This fact sheet on the impact on health care coverage, benefits and protections under the Congressional Republicans’ plans was provided by the White House:
President Biden’s top priority is to lower costs for the American people. He was proud to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, taking on Big Pharma to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs for the first time, capping seniors’ drug costs at the pharmacy and the cost of insulin, and lowering health insurance premiums for people who get coverage through the Affordable Care Act. President Biden and Congressional Democrats are committed to protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare.
Congressional Republicans have a very different vision. They have promised to strip Medicare of the right to negotiate drug prices and remove the $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket pharmacy expenses. Florida’s Republican Senator and Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee Rick Scott has championed a plan to put Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security on the chopping block every five years. Further, Congressional Republicans have repeatedly pledged to hold the American economy hostage by refusing to raise the debt limit unless they can cut Social Security and Medicare benefits that tens of millions of Americans have already paid into.
Here’s what Congressional Republicans’ plan would mean:
Part I: Putting Bedrock Programs like Social Security and Medicare on the Chopping Block and Threatening the Global Economy Unless Those Programs Are Cut
All Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security beneficiaries would see their benefits threatened under Sen. Rick Scott’s plan to put those programs on the chopping block every five years. Sen. Ron Johnson’s vision of putting them up for a vote every year would make that even worse.
Congressional Republican leaders have also repeatedly said they will use the debt limit as leverage to cut these bedrock programs. Congressional Republicans have supported Medicare and Social Security cuts including:
Transforming Medicare benefits into a voucher where seniors would get a fixed amount of money to purchase a private health plan (Better Way Plan) or offering beneficiaries the option to transition to a premium support system (Republican Study Committee FY 2023 Budget) – which could lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in additional out of pocket costs for seniors throughout the country.
Part II: Repealing the Prescription Drug and Health Care Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act
President Biden has worked for decades to let Medicare negotiate drug prices, and that is finally happening thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. This will save billions of dollars for both Medicare beneficiaries, who will see reduced premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and the federal government. Kaiser Family Foundation estimates suggest that some 5 to 7 million beneficiaries each year use the types of high-cost drugs that could be subject to negotiation and will directly face higher cost sharing if these provisions are repealed.
The Inflation Reduction Act also requires prescription drug companies to pay rebates if they increase drug prices faster than inflation. According to an analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, the cost of 1,200 prescription drugs rose faster than inflation in the last year alone – some prescription drugs increasing by $1000 in just one year. If Congressional Republicans repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, drug companies will be able to continue raising prices without paying a rebate, rather than putting that money back into Americans’ pockets.
Before the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare beneficiaries with conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and lung disease could face thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket prescription drug costs per year. Thanks to President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, those costs will be capped at $2,000 per year, saving over 1 million beneficiaries an average of over $1,300 per year. If Congressional Republicans get their way and repeal the law, over 1.4 million Medicare beneficiaries will pay more each year – thousands of dollars more in some cases – for drugs at the pharmacy.
Drug manufacturers have raised insulin prices so rapidly over the last few decades that some Medicare beneficiaries struggle to afford this life-saving drug that costs less than $10 a vial to manufacture. Today, Medicare beneficiaries are enrolling in plans that must cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin at no more than $35 per month per prescription, a protection they will lose if the law is repealed.
The Inflation Reduction Act saves 13 million Americans an average of about $800 per year on their health care premiums, by continuing the improvements to Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium tax credits enacted in the American Rescue Plan. By making health care more affordable, these improvements have expanded coverage to millions of people, helping bring the uninsured rate to an all-time low. Starting today, during Open Enrollment season, Americans can choose health insurance plans that lock in the Inflation Reduction Act’s cost savings for 2023. But Congressional Republicans would repeal this assistance, drive premiums higher, and jeopardize the progress the Biden Administration has made in driving the uninsured rate to a historic low. Older Americans would see especially large premium spikes; in most states, annual premiums for a 60-year old making $60,000 would more than double to over $10,000.
Washington, D.C.– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released the following statementon the historic achievements made by Senate Democrats since President Biden took office:
“There are two words that I believe perfectly summarize the Senate under Democratic leadership: productive and bipartisan. To even do small things in the Senate is tough. To pass major pieces of bipartisan legislation in the longest evenly divided Senate in history is a testament to Democrats’ persistence and hard work to deliver for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
“On top of all the major accomplishments last year, in 2022 alone, we passed a significant postal reform bill over a decade in the making. We passed a bold and robust government funding package which included the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. We passed critical emergency aid for the people of Ukraine. We passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching bill, after a century of waiting. We confirmed the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. We passed the first gun safety legislation in 30 years. We passed an historic investment in America’s future with the CHIPS and Science Act. We passed legislation to help our veterans suffering from the effects of toxic burn pits. And we passed the Inflation Reduction Act which will lower costs for prescription drugs, fight climate change and cut down on inflation and the deficit.”
Lowering Costs, Creating Jobs, And Taking Historic Action to Fight Climate Change. The Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower drug and energy costs, create jobs, reduce the deficit, and take the most significant action ever to fight climate change.
Delivering Critically Needed Historic Legislation To Rebuild Our Crumbling Infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure law is “the biggest public-works bill since former President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system in 1956.” The infrastructure law includes the largest-ever investment in clean drinking water, the largest-ever investment in public transit, the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak, and the largest investment in clean energy transmission and EV infrastructure in U.S. history. Across the country, Senate Democrats have held event after event to spread the word about the direct impact these investments will have on their communities. And the Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2022.
Providing Critical Support For American Families. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, more than 160 million Americans received economic impact payments. The American Rescue Plan provided tens of billions of dollars to support vaccination and testing in response to the COVID pandemic. The 2022 funding law includes historic investments in our communities.
Supercharging American Innovation and Laying the Groundwork for a New Century of American Leadership. President Biden signed the Chips and Science Act, critical legislation to boost American competitiveness, ease supply chains, invest in scientific research, incentivize semiconductor manufacturing, and create jobs. President Biden signed bipartisan ocean shipping legislation to ease supply chains and drive down costs of shipped goods.
Righting Wrongs For Our Veterans and Their Families. The Senate passed and President Biden signed historic legislation to help veterans exposed to burn pits access the care they need for injuries sustained serving their country.
Enacting The First Major Gun Safety Law in Decades. President Biden signed the most significant gun safety legislation in 30 years, including incentives for red flag laws, closing the “boyfriend loophole,” creating new federal straw purchasing and trafficking criminal offenses, and funding a historic expansion of mental health services. And the Senate confirmed the first permanent Director of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives since 2015.
Supporting and Modernizing the Postal Service. The Senate passed bipartisan legislation to invest in the Post Office and improve delivery.
Protecting Americans Against Hunger. President Biden signed the FORMULA Act and the Access to Baby Formula Act to expand the availability of baby formula. And President Biden signed the Keep Kids Fed Act to extend funding for healthy meals for children over the summer.
Making Historic Steps to Restore the Judiciary. Senate Democrats confirmed the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Thanks to Senate Democrats, President Biden has had 75 District and Circuit Court judicial nominees confirmed. And, according to FiveThirtyEight, “Biden’s judges are breaking records on diversity.”
Ending Forced Arbitration for Survivors of Sexual Assault. President Biden signed a bipartisan bill that ends forced arbitration in workplace sexual assault and harassment cases, allowing survivors to file lawsuits in court against perpetrators.
Fighting Back Against Hate, Crime and Oppression. President Biden signed into law legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes law will allow us to better confront anti-Asian hate crimes. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, passed unanimously by the Senate, will ban the sale of goods made by Uyghur slave labor and take a stand against the genocide of the Uyghur people. President Biden signed bipartisan legislation to provide support to the victims of crimes. And President Biden signed legislation to commemorate Juneteenth, celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. The Senate passed legislation to streamline research of marijuana. The 2022 Omnibus funding bill also included a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
Undoing the Trump Administration’s Worst Rules and Making Progress in the Fight Against Climate Change. President Joe Biden signed three separate laws to repeal Trump-era rules,“blocking payday lenders from avoiding caps on interest rates, restricting climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling and ending rules on how the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settles claims.”
Confirming History-Making Nominees. According to the Brookings Institution, the Biden administration made history with “the most diverse set of confirmed appointees.”This includes the first Native American Cabinet Secretary (Sec. Haaland), the first woman to be Secretary of the Treasury (Sec. Yellen), the first Black Secretary of Defense (Sec. Austin), and many more.
Here is an edited, highlighted transcript of President Joe Biden’s remarks as he signed the Inflation Reduction Act, with historic investments in climate action, long-fought improvements in health care and prescription drug affordability, tax reform and deficit reduction, and in the immortal words of Biden as Obama’s VP, a “BFD.”–Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
I’m about to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, one of the most significant laws in our history. Let me say from the start: With this law, the American people won and the special interests lost. The American people won and the special interests lost.
For a while, people doubted whether any of that was going to happen. But we are in a season of substance. This administration began amid a dark time in America — as Jim said, “a once-in-a-century pandemic” — devastating joblessness, clear and present threats to democracy and the rule of law, doubts about America’s future itself.
And yet, we’ve not wavered. We’ve not flinched. And we’ve not given in. Instead, we’re delivering results for the American people. We didn’t tear down; we built up. We didn’t look back; we looked forward.
And today — today offers further proof that the soul of America is vibrant, the future of America is bright, and the promise of America is real and just beginning. (Applause.)
Look, the bill I’m about to sign is not just about today, it’s about tomorrow. It’s about delivering progress and prosperity to American families.
It’s about showing the American and the American people that democracy still works in America — notwithstanding all the — all the talk of its demise — not just for the privileged few, but for all of us.
You know, I swore an oath of office to you and to God to faithfully execute the duties of this sacred office.
To me, the critical duty — the critical duty of the presidency is to defend what is best about America. And that’s not hyperbole. Defend what’s best about America. To pursue justice, to ensure fairness, and to deliver results that create possibilities — possibilities that all of us — all of us can live a life of consequence and prosperity in a nation that’s safe and secure. That’s the job.
Fulfilling that pledge to you guides me every single hour of every single day in this job.
You know, presidents should be judged not only by our words, but by our deeds; not by our rhetoric, but by our actions; not by our promise, but by reality.
And today is part of an extraordinary story that’s being written by this administration and our brave allies in the Congress.
This law — this law that I’m about to sign finally delivers on a promise that Washington has made for decades to the American people.
I got here as a 29-year-old kid. We were promising to make sure that Medicare would have the power to negotiate lower drug prices back then — back then — prescription drug prices.
But guess what? We’re giving Medicare the power to negotiate those prices now, on some drugs.
This means seniors are going to pay less for their prescription drugs while we’re changing circumstances for people on Medicare by putting a cap — a cap of a maximum of $2,000 a year on their prescription drug costs, no matter what the reason for those prescriptions are.
