Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

http://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/

Washington D.C. Office

302 Hart Senate Office Building,
District of Columbia 20510-2305

(202) 224-3244

Minneapolis Office

1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415

Positions on MPP Peace Agenda

FCNL.org and VoteSmart.org give voting record, position papers, etc.

A. Resolve Conflicts through Diplomacy

  1. Promote stability in the Middle East by withdrawing all US military forces from the area, replacing US military aid with development aid and engaging diplomatically with all nations in the region.
  2. Voted to expedite withdrawal from Afghanistan – Merkley Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Also voted yea on S. Amendment 1064 to repeal authorization for use of military force against Iraq. (Amendment rejected) – 11/29/12

    I believe that the U.S. and NATO missions in Afghanistan have reached a critical juncture. We have a vital interest in ensuring that Afghanistan is not used as a base for terrorism. Yet at the same time we must implement a responsible and realistic strategy that emphasizes increased security and economic development for the Afghan people, with the Afghan government and security forces taking the lead. I continue to have concerns about whether the Afghan government can gain the confidence of the Afghan people and serve as a credible partner in the fight against the Taliban. We must make clear to Afghan leaders that America’s commitment will not be open-ended and that significant progress in governance and the economy must be made. One of the lessons we learned from the Iraq war is that our policy cannot be allowed to run on auto-pilot. I will continue to push for strong and necessary oversight of U.S. policy in Afghanistan and a responsible plan for the drawdown of U.S. troops. In the meantime, our troops fighting in Afghanistan deserve our full support, the full resources they need to carry out their mission, and a clear strategy that allows them to begin returning home under a responsible timeframe. With the death of Osama bin Laden, I believe we have an opportunity for a new momentum that will empower the Afghan people to stand on their own and allow our troops to come home. – Senator Klobuchar’s website, May 2012

    Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act of 2011 failed to cosponsor s res 186. – October 2011

    Senator Klobuchar has voted several times in support of the Feingold timetables.

    Senator Klobuchar voted for $33B in supplemental funding for the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. – June 2010

    Continue to push the Administration for a responsible withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq. I will maintain pressure to produce a shift in strategy that will allow us to begin bringing our soldiers home. Website 03/31/09

  3. Implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran without additional sanctions, and restore diplomatic relations with Iran.
  4. Senator Klobuchar was an early co-sponsor of S.722, Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act, which increases U.S. sanctions on Iran. – 04.29.17

    “While the agreement is by no means perfect, I have concluded that it is our best available option to put the brakes on Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon and that is why I will support it.” The Senator’s statement goes on to call for increased security assistance to Israel 3 times. – 08.10.15 Press Release

    As you know, on November 23, 2013, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China negotiated an interim agreement with Iran that imposes new limits and inspections on its nuclear program. That agreement went into force for a six-month period beginning on January 20, 2014. I believe this agreement is a positive step forward, and I strongly support diplomatic efforts to achieve a comprehensive agreement that addresses all outstanding issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. Iran must show that it can live up to its international obligations and abide by the deal it made with the United States and our partners. – Constituent letter, July, 2014

    Senator Klobuchar signed on to the Menendez-Graham letter, while non-binding, could be read as setting out problematic red lines for a final deal with Iran, including statements whose cumulative message could be interpreted as rejecting any deal unless it leaves Iran with zero enrichment. The letter also states that Congress and the President need to work together now to make sure that new sanctions can be implemented the moment that diplomacy fails. – March 2014

    Senator Klobuchar chose not to sign on to the Menendez Kirk bill, S.1881, calling for increased sanctions against Iran as the State Dept. was actively pursuing a diplomatic agreement re their nuclear program. -March 2014

    Senator Klobuchar signed on to a letter to the President calling for tougher sanctions against Iran. – 8/5/13

    Senator Klobuchar believes that diplomacy is the first and best option to resolving the situation in Iran. – Public speeches during the 2012 campaign

    The Senator voted in favor of SJRes. 41 which lowers the threshold for war on Iran. – 09.22.12

    Senator Klobuchar joined 43 other Senators in signing a letter to the President expressing their concerns re talks with Iran: “It is past time for the Iranians to take the concrete steps that would reassure the world that their nuclear program is, as they claim, exclusively peaceful. Absent these steps, we must conclude that Tehran is using the talks as a cover to buy time as it continues to advance toward nuclear weapons capability. We know that you share our conviction that allowing Iran to gain this capability is unacceptable. On the other hand, if the sessions in Moscow produce no substantive agreement, we urge you to reevaluate the utility of further talks at this time and instead focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists. – 06.15.12

