‘Not infrastructure over health care’: Klobuchar on 2020 priorities
Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a 2020 presidential candidate, said that while she just announced a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, which she called her “top budget priority,” that doesn’t mean that infrastructure is a priority over health care.
“It is not infrastructure over health care. We can do two things at once,” the senator from Minnesota told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on This Week Sunday, adding that she believes “infrastructure is an economic need.”
The plan, which was published on her campaign’s Medium page, would be worked on during her first year in office if she were elected.
“Infrastructure means things like making sure that we have drinking water that is safe in Flint. It means making sure those floods in Iowa, that we have a levy system that works, and we’ve got — we have protection for our farmers. It means a transit system that works. It means roads and bridges,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar’s plan is centered around a $650 billion increase in federal spending on infrastructure programs through public-private partnerships, bond programs and clean-energy tax incentives.
She currently serves on the Senate’s Commerce and Transportation Committee and has proposed a series of tax reforms to help pay for the plan, including raising the corporate tax rate from 21 to 25 percent. The rate was slashed from 35 percent to 21 percent as a result of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax bill.
“The president has kept saying he wants to do something about it, but it’s a mirage. He’s never really put together the coalition or the funding to get it done. I have the funding. I’ve shown how I can get this plan done. And, as president, I will get it done.”
During his 2016 campaign, Trump frequently promised an infrastructure plan on a similar scale. In an infrastructure proposal released last year by the White House, the administration called for $200 million in federal funds that they said will “stimulate $1.5 trillion in new investment in infrastructure.”
Karl pressed Klobuchar on her stance on Attorney General Williams Barr’s letter outlining the principle conclusions of the Mueller report and whether she has any reason to doubt Barr’s assessment that the Mueller investigation did not find any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
“I want to see the report,” Klobuchar said. “All we have is a four-page summary, and I think the major reason that we need to see the report right now, in addition to getting all of the details, is to know what we should do to protect our elections and democracy going into 2020.”
Karl also asked the senator about her views on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ decision not to support the House Democrats’ plan to strengthen the Affordable Care Act. While Klobuchar said that she is open to looking at Sanders’ proposal, her focus is on seeing “immediate change” to the healthcare system.
“So what I would suggest is, first of all, all out opposition to the administration’s plan to kick people off their health care,” Klobuchar said. “Then as president, I would immediately put in a public option proposal to Congress and that could be for Medicaid or Medicare.”
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