That means if you’re on Medicare, you’ll never have to pay more than $2,000 a year no matter how many prescriptions you have, whether it’s for cancer or any other disease. No more than $2,000 a year.
And you all know it because a lot of you come from families that need this. This is a Godsend. This is a Godsend to many families and so, so long overdue.
The Inflation Reduction Act locks in place lower healthcare premiums for millions of families who get their coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Last year, a family of four saved on average $2,400 through the American Rescue Plan that I signed into law that Congress voted in place.
In the years ahead, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, 13 million people are going to continue — continue to save an average of $800 a year on health insurance.
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $369 billion to take the most aggressive action ever — ever, ever, ever — in confronting the climate crisis and strengthening our economic — our energy security.
It’s going to offer working families thousands of dollars in savings by providing them rebates to buy new and efficient appliances, weatherize their homes, get tax credit for purchasing heat pumps and rooftop solar, electric stoves, ovens, dryers.
It gives consumers a tax credit to buy electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles, new or used. And it gives them a credit — a tax credit of up to $7,500 if those vehicles were made in America.
American auto companies, along with American labor, are committing their treasure and their talent — billions of dollars in investment — to make electric vehicles and battery and electric charging stations all across America, made in America. All of it made in America.
This new law also provides tax credits that’s going to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and clean energy manufacturing jobs, solar factories in the Midwest and the South, wind farms across the plains and off our shores, clean hydrogen projects and more — all across America, every part of America.
This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever — ever — and it’s going to allow us to boldly take additional steps toward meeting all of my climate goals — the ones we set out when we ran.
It includes ensuring that we create clean energy opportunities in frontline and fence-line communities that have been smothered — smothered by the legacy of pollution, and fight environmental injustice that’s been going on for so long.
And here’s another win for the American people: In addition to cutting the deficit by $350 billion last year, in my first year in office, and cutting it $1.7 trillion this year, this fiscal year, we’re going to cut the deficit — I point out — by another $300 billion with the Inflation Reduction Act over the next decade.
We’re cutting deficit to fight inflation by having the wealthy and big corporations finally begin to pay part of their fair share.
Big corporations will now pay a minimum 15 percent tax instead of 55 of them got away with paying zero dollars in federal income tax on $40 billion in profit.
And I’m keeping my campaign commitment: No one — let me emphasize — no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes. (Applause.)
Folks, the Inflation Reduction Act does so many things that, for so many years, so many of us have fought to make happen.
And let’s be clear: In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people, and every single Republican in the Congress sided with the special interests in this vote — every single one.
In fact, the big drug companies spent nearly $100 million to defeat this bill. A hundred million dollars.
And remember: Every single Republican in Congress voted against this bill.
Every single Republican in Congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices, against lowering healthcare costs, against a fairer tax system.
Every single Republican — every single one — voted against tackling the climate crisis, against lowering our energy costs, against creating good-paying jobs.
My fellow Americans, that’s the choice we face: We can protect the already-powerful or show the courage to build a future where everybody has an even shot.
That’s the America I believe in. (Applause.) That’s what I believe in.
And today — and today, we’ve come a step closer to making that America real.
Today, too often we confuse noise with substance. Too often we confuse setbacks with defeat. Too often we hand the biggest microphone to the critics and the cynics who delight in declaring failure while those committed to making real progress do the hard work of governing.
Making progress in this country as big and complicated as ours clearly is not easy. It’s never been easy.
But with unwavering conviction, commitment, and patience, progress does come…
And when it does, like today, people’s lives are made better and the future becomes brighter, and a nation can be transformed.
That’s what’s happening now. From the American Rescue Plan that helped create nearly 10 million new jobs, to a once-in-a-generation infrastructure law that will rebuild America’s roads, bridges, ports; deliver clean water, high-speed Internet to every American; to the first meaningful gun safety law in 30 years — and if I have anything to do with it, we’re still going to have an assault weapons ban, but that’s another story. And to get significant veterans’ healthcare law in decades, for the first time; to a groundbreaking CHIPS and Science Law that’s going to ensure that technologies and jobs of the future are made here in America — in America.
And all this progress is part of our vision and plan and determined effort to get the job done for the American people, so they can look their child in the eye and say, “Honey, it’s going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay.”
Everything is going to make sure that democracy delivers for your generation. Because I think that’s at stake.
And, now, I know there are those here today who hold a dark and despairing view of this country. I’m not one of them.
I believe in the promise of America. I believe in the future of this country. I believe in the very soul of this nation. And most of all, I believe in you, the American people.
I believe to my core there isn’t a single thing this country cannot do when we put our mind to it. We just have to remember who we are. We are the United States of America.
There is nothing nothing beyond our capacity. That’s why so many foreign companies decided to invest their — make chips in America. Billions of dollars. We’re the best. We have to believe in ourselves again.
And now I’m going to take action that I’ve been looking forward to doing for 18 months. (Laughter and applause.) I’m going to sign the Inflation Reduction Law. (Applause.)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued this statement following Senator Joe Manchin’s surprising reversal in declaring he would vote “no” on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill, despite assurances given to Progressives when they agreed to de-couple the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill from the budget reconciliation framework to provide universal pre-K, child care and elder care, affordable prescription drugs, and mitigate climate change. Manchin has strung along the President and Democrats for months. Here is her statement:
Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances. Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework “in good faith.”
On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted—to the President, in person, directly—a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities. While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all. Senator Manchin promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground. If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.
Senator Manchin claims that this change of position is related to inflation, but the think tank he often cites on Build Back Better—the Penn Wharton Budget Institute—issued a report less than 48 hours ago that noted the Build Back Better Act will have virtually no impact on inflation in the short term, and, in the long run, the policies it includes will ease inflationary pressures. Many leading economists with whom Senator Manchin frequently consults also support Build Back Better.
Build Back Better lowers costs that families pay. It will reduce what families pay for child care. It will reduce what they pay for prescription drugs. It will lower health care premiums. And it puts a tax cut in the pockets of families with kids. If someone is concerned about the impact that higher prices are having on families, this bill gives them a break.
Senator Manchin cited deficit concerns in his statement. But the plan is fully paid for, is the most fiscally responsible major bill that Congress has considered in years, and reduces the deficit in the long run. The Congressional Budget Office report that the Senator cites analyzed an unfunded extension of Build Back Better. That’s not what the President has proposed, not the bill the Senate would vote on, and not what the President would support. Senator Manchin knows that: The President has told him that repeatedly, including this week, face to face.
Likewise, Senator Manchin’s statement about the climate provisions in Build Back Better are wrong. Build Back Better will produce a job-creating clean energy future for this country—including West Virginia.
Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word.
In the meantime, Senator Manchin will have to explain to those families paying $1,000 a month for insulin why they need to keep paying that, instead of $35 for that vital medicine. He will have to explain to the nearly two million women who would get the affordable day care they need to return to work why he opposes a plan to get them the help they need. Maybe Senator Manchin can explain to the millions of children who have been lifted out of poverty, in part due to the Child Tax Credit, why he wants to end a program that is helping achieve this milestone—we cannot.
We are proud of what we have gotten done in 2021: the American Rescue Plan, the fastest decrease in unemployment in U.S. history, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, over 200 million Americans vaccinated, schools reopened, the fastest rollout of vaccines to children anywhere in the world, and historic appointments to the Federal judiciary.
But we will not relent in the fight to help Americans with their child care, health care, prescription drug costs, and elder care—and to combat climate change. The fight for Build Back Better is too important to give up. We will find a way to move forward next year.
On Saturday, August 8, Trump signed four Executive Orders intended to substitute for Congressional Republicans compromising with Democrats on a relief package against the health and economic ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. In a vitriolic speech, delivered to a mini-rally assembled from among his Bedminister golf course members, he attacked the Democrats’ plan, threatened a stock market crash should Joe Biden become president, and promised to end the payroll tax (which funds Social Security) should he be elected.
Indeed, Trump delivered this campaign promise: to reduce income taxes and capital gains taxes (in order to goose the stock market), in effect robbing the US Treasury which is already over $25 trillion in debt with trillions added because of the 2017 GOP tax cuts and the trillions spent on COVID relief, much of it going to the wealthiest and best connected. Instead of providing aid to states and localities which have been devastated by depleted revenues and run-up in costs to address COVID-19, he put more of the burden on states to come up with his faux employment benefits (it requires 25% to be paid by states). Instead of funding election protection and the post office, he accused Democrats of stealing the election.
“The massive taxpayer bailout of badly run blue states we talked about — that’s one of the things they’re looking to do. Measures designed to increase voter fraud,” he told his adoring audience.
“You know what it’s about? Fraud. That’s what they want: fraud. They want to try and steal this election because, frankly, it’s the only way they can win the election.
“The bill also requires all states to do universal mail-in balloting — which nobody is — nobody is prepared for — regardless of whether or not they have the infrastructure. They want to steal an election. That’s all this is all about: They want to steal the election.”
Trump couldn’t resist attacking proposals for a Green New Deal: “And they want to do the Green New Deal, which will decimate our country and decimate — it’s ridiculous, too. It’s childish. I actually say the Green New Deal is childish. It’s for children. It’s not for adults.”
And when asked what happens if the states can’t pony up the 25% to continue the $400 (not $600) unemployment benefits (the 75% that the federal government would spend would be coming from the states’ share of the CARES Act funding), he said, “Well, if they don’t, they don’t…So I don’t think their people will be too happy.”
As for the reduction in unemployment benefits, Trump said, “this gives them a great incentive to go back to work.”
Questioned about the constitutionality of going around Congress, which has the sole “power of the purse,” Trump said, “This will go very [fast]– if — if we get sued. Maybe we won’t get sued. If we get sued, it’s somebody that doesn’t want people to get money. Okay? And that’s not going to be a very popular thing. “
Pressed whether a President should go around Congress “ and decide how money is collected and spent?” Trump retorted, “You ever hear the word ‘obstruction’? “yes,” the reporter replied. “You were investigated for that.”
Trump then replied, “They’ve obstructed. Congress has obstructed. The Democrats have obstructed people from getting desperately needed money.”
“But this is in the Constitution, Mr. President,” the reporter insisted.Asked why he keeps taking credit for Veterans Choice, which was passed in 2014 by the Obama Administration, Trump abruptly ended the press conference.
In reaction to Trump’s executive orders, Vice President Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic nominee for President, issued this statement: –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Unable to deliver for the American people in a time of crisis, Donald Trump offered a series of half-baked measures today. He is putting Social Security at grave risk at a time when seniors are suffering the overwhelming impact of a pandemic he has failed to get under control. And make no mistake: Donald Trump said today that if he is re-elected, he will defund Social Security.
For months, Trump has golfed rather than negotiated, and sown division rather than pull people together to get a package passed. Now, instead of staying in Washington and working with Republicans and Democrats to reach a bipartisan deal, President Trump is at his golf club in New Jersey signing a series of dubious executive orders.