    Sen. Klobuchar’s website statement on Iran: Iran’s present course of action represents a threat to the United States, our allies in the Middle East, and the international community. Iran has defied repeated demands from the United Nations Security Council to stop enriching nuclear fuel and to fully disclose all information regarding its nuclear program. Compelling Iran to abandon its support for international terrorism, suspend its nuclear enrichment program, and respect the basic human rights of its citizens are critical steps to meeting the goal of long-term stability in the Middle East and around the world. – 4/6/12

    The Senator co-sponsored S. Res. 380 which effectively endorses an attack on a nuclear weapons capable Iran. – 3/28/12

    Senator Klobuchar voted for the Kirk/Menendez Amendment to the DoD Authorization Act to force the President to impose sanctions on countries and companies that do business with Iran’s central bank or purchase Iranian oil. This would impose a near total ban on any foreign government or financial institution from conducting transactions related to Iran. – 12/01/11

    Co-sponsored S.1048 which imposes additional sanctions on Iran and states that it is U.S. policy to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. – 9/20/11

    Senator Klobuchar co-sponsors S.908, a bill to amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to “enhance United States diplomatic efforts” with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran. – 04/28/09

  5. Support resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict through determined, balanced and multilateral diplomacy.
  6. Senator Klobuchar co-sponsored S. Res. 6 objecting to the Obama Administration’s recent abstention in the UN Security Council on a resolution related to Israeli settlements. This resolution purports to be about defending Israel and supporting peace. In reality, it is about preventing even legitimate criticism of Israeli actions – actions that are antithetical to Israel’s own interests – and changing U.S. policy to support settlements. Moreover, this resolution misrepresents longstanding U.S. policy and mischaracterizes the abstention as a betrayal of Israel. – 01.17

    Senator Klobuchar believes that trying to maintain the status quo is unsustainable for Israel and that opening the Gazan borders is key to a long-term solution. She supports creating economic development opportunities for Palestinians. She also expressed her view that Iron Dome was the reason for the disparate casualty rate between Gaza and Israel. – MPP mtg with Senator Klobuchar, 8/20/14

    Sen. Klobuchar co-sponsored The Resolution for Israeli Self-Defense expressing vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders – 11/16/12

    Senator Klobuchar: We must stand firmly behind Israel’s security. I also believe that the United States must push for a meaningful peace process of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that can lead to a two-state solution. MNdaily 10/28/12.

    The Senator cosponsored S. Res 2165, United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act. 7/27/12

    America and Israel are close allies whose interests in the Middle East and around the world remain strongly aligned. The deep and enduring friendship between our nations is based on values rooted in democracy and mutual strategic goals, and we must remain steadfast in our commitment to Israel’s security. I believe that the United States must reinforce its commitment to leading a meaningful peace process of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. With dialogue, patience, and resolve, our ultimate goal of peace through the region can be realized. – Senator Klobuchar’s website, May 2012

    Senator Klobuchar has co-signed a letter to President Obama calling for the U.S. to cut off aid to Palestine if the Palestinian Authority forms a unity government with Hamas. – May 2011

    Senator Klobuchar has signed on to a letter supporting increased aid to Palestine. – March 2011

    Senator Klobuchar signed an AIPAC-drafted letter following Israel’s public humiliation of Vice President Biden that urged that any disputes between the U.S. and Israel be resolved in private. – Washington Report, September 2010

    Senator Klobuchar signed the Senate letter to Obama defending “Israel’s right to self defense” following the 5/31/10 attack on the Gaza aid flotilla. – Washington Report – September 2010

    I believe that, like the U.S., Israel has a right to defend itself from terrorist attacks. As the situation continues to unfold, I believe the U.S. must work with all parties to reestablish a ceasefire agreement as soon as possible and to provide humanitarian assistance to all civilians caught in the conflict. – Klobuchar statement re Gaza assault to Daily Planet, 01/01/09

    Senator Klobuchar signed the AIPAC-endorsed Bayh/Risch letter to the President which focused on the need for Arab leaders to demonstrate their commitment to the peace process without mention of needed initiatives by Israel such as a settlement freeze. – August 2009

