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Amy Klobuchar on Technology

DFL Sr Senator (MN)

 


Infrastructure the "top budget priority"

Klobuchar introduced a trillion-dollar policy rollout that would use federal funds and tax subsidies to update the country's infrastructure. The policy would also reinstate the Obama administration's recession-era "Build America Bonds," which provides state governments with a 35% subsidy to offset borrowing costs, per the NYT. Klobuchar's campaign described infrastructure as the candidate's "top budget priority."
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , May 3, 2019

Users of social media should be able to control their data

Those companies for so long have said, we have your back. Meanwhile, your data is getting shared. You send an e-mail to someone, and the next thing, you see an advertisement about the thing you sent the e-mail on. So that's why I want privacy legislation to basically say, hey, we have a right over our data. Stop messing around with us, and then also put in plain language what your rights are, instead of 50 pages. And then, finally, notify us when there's breaches.
Source: CNN State of the Union 2019 on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Mar 17, 2019

Investigate big tech for monopolistic practices

The Minnesota senator kicked off SXSW with promises to reign in tech companies. Klobuchar wouldn't go as far as Elizabeth Warren when asked whether Google or Facebook should be broken up. "I would want to have it investigated. That is how I do things," she said. If anti-competitive problems are discovered, Klobuchar said, "then you come up with a plan to break up or to move something out if there is a piece of it that is anti-competitive."

Klobuchar criticized the tech industry for not protecting privacy and floated the idea of taxing social media companies when they sell personal data, but she did not give specifics.

Source: Sacramento Bee on 2019 SXSW conference , Mar 9, 2019

Tax tech giants when they sell access to personal data

Amy Klobuchar wants to stand out for her track record taking on Silicon Valley. In 2018, according to federal filings, she received support from powerful tech donors including former Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Amazon's top lawyer David Zapolsky.

But she also has aggressively sponsored bills in the Senate to regulate the industry, by blocking mergers and making it easier for consumers to opt out of data collection, among others. She came to SXSW with another bold new idea: every time a tech giant such as Facebook or Google makes ad money, by selling access to user eyeballs, make the company pay.

"There should be some kind of a tax on it," she said. She also acknowledged the tax proposal would not be popular among industry executives. "They're going to scream when they hear this."

Source: NPR.org on 2019 SXSW conference , Mar 9, 2019

$100M for I-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapse

On August 1, 2007, a major bridge in Minneapolis, the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge, collapsed during the evening rush hour. But it wasn't just a bridge: it was a big chunk of an eight-lane highway, carrying an average of 140,000 vehicles a day. And it was eight blocks from my house.

I had two major responsibilities. First, I had to secure the money in the Senate for a bridge replacement as soon as possible. Beyond the obvious tragedy, the lack of a bridge was a major impediment for commuters and commerce, costing our state an estimated $400,000 per day. Second, I had to make sure the federal government got to the bottom of how this disaster had happened.

Back in Washington, I worked with [the Minnesota Congressional delegation] to introduce a bill that would waive the $100 million federal cap so that Minnesota could receive sufficient funds to rebuild the bridge from the U.S. Government's Emergency Relief Program.

Source: The Senator Next Door, by Amy Klobuchar, p.236-8 , Aug 24, 2015

Maintain traditional and high-tech infrastructure

I will fight to make sure that Minnesota gets the resources we need to grow our businesses and create new jobs. I will fight to make sure that Minnesota communities get the support they need to maintain and update their infrastructure?whether it’s traditional roadways or high-speed broadband on the information highway?to bring new opportunities for economic development.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues” , Jan 18, 2006

Supports the V-Chip & Internet filters

I will fight to give parents more tools and information so they can protect their children in this new high-tech, multimedia world. I’m deeply concerned about the culture of violence and sex in the media. I support the V-Chip, Internet filters and other new technology that give parents control over what their children see on TV and do on the Internet. We must be vigilant about the new harms that may lurk for our children and stand up to industries that put profits ahead of protecting our kids.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues” , Jan 18, 2006

Voted YES on authorizing states to collect Internet sales taxes.

Congressional Summary: The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 authorizes each state to require all sellers with sales exceeding $1 million in the preceding calendar year to collect and remit sales and use taxes, but only if complying with the minimum simplification requirements relating to the administration of such taxes & audits.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (Cnet.com): Online retailers are objecting to S.743, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed--and sometimes conflicting--regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors. S.743 caps years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores. President Obama also supports the bill.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. COLLINS. This bill rectifies a fundamental unfairness in our current system. Right now, Main Street businesses have to collect sales taxes on every transaction, but outbecause -of-state Internet sellers don't have to charge this tax, they enjoy a price advantage over the mom-and-pop businesses. This bill would allow States to collect sales taxes on Internet sales, thereby leveling the playing field with Main Street businesses. This bill does not authorize any new or higher tax, nor does it impose an Internet tax. It simply helps ensure that taxes already owed are paid.

Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. WYDEN: This bill takes a function that is now vested in government--State tax collection--and outsources that function to small online retailers. The proponents say it is not going to be hard for small businesses to handle this--via a lot of new computer software and the like. It is, in fact, not so simple. There are more than 5,000 taxing jurisdictions in our country. Some of them give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical.

Reference: Marketplace Fairness Act; Bill S.743 ; vote number 13-SV113 on May 6, 2013

Voted YES on $23B instead of $4.9B for waterway infrastructure.

Vote on overriding Pres. Bush's veto. The bill reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States. The bill authorizes flood control, navigation, and environmental projects and studies by the Army Corps of Engineers. Also authorizes projects for navigation, ecosystem or environmental restoration, and hurricane, flood, or storm damage reduction in 23 states including Louisiana.

Veto message from President Bush:

This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.

Reference: Veto override on Water Resources Development Act; Bill Veto override on H.R. 1495 ; vote number 2007-406 on Nov 8, 2007

Facilitate nationwide 2-1-1 phone line for human services.

Klobuchar co-sponsored facilitating nationwide 2-1-1 phone line for human services

A bill to facilitate nationwide availability of 2-1-1 telephone service for information and referral on human services & volunteer services. Congress makes the following findings:

  1. The FCC has assigned 2-1-1 as the national telephone number for information and referral on human services.
  2. 2-1-1 facilitates critical connections between families seeking services, including community-based and faith-based organizations.
  3. There are approximately 1,500,000 nonprofit organizations in the US [which would be listed in the 2-1-1 service].
  4. Government funding supports well-intentioned programs that are not fully utilized because of a lack of access to such programs.
  5. A national cost-benefit analysis estimates a net value to society of a national 2-1-1 system approaching $130,000,000 in the first year alone.
  6. While 69% of the population has access to 2-1-1 telephone service from a land line in 41 States, inadequate funding prevents access to that telephone service throughout each of the States.
  7. 2-1-1 telephone service facilitates the availability of a single repository where comprehensive data on all community services is collected & maintained.

Introductory statement by Sponsor:

Sen. CLINTON: In the immediate aftermath of the devastation of September 11, most people did not know where to turn for information about their loved ones. Fortunately for those who knew about it, 2-1-1 was already operating in Connecticut, and it was critical in helping identify the whereabouts of victims, connecting frightened children with their parents, providing information on terrorist suspects, and linking ready volunteers with victims.

Every single American should have a number they can call to cut through the chaos of an emergency. That number is 2-1-1. It's time to make our citizens and our country safer by making this resource available nationwide.

Source: Calling for 2-1-1 Act (S.211 and H.R.211) 07-HR211 on Jan 9, 2007

Require telecomms to transfer VOIP calls from other carriers.

Klobuchar co-sponsored requiring telecomms to transfer VOIP calls from other carriers

Requires telecommunications service providers or IP-enabled voice service providers (VOIP) to ensure that all voice communications service traffic originating on its network contains the signaling information reasonably needed to facilitate inter-carrier billing in accordance with industry standards. Requires a provider that transports or transits traffic between voice communications service providers to forward the signaling information it receives from another provider (without altering such signaling information) that is reasonably needed to facilitate inter-carrier billing in accordance with industry standards, except as otherwise permitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Source: Signaling Modernization Act (S.2919) 08-S2919 on Apr 24, 2008

Require websites to police for copyrighted materials.

Klobuchar co-sponsored PIPA: PROTECT IP Act

Congressional Summary:Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA (in the House, Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA) :

OnTheIssues Notes: SOPA and PIPA, proponents claim, would better protect electronic copyright ("IP", or Intellectual Property). Opponents argue that SOPA and PIPA would censor the Internet. Internet users and entrepreneurs oppose the two bills; google.com and wikipedia.com held a "blackout" on Jan. 18, 2012 in protest. An alternative bill, the OPEN Act was proposed on Jan. 18 to protect intellectual property without censorship; internet businesses prefer the OPEN Act while the music and movie industries prefer SOPA and PIPA.

Source: HR3261/S968 11-S968 on May 12, 2011

Strengthen infrastructure, including rail, dams, & Internet.

Klobuchar co-sponsored Rebuild America Act

Source: S.4 13-S0004 on Jan 22, 2013

Televise proceedings of the Supreme Court.

Klobuchar signed bill to televise proceedings of the Supreme Court

A bill to permit the televising of Supreme Court proceedings. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that Chapter 45 of title 28, US Code, is amended by inserting at the end the following:

'The Supreme Court shall permit television coverage of all open sessions of the Court unless the Court decides, by a vote of the majority of justices, that allowing such coverage in a particular case would constitute a violation of the due process rights of 1 or more of the parties before the Court.'

Source: S.446&H.R.429 2009-S446 on Feb 13, 2009

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Page last updated: Jun 03, 2019