This is no art of the deal. This is not presidential leadership. These orders are not real solutions. They are just another cynical ploy designed to deflect responsibility. Some measures do far more harm than good.
One order is Donald Trump’s first shot in a new, reckless war on Social Security. Trump announced a payroll tax plan with no protections or guarantees — like the ones the Obama-Biden administration enforced a decade ago — that the Social Security Trust Fund will be made whole. And, Trump specifically stated today that if re-elected, he plans to undermine the entire financial footing of Social Security. He is laying out his roadmap to cutting Social Security. Our seniors and millions of Americans with disabilities are under enough stress without Trump putting their hard-earned Social Security benefits in doubt.
Another order brings cuts, chaos, and confusion to our system of unemployment insurance. Trump is unilaterally reducing the amount laid-off workers could receive. And he purports to provide these benefits until the end of the year, but only identifies enough funding to make it a handful of weeks. Even with that limited funding, Trump is basically playing a cruel game of robbing Peter to pay Paul: He is taking billions of dollars of federal natural disaster funding away so it won’t be available to states like Florida. And, he is forcing states to choose between imposing benefit cuts for unemployed workers or slashing funds for public schools, health workers, and first responders.
A third order, on evictions, is woefully inadequate to deal with the emerging housing crisis. He is leaving our nation’s renters with ever-mounting debt and leaving our small family landlords badly squeezed. Without a comprehensive plan to help our American families make rent, they will leave this crisis months behind on their payments while many landlords teeter on the verge of bankruptcy.
And a fourth order is a band-aid approach to student debt that leaves out 7 million borrowers who obtained their federal loans from private lenders or their college rather than the Department. The economic strain on these Americans is deep and unrelenting.
There is a solution to all of this pain and suffering. A real leader would go back to Washington, call together the leaders of the House and Senate, and negotiate a deal that delivers real relief to Americans who are struggling in this pandemic. We need a president who understands their struggle and believes in their courage to overcome.
President Barack Obama issued this tribute to Congressman John Lewis, a hero to so many in the cause of freedom and equality, who passed away at the age of 80:
America is a constant work in progress. What gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last and carry it further – to speak out for what’s right, to challenge an unjust status quo, and to imagine a better world.
John Lewis – one of the original Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Member of Congress representing the people of Georgia for 33 years – not only assumed that responsibility, he made it his life’s work. He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.
Considering his enormous impact on the history of this country, what always struck those who met John was his gentleness and humility. Born into modest means in the heart of the Jim Crow South, he understood that he was just one of a long line of heroes in the struggle for racial justice. Early on, he embraced the principles of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience as the means to bring about real change in this country, understanding that such tactics had the power not only to change laws, but to change hearts and minds as well.
In so many ways, John’s life was exceptional. But he never believed that what he did was more than any citizen of this country might do. He believed that in all of us, there exists the capacity for great courage, a longing to do what’s right, a willingness to love all people, and to extend to them their God-given rights to dignity and respect. And it’s because he saw the best in all of us that he will continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon in that long journey towards a more perfect union.
I first met John when I was in law school, and I told him then that he was one of my heroes. Years later, when I was elected a U.S. Senator, I told him that I stood on his shoulders. When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.
It’s fitting that the last time John and I shared a public forum was at a virtual town hall with a gathering of young activists who were helping to lead this summer’s demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Afterwards, I spoke to him privately, and he could not have been prouder of their efforts – of a new generation standing up for freedom and equality, a new generation intent on voting and protecting the right to vote, a new generation running for political office. I told him that all those young people – of every race, from every background and gender and sexual orientation – they were his children. They had learned from his example, even if they didn’t know it. They had understood through him what American citizenship requires, even if they had heard of his courage only through history books.
Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders – to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo hit back hard on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaling he would block aid to states most impacted by the coronavirus. McConnell, boasted in a press release that he had no intention of bailing out “blue states.”
Cuomo, who is staring down a $15 billion budget deficit, said that without federal aid, states (which are not allowed to go bankrupt) would be forced to cut back on health workers, police, fire, teachers, mass transit and social services as the state.
“15,000 people died in New York, but they were predominantly Democratic so why help them? Don’t help New York State because it is a Democratic state? How ugly a thought. Think of what he’s saying,” Cuomo said during his April 23 press briefing.
“For crying out loud, if there were ever a time for you to put aside your pettiness, your partisanship, your political lens you see the world through – help Republicans but not Democrats – that’s not who we are. If ever there was a time for humanity, decency, now is the time.”
Except that is exactly who McConnell and the Republicans are, and demonstrated it through every crisis.
McConnell is clearly seeing the political advantage of pushing Blue States into near bankruptcy – that figured into how he constructed the 2017 Tax Act which limited the deductibility of State and Local Taxes (SALT) because it would adversely impact blue states over red ones, force state government to cut back on services or risk a tax revolt.
But Cuomo also pointed to the stupidity of that: California is the world’s 5th largest economy and accounts for 14% of US GDP; New York State is the third largest economy in US, accounting for 8% of GDP – taken together, these two states alone account for nearly one-fourth of GDP.
“If New York and California are allowed to go bankrupt, that would take down the entire economy,” Cuomo said.
Moreover, Cuomo insisted, “When it comes to fairness, New York State puts much more money into the federal pot than it takes out. At the end of the year, we put in $116 billion more than we take out. His state, Kentucky, takes out $148 billion more than they put in. He’s a federal legislator distributing the federal pot of money and New York puts in more money to fed pot than takes out, his state takes out more than it puts in. Senator McConnell, who’s getting bailed out? It’s your state that is living on the money that we generate. Your state is getting bailed out. Not my state.
“How do you not fund schools, hospitals in the midst of crisis, police, fire, healthcare – frontline – if you can’t fund the state, the state can’t fund those services. It makes no sense.” (Probably the same way you cut $500 million in funding to the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic.)
“The entire nation depends on what governors do to reopen, but then not fund state government? I am I going to do it alone?
“States should declare bankruptcy? That’s how to bring the national economy back? You want to see that market fall through the cellar, just let New York State declare bankruptcy, Michigan, Illinois, California declare bankruptcy. You will see a collapse of the national economy. That’s just dumb.”
The National Governors Association, a bipartisan group of governors from around the country, wrote federal officials this week pleading for $500 billion to help them make up for lost tax revenues during what they called “the most dramatic contraction of the U.S. economy since World War II.”
None of the four stimulus bills that have passed the Senate, amounting to trillions of dollars of funding, have provided any aid to states hardest hit by the virus. As it happened, these happen to be Democratic states – New York, which accounts for almost one-third of all coronavirus cases and deaths; New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois and California.
Republicans have been gleeful at sending billions to corporations and well-connected, able to skirt whatever oversight and provisions the Democrats had tried to impose (Trump said he would take the reporting requirements as a suggestion and promptly fired the Inspector General), balked at expanding unemployment assistance, and reneged on promises to help states now billions in the red because of the expenses of maintaining services as revenues have all but dried up with the lock-down of all but essential work.
Mimicking his obstruction to Obama’s recovery when refused to allocate enough money for the Recovery Act, McConnell has been content to see the budget deficit rise by $3 trillion (on top of the $1 trillion Trump added even as the economy boomed, because of the Republican tax scam) as long as it could be steered to friendly industries and donors, now expressed glee to let blue states go bankrupt.
“I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated,” McConnell said in an interview with the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has consistently asserted that future stimulus bills would send aid to states and localities, but McConnell is now signaling that now that they have gotten four stimulus bills amounting to a slush fund with little oversight and accountability, they will be unwilling to provide direct help to states. All of a sudden, they are concerned about rising debt. (Reminder: Republicans shut down government and threatened to refuse to raise the debt ceiling during Obama unless Obama would rescind Obamacare from the budget.)
Once this last stimulus bill passes the House, as is expected, Democrats will lose all leverage to get aid to states, localities, hospitals, workers and the unemployed.
Meanwhile, Cuomo reported on the preliminary results of the state’s first statewide survey intended to determine what percentage of the population has antibodies after being exposed to the infection.
The preliminary results suggest that 13.6% of the state has been infected (and now has antibodies), with the greatest proportion downstate: 21.2% of people in New York City, 16.7% of Long Island, 11.7% of Westchester/Rockland and 3.6% of the rest of the state. The 3,000 in the sample were randomly surveyed in grocery stores and box-stores – in other words, people who were out and about.
Based on that infection rate, it would suggest that 2.7 million New Yorkers have been infected. If that were true, the 15,500 fatalities would suggest a death rate of 0.5%. However, Cuomo stressed that the fatalities counted were only those that took place in hospitals and nursing homes, but do not include those who died at home.
Biden laid out his foreign
policy vision for America to restore dignified leadership at
home and respected leadership on the world stage. Arguing that our policies at
home and abroad are deeply connected, Joe Biden announced that, as president, he
will advance the security, prosperity, and values of the United States by
taking immediate steps to renew our own democracy and alliances, protect our
economic future, and once more place America at the head of the table, leading
the world to address the most urgent global challenges.
In a Biden administration, America will lead by example and rally the world to
meet our common challenges that no one nation can face on its own, from climate
change to nuclear proliferation, from great power aggression to transnational
terrorism, from cyberwarfare to mass migration. Donald Trump’s erratic policies
and failure to uphold basic democratic principles have surrendered our position
in the world, undermined our democratic alliances, weakened our ability to mobilize
others to meet these challenges, and threatened our security and our future.
In a speech at The Graduate Center at CUNY in New York, Joe Biden laid out his
blueprint to repair the damage wrought by President Trump and chart a
fundamentally different course for American foreign policy for the world as we
find it today—and as we anticipate it will be tomorrow. Biden will continue to
build on this vision over the course of the campaign.
I. Reinvigorate our Own Democracy &
Strengthen the Coalition of Democracies that Stand With Us
Democracy is the root of our society, the wellspring of our power, and the
source of our renewal. It strengthens and amplifies our leadership to keep us
safe in the world. It is the engine of our ingenuity that drives our economic
prosperity. It is the heart of who we are and how we see the world—and how the
world sees us. That is why America’s ability to be a force for progress in the
world and to mobilize collective action starts at home. The United States must lead not just with the example of power,
but the power of our example.
Among his early actions as
president, Joe Biden will:
Reform our criminal justice system to eliminate inequitable disparities;
Restore the Voting Rights Act;
Seek greater transparency in our campaign finance system so money, foreign and domestic, won’t pollute our politics;
Dedicate greater resources, including cyber resources, to defending our election systems.
End the practice of anonymous shell companies;
Institute strict conflict-of-interest and anti-corruption policies for every member of the Biden administration so there will be no more self-dealing;
Immediately return to daily press briefings at the White House, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Defense. Our foreign policy relies on the informed consent of the American people. That is not possible when our government refuses to communicate with the public.