    Minnesota Peace Project Analysis:
    Senator Klobuchar has voiced strong support for the security of Israel and for Israel’s right to defend itself. The Minnesota Peace Project also seeks a stable, secure future for Israel, but believes that this future can only be attained through a comprehensive peace settlement that meets the national aspirations of the Palestinian people as well as the security concerns of Israel. Progress towards a settlement will require active and assertive diplomacy by the U.S. Government, and we call on Senator Klobuchar to encourage such pressure. Current upheavals in the Middle East underscore the urgency of a peace settlement, and should not be seen as an excuse for further delay. Senator Klobuchar has in the past called for an end to settlement construction in the occupied territories. We urge her to assertively restate this position publicly as well as privately in discussions with the Government of Israel and with American supporters of Israel, including AIPAC. Such actions on her part would support the consistent U.S. Government position, voiced by both Republican and Democratic administrations, that continued settlement construction is punitive and an impediment to the peace process and should be stopped. Senator Klobuchar has made no statement criticizing the recent decision of the Government of Israel to authorize 500 additional housing units in the illegal West Bank settlements, nor has she spoken out against land-use decisions in Jerusalem which seek to exclude Arab residents from historic Arab neighborhoods.

    Senator Klobuchar’s staff emphasized the right of Israel to defend itself, and the threat posed by Hamas. The MPP condemns violence on the part of both sides, but also believes the Senator should address the issues of the disproportionate use of force and of collective punishment exercised by the Government of Israel. The Israeli military intentionally applies these policies in the occupied territories, yet neither of these approaches has successfully reduced violence, nor do they accord with U.S. or international law – even in situations of war. Such actions by Israel undermine its international standing, and create great human suffering for the Palestinian people. We believe that Israel’s security can ultimately be secured only by ending its occupation of all Palestinian territories (East Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza) and allowing an independent Palestinian state to emerge. Until the Palestinian people are allowed their freedom, Israel must be pressed to operate by recognized international law for occupied territories. We call on Senator Klobuchar to support such policy objectives.

    The Minnesota Peace Project also notes that Hamas controls only the Gaza Strip, and not the West Bank. Economic reform and civil order in the West Bank are leading to increased international recognition of the Palestinian Authority and the possible recognition of a Palestinian State by the United National General Assembly later this year. We believe Israel’s security interests would be better served by a negotiated settlement prior to that development, and we encourage Senator Klobuchar to call publicly for an urgent, early return to the negotiating table by both sides.

  7. Limit US involvement in African nations' internal affair to strengthen civil society, support domestic development, and mediate domestic conflicts when disputing parties request assistance.
  8. Senator Klobuchar co-authored a letter with Senator Frankenr to Secretary Kerry asking that “the State Department provide recommendations for actions the United States can take to address the escalating violence against civilians in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.” Ethiopia is the 3rd largest recipient of U.S. Foreign Aid despite the fact that the Leahy Law specifies that the U.S. can not provide foreign aid to governments that commit serious human rights violations. 02.02.16

    U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., returned last week from an 11-day fact-finding trip to Africa, where she visited Senegal, Ethiopia and Tanzania to discuss food security and Somali refugees.

    Klobuchar’s staff said the senator made the trip to review the significant agriculture and aid investments we have in Africa and make sure they are effective and making progress so that countries are able to start building their own economies.

    While there, Klobuchar also met with officials from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees and Ethiopia’s Administration for Refugees to discuss the plight of Somali refugees in Ethiopia and how to strengthen the security situation inside Somalia, where the U.S. military has launched drone strikes. – Star Tribune, 09/06/14

    9/11/13

  9. Continue normalization of relations with Cuba by lifting the trade embargo and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
  10. Senator Klobuchar is leading the bipartisan Freedom to Export to Cuba Act, a bill to lift the embargo on Cuba. “It’s well past time that we bring our relationship with 11 million people 90 miles off of our shore into the 21st Century.” The bill now has 17 cosponsors and would eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba. It does not repeal provisions of current law[s] that address human rights in Cuba or that allow individuals and businesses to pursue claims against the Cuban government. Klobuchar recently testified before the International Trade Commission to highlight the benefits of lifting the trade embargo and traveled to Cuba to meet with agriculture and export officials. – 7/1/2015

    Senator Klobuchar co-sponsored S.428, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba bill.

    Minnesota Peace Project Analysis:
    The Minnesota Peace Project commends Senator Klobuchar for her leadership on this issue, as a co-sponsor of this important legislation. Additionally, the letters of introduction written by the Senator for Minnesotans travelling to Cuba in explicit civil disobedience of US State Department regulations demonstrated her willingness to press the issue even further. The Minnesota Peace Project urges the Senator to speak out publicly for full normalization of relations with the Republic of Cuba, not only because it is important for Minnesota’s agriculture and medical equipment industries, but also because it will close an embarrassing and sordid Cold War legacy.

