WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar says despite a year of gridlock in Congress, there was some bipartisan agreement on certain bills.
The Minnesota Democratic senior senator points to eight bills that she helped steer into law.
“Despite the partisanship and gridlock, Democrats and Republicans have managed to come together and pass bills that make progress for Minnesota and the country,” Klobuchar said.
“Heading into the new Congress, we need to use these bipartisan successes as models for getting things done so that we can keep moving our country and economy forward.”
Here’s a look at those eight measures and what they do:
• Services for victims of sexual assault in the military: The bill will ensure the National Guard and Reserve can assist victims of sexual assault. While the Army has issued a directive that expands legal services to certain victims of sexual assault in the military, it does not cover Guard members who become victims outside their drill weekend or military duty.
The bill provides survivors of sexual assault support services if there is any connection between the crime and their service.
Klobuchar partnered on the measure with Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and GOP Rep. John Kline of Minnesota.
• Propane Shortages: Legislation gives governors greater autonomy when declaring emergencies because of low propane supplies. It also requires the Energy Information Administration to give early warnings to governors if the inventory of residential heating fuel (propane, natural gas or heating oil) falls below the most recent five-year average for more than three consecutive weeks.
Klobuchar joined with Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota on the bill.
• Invasive Carp: A provision to try to keep Asian carp out of Minnesota waters was included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. It will close the Upper St. Anthony Lock within a year.
Among other lawmakers, Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota signed on to Klobuchar’s provision.
• Breast Cancer Awareness: The bill extends the EARLY Act (Breast Health Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act), which created an education and outreach campaign to highlight breast cancer risks facing young women.
Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana was one of the lawmakers working on the measure with Klobuchar.
• Adoption Red Tape: The measure helps families who adopt abroad to correct errors on birth certificates. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services previously would not recognize state court orders to amend a child’s birth date, forcing families to seek a correction from the adoptee’s country of birth, which resulted in more red tape and delays.
Missouri Republican Sen. Ray Blunt helped with the bill.
• Boosting Tourism: Klobuchar and Blunt also teamed up on legislation to reauthorize Brand USA aimed at generating more international tourism. In 2013, Brand USA helped increase international tourism to the country by 1.1 million visitors, who spent an estimated $3.4 billion.
• Muscular Dystrophy: The legislation updates and improves current law that supports medical research and policies to improve treatments and the quality of life for muscular dystrophy patients.
Klobuchar partnered with Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi on the measure.
• Farmers and EPA: The 2014 Farm Bill includes a Klobuchar provision that increases agriculture’s presence on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board and creates a new agriculture standing committee on the Science Advisory Board.
The provision had bipartisan support.