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Amy Jean Klobuchar (/ˈklbəʃɑːr/; born May 25, 1960) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Minnesota. A member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Minnesota's affiliate of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the Hennepin County Attorney.

Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Minnesota
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Serving with Tina Smith
Preceded byMark Dayton
Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byChuck Schumer
County Attorney of Hennepin County
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byMichael Freeman
Succeeded byMichael Freeman
Personal details
Born
Amy Jean Klobuchar

(1960-05-25) May 25, 1960 (age 58)
Plymouth, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
John Bessler (m. 1993)
Children1
ParentsJim Klobuchar
Rose Heuberger
Education
WebsiteSenate website

Born in Plymouth, Minnesota, Klobuchar is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. She was a partner at two Minneapolis law firms before being elected county attorney for Hennepin County in 1998, making her responsible for all criminal prosecution in Minnesota's most populous county. Klobuchar was first elected to the Senate in 2006, becoming Minnesota's first elected female United States Senator, and reelected in 2012 and 2018.[1] In 2009 and 2010, she was described as a "rising star" in the Democratic Party.[2][3] She is running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 election.

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Plymouth, Minnesota, Klobuchar is the daughter of Rose Katherine (née Heuberger), who retired at age 70 from teaching second grade,[4] and James John "Jim" Klobuchar, an author and a retired sportswriter and columnist for the Star Tribune.[5] Klobuchar has one younger sister, Beth.[6] Her father is of Slovene descent; his grandparents were immigrants from Slovenia's White Carniola region, and his father was a miner on the Iron Range;[7] [8] Klobuchar's maternal grandparents were from Switzerland.[9] Her father was an alcoholic who frequently missed family gatherings during her childhood, spent much time away due to his drinking, and was repeatedly arrested for driving under the influence. Her parents divorced when Klobuchar was 15 and in high school. Klobuchar's father initiated the divorce, calling himself another "middle-aged man with wanderlust". The divorce took a serious toll on the family, eventually causing Klobuchar's sister to drop out of high school, leave home early, and struggle with personal issues for a while. Klobuchar's relationship with her father did not fully recover until the 1990s, when he quit drinking.[10] Klobuchar's parents reconciled a few years after the divorce and remained best friends, and her father eventually regretted the impact the divorce had on the family.[11]

Klobuchar attended public schools in Plymouth and was valedictorian at Wayzata High School.[12][13] She received her B.A. degree magna cum laude in political science in 1982 from Yale University, where she was a member of the Yale College Democrats, the Feminist Caucus, and the improv troupe Suddenly Susan.[14] During her time at Yale, Klobuchar spent time as an intern for then Vice President, and former Minnesota Senator, Walter Mondale.[6] Her senior thesis was Uncovering the Dome,[15] a 250-page history of the ten years of politics surrounding the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. After Yale, Klobuchar enrolled at the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as an associate editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and received her Juris Doctor degree in 1985.

Early careerEdit

After law school, Klobuchar worked as a corporate lawyer.[6] Before seeking public office, besides working as a prosecutor, Klobuchar was a partner at the Minnesota law firms Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Mooty, where she specialized in "regulatory work in telecommunications law".[16][17][18] Her first foray into politics came after she gave birth and was forced to leave the hospital 24 hours later, a situation exacerbated by the fact that Klobuchar's daughter, Abigail[6], was born with a condition whereby she could not swallow. That experience led Klobuchar to appear before the Minnesota State Legislature advocating for a bill that would guarantee new mothers a 48-hour hospital stay. Minnesota passed the bill and President Clinton later made the policy federal law.[6]

Klobuchar was first a candidate for public office in 1994 when she ran for Hennepin County Attorney. But she had pledged to drop out if the incumbent, Michael Freeman, got back in the race after failing to win the endorsement of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party for governor. Klobuchar quit the race in June 1994 and supported Freeman for re-election.[19] He did not seek another term in 1998. Prior to her bids for office, Klobuchar was active in supporting DFL candidates, including Freeman in 1990. (The County Attorney election is non-partisan, but Freeman, like Klobuchar, is a Democrat.)

