Amy Klobuchar Focuses on America’s Heartland
Candidate: Amy Klobuchar
State of Residence: Minnesota
Campaign Website: https://amyklobuchar.com
Short Bio: U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is the first woman elected to represent Minnesota in the United States Senate. Throughout her public service, Klobuchar has embraced the values she learned growing up in home state. Her grandfather worked 1500 feet underground in the iron ore mines of Northern Minnesota. Her father, Jim, was a newspaperman, and her mother, Rose, was an elementary school teacher who continued teaching until she was 70.
As a senator, Klobuchar has built a reputation of putting partisanship aside to help strengthen the economy and support families, workers and businesses. In 2016, an analysis by Medill News Service ranked her first among all 100 senators in sponsoring or co-sponsoring bills that were enacted into law in the 114th Congress.
Klobuchar has always understood that her first duty is to represent the people of Minnesota. She acted quickly to obtain full funding to rebuild the I-35W bridge just thirteen months after it tragically collapsed into the Mississippi River.
She worked across party lines to expand education and job opportunities for returning service members, fought to ensure that Minnesota National Guard members received the full benefits they earned, and helped turn Minnesota’s ground-breaking “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” program into a national model. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Klobuchar worked to pass the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill to strengthen Minnesota’s rural economy and give farmers the certainty and support they need.
She led the effort to pass landmark pieces of legislation to end human trafficking and to combat the opioid epidemic. She fought to pass the most significant consumer product safety legislation in a generation, keeping foreign toxic products off our shores and out of our stores, and pushed the cell phone companies to enact more consumer-friendly policies. Additionally, her efforts to protect consumers have resulted in the largest furniture recall in American history as well as millions of defective airbags being taken off the road.
Before serving in the Senate, Klobuchar headed the largest prosecutor’s office in Minnesota for eight years, making the prosecution of violent and career criminals her top priority as well as an increased focus on white collar crime. She led the effort for successful passage of Minnesota’s first felony DWI law, and received the leadership award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her safe schools initiative, community prosecution efforts, and criminal justice reforms earned national awards from both the Bush and Clinton Justice Departments.
She worked with the Innocence Project to advocate for videotaped interrogations across the country as well as innovative eyewitness processes to protect against false identifications. As a private citizen and before being elected to public office, Klobuchar was the leading advocate for successful passage of one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing 48-hour hospital stays for new moms and their babies.
Klobuchar was the valedictorian of her Wayzata High School class. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. Her senior essay in college, published as the book “Uncovering the Dome,” chronicles the 10-year-history behind the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and is still used at colleges and universities across the country.
Klobuchar is married to John Bessler, a native of Mankato, who attended Loyola High School and the University of Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar and John have a daughter, Abigail. [Official Senate Bio]
Fun Fact: Klobuchar is the first woman elected to a Minnesota Senate seat. [Heavy]
On the Issues
Health Care: Expand Medicare to at least age 55. Klobuchar would like to expand Medicare to include Americans age 55 and older, and possibly more. While she has long supported “single-payer, universal” government health coverage, the Minnesota senator has not yet said if she would back the concept of “Medicare for All,” which would replace private health insurance with a government health care system.
Lowering drug prices has also been a policy focus for Klobuchar; she introduced a bill to allow Medicare to directly negotiate prices, and co-authored a bill with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to speed up the availability of generic versions of high-cost drugs. [PBS]
Trade & Agriculture: Klobuchar represents a farm state that relies heavily on trade with Canada. She has criticized American trade tensions with China — while showing support for some of Trump’s protectionist moves.
Klobuchar sits on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. On her Senate website, she cites boosting insurance programs for farmers hurt by bad weather and market fluctuations as one of her priorities.
Her concerns in the state extend to alleviating the damage to farmers from the president’s trade war with China — which is temporarily stalled. Klobuchar has urged Trump to quickly strike new trade deals and get rid of Chinese tariffs that have hurt pockets of the U.S. agricultural industry.
The president has put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods as he tries to force the world’s second largest economy to address trade abuses. Beijing responded by levying duties on U.S. products, many of which come from Midwestern farms. The two sides have temporarily stopped new tariffs as they try to strike a new trade deal by March 2.
Klobuchar, like many politicians around the country, has tried to strike a delicate balance on trade issues. She supported Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, popular in the Iron Range in the northern part of the state. But those duties on metals in part led to Chinese frustrations and tariffs, which in turn caused headaches for the state’s farmers. [CNBC]
Jobs/Economy/Taxes: Klobuchar introduced a trillion-dollar policy rollout on March 28 that would use federal funds and tax subsidies to update the country’s infrastructure. The policy would also reinstate the Obama administration’s recession-era “Build America Bonds,” which provides state governments with a 35 percent subsidy to offset borrowing costs, per the NYT. Klobuchar’s campaign described infrastructure as the candidate’s “top budget priority.” [Axios]
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