Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar criticized President Donald Trump over the nearly monthlong federal shutdown as she delivered the Weekly Democratic Address.
“We ask the president to come back to the table, and to stop holding the hardworking people of America hostage by requiring them to pay ransom to reopen their government,” Klobuchar said in a transcript of the address released Friday by her office. “Especially after we already passed bills to reopen the government and to help secure our borders.”
The weekly address is a longstanding Washington tradition, given by a member of the party opposing the president, who also delivers a weekly address.
Klobuchar used this week’s address to call the shutdown responsible for “unnecessary anxiety and unwarranted chaos.” She highlighted a Department of Agriculture employee from Minnesota who wrote Klobuchar a letter about working without pay during the shutdown.
“ ‘My funds are exhausted,’ she says, ‘At this point in time, I don’t have the money to pay for my mortgage or for child care for my daughter,’ ” Klobuchar quotes her as writing.
Klobuchar also urged GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up government funding bills passed by the Democratic House.
“Why? Because in the week of Martin Luther King’s birthday, we remember the words of Dr. King: ‘the time is always right to do what is right,’ ” Klobuchar said in the address.
Klobuchar, just reelected to a third term in Minnesota, is weighing a run for president. She is expected to announce her plans soon, and said this week that her family is on board should she decide to run. She is also appearing this Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where she is certain to be asked again about her presidential ambitions.
On Friday night, she received a standing ovation following brief remarks at Keith Ellison’s community inaugural celebration in south Minneapolis. Klobuchar declined to provide details about when she might announce if she’s running, instead saying, “Stay tuned.”
If she jumps in the race, can we expect the announcement to be made in Minnesota?
“I would think that would be a very good thing to do,” she said with a smile.
Staff writer Liz Sawyer contributed to this report. Patrick Condon • 202-662-7452