In 2006, Amy Klobuchar became the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate. Throughout her public service, Amy has always embraced the values she learned growing up in Minnesota. Her grandfather worked 1500 feet underground in the iron ore mines of Northern Minnesota. Her father, Jim, was a newspaperman, and her mother, Rose, was an elementary school teacher who continued teaching until she was 70. Amy has built a reputation of putting partisanship aside to help strengthen the economy and support families, workers and businesses.
Amy has always understood that her first duty is to represent the people of Minnesota. She acted quickly to obtain full funding to rebuild the I-35W bridge just thirteen months after it tragically collapsed into the Mississippi River. She worked across party lines to expand education and job opportunities for returning service members, fought to ensure that Minnesota National Guard members received the full benefits they earned, and helped turn Minnesota's ground-breaking "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" program into a national model. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Amy worked closely with Minnesota farmers to pass a strong Farm Bill in 2008, and was recently named to the important Farm Bill conference committee that is responsible for reaching an agreement between the Senate and the House on a long-term Farm Bill.
Since arriving in the Senate, Amy has worked with Democrats and Republicans on legislation focused on moving the country forward. She fought to pass the most significant consumer product safety legislation in a generation, keeping foreign toxic products off our shores and out of our stores, and pushed the cell phone companies to enact more consumer-friendly policies.
Amy has pushed for a bipartisan, balanced approach to reducing our nation’s debt and was part of a group of fourteen senators who fought to create the bipartisan debt commission. She helped pass the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate, has pushed to reform the Senate rules, and worked to beat the filibuster and led the fight to confirm the first director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in seven years.
As Senate Chair of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the President’s Export Council and the Senate Commerce Committee, Amy has been a leader in working to implement a competitive agenda to ensure businesses have the tools they need to grow and create good jobs in their communities. She has authored legislation to help small businesses tap into new markets abroad, passed a significant amendment aimed at boosting funds for STEM education for American students, and led successful national initiatives to boost American tourism, including a series of regulatory reforms adopted by the Administration.
Amy also chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer rights, where she has worked to advance policies that protect consumers from anti-competitive behavior and make sure businesses are able to compete on a level playing field. She has introduced legislation to crack down on “pay-for-delay” agreements, the practice of brand-name drug manufacturers using pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market.
Before serving in the Senate, Amy headed the largest prosecutor’s office in Minnesota for eight years, making the prosecution of violent and career criminals her top priority. She led the effort for successful passage of Minnesota’s first felony DWI law, and received the leadership award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her safe schools initiative, community prosecution efforts, and criminal justice reforms earned national awards from both the Bush and Clinton Justice Departments. As a private citizen and before being elected to public office, Amy was the leading advocate for successful passage of one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing 48-hour hospital stays for new moms and their babies.
Her work has gained national recognition. The American Prospect named her a “woman to watch,” and Working Mother Magazine named her as "Best in Congress” for her efforts on behalf of working families. This year she received an award from the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) for her work to fight sexual assault in the military, and last year the Disabled American Veterans honored her work to improve the lives of America’s veterans. She has also received the “Outstanding Member of the Senate Award” from the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition and the “Above and Beyond Award” from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for her commitment to developing a supportive work environment for employees serving in the Guard and Reserves.
Amy was the valedictorian of her Wayzata High School class. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. Her senior essay in college, published as the book "Uncovering the Dome," chronicles the 10-year-history behind the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and is still used at colleges and universities across the country.
Amy is married to John Bessler, a native of Mankato, who attended Loyola High School and the University of Minnesota. Amy and John have a daughter, Abigail, who is 18 and is starting her freshman year in college.