Restore our Moral Leadership
Immediately end the horrific practice of separating families at our border and holding immigrant children in for-profit prisons. Abandoning our deepest-held values does nothing to increase security at our border—and everything to diminish our standing in the world. At the same time, as president, Biden will establish sensible policies that improve screening procedures at our legal ports of entry and make smart investments in border technology, in cooperation with Canada and Mexico.
Protect undocumented members of our armed services, veterans, and their spouses from deportation because if you are willing to risk your life for this country, you and your family have earned the chance to live safe, healthy, and productive lives in America;
Order a review of Temporary Protected Status to vulnerable populations who cannot find safety in countries ripped apart by violence or disaster, including for Venezuelans and Haitians.
Terminate the travel ban against people from Muslim-majority countries;
Reverse Trump’s detrimental asylum policies and raise our target for refugee admissions to a level commensurate with our responsibility and unprecedented global need;
End the Global Gag Rule, which prevents money from going to international NGOs that even talk about abortion;
Return to a government-wide focus of uplifting the rights of women and girls at home and around the world, including by focusing on measures to address gender-based violence internationally.
Reaffirm the ban on torture and restore greater transparency in our military operations, including policies instituted during the Obama-Biden administration to reduce civilian casualties;
Restore a commitment to science and truth in government, including bringing back the words “climate change”;
Return the phrase “nation of immigrants” to the mission statement of our Citizenship and Immigration Services, because that is who we are.
Revitalize our national commitment to advancing human rights and democracy around the world.
Having taken these essential steps to reinforce the democratic
foundation of our country and inspire action in others, President Biden will
organize and host a global Summit for Democracy to renew the spirit and shared
purpose of the nations of the Free World. During his
first year in office, President Biden will bring together the world’s
democracies to strengthen our democratic institutions, honestly confront the
challenge of nations that are backsliding, and forge a common agenda to address
threats to our common values.
The Summit will prioritize results by galvanizing significant new country commitments in three areas: (1) fighting corruption; (2) defending against authoritarianism, including election security; (3) advancing human rights in their own nations and abroad.
The Summit will include civil society organizations from around the world that stand on the frontlines in defense of our democracies.
The Summit will also issue a Call to Action for the private sector, including technology corporations and social media giants, to make their own commitments, recognizing their responsibilities and their overwhelming interest in preserving open, democratic societies and protecting free speech. For example, technology companies—which benefit from the fruits of democracy—should make concrete pledges for how they can ensure their algorithms and platforms are not empowering the surveillance state, facilitating repression in China and elsewhere, spreading hate, spurring people to violence, and remaining susceptible to misuse.
As an example
of the concrete action our world needs, Joe Biden served as a founding member
of a Trans-Atlantic Commission on Election Integrity—to fight back against
Russia’s attacks on Western democracies. The Commission asked politicians
across Europe to sign a pledge committing to transparency in campaign finance
and to reject the use of fabricated or hacked material. Now that he is a
candidate for office, Biden has signed that pledge and is calling on every
person running for president to do the same.
II. Equip our People to Succeed in a Global Economy
with a Foreign Policy for the Middle Class
Joe Biden believes that economic security is national security. That is why, as
president, Biden will pursue a foreign policy for the middle class. To win the
competition for the future against China or anyone else, we must sharpen our
innovative edge and unite the economic might of democracies around the world to
counter abusive economic practices.
Rebuild the Middle Class, the Backbone of the
Country: Give every student the skills they need to obtain a good 21st
century job; make sure every single American has access to quality, affordable
healthcare; invest in infrastructure; raise the minimum wage to $15; and lead
revolution to create 10 million new jobs in the United
Invest in Our Innovative Edge: Unleash
our nation’s full potential—which includes unrivaled research universities,
unparalleled venture capital, and our citizens’ unmatched spirit of
entrepreneurship and commitment to hard work—with investments in research and
development to spur advances in clean energy, quantum computing, artificial
intelligence, 5G, and high-speed rail. We must ensure the technologies of the
future like AI are bound by laws and ethics and promote greater shared
prosperity and democracy. A Biden administration will join together with our
democratic allies to develop secure, private sector-led 5G networks, leaving no
community—rural or low-income—behind.
Ensure the Rules of Road Benefit our Workers and our
Communities: There is no going back to business as usual on trade. And he
will ensure we negotiate from the strongest possible position. Joining with our
fellow democracies, we represent about one-half of global GDP. As president,
Biden will use this substantial leverage to shape the future rules of the road
on everything from the environment to labor to trade to transparency, non-proliferation
to cyber theft, and data privacy to artificial intelligence, so they continue
to reflect democratic interests and values—America’s interests and
III. Renew American Leadership to Mobilize Global
Action on Global Threats
The world does not organize itself. American leadership, backed by clear goals
and sound strategies, is necessary to effectively address the defining global
challenges of our time. In order to lead again, we must restore our credibility
and influence. From day one of a Biden administration, other countries will
once again have reason to trust and respect the word of an American president.
Working together, democracies can and must confront the rise of populists,
nationalists, and demagogues; the growing strength of autocratic powers and
their efforts to divide and manipulate democracies; and the threats unique to
our time, including the renewed threat of nuclear war, mass migration, the
disruptive impact of new technologies, and climate change.
Defend our Vital Interests: As president,
Biden will never hesitate to protect the American people, including when
necessary, by using force. We have the strongest military in the world—and as
president, Biden will ensure it stays that way. The Biden administration will
make the investments necessary to equip our troops for the challenges of the
next century, not the last one. But the use of force should be our last resort,
not our first—used only to defend our vital interests, when the objective is
clear and achievable, and with the informed consent of the American
End Forever Wars: Biden will end
the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, which have cost us untold
blood and treasure. As he has long argued, Biden will bring the vast majority
of our troops home from Afghanistan and narrowly focus our mission on Al-Qaeda
and ISIS. And he will end our support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Staying
entrenched in unwinnable conflicts only drains our capacity to lead on other
issues that require our attention, and it prevents us from rebuilding the other
instruments of American power.
Elevate Diplomacy: As president,
Biden will elevate diplomacy as the premier tool of our global engagement. He
will rebuild a modern, agile U.S. Department of State—investing in and re-empowering
the finest diplomatic corps in the world and leveraging the full talent and
richness of America’s diversity. Working cooperatively with other nations makes
us more secure and more successful. For example, as president, Biden will
launch a top-to-bottom review of our funding to Central America to determine
how we can build on a successful initiative from the Obama-Biden administration
that secured concrete commitments from the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala,
and Honduras to take on the corruption, violence, and endemic poverty that
Restore and Reimagine Partnerships: A Biden
administration will do more than restore our historic partnerships; it will
lead the effort to reimagine them for the future. This means keeping NATO’s military
capabilities sharp, while also expanding our capacity to take on new,
non-traditional threats like weaponized corruption, cyber theft, and new
challenges in space and on the high seas; calling on all NATO nations to
recommit to their responsibilities as members of a democratic alliance; and
strengthening cooperation with democratic partners beyond North America and
Europe by reaching out to our partners in Asia to fortify our collective
capabilities and integrating our friends in Latin America and Africa. When the
United States hosts the next Summit of the Americas in 2021, President Biden
will harness this opportunity to rebuild strong hemispheric ties based on
respect for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We will also
strengthen our alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia and other Asian
democracies, while sustaining an ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.
Renew our Commitment to Arms Control for a New
The historic Iran nuclear deal, negotiated by the Obama-Biden administration alongside our allies and other world powers, blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Yet Trump decided to cast it aside, prompting Iran to restart its nuclear program and become more provocative, bringing the region to the cusp of another disastrous war. If Tehran returns to compliance with the deal, President Biden would re-enter the agreement, using hard-nosed diplomacy and support from our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.
In North Korea, President Biden will empower our negotiators and jump start a sustained, coordinated campaign with our allies and others, including China, to advance our shared objective of a denuclearized North Korea.
As president, Biden will pursue an extension of the New START Treaty, an anchor of strategic stability between the United States and Russia, and use that as a foundation for new arms control arrangements.
President Biden would take other steps to demonstrate our commitment to reducing the role of nuclear weapons. As he said in 2017, Biden believes the sole purpose of the U.S. nuclear arsenal should be deterring—and if necessary, retaliating against—a nuclear attack. As president, he will work to put that belief into practice, in consultation with our allies and military.
Rally the World to Address Existential Climate Crisis: The Biden
administration will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord on day one and lead a major
diplomatic push to raise the ambitions of countries’ climate targets. To
catalyze this effort and demonstrate concrete actions at home to achieve a
clean-energy economy with net-zero emissions by 2050, President Biden –
in his comprehensive plan – will in his first 100 days in
Convene a climate world summit to directly engage the leaders of the major carbon-emitting nations of the world to persuade them to join the United States in making more ambitious national pledges, above and beyond the commitments they have already made.
Lock in enforceable commitments that will reduce emissions in global shipping and aviation—and pursue strong measures to make sure other nations can’t undercut us economically as we meet our own commitments. This includes pressuring China—the world’s largest emitter of carbon—to stop subsidizing coal exports and outsourcing their pollution to other countries by financing billions of dollars of dirty fossil-fuel energy projects through their Belt and Road Initiative.
US Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is seeking
the Democratic nomination for President, released a plan outlining the
more than 100 concrete steps she would take in her first 100 days as President
of the United States to take on the biggest challenges we face at home and
“The problems Americans are facing every single day require
urgent action. That’s why Senator Klobuchar has a plan to get to work and
deliver results on Day One,” the campaign stated.
Through executive action, Senator Klobuchar will begin to immediately deliver
on her ambitious, optimistic agenda that will build a safer world, a stronger
democracy, and a fairer economy while taking much-needed action on health care,
climate change, and immigration.
“After four years of Donald Trump, a new President can’t wait for a
bunch of congressional hearings to act,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “The urgent problems our country is facing
require immediate action. That’s why in my first 100 days as President I will
enact an ambitious, optimistic agenda to improve our health care, combat
climate change, pursue economic justice and shared prosperity, and build a
stronger democracy and safer world. With these concrete steps, we will put our
country back on a path of progress where people have an opportunity to get
During the first 100 days of Senator Klobuchar’s presidency, she
Get the United States back in the International Climate
Agreement on day one. On day one of Senator Klobuchar’s presidency she will
get us back into the International Climate Change Agreement, working so that
the United States maintains global leadership to address the climate crisis.
Immediately suspend the Trump Administration’s efforts to
eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing
conditions. Senator Klobuchar will immediately suspend all Trump
Administration efforts — both in federal court and at the Department of Health
and Human Services — that would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to
people with pre-existing conditions.
Rebuild our relationship with our allies and restore
America’s standing in the world. To rebuild the relationship with our
allies that President Trump has undermined, Senator Klobuchar’s first
international trips as President will be to Canada and Europe to begin
restoring trust with our most important allies.