Klobuchar was elected Hennepin County attorney in 1998, and reelected in 2002 with no opposition.[20][6] In 2001 Minnesota Lawyer named her "Attorney of the Year".[21] Klobuchar was President of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association from November 2002 to November 2003.[22]

U.S. SenateEdit

ElectionsEdit

2006

In early 2005 Mark Dayton announced that he would not seek reelection to the U.S. Senate, and Klobuchar was recognized early as a favorite for the DFL nomination for the 2006 election. EMILY's List endorsed Klobuchar on September 29, 2005, and Klobuchar won the DFL endorsement on June 9, 2006. She gained the support of the majority of DFL state legislators in Minnesota during the primaries. A poll taken of DFL state delegates showed Klobuchar beating her then closest opponent, Patty Wetterling, 66% to 15%. In January, Wetterling dropped out of the race and endorsed Klobuchar. Former Senate candidate and prominent lawyer Mike Ciresi, who was widely seen as a serious potential DFL candidate, indicated in early February that he would not enter the race; that was viewed as an important boost for Klobuchar.[23]

In the general election, Klobuchar faced Republican candidate Mark Kennedy, Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald, Constitution candidate Ben Powers, and Green Party candidate Michael Cavlan. Klobuchar consistently led in the polls throughout the campaign, and won with 58% of the vote to Kennedy's 38% and Fitzgerald's 3%, carrying all but eight of Minnesota's 87 counties. She is the first woman to be elected U.S. Senator from Minnesota. (Muriel Humphrey, the state's first female senator and former Second Lady of the United States, was appointed to fill her husband's unexpired term and not elected.)

 
Amy Klobuchar's father, Jim, and supporters campaigning for Klobuchar as U.S. Senator, Tower, Minnesota, July 4, 2012
2012

Klobuchar faced State Representative Kurt Bills and won a second term in the U.S. Senate. She won convincingly, with 65.2% of the votes to Bills's 30.6%, carrying all but two of the state's counties.[24]

2018

Klobuchar ran for a third term and was reelected by a 24-point margin.[25] The Republican nominee was State Senator Jim Newberger. The race was not seen as close, with Klobuchar outraising Newberger $9.9 million to $210,066 as of October 17. Klobuchar maintained a double-digit lead in the polls all autumn.[26]

TenureEdit

 
Female senators of the 110th Congress

As of September 2009, 58% of Minnesotans approved of the job she was doing, with 36% disapproving.[27] On March 12, 2010, Rasmussen Reports indicated 67% of Minnesotans approved of the job she was doing. The Winona Daily News described her as a "rare politician who works across the aisle." Walter Mondale said, "She has done better in that miserable Senate than most people there."[28]

At the end of the 114th Congress in late 2016, Klobuchar had passed more legislation than any other senator.[29] In February 2017, she called for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate ties between Russia and President Donald Trump and his administration. Concern about Trump's ties to Russia increased after reports that Trump's campaign officials had repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials before the 2016 United States elections.[30][31] Klobuchar had already signaled her interest in U.S.-Russia relations in December 2016 when she joined Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham on a trip to the Baltic states and Ukraine.[32] She maintained high approval ratings throughout 2017, with the Star Tribune's April 2017 Minnesota Poll placing her approval rating at 72%.[33] In October 2017, Morning Consult listed Klobuchar among the 10 senators with the highest approval ratings, and a November 2017 KSTP-TV poll put her approval rating at 56%.[34][35]

During the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings in 2018, Kavanaugh gave heated responses to Klobuchar's questions about whether he had ever experienced memory loss after consuming alcohol, for which he later apologized.[36]

In February 2019 Buzzfeed News reported that Klobuchar's Congressional office was "controlled by fear, anger, and shame".[37] Interviews with former staffers indicated that Klobuchar frequently abuses and humiliates her employees, with as much time spent on managing her rage as on business.[38] Klobuchar was also listed as one of the "worst bosses in Congress", with an annual staff turnover rate between 2011 and 2016 of 36%, the highest of any senator.[39]

Committee assignmentsEdit

For the 116th Congress, Klobuchar is assigned to the following committees:

Caucus membershipsEdit

Role in the Democratic PartyEdit

On March 30, 2008, Klobuchar announced her endorsement of Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary, promising her unpledged superdelegate vote for him.[44] She cited Obama's performance in the Minnesota caucuses, where he won with 66% of the popular vote, as well as her own "independent judgment". In 2016 she was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton's second campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.[45]

In 2017, Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders represented the Democratic Party in a televised debate on healthcare policy and the possible repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act on CNN.[46]

Klobuchar serves[when?] as the chair of the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.

