003 as part of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, which is designed to encourage Burma to improve its record on democracy and human rights.  (Sponsor - S.J.Res.36, S.J.Res.39 and H.J.Res.97; P.L.108-272, 7/7/04)

Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act – Increased penalties on those who commit
identity theft and made it easier for prosecutors to target identity thieves who steal for the purpose of committing the most serious crimes, including terrorism.  (Sponsor - S.153; P.L. 108-275, 7/15/04)

Urging Iran to Halt its Nuclear Weapons Program – Called on Iran to cease its efforts to produce nuclear weapons and come into compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other international obligations. (Sponsor - S.Con.Res.73; Approved by Senate 7/22/04)

Tribal Forest Protection Act – Allowed Native American tribes to thin brush and small trees on federal lands adjacent to their reservations to help prevent the spread of wildfires consistent with the Health Forests law. (Sponsor - S.2134; P.L. 108-278, 7/22/04)

Cleaning up Perchlorate Contamination:
  • Provided $6.5 million to clean up perchlorate contamination in the Inland Empire.  (Added in Committee during deliberations as part of FY 2005 Defense Appropriations bill; P.L. 108- 287 on 8/5/2004)
  • Directed the Pentagon to remediate perchlorate contamination on DOD sites where the chemical threatens health and safety of Americans.  (Added in Committee during deliberations, folded into FY’05 Defense Appropriations bill; P.L. 108- 287, 8/5/2004)
  • Required DOD to identify sources of perchlorate contamination on BRAC properties and develop a plan to remediate contamination and present it by April 30, 2004. (Folded into FY 04 Military Construction Appropriations bill; P.L. 108-132,11/22/03)

CALFED (Water Supply Reliability and Environmental Improvement Act) – Authorized  $395 million for a balanced program to increase California's water supply, reliability and quality and help restore sensitive water ecosystems. (Sponsor - S.1097; P.L. 108-361, 10/25/04)

Global Clean-up Act – Created a single, integrated U.S. government program with a defined budget and resources to facilitate the removal of weapons-usable nuclear materials where the material is susceptible to be stolen or obtained by terrorists.  (Sponsor - S.3192, amended to H.R.4200; P.L. 108-375, 10/28/04)

Safeguarding Nuclear Weapons Materials – Created a single, integrated U.S. government program, with a defined budget and resources, to facilitate the removal of these materials.  (Sponsor – S.2310, folded into FY’05 Defense Appropriations bill; P.L. 108-375, 10/28/04)

Crime Victims Right Act (Justice for All Act) – Gave victims of violent crime a core set of procedural rights under federal law and ensuring that they have standing to assert their rights before a court. (Sponsor – S.2329 with Senator Jon Kyl; P.L. 108-405, 10/30/04)

Internet Access Tax Moratorium – Worked with more than 150 California cities to ensure that a moratorium on new internet taxes protected cities and counties by allowing these jurisdictions could continue raising funds through existing taxes on telephone service. (Cosponsor; P.L. 108-435, 12/3/04)

Intelligence Community Leadership Act – Created the position of Director of National intelligence to oversee the nation's intelligence community, set priorities and give direction to the 15 intelligence agencies. (Sponsor – S.190, which, after the release of the 9/11 Commission report, had its major points incorporated into S.2845; P.L. 108-458, 12/17/04)

Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act – Successfully advocated using block grants to enhance competitiveness of five American specialty crops, including wheat, grain, corn, rice and cotton.  (P.L. 108-465, 12/21/04)

Significant Negotiations:

California Desert Inholdings - Spearheaded efforts by Wildlands Conservancy to purchase more than 467,000 acres of the Mojave Desert for preservation and public recreational use, culminating a long process to preserve and protect one of North America's great natural treasures - the 7.7 million acres of California desert.  (The latest 62,000 acres were purchased from Catellus by the Wildlands Conservancy in February 2003)

Colorado River Water Agreement - Offered guidance and direction during negotiations that reached an agreement to ensure stability of California's water supply as the State gradually reduces use of  the Colorado River down to the allotted 4.4 million acre feet and provide up to $320 million to begin to restore the Salton Sea. (Agreement signed by Governor Gray Davis on 09/29/03)