Immediately allow for the safe importation of
prescription drugs from countries like Canada. Americans pay double what
Canadians do for some prescription drugs, which is why Senator Klobuchar will
use existing Food and Drug Administration authority to grant a waiver that
allows people to import safe prescription drugs for personal use from countries
like Canada to decrease drug costs for seniors and all Americans.
Fill judicial vacancies by nominating well-qualified
judges on day one. Senator Klobuchar will waste no time in working
with the Senate and the American Bar Association to nominate a full slate of
well-qualified judges who will follow the law to fill judicial vacancies on
federal courts on day one of her presidency.
Revive the aggressive protection of voting rights.
Senator Klobuchar will restore the federal government’s longstanding position
of challenging intentionally racially discriminatory voting laws. And while
Congress works to restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA), Senator Klobuchar will
direct the Department of Justice to use Section 3 of the VRA to “bail-in”
jurisdictions to its preclearance requirements, allowing federal courts to
place jurisdictions under the oversight requirement of the VRA.
Prioritize cybersecurity and protect our elections and
other American infrastructure from cyber attack. As President, Senator
Klobuchar will make cybersecurity an immediate priority. She will issue an
Executive Order launching government-wide cybersecurity initiatives, fast-tracking
and streamlining procurement of modern information technology across agencies.
She will also launch a cabinet-level taskforce on election cybersecurity to
coordinate across agencies, including the intelligence community, on how the
federal government can work with state and local governments to address cyber
threats to our democracy and infrastructure. She will also introduce
legislation that provides election security funding, requires backup paper
ballots, and requires campaigns to report contacts from foreign nationals
seeking to interfere in an election to federal authorities.
Update the standards for reviewing both horizontal and
vertical mergers to ensure vigorous antitrust enforcement. To tackle
unprecedented consolidation and monopoly power, Senator Klobuchar will direct
the Department of Justice to update its guidelines to ensure vigorous and
aggressive enforcement of our antitrust laws.
Undertake aggressive retrospective review of mergers.
To tackle corporate consolidation in what she has called “the new gilded age,”
Senator Klobuchar will direct her Attorney General to have DOJ’s Antitrust
Division undertake aggressive retrospective reviews of mergers. She will
introduce legislation to increase funding for antitrust enforcement efforts by
adjusting merger filing fees and she will change the legal standards to promote
competition and prevent consolidation.
Raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15.
In line with her goal of increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour,
Senator Klobuchar will increase the minimum wage for federal contractors to
Expand VA health benefits for women veterans and their
babies. The Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2008 gave
the VA the authority to provide care for newborn babies born to women veterans,
but a narrow interpretation of the law is preventing access to care. Senator
Klobuchar will direct the VA to expand covering the costs of
medically-necessary emergency services for newborn babies of veterans.
Jump-start legislative negotiations for comprehensive
immigration reform with the stated goal of passing it in the first year.
Senator Klobuchar will jump-start negotiations for comprehensive immigration
reform — which includes a pathway to citizenship, the DREAM Act and border
security — with the stated goal of passing it in the first year of her
presidency. Comprehensive immigration could reduce the deficit by $158 billion.
Protect DACA and TPS and Deferred Enforcement Departure
designations. While she jump-starts negotiations for comprehensive
immigration reform with the stated goal of passing it within the first year,
Senator Klobuchar will undo attempts by the Trump Administration – many of
which have been blocked by courts – to deport DREAMers and immigrants who are
living, working and succeeding here under Temporary Protected Status and
Deferred Enforcement Departure.
Shine a light on the corporate dark money spending.
Senator Klobuchar will shine a light on the dark money by requiring publicly
traded companies to disclose all political spending over $10,000 to their
Bring transparency to dark money issue advocacy.
Senator Klobuchar will direct the IRS to institute the requirement that
tax-exempt organizations that engage in issue advocacy disclose to the IRS the
names of individual donors who contribute more than $5,000 per year.
Propose landmark legislation that drives our changing
economy forward and provides opportunity to all Americans. Our laws and our
policies have not kept pace with our changing economy and the digital
revolution. That’s why Senator Klobuchar will propose landmark legislation to
take on monopoly power, empower our workers, and protect consumers’ privacy and
health data privacy. She will also invest in quality child care, raise the
minimum wage, provide paid family leave, support small business owners and
entrepreneurs, as well as establish portable, worker-owned UP Accounts for
retirement savings. She will also allow students to refinance their loans at
lower interest rates, provide tuition-free community college and technical
certifications, and expand Pell Grant eligibility and award amounts. To pay for
these policies and reduce the debt, Senator Klobuchar will repeal the
regressive portions of 2017 Republican tax reform, equalize tax rates for
capital gains and ordinary income, put the Buffet rule in place, and close the
carried interest and big oil loopholes.
Immediately close the “boyfriend loophole.” Senator
Klobuchar leads legislation in the Senate to close the ‘boyfriend loophole’ by
preventing people who have abused dating partners from buying or owning
firearms, and she will take executive action to get it done immediately.
Introduce gun violence legislation. Senator Klobuchar
will introduce gun violence legislation including putting universal background
checks in place, closing the gun show loophole, and banning bump stocks,
assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
Consider gun violence as a public health issue in CDC
studies. Senator Klobuchar will direct the CDC to study gun violence as a
public health issue and help identify approaches to reduce gun violence and
Propose a historic investment in public education.
Senator Klobuchar will propose a historic investment in America’s education
system that will fully fund education, increase teacher pay, and rebuild our
crumbling school infrastructure.
End the misguided overuse of secret RFS small refinery
waivers that have been granted to big oil companies at the expense of farmers.
Senator Klobuchar will completely overhaul the EPA’s small refinery waivers and
greatly increase transparency, ensuring that RFS waivers meant for small
refiners do not go to big oil companies like Chevron and ExxonMobil and that
these secret waivers do not line the pockets of big oil companies at the
expense of farmers.
Protect federal employee labor rights. Senator
Klobuchar will immediately rescind Executive Orders signed by President Trump
that severely restrict federal workers’ rights, including the right to
Prioritize mental health and addiction. Senator
Klobuchar will take immediate action to combat substance use disorders and
prioritize mental health, including launching new prevention and early
intervention initiatives, expanding access to treatment, and giving Americans a
path to sustainable recovery. This includes addressing workforce shortages for
nurses, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in many areas of
the country and it means addressing the lack of hospital services and treatment
End attacks on tribal sovereignty. Senator Klobuchar
will respect tribal sovereignty including by stopping the Department of Justice
from taking anti-sovereignty positions in litigation, directing the Department
of Health and Human Services from deferring to states on Medicaid rules for
tribal members, and increasing meaningful tribal consultation.
Make a plan to connect every household to the internet by
2022. Senator Klobuchar will work to close the rural-urban divide by
connecting every household to the internet by 2022. This means directing
federal support to close the last mile gap, overhauling broadband coverage
mapping by establishing processes to verify carrier-reported data, and
encouraging public-private partnerships in the areas of greatest need.
Restore the Clean Power Plan. To address the climate
crisis, Senator Klobuchar will bring back the goals established by the Clean
Power Plan, which set emissions standards for states with respect to reductions
in carbon dioxide emissions.
Bring back the fuel-economy standards. Senator
Klobuchar will restore and strengthen our fuel economy standards, which are key
to fighting climate change. The Trump Administration has weakened the
fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks and has challenged the right
of California and other states to follow more stringent standards.
Introduce sweeping legislation to address the climate
crisis. Senator Klobuchar will introduce sweeping legislation to combat the
climate crisis that builds on the framework of the Green New Deal, including a
massive investment in green jobs and infrastructure, promoting rural energy
development, supporting tougher building codes, buy clean, better greener
transportation, appliance standards and climate resilience.
End “pay for delay” agreements that increase the cost of
prescription drugs. Senator Klobuchar will take aggressive action to crack
down on drug companies that are — in effect — paying the makers of generic
drugs to delay cheaper versions of drugs from getting into the market.
Outline a plan to cut childhood poverty in half in ten
years and end it within a generation. Senator Klobuchar will put
forward a plan to cut childhood poverty in half in ten years, including
expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Care Tax Credit, SNAP
benefits and overhauling our country’s housing policy.
Restore and strengthen overtime rules. Too many
American workers have been working overtime without getting paid for the extra
hours. Senator Klobuchar will restore and strengthen the Obama Administration’s
overtime rules to expand overtime pay to millions of workers, increasing the
maximum salary for a worker to qualify for the overtime pay they’ve earned.
Propose legislation to get us to universal health care. Senator
Klobuchar will propose legislation that gets us to universal health care, which
includes creating a public health care option by expanding either Medicare or
Medicaid, as well as improving the Affordable Care Act to help bring down costs
to consumers through reinsurance, providing cost-sharing reductions, expanding
premium subsidies, and continuing delivery system reform. Her legislation will
also provide additional consumer protections and lower the costs of
prescription drugs through aggressive reforms including lifting the ban that
prohibits Medicare from negotiating the best possible price. These programs
significantly reduce cost to consumers and help promote choice.
Develop best models of care to address disparities in
maternal and infant mortality and address the shortage of maternity care health
professional in underserved rural and urban areas. Senator Klobuchar will
immediately implement a new law that tackles the shortage of maternity care
health professionals —including nurses, midwives, and obstetricians — in
underserved areas, and she will develop best models of care to address racial
disparities in maternal and infant mortality.
Stop Trump sabotage of the ACA by ending workarounds that
allow states to raise premiums for sicker people and shift ACA premium
subsidies away from lower-income enrollees. Senator Klobuchar will
eliminate the Trump Administration guidance that provides states more
flexibility to increase insurance costs for sicker people and shift premium
subsidies away from low-income enrollees.
Remove the citizenship question from the Census.
Senator Klobuchar will direct the Department of Commerce to remove the Trump
Administration’s citizenship question that was added to the 2020 Census from
the short form during preparations for the 2030 Census.
Prevent outsourcing of jobs overseas by closing tax
loopholes on corporations’ overseas earnings. The 2017 tax law
instituted a new minimum tax on corporations’ overseas earnings but applied the
tax on a global or “blended” rate, encouraging companies to move physical
operations and jobs overseas. Senator Klobuchar will direct the IRS to mitigate
the worst effects of this law and crack down on attempts to minimize tax liability
Provide incentives for employers to adopt paid family
leave and child care benefits. Senator Klobuchar will reward federal
contractors by providing additional points during the contract bidding process
if contractors offer paid family leave to their employees or child care
Restore freedom to travel to and trade with Cuba.
Fifty years of an embargo have not achieved America’s policy objectives in
Cuba. Senator Klobuchar believes that a better path forward would allow
Americans the freedom to travel and conduct business there and that lifting the
trade embargo will open a huge export market, create American jobs, and support
both the Cuban and American economies. She will revive policies to expand the
ability of Americans to travel to Cuba and facilitate U.S. exports to the
island using credit to the maximum extent allowed by current law while
respecting human rights and property claims against the Cuban government.