2020 presidential campaignEdit

 
Klobuchar (center) with her husband and daughter at her campaign announcement

The New York Times and The New Yorker named Klobuchar as one of the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States,[47][48] and MSNBC and The New Yorker named her as a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.[49][50]

On February 10, 2019, Klobuchar announced that she is running for President and will compete in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[51]

Political positionsEdit

Klobuchar's political positions have generally been in line with modern American liberalism. She is pro-choice on abortion, supports LGBT rights and Obamacare, and was critical of the Iraq War.

According to GovTrack, Klobuchar passed more legislation than any other senator by the end of the 114th Congress in late 2016.[29] According to Congress.gov, as of December 16, 2018, she had sponsored or co-sponsored 111 pieces of legislation that became law.[52] During the 115th Congress, she voted in line with Trump's position on legislation 32.1 percent of the time.[53]

Government surveillanceEdit

In August 2007, Klobuchar was one of only 16 Democratic senators and 41 Democratic house members to vote for the Protect America Act of 2007, which was seen by many as eroding the civil liberty protections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and posing difficult questions relative to the Fourth Amendment.[54][55] Klobuchar did, however, vote against granting legal immunity to telecom corporations that cooperated with the NSA warrantless surveillance program.[56]

Klobuchar voted in favor of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008, which included a provision to ban the use of waterboarding by the United States.[57]

During the hearing of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, Klobuchar disagreed with Senator Tom Coburn when he questioned the nominee about his perception that Americans were "losing freedom". Klobuchar argued that the "free society" Coburn favored was one in which women were underrepresented in government, including no representation on the Supreme Court or the Senate Judiciary Committee.[58]

Company mergersEdit

In February 2019, Klobuchar was one of eight senators to sign a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice advocating for regulators to renounce a proposed $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, writing that American enforcers have understood for the last thirty years "that fostering robust competition in telecommunications markets is the best way to provide every American with access to high-quality, cutting-edge communications at a reasonable price" and the merger would result in a return for "Americans to the dark days of heavily consolidated markets and less competition, with all of the resulting harms."[59]

Cyber bullyingEdit

Klobuchar was one of 14 co-sponsors, led by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn,[60] of the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2017. The law added additional online protections aimed at children to those provided by the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008[61][62] (which had 60 cosponsors, including Klobuchar, and was sponsored by Joe Biden).[63] She also co-sponsored the KIDS Act of 2008, which adds protections against online sexual predators who target children,[64] alongside 20 other senators led by Chuck Schumer.[65]

Food policyEdit

When the Healthy Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 raised the possibility that pizza would be eliminated from schools, threatening the $3 billion-dollar Schwan Company of Minnesota, Klobuchar petitioned the USDA to protect frozen pizzas in school lunches. This resulted in the sauce used in pizzas being counted as a serving of vegetables.[66][67]

Foreign policyEdit

 
Klobuchar with Lindsey Graham and John McCain in Latvia in 2016

In March 2007, Klobuchar went on an official trip to Iraq with Senate colleagues Sheldon Whitehouse, John E. Sununu, and Lisa Murkowski. She noted that U.S. troops were completing their job and working arduously to train the Iraqis.[68]

Klobuchar opposed President George W. Bush's plan to increase troop levels in Iraq in January 2007.[69] In May 2007, after Bush vetoed a bill (which Klobuchar voted for) that would fund the troops but impose time limits on the Iraq War, and supporters failed to garner enough congressional votes to override his veto, Klobuchar voted for additional funding for Iraq without such time limits,[70] saying she "simply could not stomach the idea of using our soldiers as bargaining chips".[71]

