Amy Klobuchar on Principles & Values
DFL Sr Senator (MN)
KLOBUCHAR: I have made it very clear that this is impeachable conduct and I've called for an impeachment proceeding. I just believe our job as jurors is to look at each count and make a decision. But let me make very clear that what this impeachment proceeding about is really our democracy at stake. This is a president that not only with regard to his conduct with Ukraine, but every step of the way puts his own private interests, his own partisan interests, his own political interests in front of our country's interest, and this is wrong. This is a pattern with this man. And it goes to everything from how he has betrayed our farmers, to sucking up to Vladimir Putin every minute of the day. That is what this guy does. And I think it is very, very important that we have a president that's going to put our country first.
Sen. Elizabeth WARREN: We're not going to solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness.
Q: Is Senator Warren correct? For example, Medicare-for-All: do you just not lack the will to fight for it?
KLOBUCHAR: That is incorrect. I just have a better way to do this. In one of my first debates, I was called a street fighter from the Iron Range by my opponent. And when she said it, I said thank you. So this is what I think we need to get done. We need the public option. That's what Barack Obama wanted, and it would bring health care costs down for everyone.
While she is hardly a conservative, Ms. Klobuchar has distinguished herself in the campaign by breaking from the new liberal orthodoxy that has dominated the primary. She does not favor a "Medicare for all" health care system, preferring a more graduated approach; she has called the Green New Deal "aspirational"; and she has said the country cannot afford to fund free tuition for students at public colleges and universities. Ms. Klobuchar said she backed legal marijuana, but would leave the decision to individual states rather than endorsing federal legalization.
As Democrats look ahead to 2020, do they need a calm, reasoned, reliable (but not flashy) Democrat from the American heartland to provide a stark contrast to the president--in short, Amy Klobuchar?
"I don't agree with, 'When they go low, we go low,' but I do agree that when they go low, we have to respond," Klobuchar said, referring to the intraparty debate over Michelle Obama's 2016 mantra: "When they go low, we go high."
"But," she went on, "responding doesn't mean just going down a rabbit hole everywhere Donald Trump goes. I don't think we want to tweet caustic comments every morning."
Early in her tenure, she carved out a niche in consumer protection, shepherding passage of bipartisan bills to ban lead in toys and improve swimming pool safety after several highly publicized child deaths, measures that Republican strategists in Minnesota said have earned Ms. Klobuchar a derisive nickname: "The Senator of Small Things."
Ms. Klobuchar has heard the "small things" criticism, and resents it. "Not for a minute do I view these as small things," she said sharply. "They're big things for the people whose kids' lives were saved."
Although she is hardly a centrist, Ms. Klobuchar departs from progressive orthodoxy on several fronts.
She has not signed onto Mr. Sanders's single-payer health care bill, commonly called Medicare for All; she said it "should be considered," but prefers "a sensible transition" such as allowing people to buy into Medicare, or expanding it to cover those 55 and older. Her push to make college more affordable is not as expansive as the left would like. While she has denounced Mr. Trump's border policies, she has not joined the movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Back in the old country, Slovenians worked as miners and farmers and woodworkers. But for my ancestors, America brought the promise not only of steady work but of better lives for their children. In America, the Austrians (who, for centuries, ruled Slovenia as part of the Hapsburg Dynasty) would no longer be able to tell them which of their kids could go to school. In America, they would be paying taxes to THEIR country, not foreign monarchs, and every child would get a good education.
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization's continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution's two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:
Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, "Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire," 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.
FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, "FOIA Request," 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.
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Senate races 2019-20:
AK: Sullivan(R,incumbent) vs.Gross(I)
AL: Jones(D,incumbent) vs.Sessions(R) vs.Moore(R) vs.Mooney(R) vs.
AR: Cotton(R,incumbent) vs.
AZ: McSally(R,incumbent) vs.Kelly(D)
CO: Gardner(R,incumbent) vs.Hickenlooper(D) vs.
DE: Coons(D,incumbent) vs.Scarane(D)
GA-2: Isakson(R,resigned) Loeffler(R,appointed) vs.Lieberman(D) vs.Collins(R) vs.Carter(D)
GA-6: Perdue(R,incumbent) vs.Tomlinson(D) vs.Ossoff(D) vs.Terry(D)
IA: Ernst(R,incumbent) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mauro(D) vs.Greenfield(D)
ID: Risch(R,incumbent) vs.Harris(D)
IL: Durbin(D,incumbent) vs.Curran(R) vs.
KS: Roberts(R,retiring) vs.
KY: McConnell(R,incumbent) vs.McGrath(D) vs.Morgan(R) vs.Cox(D)
LA: Cassidy(R,incumbent) vs.Pierce(D)
MA: Markey(D,incumbent) vs.Liss-Riordan(D) vs.Ayyadurai(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Waters(R)
ME: Collins(R,incumbent) vs.Sweet(D) vs.Gideon(D) vs.
MI: Peters(D,incumbent) vs.James(R)
MN: Smith(D,incumbent) vs.
MS: Hyde-Smith(R,incumbent) vs.Espy(D) vs.Bohren(D)
MT: Daines(R,incumbent) vs.Collins(D) vs.Cooney(D)
NC: Tillis(R,incumbent) vs.E.Smith(D) vs.S.Smith(R) vs.Cunningham(D) vs.Tucker(R) vs.Mansfield(D)
NE: Sasse(R,incumbent) vs.Janicek(R)
NH: Shaheen(D,incumbent) vs.Martin(D) vs.Bolduc(R) vs.O'Brien(f)
NJ: Booker(D,incumbent) vs.Singh(R) vs.Meissner(R)
NM: Udall(D,retiring) vs.Clarkson(R) vs.
OK: Inhofe(R,incumbent) vs.Workman(D)
OR: Merkley(D,incumbent) vs.Romero(R)
RI: Reed(D,incumbent) vs. (no opponent yet)
SC: Graham(R,incumbent) vs.Tinubu(D) vs.Harrison(D)
SD: Rounds(R,incumbent) vs.Borglum(R) vs.Ahlers(D)
TN: Alexander(R,incumbent) vs.Sethi(R) vs.Mackler(D) vs.Hagerty(R)
TX: Cornyn(R,incumbent) vs.Hegar(D) vs.Hernandez(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Ramirez(D) vs.West(D)
VA: Warner(D,incumbent) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Gade(R)
WV: Capito(R,incumbent) vs.Swearengin(D)
WY: Enzi(R,incumbent) vs.Ludwig(D) vs.Lummis(R)
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