"My statement on the federal government resuming capital punishment for the first time in nearly two decades: 'I have opposed the death penalty from back in my time as a prosecutor. It does not reduce crime, it is costly and it is discriminatory. A life sentence compared to a death sentence depends on where you live, who your lawyer is and the color of your skin. That's not right. When thepenalty of life without parole is available for heinous murderers, we do not need the death penalty. I disagree with the President's decision.'"
"End the Justice Department’s reliance on private prisons. As President, Senator Klobuchar will phase out the use of private prisons by directing the Department of Justice to decline to renew or reduce the scope of contracts when the contract reaches its end."
Source: Amy for America, "Amy's First 100 Days," medium.com, June 18, 2019
Pro Should Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases Be Made Law?
"Gun violence prevention policies are long overdue. Amy supports a package of gun violence policies including instituting universal background checks by closing the gun show loophole and banning bump stocks, high capacity ammunition feeding devices and assault weapons. She is also the author of a proposal that would close what is commonly referred to as the ‘boyfriend loophole’ by preventing people who have abused dating partners from buying or owning firearms."
Source: Amy Klobuchar, "On the Issues: A Safer World," amyklobuchar.com (accessed Aug. 29, 2019)
Con Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal Federally?
"I support the legalization of marijuana and believe that states should have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders."
Source: Dan Merica and Sophie Tatum, "Amy Klobuchar Says She Supports Legalizing Marijuana," cnn.com, Feb. 22, 2019
[Editor's Note: Klobuchar previously expressed a CON opinion in 1998 that did not include individual state legalization: "I am opposed to the legalization of marijuana. I believe when you look at across the world what’s been happening people have realized that legalizing drugs is not the answer."
Source: Briana Bierschbach, "In Shift, Klobuchar Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana," mprnews.org, Feb. 22, 2019]
Pro Should the Federal Government Provide Universal Childcare?
"Affordable, quality child care must be available to every family. Child care shortages across the country pose a moral and financial issue for communities when parents are forced to decide between working and staying at home with their children Our bipartisan Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act will help ensure that every family has good options available to them when planning for their careers and their children."
Source: Amy Klobuchar, "Klobuchar, Peterson Introduce Bills to Address National Childcare Shortage," klobuchar.senate.gov, Mar. 4, 2019
[Editor's Note: Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act, which includes universal child care.
Source: Congress.gov, "S.586 - Child Care for Working Families Act," congress.gov, Feb. 26, 2019]
"Pay for infrastructure proposals with a series of corporate tax reforms. To pay for this infrastructure investment, Amy will make a number of corporate tax reforms including adjusting the corporate tax rate to 25%, closing loopholes that encourage U.S. companies to move jobs and operations overseas, establishing a financial risk fee on our largest banks, and increasing efforts for tax enforcement."
Source: Amy for America, "Amy's Plan to Build America's Infrastructure," medium.com, Mar. 28, 2019
"If we are going to build a stronger middle class, we need to make sure that Americans can work their way into it. I support increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour... "Lifting the minimum wage is part of the solution to get the economy back on track for the middle class and at the same time giving our businesses the customers they need with more money in their pockets to buy their goods."
Source: Amy Klobuchar, "Jobs and the Economy," klobuchar.senate.gov (accessed Aug. 16, 2019)
Con Should the US Implement a Universal Basic Income (UBI)?
[Editor's Note: The Washington Post reported that Klobuchar said she does not support a universal basic income for every American adult. ProCon.org was unable to find other responses from Klobuchar on this issue.
Source: Washington Post, "Should the Federal Government Pay a Universal Basic Income to Every American Adult?," washingtonpost.com (accessed Nov. 25, 2019)]
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the US Implement a Wealth Tax?
"[ERIN] BURNETT: Will a wealth tax -- will a wealth tax work?
KLOBUCHAR: It could work. I am open to it. But I want to give a reality check here to Elizabeth [Warren], because no one on this stage wants to protect billionaires. Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires... So we have different ways -- I would repeal significant portions of that tax bill that help the rich, including what he did with the corporate tax rate, including what he did on international taxation. You add it all up, you got a lot of money that, one, helps pay for that childcare, protects that dignity of work, makes sure we have decent retirement, and makes sure that our kids can go to good schools."
