Senator Amy Klobuchar

Working for the People of Minnesota


To encourage transparency in the legislative process, I make my full list of Congressional funding requests available for public viewing. These are projects submitted at the request of our constituents.

The Armed Services Committee determines funding of the following projects. To view our requested Minnesota projects for FY11, click here.

The Appropriations Committee determines funding of the following projects. To view our requested Minnesota projects for FY11, click here.

The Environment and Public Works Committee determines the authorized level of funding of the following projects. To view our requested Minnesota projects for the Water Resources Development Act of 2010, click here.

I believe ethics is something that must be woven into the very fabric of our government. Ethics goes to the heart of our American democracy - to the public trust and respect that is essential to the health of our Constitutional system. In recent years, scandals in Washington have seriously eroded the public's confidence in government and cast a shadow over the legitimacy of the laws and policies coming out of Washington. Our elected leaders should be focused on public service, not paid perks and privileges.

Minnesotans expect and deserve the highest ethical standards from their elected officials. As I have traveled across our state, Minnesotans have joined me in emphasizing the need for strong ethics rules to restore both integrity and common sense to our nation's capital. Minnesotans tell me this is the kind of change they want to see in Washington.

Unfortunately, the last few years have given people reason to doubt that their government is following the very highest ethical standards. At the U.S. Department of Justice, we have seen evidence of political interference in the appointment of U.S. Attorneys, our top regional federal law enforcement officers. At the Pentagon we have seen evidence of fraud and abuse in military and reconstruction contracts for security and rebuilding in Iraq.

Americans expect better and deserve better.

Because Minnesotans expect the highest ethical standards, these are the priorities I have fought for as Minnesota's U.S. Senator:

  • A higher ethical standard in Washington. I used my first floor speech in the Senate to emphasize the importance of ethics in elective office and the public's trust in government, and in my very first month in office, I joined with my fellow Senate freshmen to push for meaningful ethics reform. With broad bipartisan support, we succeeded in passing the most sweeping ethics legislation since Watergate. The President signed this legislation, the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act," in September 2007. Among its provisions, this new ethics law:
    • Bans gifts from lobbyists. Lobbyists, as well as the corporations and organizations that employ them, are now prohibited from giving gifts (including free meals and tickets) to Members of Congress.
    • Restricts corporate-sponsored jet travel. Under past rules, Members of Congress were able to travel on corporate jets at significantly reduced rates. This practice allowed undue influence by the lobbyists and corporations who arranged for Members of Congress to travel in this privileged manner. The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act requires Members of Congress to pay fair market value when flying on these planes.
    • Stops the "revolving door" in Washington. All too often in the past, Members of Congress would leave Capitol Hill only to return quickly, working as lobbyists and exploiting their connections and influence for the benefit of powerful special interests. The new ethics law includes new restrictions on both former Members of Congress and senior Congressional staff to limit their ability to profit from their public service and gain lobbying access to their former colleagues. The new law also revokes floor privileges and the use of exercise and parking facilities for former Members of Congress.
    • Requires disclosure of political contributions and "bundled" contributions by lobbyists. The American people deserve to know who has contributed to the coffers of their elected representatives. The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act requires registered lobbyists to regularly disclose their campaign contributions and to disclose all contributions to campaign committees, charities, inaugural committees and events to honor or educate elected officials.
    • Ensures greater transparency in the legislative process. The American people deserve to know what their elected representatives are doing in Congress. The new ethics law contains a number of provisions to open the legislative process to greater public scrutiny and understanding - including ending the practice of secret Senate "holds," on legislation, requiring that the financial disclosure forms of every member of Congress be posted on a searchable database, and limiting "dead of night" additions to conference reports (when the new matter was not approved by either chamber) unless 60 Senators vote in favor of keeping the matter in the conference report.

But there is much more that we must do to restore the public's trust in our government. These are my priorities to make sure that government lives up to the values and expectations of the American people:

  • A ban on industry-paid travel by staff and members of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Working with Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, I introduced an amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act of 2008 to ban industry-paid travel, after it came to light that commission members and staff had taken dozens of trips paid for by the very industries they regulate. Our amendment was accepted as part of the CPSC Reform Act and was signed into law in August 2008 as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). As a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee to produce final CPSC legislation, I fought for the tough reforms we adopted in the Senate. Americans deserve to know that government regulators are working for them - not for the industries they are supposed to supervise.
  • An end to fraud and abuse in Iraq reconstruction spending. In several hearings conducted by the Democratic Policy Committee, witnesses have described the waste of billions of dollars of taxpayers' money intended for private contractors and the Iraqi government in the rebuilding of Iraq. These examples are a scandal. I have called for the creation of a Wartime Contracting Commission modeled on the Truman Commission that exposed waste and fraud after World War II.
  • Greater vigilance at our federal safety agencies. After published reports showed that Federal Aviation Administration inspectors were not exercising rigorous oversight of the airline industry, I chaired a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee to examine the cozy relationship between airlines and the FAA. I urged the FAA to adopt tighter rules on inspectors taking airline jobs after they leave federal employment, and I will continue working until the FAA imposes stricter standards.

Senator Klobuchar’s Offices

302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main Line: 202-224-3244
Main Fax: 202-228-2186
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043

1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 612-727-5223
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043

1134 7th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Main Line: 507-288-5321
Fax: 507-288-2922

121 4th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56560
Main Line: 218-287-2219
Fax: 218-287-2930

Olcott Plaza, Suite 105
820 9th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792
Main Line: 218-741-9690
Fax: 218-741-3692