As other presidential candidates continue to release dozens of policy papers on a variety of topics, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., took a different approach and compiled a list of everything she would do during her first 100 days in office.
That list, which she released early Tuesday morning, June 18, fills more than 16 printed pages and contains 136 items - 137 including the final entry, which reads: "And more!"
Roughly half of these promises involve reversing or counteracting actions taken by President Donald Trump and his administration; about half a dozen center on pieces of legislation that Klobuchar would introduce. The rest of the list is filled with actions that she would take using the executive power of the presidency - from directing agencies to aggressively target robocall scammers to increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 per hour to issuing a waiver so Americans can import less-expensive prescription drugs for themselves from Canada.
"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."
At a time when Congress is gridlocked and many voters say they wonder whether the sweeping legislative reforms promised by many presidential candidates could ever pass and be implemented, Klobuchar is focused on the power that a president alone can wield - and her willingness to use that power, just as Trump has.
Many of the actions Klobuchar would take during her first 100 days involve matters she has been working on as a senator: trying to lower the cost of prescription drugs, better secure election systems, implement more protections for consumers and reform how political campaigns are financed. Others came from conversations Klobuchar has had with voters in early-voting states, her campaign indicated.
Here it is: a plan for my first 100 days as President of the United States. The urgent problems our country is facing require immediate action and bold solutions, and I plan to get to work delivering results on Day One.https://t.co/YuJbh7qwH9— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 18, 2019
Klobuchar is among a host of presidential candidates who have found it difficult to break out of this year's giant pack. Increasingly, candidates are using detailed plans to introduce themselves to voters and craft a positive image as the campaign approaches the first debates next week. Some of them have been encouraged by the upward tick in polls experienced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., since she began releasing a blizzard of plans for her administration.
Klobuchar promised that on her first day in office she would return the United States to the Paris climate agreement and start nominating judges to fill court vacancies. Her first international trips would be to Canada and Europe, and she promised to visit troops serving in combat zones within her first 100 days.
Like many candidates for president, Klobuchar plans to quickly roll back dozens of actions taken by Trump and his administration, once again allowing trade with and travel to Cuba, increasing the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States, encouraging scientific research, restoring several councils that Trump disbanded, allowing transgender individuals to freely serve in the military and protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation, among other things. She also promised to resume some initiatives that were started during the Obama administration.
When it comes to working with Congress, Klobuchar said that within her first 100 days she would introduce legislation to better secure U.S. elections, prevent gun violence, invest more heavily in education, address climate change, expand Medicare or Medicaid to create a public health-care option and reform the immigration system. During her first year as president, Klobuchar said, she wants Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination based on gender identity, sex or sexual orientation, and enact comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and additional border security. Klobuchar also called for a repeal of parts of the 2017 Republican tax reform law.
Klobuchar plans to issue executive orders that would make cybersecurity a priority, forbid the separation of migrant children from their parents at the southern border, bar abusive dating partners from buying or owning firearms, and require an annual report on military and Central Intelligence Agency strikes that occur outside of war zones and the deaths that result.
On the criminal justice front, Klobuchar said she would direct the Department of Justice to phase out its use of private prisons and focus on challenging racially discriminatory voting laws, aggressively enforcing antitrust laws and prosecuting those who have committed white-collar, corporate crime and tax fraud. She would also direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand the care provided to the newborn babies of female veterans; the Internal Revenue Service to require tax-exempt organizations that advocate for issues to disclose individual donors who contribute more than $5,000 per year; and the Department of Education to hold for-profit colleges accountable, prevent the expansion of private-school vouchers and remind universities of their obligation to protect students from sexual violence.
Klobuchar said she plans to expand the list with more goals provided by voters.
This article was written by Jenna Johnson, a reporter for The Washington Post.