To the Editor

As Minnesota families celebrate the new year, I want to reflect on everything we achieved together in 2023 and look forward to the year ahead. Despite a divided Congress, we worked across the aisle and made progress on a range of issues impacting our state. Through my visits to all of Minnesota’s 87 counties last year, I got to see that progress firsthand. I’m going to build on that momentum in 2024.

Minnesota is a true economic hub for our country. That’s why I fought to secure federal funding for projects like the new Highway 14 in Southern Minnesota — which was completed late last year — and the Moorhead 11th Street underpass project. These investments will keep our state competitive for generations to come, but I know there’s still work to do. I’m focused on making sure Minnesota gets its fair share of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law so we can get proposed infrastructure projects — from widening Highway 212 in Carver County to replacing the Blatnik Bridge up north — across the finish line. 

We can’t talk about infrastructure without also talking about broadband. Right now, 136,000 Minnesota homes and small businesses don’t have high-speed internet. That’s why I led the legislation to bring broadband to every zip code, and in 2023, Minnesota received a game-changing $650 million federal grant to make this a reality.

I’m also devoted to lowering costs for families. After years of effort, Congress finally passed my legislation to end the sweetheart deal that let Big Pharma rip off seniors by charging sky-high prices for prescription drugs. Negotiations for lower prices have already begun on ten of the most common — and most expensive — drugs on the market. Seniors taking Eliquis, Xarelto, Jardiance, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, as well as any Fiasp and NovoLog insulin products could see lower prices for these life-saving drugs by 2025. Last year, a combined 9 million seniors shelled out $3.4 billion for just these ten drugs, and as a result of drug price negotiation, American taxpayers will save an estimated $281 billion over the next decade. 

Empowering Medicare to bring down drug prices will make a world of difference in cost of living for our seniors, and I want more savings to kick in as soon as possible. That’s why I’m working to pass my new bill to double the number of drugs subject to price negotiation each year — because no American should be forced to choose between filling their prescriptions and filling their refrigerator. 

Additionally, I want to expand access to affordable child care. From southwestern Minnesota to the North Shore, I hear about this issue from families across our state. Minnesota is making progress — I visited brand-new, innovative child care centers in Redwood Falls, Morris, and Perham last year — but there’s still more to do. That’s why I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen our child care workforce and build out facilities in child care deserts. I’m also fighting to restore the federal grants that kept child care centers open during the pandemic.

I also remain laser-focused on keeping families safe. I believe we need funding for and changes to our border security, as well as measures to go after the scourge of fentanyl coming into our country, including the bipartisan legislation we passed in the Senate to help halt the flow of illegal drugs. Additionally, I’m leading several other bipartisan bills to crack down on online drug dealing and hold social media companies accountable when illegal drugs are sold over their platforms. 

But we can still do more on public safety — it’s a top priority for me as we head into 2024. That’s why I’ll keep working to bolster law enforcement’s ability to investigate violent crimes like carjackings and fentanyl trafficking. I also want to ensure that emergency medical services don’t leave rural Minnesota behind — it’s unacceptable that towns are at risk of reduced ambulance service due to high operating costs and insufficient funding. We need to bolster federal support for rural EMS — because your zip code should never stand in the way of life-saving care. 

This year, I’m hopeful that Congress can work together to build on the progress we made in 2023 and address the challenges ahead. You can rest assured that I’ll keep reaching across the aisle to deliver real results for Minnesota, whether it be critical investments in affordable housing and child care or a strong Farm Bill that strengthens rural economies across our state. 

From my family to yours, I wish you all a happy, healthy new year.

Senator Amy Klobuchar

United States Senate