In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, Klobuchar pushed for action in three areas which include several bills that she’s leading
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spoke on the Senate floor today urging her Republican colleagues to do their jobs and end the months of legislative inaction. In her speech, Klobuchar highlighted the need to pass gun safety measures, secure our elections from foreign attacks, and bring down the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs.
“Today, this Chamber—once referred to as the greatest deliberative body in the world—has ground to a halt. Sadly, inaction has defined the United States Senate. Here I am talking about inaction in the wake of terrible tragedies in Dayton and El Paso. Inaction in protecting our elections and making it easier for people to vote. Inaction in response to serious issues of health care costs and particularly prescription drugs.
“First gun safety. Think about the courage, the incredible courage of the people who were in Dayton and El Paso—that mom who literally shielded her baby from death—she perished herself to gunshot wounds, but she kept her baby alive. Or how about the grandpa who died shielding his wife and granddaughter. Or the off-duty soldier who carried children away to safety. As we approach the anniversary of 9/11, I think of those first responders in both these towns. The ones in Dayton who got there within a minute and saved so many lives. That is courage. The courage of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
“Now I believe their courage has to be matched here in Washington D.C. We have extraordinary power, but there’s not been extraordinary courage. The courage has not matched those first responders that we saw running into the line of fire or those ordinary citizens who did extraordinary things and stepped up and saved lives.
“It’s time to join the majority of Americans—and actually many gun owners—and the majority of Trump voters—and have the courage to support commonsense gun safety laws like background checks. We could start by passing the House passed universal background check bill and the House passed closing of the Charleston loophole, which would allow law enforcement the time to do their job vetting applicants for firearms application and also reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which includes my provisions to better protect victims of domestic violence and stalking from gun violence.
“These are commonsense proposals that make Americans safer. This is a dangerous game of whack-a-amole that has to stop. If this chamber can’t be bothered to find common ground, at least we should have some common sense. In a nation plagued by gun violence, these provisions, along with universal background checks and an assault weapon ban, are commonsense. Gun owners know it. Americans know it.
“Will the United States Senate respond to the needs of the American people? When Americans are shot in cold blood, will we respond to their needs? When their votes are threatened by foreign attacks, will we respond to their needs? When their lives and livelihoods are threatened by Big Pharma, will we respond to their needs? We certainly should.”
Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to pass commonsense gun violence prevention legislation. She is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and prior to her time in the Senate, Klobuchar served as Hennepin County Attorney. She is a cosponsor of the Senate companion bill to H.R. 8, the Background Check Expansion Act, the Assault Weapons Ban, and a bill to incentivize states to adopt extreme risk protection orders laws. She also leads the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act, legislation to prevent abusive dating partners and convicted stalkers from buying or owning a gun.
As the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight over federal elections, Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to secure our elections and has introduced several pieces of legislation in the Senate to strengthen our election infrastructure and combat propaganda. In May, she introduced the Election Security Act (ESA) which would require backup paper ballots, provide $1 billion in election security grants to states for cybersecurity improvements and audits, and strengthen the federal response to election security. In June, Klobuchar introduced the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) ACT which would mandate the use of paper ballots, provide grants for election infrastructure modernization and audits, and increase the security requirements for voting machines. Earlier this year, Klobuchar reintroduced the Honest Ads Act to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. She also leads other election security legislation including the Global Electoral Exchange Act, the Invest in Our Democracy Act, and the Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act.
For years, Klobuchar has also worked across the aisle to help reduce the price of prescription drugs. She leads several pieces of legislation to accomplish that goal, including the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act, the Stop Significant and Time-wasting Abuse Limiting Legitimate Innovation of New Generics (Stop STALLING) Act, and the Short on Competition Act. Klobuchar also joined her colleagues to introduce the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act and the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act which are both aimed at bringing down the rising costs of prescription drugs.
For broadcast quality footage of Klobuchar’s remarks, click HERE.