In 2011, Klobuchar supported American military intervention in Libya.[72]

In October 2016, Klobuchar was one of 12 senators to sign a letter to President Obama urging his administration "to consider all options for increasing China’s compliance with its international trade obligations, including a potential case brought with our allies at the World Trade Organization and a pause of other trade negotiations with China, such as the Bilateral Investment Treaty talk" and asserting that U.S. steel companies and steelworkers would only get the relief they needed though the implementation of "strong enforcement measures into our strategy to reduce excess global capacity".[73]

In May 2018, Klobuchar was one of 12 senators to sign a letter to President Trump urging him to remain in the Iran nuclear deal on the grounds that "Iran could either remain in the agreement and seek to isolate the United States from our closest partners, or resume its nuclear activities" if the US pulled out and that both possibilities "would be detrimental to our national security interests."[74]

In October 2018, Klobuchar was one of eight senators to sign a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats requesting a classified briefing on what the intelligence community knew about threats to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi so that the senators may fulfill their "oversight obligation".[75]

Klobuchar supported a controversial pro-Israel Anti-Boycott Act initiated by Republicans,[76] which would make it illegal for companies to engage in boycotts against Israel or Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.[77]

Healthcare policyEdit

Klobuchar voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009[78] and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[79] In December 2012, she advocated to "repeal or reduce" the tax on medical devices included in the Affordable Care Act, as it would be harmful to businesses in her state.[80] Despite this, on September 30, 2013, Klobuchar voted to remove a provision that would repeal the medical device tax from a government funding bill in opposition to the provision being used as a condition in keeping the government open.[81][82] In January 2015, Klobuchar was one of 17 senators to co-sponsor S. 149, a bill to retroactively repeal the device excise tax.[83] She has said that the medical device tax threatens jobs, although her statements have been questioned by investigative journalists.[84][85] Medtronic spent more than any other medical device company to lobby against the device tax in 2014, with Klobuchar as one of Medtronic's top recipients of political action committee (PAC) donations.[86]

In December 2018, after U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor ruled that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional, Klobuchar called the ruling "absurd" and said that at a time when the Trump administration "seems bound and determined to take away people's health care, we have to protect the ability of people to even have their health care even exist."[87]

In December 2018, Klobuchar was one of 42 senators to sign a letter to Trump administration officials Alex Azar, Seema Verma, and Steve Mnuchin arguing that the administration was improperly using Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to authorize states to "increase health care costs for millions of consumers while weakening protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions." The senators requested the administration withdraw the policy and "re-engage with stakeholders, states, and Congress."[88]

In January 2019, during the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown, Klobuchar was one of 34 senators to sign a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb recognizing the efforts of the FDA to address the shutdown's effect on the public health and employees while remaining alarmed "that the continued shutdown will result in increasingly harmful effects on the agency’s employees and the safety and security of the nation’s food and medical products."[89]

Human traffickingEdit

Klobuchar has sponsored and co-sponsored several pieces of legislation aimed at stopping human trafficking that have become law, including the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act;[90] the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act;[91] S.2974 (which funded the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline);[92] and the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.[52][93]

Gun lawEdit

Klobuchar has an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) for supporting gun control legislation.[94]

In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Klobuchar participated in the Chris Murphy gun control filibuster.[95]

In February 2018, after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Klobuchar was one of four Democratic senators to sign a letter to President Trump asserting that were he "to endorse legislation to require a background check on every gun purchase, without other poison pill provisions attached, we could finally move much closer towards the comprehensive system that you called for after the Stoneman Douglas attack" and that there was no justification in allowing individuals denied firearms by federally licensed dealers being able to "simply visit a gun show or go online to purchase the same gun that they were denied at the store."[96]

Crime controlEdit

According to her Senate website, while serving as Attorney of Hennepin County, Klobuchar was "a leading advocate for successful passage of Minnesota's first felony DWI law".[97] She also focused on the prosecution of violent and career criminals while serving as County Attorney.[97]

Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York State Attorney General, praised Klobuchar's efforts for legislation against phone theft.[98] In 2017 she took over sponsorship from Al Franken of a bill to provide grants for law enforcement personnel to receive training in how to question survivors of sexual assault and other trauma, after Franken was accused of sexual misconduct.[99]

In 2011, Klobuchar introduced S.978, the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, a bill that would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material for the purpose of "commercial advantage or personal financial gain" a felony under US copyright law. Backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and praised by industry groups, the legislation has been enormously unpopular among critics who believe it would apply to those who stream or post videos of copyrighted content on public sites such as YouTube.[100][101]

TradeEdit

Klobuchar opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership "because she [had] concerns about whether the proposed legislation [was] strong enough for American workers".[102]

Recreation advocacyEdit

Klobuchar has been an active supporter of outdoor recreation legislation, including the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). When the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed MAP-21, trail interests and state park officials warned that the new policy could effectively end the program by relegating recreational trail projects to competition for funding among a broad category of authorized non-highway projects.[103] Klobuchar led efforts to alter the proposal, working closely with recreation interests to develop a floor amendment that would reauthorize the RTP program unchanged. Although she faced bipartisan leadership in support of the committee's proposal, Klobuchar managed to secure acceptance of her new language by the legislation's floor manager, and she won strong bipartisan support for her amendment. The result was Senate passage in early 2012 of new surface transportation legislation, which continued RTP with $85 million in guaranteed annual funds and no significant change in its operations.[103]

As chair of the Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion, she played a key role in the 2010 passage of the Travel Promotion Act and the creation of Brand USA,[104] an advertising effort to recover the traditional U.S. share of the international tourism market that will highlight national parks and their natural treasures. With Klobuchar's active support, the program has been granted $100 million per annum in matching federal funding, is widely expected to bring millions of additional visitors and billions of dollars to the U.S. and its parks each year, and has become the focus of a major White House initiative.[105]

 
Klobuchar at Twin Cities Pride Parade in 2018

On June 6, 2012, Klobuchar received the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award at a special Great Outdoors Week celebration presented by the American Recreation Coalition.[106][107] The award, created in 1989 to honor the lifelong efforts of Sheldon Coleman, is presented to individuals whose personal efforts have contributed substantially to enhancing outdoor experiences across America. The winner is selected by a panel of 100 national recreation community leaders, ranging from corporate executives to key federal and state officials and nonprofit organization community leaders.[108] Klobuchar is the fifth woman, and the first woman serving in Congress, to receive the honor.[109]

Drug policyEdit

In December 2016, Klobuchar was one of 17 senators to sign a letter to President-elect Trump asking him to fulfill a campaign pledge to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, stating their willingness "to advance measures to achieve this goal", and calling on Trump "to partner with Republicans and Democrats alike to take meaningful steps to address the high cost of prescription drugs through bold administrative and legislative actions."[110]

Klobuchar has cosponsored the bipartisan STATES Act proposed in the 115th U.S. Congress by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Colorado Senator Cory Gardner that would exempt individuals or corporations in compliance with state cannabis laws from federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act.[111]

In February 2018, Klobuchar introduced the CARA 2.0, a follow-up bill to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that included imposing a three-day initial prescribing limit on opioids for acute pain along with increasing services to promote recovery and attempting to widen the availability of treatment.[112] At a news conference, Klobuchar described CARA 2.0 as "a blueprint for the country in terms of training on naloxone and in terms of authorization for money."[113]

In December 2018, Klobuchar was one of 21 senators to sign a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb stating their approval of the actions of the Food and Drugs Administration to hinder youth access to e-cigarettes and urging the FDA "to take additional, stronger steps to prevent and reduce e-cigarette use among youth."[114]

In January 2019, Catherine Cortez Masto announced that she and Klobuchar were sponsoring legislation authorizing "the largest purchaser of prescription medications, Medicare, to negotiate drug prices and to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the rising prices of prescription drugs."[115]