Create a clemency advisory board and position in the
White House that advise the President from a criminal justice reform
perspective. Senator Klobuchar will create a clemency advisory board as
well as a position in the White House — outside of the Department of Justice —
that advise the President from a criminal justice reform perspective. The
clemency advisory board will investigate and review requests for clemency for
federal offenses and ultimately prepare a recommendation for the President.
Aggressively combat illegal Chinese steel dumping.
Senator Klobuchar will ensure the federal government is aggressively combating
illegal Chinese steel dumping including through expanded personnel to enforce
our trade laws and increased inspections of steel imports at ports of entry.
She will also direct the U.S. Department of Labor to expedite approval of Trade
Adjustment Assistance petitions for workers from the affected mining
Restart the President’s Export Council. Senator
Klobuchar will restart the President’s Export Council, which brings together
business, labor, and agricultural leaders with Members of Congress and key
Administration officials to help promote a comprehensive export and trade
Reverse dramatic proposed funding cuts to diplomacy and
foreign assistance. Senator Klobuchar will reverse this Administration’s
shortsighted approach to diplomacy and US foreign assistance. The FY2020 budget
request would cut diplomacy and development funding by 23 percent, including a
30 percent cut to humanitarian assistance and a 22 percent cut to the
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
End the sale of junk insurance policies that eliminate
existing protections for consumers. Senator Klobuchar will end efforts to
provide short-term junk insurance that eliminates existing protections for
consumers like protections for people with pre-existing conditions and
Affordable Care Act requirements to cover essential health benefits.
Restore protections for journalists and protect the First
Amendment. Senator Klobuchar will restore former Attorney General Eric
Holder’s guidance on protections for journalists so that they are not jailed
for doing their jobs.
End the family separation policy. Senator Klobuchar
will issue an Executive Order putting an immediate end to the cruel and
inhumane policy where the government is taking kids away from their parents and
ensuring children are reunited with their parents without delay. She will also
reverse this administration’s attempt to overrule the Flores Settlement
Agreement, which prevents prolonged detention of children and prevents children
from being detained in inhumane conditions by requiring basic levels of food,
water and health care.
Restore staffing levels at the Department of Agriculture.
Under the first two years of the Trump Administration, between December 2016
and March 2018, USDA had more staff departures than any other federal agency.
This has severely impacted USDA’s ability to carry out its mission on behalf of
rural communities and farmers. Senator Klobuchar will restore staffing levels
to the appropriate levels.
Protect student borrowers. Senator Klobuchar
will restore and strengthen rules that allow students who believe they were
defrauded by their colleges to apply for loan forgiveness, providing relief to
thousands of additional students.
Crack down on gun manufacturers and dealers that break
the law. Senator Klobuchar will increase inspections and strengthen
enforcement to crack down on gun manufacturers and sellers that violate the
Commit to strong financial regulation. Senator
Klobuchar will rescind Executive Order 13772, which has allowed the Treasury
Department and other financial regulators to weaken critical safeguards put in
place after the financial crisis. She will commit to strong financial
regulation that levels the playing field and promotes economic stability and
Stop the use of noncompete agreements to stifle
competition and hurt workers. Senator Klobuchar will instruct the FTC to
initiate a rulemaking addressing anti-competitive noncompete agreements that
prevent low-wage workers from pursuing new employment opportunities.
Strengthen minimum wage enforcement efforts. Senator
Klobuchar will strengthen enforcement and expand investigations to make sure that
are wage laws are properly enforced and that workers are able to recover back
pay when the government rules in their favor.
Lift the ban preventing qualified transgender people from
serving in the military and restore protections for the LGBTQ community.
Senator Klobuchar will direct the Department of Defense to lift the ban on
military service by transgender people. She will reverse the harmful anti-LGBTQ
administrative actions taken by the Trump Administration when it comes to
education, health care and civil rights, and she will work to pass the Equality
Act in year one of her presidency.
Protect LGBTQ people from government-sanctioned
discrimination. Senator Klobuchar will stop efforts to give federal
protections to those discriminating against LGBTQ people. She will end all
efforts by the Department of Justice that argue that transgender people do not
have protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Prioritize LGBTQ antidiscrimination policies across the
federal government to address homelessness, suicide and access to life-saving
drugs. Senator Klobuchar will expand efforts to reduce LGBTQ
homelessness, address LGBTQ suicide rates, and increase access to PrEP. She
will create an office of LGBTQ Antidiscrimination within the White House
Domestic Policy Council to coordinate these efforts across federal agencies.
Propose a bold infrastructure plan to rebuild America and
re-establish the Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure. The
Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure was intended to provide the
federal government with expertise from key sectors on infrastructure policy,
but President Trump disbanded the council. Senator Klobuchar will reinstate the
council to execute her first budget proposal: a bold, comprehensive
infrastructure plan. This trillion-dollar investment includes repairing and
replacing our roads, highways and bridges, building smart climate
infrastructure, ensuring clean water, modernizing our airports, seaports and
inland waterways, expanding reliable public transit options, rebuilding our
schools, and overhauling our country’s housing policy. The plan will be paid
for by changes to the tax code including adjustments to the corporate tax rate.
Restore asylum for the victims of gender-based violence.
Senator Klobuchar will overturn former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s opinion
in Matter of A-B and restore protections for immigrant victims of domestic
violence seeking asylum in the United States.
End anticompetitive practices that increase the price of
prescription drugs. Many pharmaceutical companies have found
loopholes in regulations that allow them to block or delay cost-saving
competition like refusing to provide samples or share important information
about how to distribute a drug safely. As President, Senator Klobuchar
will instruct HHS to issue regulations to stop anti-competitive practices and
help reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
Reduce racial disparities in disciplining students.
Senator Klobuchar will re-issue guidance directing schools to reduce racial
disparities in how they discipline students, which prompted more than 50 of
America’s largest school districts to institute discipline reform.
Bring cyber-security expertise into the Defense
Department immediately. Senator Klobuchar will direct the Department of
Defense to immediately provide adequate staffing for cyber security programs,
as Congress has already provided the Pentagon with special authority to recruit
civilian cybersecurity experts.
Strengthen prosecution of white-collar criminals.
Senator Klobuchar will direct the Attorney General to issue a memorandum to
federal prosecutors to strengthen prosecution efforts for individuals who are
personally responsible for white-collar, corporate crime and tax fraud.
Expand Medicaid reimbursement for people receiving mental
health or substance use treatment. While she works to pass a
permanent legislative solution, Senator Klobuchar will make it easier for
states to qualify for waivers that allow for Medicaid reimbursements for people
receiving mental health or substance use care in facilities with more than 16
Fully fund the IDEA and reinstate the guidance protecting
the rights of students with disabilities. Senator Klobuchar’s budget will
fully fund IDEA to support students with disabilities. In addition, Senator
Klobuchar will reinstate documents protecting the rights of students with
disabilities after Secretary DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents outlining
Restore oversight to eliminate discriminatory lending
practices. Senator Klobuchar will direct financial regulators to restore
Community Reinvestment Act protections, develop policies to encourage financial
institutions to make loans and investment in local communities, especially
communities in need, and conduct greater outreach to assess the true credit
needs of certain areas.
Provide Americans a strong taxpayer advocate. The IRS
Taxpayer Advocate exists to help taxpayers navigate tax laws and serve as an
ally when Americans need to engage with IRS representatives. But the Trump
Administration refused to designate the Taxpayer Advocate Service an “essential
service,” forcing it to close shop during the government shutdown and leaving
taxpayers without a crucial ally. Senator Klobuchar will designate the IRS an
essential service so taxpayers have continued access to this support and
Encourage reinsurance programs. Rather than
penalizing states who put reinsurance programs in place, which happened under
the Trump Administration, Senator Klobuchar will encourage states to adopt
reinsurance programs that stabilize the state’s insurance marketplace, lower
premiums, and allow more people to access to affordable, quality health care.
Provide incentives for states and localities to adopt
sentencing and prison reforms. Congress passed the First Step Act, which
changed the overly harsh sentencing laws on nonviolent drug offenders and
reformed our federal prisons. But the reform only applies to those held in the
federal system. The new law doesn’t help the nearly 90% of people incarcerated
in state and local facilities. Senator Klobuchar will create federal incentives
so that states can restore some discretion from mandatory sentencing for
nonviolent offenders and reform the unconscionable conditions in state prisons
and local jails.
Restore staffing levels at the EPA. The Environmental
Protection Agency now has fewer staff members than President Reagan’s EPA had
in his final year in office. Senator Klobuchar will restore appropriate
staffing levels to allow the agency to effectively protect the environment.
Strengthen the Minority Business Development Agency.
The Minority Business Development Agency provides technical and managerial
expertise to help minority business overcome social and economic disadvantages.
President Trump has proposed eliminating the agency, but as President, Senator
Klobuchar will ensure it has the resources it needs.
End Illegal Robocalls. Senator Klobuchar will
coordinate efforts to end illegal robocalls across the Federal Trade
Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and Department of Justice and
direct the Department of Justice to aggressively pursue robocall scammers while
working with Congress to increase penalties for aggravated violations of the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Ensure funding for Planned Parenthood, end the gag rule,
and restore the Title X program. Senator Klobuchar will reverse the
Trump Administration’s decision to change the Title X program to ban health
providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving funding under Title X. And she
will fight for legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade and protects women’s
Remove barriers to education for homeless and foster
youth. Senator Klobuchar will direct her Secretary of Education to remove
barriers to higher education for homeless and foster youth, including by
ensuring grant programs identify, recruit and prepare homeless and foster
students for college.
Restore staffing levels at the Office of Civil Rights and
the Office of Federal Student Aid. The Trump Administration has
dramatically cut staffing levels at the Department of Education. Senator
Klobuchar will restore staffing levels at the Department of Education,
including at the Office of Civil Rights and the Office of Federal Student Aid,
which has created obstacles for processing more than 87,000 borrower defense
claims as well as impeded investigations into Title IX violations.
Prevent misclassification of workers. Senator
Klobuchar will rescind the Department of Labor guidance under the Trump
Administration that makes it easier for businesses to misclassify workers,
which can result in reduced benefits, lower wages, discrimination, diluted
worker protections, and abdications of legal responsibilities.
Expand investments in veterans telehealth services.
Senator Klobuchar will further expand investments in VA telehealth to ensure
rural veterans have access to medical professionals, especially for mental
Ensure funding to prevent and respond to violent hate
crimes and address racial discrimination. Senator Klobuchar will fully
staff and fund the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service, a
non-investigative office of “peacemakers” founded by the Civil Rights Act of
1964, which provides communities facing racial and other conflict with
confidential services to ease tensions.