  11. Lead diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian civil war engaging all interested parties.
  12. Tonight the President made a clear national security case for why we need to take strong and decisive action against ISIL. I support targeted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as well as training and equipping the moderate Syrian opposition, and I also think it is critical that we work with our allies in the international community so we are united in our effort to defeat this terrorist organization. ISIL is pure evil and its threat hits right here at home. We saw that all too clearly when it was confirmed that a U.S. citizen killed while fighting for ISIL was from Minnesota. The best way to stop this recruitment in our state is to stop ISIL, Press Release, 9/10/14

    Sen. Klobuchar co-sponsored the Free Syria Act Congressional Summary: Authorizes assistance for humanitarian activities taking place in and outside Syria, including post-transition efforts. Authorizes assistance to the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) and Free Syrian Army (FSA), including non-lethal equipment and training to vetted members of the FSA. Urges the US to develop a plan for securing conventional and unconventional weapons in Syria and preventing their illicit sale or transfer out of Syria. – March 2013

    Senator Klobuchar called the Russian overture re Syria a game changer that the Obama administration should pursue with the international community before seeking authorization from Congress to use military force. She also considers the administration’s language on a use-of-force resolution too broad, but said the threat of a military strike was important in getting them to the negotiating table. She added: I think it’s important we keep it on the table in terms of leverage, but for me, it will depend on what the language would be. – Star Tribune

B. Build an international infrastructure for peace and prosperity:

  1. Commit the US to strengthening the United Nations by becoming a signatory to the International Criminal Court and International Human Rights Treaties, respecting and upholding international law including military nonintervention, and promoting universal human rights.
  2. Senator Klobuchar’s current National Security position paper states that we must Reaffirm our commitment to NATO and other international institutions that promote freedom and democracy. The United States must continue to lead the global community towards common goals of peaceful exchange and interaction.

  3. Develop and strengthen alternatives to military force such as civilian peacekeeping forces, mediation and conflict-resolution, and significantly grow the US diplomatic corps.
  4. Senator Klobuchar signed the Dear colleague letter that Senators Chris Coons and Susan Collins circulated to support the Presidential Study Directive 10, which mandates a review of U.S. capacities to prevent atrocities and establishes the Atrocities Prevention Board to coordinate a government-wide strategy for preventing such violence. – November 2011

    The Senator voted against S Amendment 613 to reducing appropriations for Foreign Assistance Programs – September 2011

  5. Commit to just and sustainable economic development strategies.
  6. Senator Klobuchar voted against the Free Trade Act with Columbia and for the FTA’s with South Korea and Panama. – October 2011

  7. Take a leadership role in international agreements on climate change, including reduction of emissions that cause global warming, and develop energy alternatives.
  8. Senator Klobuchar dedicates an entire page to her website to energy reform and policies – http://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/homegrown-energy-environment-03.18.16

    Her priorities include:
    Promoting the development of homegrown renewable energy
    Increasing energy efficiency
    Expanding domestic energy production
    Preventing spikes in gas and home heating fuel prices
    Keeping our air and water clean
    Combating climate change
    Strengthening our water infrastructure
    Protecting the Great Lakes
    Preserving open spaces and native wildlife

    Her Energy Policies:
    Expanding the market for homegrown biofuels
    Helping our farmers move to the next generation of farm-based biofuels
    Implementing the first automobile fuel efficiency upgrades in decades
    Extending home energy tax credits, weatherization, and heating assistance
    Creating stable incentives for the private sector to invest in renewable energy
    Preventing spikes in gas and home heating fuel prices

    Steps to protect our Environment and Natural Resources
    Combating Climate Change
    Improving our water infrastructure
    Protecting the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River watershed
    Strengthening the Clean Air Act
    Protecting consumers from unsafe wood imports;supporting our timber producers
    Reforming our nation’s toxic chemicals policy

C. Dismantle the infrastructure that encourages militaristic response to conflicts:

  1. Significantly reduce the US defense budget, increase its transparency and ensure the military is accountable for its defense expenditures.
  2. Senator Klobuchar supports the transition of troops out of Afghanistan and has “also repeatedly voted to but funding for programs in the Defense Department has found to be unnecessary – including the F-35 alternate engine, the C-17 aircraft, and the F-22 Raptor fighter program.” – Klobuchar Website July 2015

    Senator Klobuchar advocates for accountability of American taxpayer funds. “There must be accountability for reconstruction funds that are intended to provide the Iraqi and Afghan people with the meaningful economic assistance they need to rebuild their respective countries… In 2007 I co-sponsored a bipartisan provision in the Defense Authorization bill that established an independent commission to increase transparency and accountability in wartime contracting… I have also repeatedly voted to but funding for programs in the Defense Department has found to be unnecessary – including the F-35 alternate engine, the C-17 aircraft, and the F-22 Raptor fighter program.” – Klobuchar website July 2015

    In 2007 I co-sponsored a bipartisan provision in the Defense Authorization bill that established an independent commission to increase transparency and accountability in wartime contracting. Modeled after the famous Truman Commission during World War II, it has begun carrying out its assigned responsibilities to ensure accountability for U.S. tax dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. – Klobuchar Website February 2013

    Senator Klobuchar voted against an amendment to sell F-16 fighter plans to Taiwan. -9/22/11

    The Senator’s current position statement on National Security states: Protecting our national security means maintaining unparalleled military capabilities and the finest armed forces in the world.