Election securityEdit

In January 2017, Klobuchar was one of six Democratic senators to introduce legislation that would form an independent counsel with the ability to probe potential Russian cyber attacks on political systems and investigate efforts by Russians to interfere in American elections with roughly eighteen months to hand over its findings and recommendations to Congress.[116]

In February 2017, Klobuchar led 25 senators in signing a letter to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) requesting that the commission detail cybersecurity challenges to state and local officials amid their attempts to safeguard future elections and also secure the 2016 election from Russian hackers.[117]

In June 2017, Klobuchar sent a letter to National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster requesting he meet with the Senate Rules Committee on the subject of allegations that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 election, citing the necessity of the Senate to "have all of the information necessary to ensure that future elections are safeguarded from foreign interference" amid its investigation into what extent Russia interfered in the election and called for McMaster to consider "making information that could be helpful to protecting critical infrastructure publicly available immediately."[118]

On December 21, 2017, Klobuchar was one of six senators to introduce the Secure Elections Act, legislation authorizing block grants to states to update outdated voting technology as well as form a program for an independent panel of experts that would work toward the development of cybersecurity guidelines for election systems that states could then implement, along with offering states resources to install the recommendations.[119]

In June 2018, Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown introduced the Save Voters Act, a bill that would serve as an amendment to the National Voter Registration Act while asserting that a state cannot use an individual's failure to vote or respond to a state notice as reason for removing them from voter rolls. In reference to the Ohio Supreme Court ruling to uphold the state's "use it or lose it" policy the earlier that month, Klobuchar said, "We should be doing everything we can to encourage participation in elections and strengthen voting rights, yet last week's Supreme Court decision will allow states to make it harder — not easier — for more Americans to vote."[120]

In August 2018, during an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Klobuchar stated that President Trump's downplaying of Russian interference in the 2016 election posed a threat to national security and she wished he would listen to members of the intelligence community "but what we have right now is a common set of facts between at least Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, and a common purpose to protect our democracy." Klobuchar added that she would "love to see this broadened out so we start to discuss also the threats to our power grid system, the threats to our financial system, because the Russians aren't just stopping at the election equipment."[121]

In November 2018, Klobuchar and Republican Dan Sullivan introduced legislation to create a new State Department program offering grants to American nonprofit groups for working on election security and sharing information with similar groups in other countries.[122]

Internet securityEdit

In October 2018, Klobuchar and Catherine Cortez Masto sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai charging Google with failing "[to] protect consumers’ data" while keeping "consumers in the dark about serious security risks" and noting that Google had not found evidence of developers taking advantage of this vulnerability or that profile data was misused. Klobuchar and Mastro expressed their dismay "that more care was not taken to inform consumers about threats to their personal information."[123]

Net neutralityEdit

In December 2017, in response to the Federal Communication Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules, Klobuchar said, "It’s against the concept of the internet, which was all about letting everyone access the internet and letting everyone be able to compete on an equal playing field."[124]

In February 2018, during a discussion with Mayor of Duluth Emily Larson, Klobuchar stated that net neutrality "is not just about one company having access, it's about everyone having equal access" and they "want small- and mid-size cities like Duluth to be able to compete against metro areas where they might be able to have the benefits of being bigger."[125]

In April 2018, Klobuchar, fellow Minnesota senator Tina Smith, and Ed Markey met with local business owners, experts and advocates to discuss the Congressional Review Act resolution and its potential to overturn the FCC's net neutrality repeal. Klobuchar said that Senate approval of the resolution would give it momentum to get passed in the House.[126]

Climate changeEdit

In December 2014, Klobuchar was one of six Democratic senators to sign a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency urging the agency to give states more time to comply with its rule on power plants as the final rule "must provide adequate time for the design, permitting and construction of such large scale capital intensive infrastructure" and calling for an elimination of the 2020 targets in the final rule, a mandate that states take action by 2020 as part of the EPA's goal to reach a 30 percent carbon cut by 2030.[127]