Reinstate the National Climate Assessment Advisory
Committee to immediately start addressing the climate crisis. The National
Climate Assessment Advisory Committee was charged with translating the findings
of the National Climate Assessment into concrete goals. Senator Klobuchar will
reinstate this committee that President Trump let expire.
Improve free tax filing. Senator Klobuchar will
direct the IRS to prevent tax preparation vendors from steering low-income taxpayers
toward paid products, which has reduced the use of free filing products. She
will also direct the IRS to devote greater resources to the enforcement of
vendors’ obligations under the Free File program.
Reverse the Attorney General’s memo directing federal
prosecutors to seek the most severe penalties in all cases. Senator
Klobuchar would reverse former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s memo limiting
federal prosecutors discretion and requiring them to seek the most severe
penalties possible in all cases. She will also restore the Smart on Crime
initiative, which had been hailed as a positive step forward in rehabilitating
drug users by focusing on more serious drug cases and fewer indictments
carrying mandatory minimums. Senator Klobuchar will start the evaluation
process to reschedule marijuana, collecting the required scientific and medical
evaluations and recommendations.
End attempts to reduce federal housing subsidies.
Senator Klobuchar will reverse the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to
federal housing subsidies that could triple rent for some households and be
particularly harmful for seniors, families with children and people with
Promote net neutrality. Senator Klobuchar will use
federal contracting requirements to encourage broadband providers to honor net
neutrality principles and promote a free and open internet.
Support agricultural research. The Trump
Administration has repeatedly proposed budgets for USDA that cut billions for
rural development, conservation, and research. These include the forced closure
of agricultural research laboratories and stations. Senator Klobuchar will give
these important programs the support they deserve.
Put rules in place to prevent pay discrimination. The
Trump Administration has tried to block rules that require large companies to
disclose what they pay employees by sex, race, and ethnicity in an effort to
prevent pay discrimination. Senator Klobuchar will end the Trump
Administration’s legal efforts to prevent the rule from taking effect.
Prevent the expansion of private school vouchers.
Senator Klobuchar will stand firmly with our public schools and end discussions
of Secretary Betsy DeVos’s $50 billion proposal to fund private school
End the travel ban. Senator Klobuchar will put an end
to the administration’s travel ban, recognizing that immigrants don’t diminish
America, they are America. While security and vetting should stay in place, the
Trump Administration’s ban was wrong.
Support the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The
Manufacturing Extension Partnership program helps small manufacturers innovate,
upgrade their technology and improve production. Senator Klobuchar will support
and expand this program, which the Trump Administration has tried to eliminate.
Hold for-profit colleges accountable if they put profits
above students. The Trump Administration has repeatedly delayed rules
requiring vocational programs at for-profit higher education institutions to
show that they provide gainful employment for their students. Senator Klobuchar
will hold for-profit colleges accountable if they put profits above students by
ensuring that these protections are in place.
Establish a new senior fraud prevention office.
Senator Klobuchar will establish a new senior fraud prevention office to
educate consumers, expedite the handling of complaints, and coordinate
prevention efforts across the federal government.
Collect data to address LGBTQ disparities. Senator
Klobuchar will ensure all federal data collection efforts accurately reflect
the needs of LGBTQ communities including reinstating LGBTQ data in the foster
care system and Older American Act that the Trump Administration has tried to
Reopen and expand the Office for Access to Justice.
Senator Klobuchar will reopen and expand the Office for Access to Justice,
which makes access to legal aid more accessible to people and has the stated
goal of making sure the justice system delivers outcomes that are fair and
accessible to all, irrespective of wealth or status.
Raise the refugee admissions cap. Under
President Trump, the State Department has dramatically lowered the annual cap
on the number of refugees that can be resettled in the United States. Senator
Klobuchar will direct the State Department to restore the cap to at least its
pre-Trump Administration level.
Invest in the Veterans Health Administration.
Expanding access to private care cannot come at the expense of fully funding
and even expanding the current Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
infrastructure. Senator Klobuchar will direct the VHA to use data on private
care usage only as a means to help guide investments in its own growth, not as
a way to further privatize its core functions.
Strengthen the National Science Foundation. Senator
Klobuchar will fully support the National Science Foundation and ensure that
research decisions are being made by researchers and scientists, not
Expand apprenticeships. Senator Klobuchar will direct
her Secretary of Labor to analyze the use of apprenticeships for in-demand
occupations and to launch a nationwide campaign to expand apprenticeship
opportunities and their benefits.
Reinstate joint employer rules that protect workers’
rights. While the Trump Administration attempted to rewrite the “joint
employment” standard, Senator Klobuchar will restore guidance recognizing the
responsibilities of joint employers to their employees.
End the Trump Administration’s censoring of climate
science. Senator Klobuchar will end Trump Administration efforts to censor
climate science through actions like deleting climate-focused websites,
removing the phrase “climate change” from reports, and preventing government
scientists from attending conferences on climate change.
Set ambitious goals to reduce the carbon footprint of the
federal government. The federal government has a significant carbon
footprint. As President, Senator Klobuchar will set ambitious goals to increase
the efficiency of federal buildings, data centers, and vehicles, reduce water
consumption, and increase the use of renewable energy.
Reassess the granting of Medicaid waivers, including
states that have privatized Medicaid. Senator Klobuchar will conduct a
reassessment of the granting of Medicaid waivers for states that wish to
privatize the program and impose discriminatory work requirements.
Restore disclosure rules that counter workers’ organizing
efforts. Senator Klobuchar will restore a rule rescinded by President Trump
mandating public disclosure when employers hire consultants to counter workers’
union organizing efforts.
Prevent federal funding from being used to arm teachers.
The Trump Administration has indicated that it would consider providing federal
funding to arm teachers. Senator Klobuchar will prevent any federal funding from
being used for arming teachers.
Impose full sanctions on Russia for hostile act against
the United States and its allies. In 2017, Congress passed legislation
providing additional authorities for the President to impose sanctions on
Russia in response to its election interference and other aggressive actions.
The Trump Administration has resisted full implementation of these sanctions.
Senator Klobuchar will use these authorities to the fullest extent possible to
impose serious costs on the Putin regime and its enablers for hostile acts
against the United States and our allies.
Improve train safety. The Trump Administration
blocked a proposal to require two-person train crews for safety. Senator
Klobuchar will direct the Department of Transportation to restart this
rulemaking and she will also restore a number of rules to improve train safety.
Protect students from discrimination and violence.
Senator Klobuchar will repeal Title IX regulations proposed under the Trump
Administration and restore guidance reminding universities of their obligation
to protect students from sexual violence.
Direct the Department of Defense and VA to track servicemembers
and veterans exposed to toxic chemicals. Currently, servicemembers’
exposure to toxic chemicals such as mold, caustic fumes, open air burn pits,
and airborne chemicals during military operations are not being properly
documented and tracked by the Defense Department or VA. Senator Klobuchar would
direct these agencies to record any environmental health hazard exposure in a
servicemember’s records during deployment, and the record would then follow the
servicemember through his or her career and into veteran status.
Expand loans for and investments in local communities in
need. For the past 40 years, the Community Reinvestment Act has encouraged
financial institutions to make loans and investment in local communities,
especially low-income and minority communities. Senator Klobuchar will protect
the CRA and instruct financial regulators to conduct greater outreach to assess
the true credit needs of their communities.
Overhaul ethics rules for White House employees and other
senior officials. Senator Klobuchar will make clear that the President and
Vice President must follow our conflict of interest laws, do more to
investigate foreign agents who lobby in the United States, give the Office of
Government Ethics more enforcement power, and provide additional protections
for all Special Counsels.
Support and strengthen the Economic Development
Administration. The Economic Development Administration works directly with
communities and regions to promote competitiveness and innovation. It has a proven
track record of success and on average every $1 of EDA infrastructure funding
generates $15 in private investment. Still, the Trump Administration repeatedly
proposed eliminating the agency. Senator Klobuchar will ensure the agency has
the resources to carry out its mission.
Restore reporting requirements of civilian casualties.
Senator Klobuchar will issue an Executive Order restoring requirements for the
release an annual report on the strikes undertaken by the U.S. military and
Central Intelligence Agency outside of war zones and assessments of military
and civilian deaths resulting from those strikes.
Work to re-enter the Iran nuclear agreement. The 2015
nuclear agreement imposed verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear program that
would prevent it from building a nuclear weapon. Senator Klobuchar will
negotiate to bring the United States back into the nuclear agreement with the
goal of avoiding war and a nuclear-armed Iran.
Connect more families to housing in higher opportunity
neighborhoods. Senator Klobuchar would expand the pilot for mobility
housing vouchers that allow families with children to use their vouchers in
higher opportunity neighborhoods.
Prosecute unscrupulous payday lenders. Senator
Klobuchar will direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Justice
Department and other agencies to prosecute unscrupulous payday lenders that
engage in predatory practices and charge customers exorbitant interest rates.
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. Senator Klobuchar will undertake a
thorough review of all the repealed guidance and rules, and work to restore our
environmental and safety protections.
Ensure fair labor practices and safe workplaces for federal
contractors. Senator Klobuchar will restore policies ensuring fair pay and
safe workplaces for federal contractors.
Protect health care workers’ right to organize.
Senator Klobuchar will rescind an anti-union regulatory change enacted by the
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services that prevents union dues from being
deducted from Medicaid-funded paychecks of home health care workers.
Direct the Department of Health and Human Services to
consider VHA facilities when designating Health Professional Shortage Areas.
Senator Klobuchar has long pressed for HHS to consider adding VHA facilities as
Health Professional Shortage areas. Once designated, these facilities have
access to health professional students with scholarships and loan forgiveness
who pledge to practice in the program for at least two years. As President,
Senator Klobuchar would direct HHS to revise its current regulations for
defining Health Professional Shortage areas to include VHA facilities.
Stop the diversion of funds needed to modernize our
military bases from being used for the border wall. President Trump is
diverting funding meant for modernizing our military bases in order to build
his border wall. Senator Klobuchar will rescind his national emergency
declaration and return funding for its intended purpose.
Visit our troops stationed in combat zones. Visiting
our military servicemembers serving in harm’s way is a long-standing
Presidential tradition. Senator Klobuchar will visit U.S. troops in combat
zones within her first 100 days in office.
Reopen international U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services offices. The Trump Administration is shutting down international
USCIS offices – which deal primarily with international adoptions, family visa
applications, petitions for citizenship for military members stationed in
foreign countries, and citizenship applications, along with help on refugee
processing and investigations of fraud. Senator Klobuchar will direct USCIS to
reopen its international offices.
Reduce State Department vacancies. Senator
Klobuchar will immediately direct her Secretary of State to accelerate hiring
for key positions.