    Senator Klobuchar voted in favor of S.B 181 which included $3B towards converting closed U.S. military bases to other uses. – 05/24/07

  3. Negotiate and approve agreements and treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, that reduce the risk of war.
  4. Senator Klobuchar supports the transition of troops out of Afghanistan and has “also repeatedly voted against funding for programs that the Defense Department has found to be unnecessary – including the F-35 alternate engine, the C-17 aircraft, and the F-22 Raptor fighter program.” – Klobuchar Website July 2015

    Senator Klobuchar voted to ratify the new START Treaty. – 12/22/10

    Despite her stated support for the NNPT, the Senator voted to allow the U.S. to sell nuclear technology to India. – RC #211, 2008

  5. Reaffirm US commitment to the Geneva Conventions, US Rules of Engagement and US Code of Military Conduct.
  6. Senator Klobuchar reintroduced the bipartisan Torture Victims Relief Act, first passed in 1998, which authorizes funding to support torture treatment programs in the U.S. and abroad. – 6/26/15 Press Release

    Washington, D.C. As International Day in Support of Victims of Torture approaches on Friday, June 26, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) today reintroduced the bipartisan Torture Victims Relief Act (TVRA). TVRA, first passed in 1998, authorized funding to support torture treatment programs in the U.S. and abroad to help torture survivors recover from their trauma and rebuild productive lives. S. 1670 and H.R. 2870 will ensure assistance for domestic and foreign programs and centers for the treatment of victims of torture.

    “The United States must play a leading role in helping those who have been harmed by torture. Our commonsense bill will provide crucial support to help heal victims and train partner organizations who care for them,” Klobuchar said.

    “We too often focus on the public and legal aspects of torture and not enough on helping torture victims themselves a group that tragically includes even children. They need help to rebuild their lives and overcome the severe trauma that prevents them from living a normal life,” said Smith. “If we accept people into this country as refugees or asylum seekers, then we also must help them deal with the effects of the treatment that drove them from their homelands in the first place. Our legislation will do just that.”

    S. 1670 and H.R. 2870 call on the Department of Health and Human Services to fund and manage treatment at domestic centers to treat torture victims who seek refuge in the United States. This legislation also directs the president to fund and manage foreign treatment centers for victims of torture within their home countries and authorizes instruction for Foreign Service officers to be trained on how best to identify and assist victims of torture.

    Actions that would be defined as torture are reported in 141 countries even though 157 countries have ratified the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture. However, as we have seen in recent years, torture is not only practiced by governments around the world, but increasingly by terrorist groups such as the Islamic State.

    The international community condemned the practice of torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. However, treatment for victims of torture has remained a concern, and the United States has a history of assisting such victims. Such programs were first established in Smith’s 1998 law, and bolstered by Smith’s three subsequent torture victims reauthorization laws (P.L. 106-87, P.L. 108-179, and P.L. 109-65). The original 1998 bill acknowledged a significant number of refugees and asylum seekers who were entering the United States as victims of torture, and sought to address their needs.

    Senator Klobuchar voted against the Feinstein Amendment, #1126, to the DoD Authorization Act, that would have exempted Americans from indefinite detention without charges or trial. – 12/01/12

    The Senator voted against an amendment that prohibits the use of funds to transfer “certain individuals” from Guantanamo to American soil.

    Senator Klobuchar voted for the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008, which contained a provision limiting CIA interrogation techniques to what is in the Army Field Manual. A written statement from the Senator on September 7, 2010, said that her 2008 vote was ‘to prohibit U.S. personnel and contract employees from using extreme interrogation measures, including waterboarding.’ In a meeting with constituents on November 24, 2010, she said officially authorized torture was committed by the United States since 9/11, some people — but not “line people” — should be held accountable, and she will leave criminal prosecutions up to the Justice Department, with no comment from her.

    Senator Klobuchar voted against the President’s request for funding to close the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay. – 05/04/09

    Senator Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S.416). – 08/26/09