In November 2018, the Trump administration released a climate change report warning of dire consequences if the US did not change its policies on the day after Thanksgiving, generally one of the slowest news days of the year, and earned criticism. Klobuchar stated administration officials "couldn't pick a day where they tried to get less attention" and expressed her view that the attempt backfired given "a lot of people are signing up to get the overview of the report" as a result of no other news receiving attention the day the report was made public. She advocated for the implementation of greenhouse gas rules and gas mileage standards along with the United States reentering the Paris Agreement.[128]

In November 2018, Klobuchar was one of 25 Democratic senators to cosponsor a resolution in response to findings of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change report and National Climate Assessment. The resolution affirmed the senators' acceptance of the findings and their support for bold action to address climate change.[129]

In a February 2019 interview with Bret Baier, Klobuchar was asked how she would vote on the Green New Deal if it came up for a vote in the Senate, replying, "I see it as aspirational, I see it as a jump start. So I would vote yes, but I would also, if it got down to the nitty-gritty of an actual legislation as opposed to, ‘oh, here are some goals we have,’ that would be different for me." Klobuchar added that she was "for a jump-start of the discussion" as espoused in the Green New Deal's framework by fellow senator Ed Markey.[130]

VeteransEdit

In December 2018, Klobuchar was one of 21 senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie calling it "appalling that the VA is not conducting oversight of its own outreach efforts" even though suicide prevention is the VA's highest clinical priority, and requesting that Wilkie "consult with experts with proven track records of successful public and mental health outreach campaigns with a particular emphasis on how those individuals measure success."[131]

ImmigrationEdit

In January 2013, Klobuchar was one of four senators to sponsor the Immigration Innovation Act, legislation intended to increase STEM visas and use the fees obtained from the aforementioned visa applications as a means of funding STEM education programs within the US.[132]

In a July 2018 interview, when asked about eliminating Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid other Democrats supporting abolishing the agency, Klobuchar stated, "I think what has to change are the policies, and the people that are making these policies are making horrendous decisions like separating kids from their parents." She added that the US would always "need immigration enforcement" and referred to America as "a major country with major borders", thereafter condemning the Trump administration's rhetoric on immigration: "I am just appalled by how this administration has been talking about immigrants. They don't diminish America, they are America."[133]

In January 2019, Klobuchar was one of 20 senators to sponsor the Dreamer Confidentiality Act, a bill banning the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from passing information collected on DACA recipients to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of Justice, or any other law enforcement agency with exceptions in the case of fraudulent claims, national security issues, or non-immigration related felonies.[134]

LGBT rightsEdit

In May 2017, Klobuchar was one of 46 senators to introduce the Equality Act of 2017, described by Representative David Cicilline as ensuring "that every LGBT person can live their lives free from the fear of discrimination. Above all, it’s about honoring the values that have guided our nation since its founding. It’s critical that Congress pass the Equality Act into law."[135]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1993, Klobuchar married John Bessler, a private practice attorney and a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. They have one child, a daughter.[6] Klobuchar is a member of the United Church of Christ.[136]

Klobuchar has written two books. In 1986 she published Uncovering the Dome, a case study of the 10-year political struggle behind the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.[137] In 2015 she published an autobiography, The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland.[138]

Awards and honorsEdit

 
Klobuchar in 2010

Klobuchar has received numerous awards throughout her career. As Hennepin County Attorney, she was named by Minnesota Lawyer in 2001 as "Attorney of the Year"[21] and received a leadership award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for advocating for successful passage of Minnesota's first felony DWI law.[139] Working Mother named her as a 2008 "Best in Congress" for her efforts on behalf of working families and The American Prospect named her a "woman to watch".[139]