Prevent people with severe mental illness from acquiring
guns. Senator Klobuchar will restore a rule requiring the Social Security
Administration to submit records of people with severe mental illness to the
FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Curtail arms transfers and other support for the war in
Yemen. Saudi and UAE military operations in Yemen have killed thousands of
civilians and contributed to a humanitarian crisis that has left millions
displaced and starving. The conflict shows no signs of ending, but the Trump
Administration continues to go to extraordinary lengths to provide weapons and
other support to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, including circumventing the standard
Congressional approval processes. Senator Klobuchar will order a stop to arms
transfers and support to the Saudi and Emirati forces until a negotiated
settlement to the conflict is achieved.
Reinstate visas for same-sex partners of foreign
diplomats. Senator Klobuchar will reverse the Trump Administration
policy change of no longer issue family visas to same-sex partners of foreign
diplomats or employees of international organizations who work in the United States.
Renew efforts to prevent another financial crisis.
The Office of Financial Research, an independent bureau within the Treasury
Department, was created by the Dodd-Frank Act to collect information on
financial system risks, perform long-term research, and develop risk
measurement and monitoring tools to help prevent future financial crises.
Senator Klobuchar will restore the mission and stature of the office.
Protect funding for the Northern Triangle. Senator
Klobuchar will end all Administration discussions to cut off direct assistance
funding for Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and
Guatemala, recognizing that the cuts present a serious risk to our national
security and undermine efforts to address the underlying conditions driving
migration to the United States.
Crack down on money laundering and tax evasion.
Senator Klobuchar will crack down on money laundering and tax evasion by
empowering Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to aggressively
implement new rules for identifying the “true” owner of financial accounts,
especially large accounts used in financial transactions where the incidence of
fraud and tax evasion is high. And she will call on Congress to enact legislation
imposing greater disclosure requirements.
Protect retiree pensions. The Kline-Miller
Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) allows underfunded
multiemployer pension plans to request permission from the Treasury Department
to reduce retiree benefits in order to improve their financial condition.
Senator Klobuchar believes retirees are entitled to the benefits they’ve earned
during their working lives and will recommend that Treasury heighten the
scrutiny of any applications to reduce retiree benefits under MPRA.
Combat segregation in housing. Senator Klobuchar will
suspend Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carson’s proposed changes to
the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which would weaken efforts to
combat segregation in housing policy.
Invest in adult basic education. Senator Klobuchar
will reverse President’s Trump proposal to cut basic education programs for
adults, and launch an initiative focused on increasing opportunities for adults
to master literacy and basic math skills.
Restore consumer protections. Senator Klobuchar will
direct the Department of Commerce, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal
Communications Commission, Department of Transportation and other consumer
protection agencies to re-evaluate any Trump Administration actions that have
weakened protections for consumers.
Maintain protest rights on public property in Washington,
DC. Senator Klobuchar will end the Trump Administration attempts to limit
protest rights in Washington, DC, like closing 80 percent of the White House
sidewalk and putting new limits on spontaneous demonstrations.
Prevent abuses by IRS private debt collectors. Reports
suggest that the IRS private debt collectors have abused and harassed
low-income taxpayers whose tax debts are relatively small. Senator Klobuchar
will overhaul the program and limit these abuses.
Invest in Alzheimer’s research. Senator Klobuchar will
commit to preventing, treating and facilitating a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
She will also immediately expand initiatives that provide support for family
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.
Restore national monuments. Senator Klobuchar will
restore the boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument to protect their ecological and the
tribal cultural significance and undertake a review of other boundary
adjustment and management changes initiated by the Trump Administration.
Prioritize health care delivery system reform to reduce
health care costs. Senator Klobuchar will immediately identify value-based
delivery system reforms, including in Medicare and Medicaid, and she will
create incentives for employers and insurers to expand new payment models.
Expand the open enrollment period for health insurance
under the Affordable Care Act so more people can get insurance coverage.
Rather than shortening the open enrollment period on the exchanges from
November 1st to December 15th, which happened under the Trump Administration,
Senator Klobuchar will expand the open enrollment period for exchange
enrollment so more people can access health insurance.
Investigate deceptive online travel practices that hurt
consumers. Senator Klobuchar will direct the Federal Trade Commission
and Department of Transportation to investigate deceptive and fraudulent
practices by online travel booking websites.
“Senator Klobuchar is committed to governing from
opportunity and taking administrative actions when it comes to our foreign
policy and security, veterans, health care, education, income inequality,
worker protections, economic justice, immigration reform, unions, civil rights,
climate change, the environment, criminal justice reform and gun violence
prevention. She will be updating these goals with your ideas,” the campaign
So now that Democrats have taken back control of the House, there is the internal (eternal) argument between the progressives and what I would call the pragmatists as to whether to act immediately to impeach Trump or use their powers for good and solve the ailing problems of the nation (health care, immigration reform, infrastructure, criminal justice reform, voting rights). As if that were even possible, given Mitch McConnell’s death grip over the Senate, and Trump’s likely veto.
But Democrats can do both – develop, debate and pass necessary legislation on health care, drug prices, protecting DACA recipients, rational immigration reform, gun violence prevention, campaign finance – and still hold the hearings and fulfill their Constitutional obligation for oversight and checks-and-balance on government.
Trump must be impeached. And it doesn’t matter if impeachment is likely to fail in the Senate where it is unlikely to get 67 votes. In the best of all worlds, the evidence would be so compelling, so damning, that even Republicans will go to Trump (as they did to Nixon), and say: resign or else (the “else” would be prosecution of Trump for high-crimes, along with his children; threats to prosecute his close associates would likely not bother Trump at all.) That is, if Republicans retain even a scintilla of actual patriotism and concern for the national good rather than retaining power, no matter how unscrupulously.
Certainly, Democrats should wait until the Mueller investigation is concluded – or re-start the hearings that should have taken place in Congress until sabotaged by the likes of Devin Nunes and others more loyal to Trump than to their oath of office. (Nunes, don’t forget, was on the transition team that brought Michael Flynn in as National Security Adviser.) Those hearings need to be held because the Republicans did a superb job of protecting and insulating Trump and preventing any real understanding or defense against what Russia did and how they did it, opening the way for others – be it China, Israel or North Korea, or a billionaire with a mission like Sheldon Adelson or the Kochs – to replicate the process with even greater sophistication and efficiency in the future.
Despite the fact impeachment would likely fail to get the 67 votes needed in the Senate, if Trump is not prosecuted for the slew of “high crimes and misdemeanors” already committed (violation of Emoluments Clause, repeated obstruction of justice, abuse of power, likely violations of Federal campaign laws and tax evasion, not to mention the likely conspiracy or collusion with Russia and other felons who hacked into the DNC), that sets a new standard for what a candidate and a president can do.
Either you have an Emoluments Clause or you don’t. Either you impeach for “high crimes and misdemeanors” or you say that actual “high crimes and misdemeanors” has nothing to do with it, impeachment is “political” with a political standard of criminality so that unless you lie about committing adultery when your opponents control Congress, nothing you do is illegal. You can violate Federal Elections law, hack voting machines, steal absentee ballots, but if you win and become president through such criminality, well then, tough luck for the rest of the world that has to abide by laws. If impeachment is only based on who has the majority, then there is no real Rule of Law, and no bedrock principle that “no man is above the law.” This would incentivize the next billionaire Mafioso who can offer $1 million and a pardon to a henchman to flip votes or hack or undertake a propaganda campaign (and shouldn’t there be some sort of “Truth in Advertising” standard for political messaging?).
In all of American history, there has never been a person endowed with the powers of the presidency who has been this blatantly corrupt and the very epitome of the monarch wannabe the Founders feared and thought they had inoculated the country against. It’s as if Trump things if he commits crimes openly, the outrageousness of it inoculates him. The Founders may have had their bouts with fake news but could not have anticipated data mining and Facebook and gerrymandering with the precision of knowing how to cut through a single block to produce an edge. They couldn’t have predicted black-box voting, the ability to hack into election rolls, to purge voter lists based on their propensity to vote for the other party, the mathematical calculations that go into shutting down polling places and devices.
The Justice Department has a “policy” against indicting a sitting president? Well, it’s just a policy. The Constitution actually requires the Senate to “advise and consent” on Supreme Court nominees, but that didn’t stop Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from doing the unprecedented thing of blocking Obama’s nominee for a year to save the seat for a radically right wing “justice.” The Justice Department has never been faced with a sitting president who has been named as Individual #1 in multiple felonies.
“Policy” didn’t stop the Supreme Court from ruling that a civil suit against President Bill Clinton having nothing to do with his presidency or crimes against the state, should go forward, or requiring him to give testimony under oath, or for that matter the Republican Congress from impeaching him, rather than censuring him, for lying about a consensual adulterous affair.
So far, Trump, who reacted to the sentencing memos against his consigliere Michael Cohen, and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, both of whom had pleaded guilty, that included him as “Individual #1” as if he had somehow been absolved because he wasn’t actually named, and instead of the word “collusion,” Mueller used a synonym, “synergy.” Trump may also be thinking that because Russia had worked with his flunkies, even for their own reasons (Manafort to pay off his debt?) or to enrich the Trump Organization rather than win, not realizing that Putin was out to win the presidency, that therefore he will be absolved of actual “collusion” or “conspiracy.”
“Totally clears the President. Thank you!” Trump tweeted, very possibly because he didn’t actually read the sentencing memos or doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “synergy.”
But if Trump is not impeached and his campaign’s criminal activity that amounted to stealing an election are not held to account, what will stop the next celebrity billionaire from buying his way onto the ticket, paying for a propaganda campaign, possibly paying off hackers to switch just enough votes with the promise of a hefty cash reward and likely pardon, or collaborating with a foreign power to use the full force of its intelligence/cyber apparatus? (Answer: Nothing. It will become the new modus operandi, and you don’t even need a foreign power to collude.)
The argument that Democrats need to be focused on “solving the problems” of the nation is sweet and sentimental, but the reality is anything that comes out of the Democratic-controlled House will be stopped in the Republican-controlled Senate, or by Trump veto. And when progressives realize that Democrats were ineffectual, instead of rallying in 2020, they will punish Democrats, as they did in 2010 (recall Sanders led that charge, then too, and got progressives to “protest” by staying home) and 2014 (when I bet Hispanics punished Obama for failing to get Comprehensive Immigration Reform through) despite McConnell having said right after Obama’s election that his priority was to make him one-term president. You can see it already in the way the progressive wing is determined to destroy any ability of Democrats to be successful by attacking Nancy Pelosi instead of advancing one of the young bucks into a different leadership position so they can be groomed when she does in fact step aside.
But if Trump is not impeached for high-crimes and misdemeanors, for obstruction of justice (firing Comey, Sessions, to list just two); abuse of power (sending US military to the border for a political purpose); campaign finance violations; violations of the Emoluments Clause and using foreign policy for personal enrichment (Russia, Qatar, UAE, China, India), tax fraud, money laundering, then what would be impeachable? Lying about adultery? (Oh, he did that too).