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Senator Amy Klobuchar

Working for the People of Minnesota

National Security

Protecting our nation from those who would do us harm is the first and most important responsibility of Congress.

In the midst of turbulent times abroad, we must remain vigilant in deterring hostile nations and pursuing terrorist networks intent on bringing death and destruction to our country. We must also identify and eliminate vulnerabilities within our borders, ports, and critical infrastructure. As an ever-shrinking global civilization draws our friends and our enemies closer, we must maintain our focus and commitment to protecting our national security

Protecting our nation also means strengthening alliances with friendly nations and presenting a united front against belligerent states, particularly those that sponsor or condone terrorist activities.

National security also means increasing our capacity to respond to domestic emergencies and disasters, and reducing our vulnerabilities abroad and at home. It means limiting our dependence on foreign oil and the unfriendly or unstable regimes that dominate the world's oil supplies.

Since coming to the Senate, I have fought to make America more secure:

  • Enacted into law the final recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. These recommendations provide our government with a blueprint to prevent future catastrophes and strengthen the resources available to our first responders.
  • Supported our military forces. I supported legislation that provided an additional $1.2 billion to give our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan mine-resistant combat vehicles, in addition to $1.6 billion for individual troop body armor and $1 billion to address shortfalls in critical National Guard equipment. I also supported the Defense Appropriations Act which included $23.5 billion for the Defense Health Program, a $2.3 billion increase over the previous year.
  • Supported increased security at borders, ports, and at critical infrastructure sites. This includes the screening of all cargo entering U.S. ports, enacting effective security regulations for nuclear and chemical plants, and guarding our food supply. As the tragic collapse of the I-35W bridge demonstrated, disaster can strike when and where we least expect. We must provide our first responders and emergency personnel with the full resources they need to react to disasters, natural or intended. Last year I fought to make sure that the Omnibus Appropriations Act included $4.2 billion in grants to support and train our local first responders, $4.8 billion in aviation security funds, including money to install explosive-detection equipment at our airports, and $9.4 billion of additional funding for Customs and Border Protection, including border security fencing and technology.
  • Combat global poverty and disease. It is our obligation to help those who lack access to stable food and water supplies. We must lead the global fight against AIDS, malaria, and other diseases that are devastating entire regions. We must develop and distribute stockpiles of medicine and vaccinations to prevent future global epidemics. Last year, in the Department of State and Foreign Operations Act, I voted to double funding for global health programs to $9.1 billion, including funds for prevention of malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS, as well as programs to support family planning and women's health.
  • Introduced legislation to help innocent travelers stuck on terrorist watch list. Every day, thousands of American travelers experience delays and other inconveniences because their names are mistakenly flagged by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Terrorist Screening Database (commonly known as the terrorist watch list). I have introduced the Fair, Accurate, Secure, and Timely Redress Act of 2008 to require the Department of Homeland Security to establish a "one-stop shop" to make it easier and quicker for innocent Americans to get their names cleared from the watch lists and avoid unnecessary delays.
  • Advocated for Minnesota interests in meetings with customs officials and residents in Minnesota's border cities, including International Falls, Warroad and Baudette, about how to secure our borders. I have also worked to cut through the red tape that has been created by some new border crossing laws to help business travelers, hunters, anglers, and families.

As Minnesota’s U.S. Senator, I will continue to focus on these priorities:

  • Rebuild our Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserves. Our military is currently overstretched and undermanned. Our men and women in uniform have consistently performed above and beyond the call of duty, but they are approaching a breaking point. We need to focus our defense budget on retooling and reinforcing our military capabilities and rewarding those who have sacrificed for this nation, regardless of the branch of service. That is why I fought to secure funding for a national version of Minnesota's innovative "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon," program, which provides services to returning Guard troops so they can make the transition back to civilian life.
  • Reaffirm our commitment to NATO and other international institutions that promote freedom and democracy. The United States must continue to lead the global community toward common goals of peaceful exchange and interaction. International organizations and institutions can be vehicles for achieving our aims and serving our national interests, and we must make the most of them. I am proud to head up our Inter-Parliamentary Group with the government of Canada to work on issues of trade and security, and will continue to support alliances with other nations across the globe.
  • Reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Our national security is held hostage by oil-producing nations whose policies and objectives often diverge from our own. Fostering stable and sustainable homegrown energy sources has the potential to increase our national security more than any other action. That's why I have introduced The American Renewable Energy Act to extend and expand incentives for the private sector to increase investment in wind power, solar energy and other sources of renewable energy. Our energy agenda should include expanded domestic drilling, hydropower, geothermal, and waste-to-energy technology. From the wind farms of southwestern Minnesota to the biofuels plants across our farming communities, Minnesotans know that these types of investments can create good jobs and strengthen our economy in addition to reducing our dependence on foreign oil. We should be investing in the farmers and workers of the Midwest, not the oil kingdoms of the Middle East.
  • Implement comprehensive immigration reform. The current system is broken. We must continue to work to find a bipartisan solution that is tough, fair, and practical. Comprehensive immigration reform needs to include order at the border, including fencing and increased patrols, better enforcement of our immigration laws (including cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers) and offering earned citizenship for those who obey our laws and who are willing to learn English, pay their taxes, and pay a substantial fine. I worked hard last year to enact the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which would have achieved these immigration goals. We couldn't get it through the Senate - despite the support of the President - but I will continue fighting for it in the year ahead.
  • Respond to the threat of global climate change. Climate change is not just an environmental or economic issue. It also poses a threat to America's national security, which is a growing concern for U.S. military and intelligence agencies. Climate change could lead to more global instability due to increasing poverty, massive migrations, increased border tensions, greater demands for rescue and evacuation efforts, and conflicts over essential resources - including food and water. As a member of the Senate Environment Committee, I was a cosponsor of the bipartisan Climate Security Act (known as the Lieberman-Warner bill). I believe the fairest, most effective way to combat climate change is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with market incentives. These emissions have a real cost to our environment, so they should also have a price, with incentives for industry to reduce their emissions. It is also an opportunity for the United States to develop new "clean energy" technologies and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Links

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