Source: The Fix, "Transcript: The November Democratic Debate," washingtonpost.com, Nov. 20, 2019
Pro Should the Federal Funding to Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCUs) Be Increased?
"Strengthen and increase affordability for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). As President Senator Klobuchar will invest in HBCUs and MSIs through a new Pathways to Student Success initiative. Participating HBCUs and MSIs will receive federal funding to waive or significantly reduce the first two years of tuition for low-income students at four-year schools."
Source: Amy for America, "Senator Klobuchar's 'Many Paths to Success' Post-Secondary Education Plan," medium.com, Oct. 25, 2019
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should Student Loan Debt Be Forgiven?
"You have got $1.5 trillion in student debt right now in this country... So the first thing I would do is allow students, no matter how old they are, former students, to refinance student loans at that rate that's a little above 3%...
I would target the loan forgiveness at those that, for instance, I brought up people that went into public service, in-demand locations and in-demand jobs that we have in our economy."
Source: Cnn.com, "Sen. Klobuchar Outlines Plan to Deal with Student Debt," cnn. com, Apr. 22, 2019
"I think we have to do everything to help our students afford college. My idea is to make it easier to refinance, to start with two-year degrees, the community colleges being free. That's something that President Obama was pushing. There's a reason I'll get to why I'm starting there instead of four-year...
I am not for free four-year college for all, no...
And I wish -- if I was a magic genie and could give that to everyone and we could afford it, I would. I'm just trying to find a mix of incentives and make sure kids that are in need -- that's why I talked about expanding Pell Grants -- can go to college and be able to afford it and make sure that people that can't afford it are able to pay."
Source: Veronica Rocha and Brian Ries, "Amy Klobuchar Takes Questions at CNN Town Hall," cnn.com, Feb. 18, 2019
"Senator Klobuchar has pledged that the For the People Act — legislation that has thirteen of Senator Klobuchar’s legislative provisions — will be the first bill she sends to Congress as President. She will also champion a voting rights and democracy reform package that: Eliminates obstacles to voting and makes it easier to vote by... Designating election day as a federal holiday."
Source: Amy for America, "Senator Klobuchar's Plan to Reform Our Democracy," medium.com, Sep. 14, 2019
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the US Abolish the Electoral College?
[Editor's Note: Klobuchar told the Washington Post that she was "open" to abolishing the Electoral College for a Sep. 20, 2019 article, "Where 2020 Democrats Stand on Democratic Changes," written by Kevin Uhrmacher, Kevin Schaul, and Jeff Stein.]
Con Should Voters Be Required to Show Photo Identification in Order to Vote?
"U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today highlighted her legislation to make voting easier for all Americans... Klobuchar also discussed other barriers to voting, such as voter ID laws, and explored ideas to improve voter access... Klobuchar urged the defeat and repeal of unduly restrictive voter ID laws, and highlighted the need for additional polling places, poll workers and fully functioning voting machines as actions to take to improve voter participation."
Source: Amy Klobuchar, "Klobuchar Highlights Her Legislation to Make Voting Easier for All Americans at National Forum Focusing on Improving Voter Access," klobuchar.senate.gov, Apr. 24, 2013
[Editor's Note: On June 5, 2007, Klobuchar voted against Amendment 1170, which would have added a voter ID requirement to the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
Source: US Senate, "Roll Call Vote 110th Congress - 1st Session," senate.gov, June 5, 2007]
Con Should the US Expand Fossil Fuel Extraction on Public Land?
"Ban new fossil fuel permitting on federal lands and review and restore environmental protections repealed by the Trump Administration. To help accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels, Senator Klobuchar will ban new fossil fuel permits on federal lands. Senator Klobuchar will also undertake a comprehensive review and restore environmental protections repealed by the Trump Administration. The Trump Administration has revoked dozens of guidance documents and rules that protect people’s safety, health and the environment when it comes to our power plants, oil refineries, national parks and wildlife refuges, offshore drilling, pipelines, and oil and gas development."
Source: Amy for America, "Senator Klobuchar's Plan to Tackle the Climate Crisis," medium.com, Sep. 1, 2019
Pro Should the US Adopt a Climate Change Plan such as the Green New Deal?