In 2012, Klobuchar received the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award at a special Great Outdoors Week celebration presented by the American Recreation Coalition.[106] She was one of the recipients of the Agricultural Retailers Association's 2012 Legislator of the Year Award alongside Republican Representative John Mica.[140] In 2013, Klobuchar received an award for her leadership in the fight to prevent sexual assault in the military at a national summit hosted by the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN).[141] That same year, Klobuchar was named recipient of 2013 Friend of CACFP award for her leadership in the passage of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids act and her efforts to set new nutrition standards for all meals served in the CACFP by the National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsors Association.[142] Klobuchar was named alongside Sen. Al Franken as the recipients of the 2014 Friends of Farm Bureau Award by the Minnesota branch of the American Farm Bureau Federation.[143] She received the American Bar Association's Congressional Justice Award in 2015 for her efforts to protect vulnerable populations from violence, exploitation, and assault and to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.[144] Also in 2015, Klobuchar was honored by the National Consumers League with the Trumpeter Award for her work "on regulation to strengthen consumer product safety legislation, on ensuring a fair and competitive marketplace, and increasing accessibility to communications, specifically in the wireless space".[145] In 2016 she received the Goodwill Policymaker Award from Goodwill Industries for her commitment to the nonprofit sector and leading the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act.[146] She was named the recipient of the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers in 2017.[147] Also in 2017, Klobuchar was chosen as the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center at Iowa State University.[148]

In popular cultureEdit

Rachel Dratch played Klobuchar in a 2018 Saturday Night Live skit about Brett Kavanaugh's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.[149]

Electoral historyEdit

Hennepin County AttorneyEdit

1998 Hennepin County Attorney election[150]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Nonpartisan Amy Klobuchar 223,416 50.3
Nonpartisan Sheryl Ramstad Hvass 219,676 49.4
2002 Hennepin County Attorney election[151]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Nonpartisan Amy Klobuchar 380,632 98.7
Write-in 4,829 1.3

U.S. SenateEdit

United States Senate Democratic-Farmer-Labor Primary election in Minnesota, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % +%
DFL Amy Klobuchar 294,671 92.51
DFL Darryl Stanton 23,872 7.49

Note: The ±% column reflects the change in total number of votes won by each party from the previous election.

2006 United States Senate election in Minnesota
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Amy Klobuchar 1,278,849 58.06% +9.23%
Republican Mark Kennedy 835,653 37.94% -5.35%
Independence Robert Fitzgerald 71,194 3.23% -2.58%
Green Michael Cavlan 10,714 0.49% n/a
Constitution Ben Powers 5,408 0.25% -0.12%
Write-ins 954
Majority 443,196 20.2%
Turnout 2,202,772 70.64%
DFL hold Swing
2012 United States Senate Democratic-Farmer-Labor Primary election in Minnesota
Party Candidate Votes % +%
DFL Amy Klobuchar 183,766 90.80%
DFL "dink" Franson 6,837 3.38%
DFL Jack Edward Shepard 6,632 3.28%
DFL Darryl Stanton 5,155 2.55%
2012 United States Senate election in Minnesota [152]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Amy Klobuchar (incumbent) 1,854,595 65.23 +7.1
Republican Kurt Bills 867,974 30.53 -7.3
Independence Stephen Williams 73,539 2.59 -0.6
Grassroots Tim Davis 30,531 1.07 N/A
Open Progressive Michael Cavlan 13,986 0.49 N/A
Write-ins 2,582
Majority 986,621 34.6 +14.4
Turnout 2,843,207
DFL hold Swing
2018 United States Senate election in Minnesota
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Amy Klobuchar (incumbent) 1,566,174 60.3% -4.93
Republican Jim Newberger 940,437 36.2% +5.67
Independent Dennis Schuller 66,236 2.6% +2.6
Green Paula Overby 23,101 0.9% +0.9
Majority 625,737 24.1% -10.5
Turnout 2,595,948
DFL hold Swing

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

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External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
Michael Freeman
County Attorney of Hennepin County
1999–2007
Succeeded by
Michael Freeman
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mark Dayton
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
(Class 1)

2006, 2012, 2018
Most recent
Preceded by
Mark Begich
Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee
2015–2017
Succeeded by
Herself
as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee
Succeeded by
Bernie Sanders
as Chair of the Senate Democratic Outreach Committee
Preceded by
Herself
as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee
Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee
2017–present
Incumbent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Mark Dayton
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
2007–present
Served alongside: Norm Coleman, Al Franken, Tina Smith
Incumbent
Preceded by
Chuck Schumer
Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee
2017–present
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Bob Casey
United States Senators by seniority
31st
Succeeded by
Sheldon Whitehouse