2020 Presidential Candidate Series — Sen. Klobuchar

Update 376: 2020 Presidential Cand. Series:
Economic Agenda of Senator Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is a three-term U.S. Senator with an extensive legislative portfolio, setting her apart from the many 2020 candidates scant on policy.  Her overriding economic theme, “Heartland Economics,” features a trillion dollar infrastructure plan that goes beyond just the Midwest. It is clear that she wants to bring communities left behind by today’s changing economy, into the fold.

We take a look at some of the details of her bold plan to rebuild America, as well as some of her other notable economic policy platforms, below. 

Good weekends, all. 

Best,

Dana

————

Infrastructure: A Trillion Dollar Plan

Sen. Klobuchar’s trillion-dollar plan to revitalize America’s crumbling infrastructure will be one of her top priorities in year-one of her presidency. Her ambitious plan seeks to: 

  • repair surface transport infrastructure 
  • modernize airports  
  • maintain adequate flood protections 
  • expand public transport
  • rebuild the nation’s schools
  • broaden broadband  
  • promote green infrastructure
  • ensure access to clean water

In Sen. Klobuchar’s plan, the federal government provides $650 billion in funding for various infrastructure projects across the country. Congress would commission a new, nonpartisan Infrastructure Financing Authority that would help states and local municipalities leverage private funds to provide additional investment in infrastructure projects. 

Sen. Klobuchar would revive President Obama’s “Build America Bonds,” which provided a 35 percent subsidy for bondholders and lenders on the interest paid in the form of a refundable tax credit. Her plan would also build on these bonds, creating “Move America Bonds” to incentivize private-sector capital investment through tax credits. Her plan would also create new clean energy bonds that would be used for green infrastructure investment. 

Sen. Klobuchar would pay for her federal infrastructure investment plan by increasing the corporate tax rate to 25 percent (up from the current 21 percent level), closing tax loopholes that encourage corporate offshoring, imposing a “financial risk fee” on the largest Wall Street banks, and increasing tax enforcement. Raising the corporate tax level alone is estimated to raise at least $359 billion over 10 years.

Honorable Mentions

Sen. Klobuchar has championed a number of other key issues both in her time on the Hill and on the campaign trail. 

  • Rural economy:  Sen. Klobuchar’s “Plan from the Heartland” would revitalize rural communities by resurrecting the President’s Export Council to help promote exports and trade, expand high-speed broadband to rural areas, promote rural workforce development and job training, and expand access to capital for small rural businesses.
  • Election reform: Since 2013, Sen. Klobuchar has introduced various legislation on election security and expanding voter rights. She has been a champion in the Senate on election cybersecurity. She introduced the Honest Ads Act to bring more online communications under the oversight of election law, and has cited expanding voter rights as one of her campaign’s primary issues.
  • Antitrust: As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Sen. Klobuchar has been a leader on antitrust. Stating earlier this year that America has a “major monopoly problem,” Klobuchar would direct the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission to retrospectively review mergers and updatetheir standards for reviewing mergers to ensure vigorous antitrust enforcement.
  • Consumer Protection: Sen. Klobuchar has also made consumer rights a key issue in her campaign. She was a primary author of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission additional authority and funding. She has also helped pass a number of environmental laws to protect consumers. 

Midwestern Mod. with a Progressive Streak

A seasoned Senator pushing progressive issues with quieter but dry Midwest appeal, Amy Klobuchar is centering her campaign around the America that feels left behind.  Speaking no doubt to her home state constituents, as well as more moderate voters, could the Senator be the key to Obama-Trump pivot districts? Though Sen. Klobuchar has had some trouble breaking from the pack in the polls, she could be the ticket to save rural America from a Trump landslide.

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