"The evidence is clear: the climate crisis isn’t happening in 100 years — it’s happening now. 2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record globally and it was another near-record year for U.S. weather and climate disasters. The dire warnings in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment make clear that immediate action is needed. The National Climate Assessment lays out how increasing global temperatures are harming our country’s food systems and public health by increasing the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, while displacement and destruction caused by climate-related natural disasters threaten our economy and national security. Senator Klobuchar is deeply committed to tackling the climate crisis and she believes that it is an urgent priority for our country, for our economy and for our planet. She is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, has signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, and believes we must stand up to the fossil fuel companies, which means campaign finance reform and taking on special interests."
Source: Amy Klobuchar, "Turning Ideas into Action: Senator Klobuchar on Combating Climate Change," amyklobuchar.com (accessed Aug. 29, 2019)
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the US Expand Its Use of Nuclear Power?
"My plan is definite that we have to go to carbon neutral by no later than 2050.
I'm a cosponsor of the Green New Deal, so I'd like to see it even sooner, right? But at the outset, when I look at the numbers, I think we should at least get this done -- we have to by 2050. And we have to limit this to 2.7 degrees warming Fahrenheit or we're going to be in a whole lot more trouble than we are already are in today.
So when it comes to those technologies, I think storage is an issue. I know Senator Harris was just talking about this with nuclear. But I would look at all the plants we have right now. It is about 20 percent of our energy and as you know, it doesn't emit carbon.
So I would look at those plants and make sure they're safe and figure out what upgrades we have to make to the plants, but I wouldn't expand nuclear unless we can find safe storage and figure this out."
Source: CNN, "Climate Crisis Town Hall with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Presidential Candidate. Aired 7-7:40p ET," cnn.com, Sep. 4, 2019
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the Tariffs Imposed on China by President Trump Be Maintained?
George Stephanopoulos: "Senator Klobuchar, you've actually supported the tariffs on steel [in 2016 for China among other countries]."
Klobuchar: "What we've got right now, though, George, it's not a focused tariff on steel. What he [Trump] has done here, he has assessed these tariffs on our allies. He has put us in the middle of this trade war and he is treating our farmers and our workers like poker chips in one of his bankrupt casinos. And if we are not careful, he is going to bankrupt this country...
So what I think we need to do is to go back to the negotiating table -- that's what I would do. I wouldn't have put all these tariffs in place...
The leaders of the world are watching this, and it undermines our strength as a nation. And, yes, we want fair trade, but we must work with the rest of the world."
Pro Should the US Re-Enter a Nuclear Deal with Iran?
"It was imperfect, but it was a good deal for that moment. I would have worked to get longer sunset periods, and that's something we could negotiate, to get back in the deal.
But the point is, Donald Trump told us when he got out of it that he was going to give us a better deal. Those were his words. And now we are a month away from the Iranians, who claim now that they're going blow the caps on enriching uranium. And the Iranians have told us this.
And so that's where we are now. He has made us less safe than we were when he became president. So what I would do is negotiate us back into that agreement, is stand with our allies, and not give unlimited leverage to China and Russia, which is what he has done."
Source: Jeremia Kimelman, "Full Transcript: 2019 Democratic Debate Night One, Sortable by Topic," nbcnews.com, June 26, 2019
Con Should the US Have Withdrawn Troops from Northern Syria in Oct. 2019?
"Giving the green light to President Erdogan to slaughter our allies is wrong. The Kurds have stood with us in our fight against ISIS. They have been stalwarts and lost many of their people because of it. This is part of a deeper and disturbing pattern with this President. He stands with dictators instead of allies. He stands with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence officers. He stands with murderers and thugs against innocents.
Once again this President has ignored the advice of our military, acted out of impulse, and thrown our foreign policy into chaos. This decision to abandon the Kurds does nothing but destabilize the region—by weakening the fight against extremism, exacerbating an existing humanitarian disaster, and demonstrating that America cannot be trusted to keep its commitments.
There are no more excuses for abandoning our allies."
"Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio have all tried to effectively ban abortion this year. This is a coordinated attack on women's constitutional rights and we must fight back. #StopTheBans"
Source: Amy Klobuchar, twitter.com, May 31, 2019
[Editor's Note: Klobuchar Co-sponsored SB 1645, the Women's Health Protection Act, which states, "To protect a woman's ability to determine whether and when to bear a child or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider's ability to provide reproductive health care services, including abortion services." (Introduced May 23, 2019).]
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the US Switch to a Medicare-for-All Healthcare System?
Anderson Cooper: "You also mentioned Medicare in terms of Medicare-for-All are you prepared to support that as many of your fellow Democratic candidates have?"
Klobuchar: "I want to see universal healthcare, Anderson, and there are many ways to get there. I think the smartest transition right now would be to do a public option. And you can do it by expanding Medicaid. You can expand Medicare. I’m on both bills that do that. And that’s going to get us more quickly, I believe, to where we need to go."
Cooper: "So not Medicare-for-All?"
Klobuchar: "I am happy to look at it as an option but I’m not on that bill right now."
Source: CNN, “Amy Klobuchar: I Have Learned How to Deal with Trump,” youtube.com, Feb. 12, 2019
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the US Continue to Build a Border Wall at the US/Mexico Border?
"We need to reopen the government and get these workers back on the jobs providing vital services for the American people. Once it is open, as my colleagues have made clear and as leadership has made clear, we can continue negotiations with the President about border security. I am someone, as is my colleague from Pennsylvania, who voted for a bill that had over $40 billion in border security that was part of comprehensive immigration reform.
We did this, but was it a wall through the entire border? No, it was not. It allowed the experts to decide where there should be technology, where there should be fencing, where there should be barriers, where there should be personnel. That is the way to do this."
Source: Amy Klobuchar, "Klobuchar Speaks on Senate Floor about the Serious Consequences of the Government Shutdown," klobuchar.senate.gov, Jan. 24, 2019
Con Should the US End the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Policy?
“DREAMers were brought here as children and only know the United States as their home – they serve in our military, pay taxes, and contribute to communities across the country. The vast majority of these young people—more than 97 percent—are in school or the workforce. And one recent study found that 72 percent of all DACA recipients currently in school are pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Ending DACA, which has been in place since 2012, would create tremendous uncertainty and risk deportation for DREAMers across the country. I sent a letter urging the President to keep DACA in place along with 41 other Senators, and I stand ready to work with those on both sides of the aisle to preserve it.”
Source: Amy Klobuchar, "Klobuchar Statement on Trump Administration Decision to Rescind DACA," klobuchar.senate.gov, Sep. 5, 2017
Con Should the US Decriminalize Illegal Border Crossings?
Jon Karl: "Elizabeth Warren this week came out with a proposal following up on what Julian Castro said in the debate to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings. You said you were going to look at that in the debate. Do you support that idea?"
Klobuchar: "I support different enforcement priorities and of course I'll look at the statute to see if you can make changes depending on the level of a security risk, but no I don't support open borders and simply getting rid of this statute."
Source: Cameron Cawthorne, "Klobuchar: I Don't Support open Borders Like Warren, Castro," freebeacon.com, July 14, 2019
Pro Should LGBTQ+ People Have Protection from Being Fired for Being LGBTQ+?
"For as far as we have come, we still have miles to go until LGBTQ Americans can live their lives with freedom, authenticity, and equality. Because it's not right that in some states you can get married on Sunday and fired from your job on Monday. It's not right that if you drive across the US on a cross-country trip, the laws and protections are different in every rest stop you make. And it's not right that the administration is trying to take away your hard won rights, and especially that they're trying to deny our patriotic transgender friends from serving in the military. That is wrong. That is wrong."
Pro Should Transgender People Be Allowed to Serve in the US Military?
"I was always understanding of some of the trans issues and was appalled of course by what’s been going on lately with this president going backwards in terms of patriotic trans members of our country wanting to simply serve in the military, and then he bans them from doing it — which is one of the first things I put in for my first 100 days when I am president, I’m going to reverse that."
Source: Gwendolyn Smith, "Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar Sat down to Talk about Trans Issues & What She'd Do about Them," lgbtqnation.com, Aug. 28, 2019