It looks like the Democrats chose the right person when they named U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota to chair the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.
Klobuchar hopes to use the position to reach out to Republicans, who will have a majority in the Senate next year.
Klobuchar believes the parties can find common ground on issues like the minimum wage, tax reform, education and immigration.
She is no stranger to reaching across the aisle. Despite widespread congressional gridlock over the past year, Klobuchar managed to pass eight bipartisan bills into law in 2014.
They include measures to expand support services for victims of military sexual assault, address propane shortages, fight the spread of invasive carp, improve breast cancer awareness, cut red tape for families who adopt, and boost tourism in Minnesota and across the country.
Here’s a closer look at the bills that were signed into law in 2014:
Klobuchar partnered with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Rep. John Kline (R-MN) to pass bipartisan legislation to ensure the National Guard and Reserve’s ability to assist victims of sexual assault.
The Army has released a directive expanding important legal services to certain victims of military sexual assault, but the directive fails to cover Guard members who become victims of sexual assault outside of their drill weekend or military duty. The bill fixes this oversight.
Klobuchar’s legislation with Senator John Thune (R-SD) to better address future propane and heating fuel shortages was signed into law this summer.
Among other things, the legislation allows governors greater autonomy when they declare emergencies, eliminating the need for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to declare that a disaster exists beyond the existing 30-day declarations that are available to governors.
This spring, Klobuchar’s bipartisan provision to keep invasive carp out of Minnesota’s waterways was signed into law as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. It will help fight the spread of invasive carp – also known as Asian carp – by closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock within one year.
Klobuchar’s legislation with Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) to increase breast cancer awareness among young women across the country passed this month. The bipartisan bill extends an education and outreach campaign administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Klobuchar also passed bipartisan legislation she introduced with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) to help families who adopt abroad correct errors to birth certificates.
And she worked with Blunt to help boost international tourism to the United States.
Klobuchar also introduced and passed bipartisan legislation with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) to help improve the lives of patients with muscular dystrophy.
And the 2014 Farm Bill included a provision Klobuchar pushed for to give farmers a greater say over regulations affecting agriculture.We hope she continues to find common sense, middle ground legislation that can be supported by both major parties.