Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is the first 2020 Democratic presidential contender to reveal a comprehensive plan for her first 100 days in office, unveiling an agenda of dozens of executive actions and legislative rollouts she would spend political capital on in the early days of her presidency.
Few of the items in the 16-page document outlining her plans are radical. Many are standard Democratic thinking: She’ll rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change, end the Trump administration’s lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act, introduce legislation to ban assault weapons and bump stocks and end family separation at the border.
Other ideas reflect Klobuchar’s personal priorities. Klobuchar, who has played up her farm state ties in an effort to boost her stock in the early voting state of Iowa, is promising to restore staffing levels at the Agriculture Department to where they were before Donald Trump took office. Klobuchar, who chairs the antitrust subcommittee in the Senate, is proposing an “aggressive retrospective review” of mergers.
Many are executive actions that Klobuchar can take unilaterally. Others will require legislative action from Congress. Some of the suggestions are vague, including some promises to develop plans at a later date.
Helped along by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s success rolling out a slew of policy proposals, nearly every 2020 Democratic candidate ― from moderates like former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to liberals like former Housing Secretary Julián Castro ― is rolling out detailed white papers outlining their plans.
But Klobuchar’s preview of her first 100 days is different. Most presidents enter the White House with a decent amount of popularity, and their ability to push major legislation and ideas is often never greater than it is in their opening months in the Oval Office. Klobuchar’s outline provides a look at how she would spend that political capital.
“After four years of Donald Trump, a new President can’t wait for a bunch of congressional hearings to act,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “The urgent problems our country is facing require immediate action. That’s why in my first 100 days as President I will enact an ambitious, optimistic agenda to improve our health care, combat climate change, pursue economic justice and shared prosperity, and build a stronger democracy and safer world. With these concrete steps, we will put our country back on a path of progress where people have an opportunity to get ahead.”
Candidates are often reluctant to outline their precise priorities, fearful of aggravating interest groups who may see their issues placed on the back burner or delayed until a second term. And Klobuchar isn’t totally declaring where she’ll place her energy. The list, again, is 16 pages long, and it includes multiple items that would likely require major political, public and legislative pushes.
And she’s leaving the door open to more ideas.
“Senator Klobuchar is committed to governing from opportunity and taking administrative actions when it comes to our foreign policy and security, veterans, health care, education, income inequality, worker protections, economic justice, immigration reform, unions, civil rights, climate change, the environment, criminal justice reform and gun violence prevention,” reads the last item on the list. “She will be updating these goals with your ideas.”
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