Senator Klobuchar believes that we must do more to create opportunities for all Americans to serve their country and their communities. As President, she will build on her record in the Senate of strong support for our national service programs by:
Investing in AmeriCorps, a Climate Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Peace Corps
- Investing in and expanding AmeriCorps and fulfilling the promise of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which Senator Klobuchar has supported in the Senate to increase the number of AmeriCorps national service positions from 75,000 to 250,000 every year. In addition to expanding paid service opportunities, Senator Klobuchar will also make sure opportunities are targeted toward high school students, community college students with 1- or 2-year degrees, and students with vocational and technical certifications. She will also allow AmeriCorps members to serve longer terms, as well as work to expand and update their living allowances and education awards, including making the AmeriCorps Education Award tax free.
- Recruiting an additional 50,000 people for a Climate Civilian Conservation Corps run through AmeriCorps.* This new program will address the impacts of climate change and create the climate resilience workforce of the future. This Corps will engage more Americans in preserving our environment, maintaining at-risk infrastructure due to climate change, investing in natural resources and public lands, and working at the local level to put our country on a path to achieving 100% net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
- Continuing her strong advocacy for the Peace Corps. Building on her work in the Senate, Senator Klobuchar will increase investments in the Peace Corps and build on successful recent reforms to expand and improve recruitment.
Establishing National Volunteer Programs
- Establishing a part-time volunteer national service program to create opportunities for Americans to receive emergency response and disaster-relief training and work with local government to address challenges facing their communities.
- Expanding the National Care Corps to address the country’s growing caregiving needs while supporting volunteers with benefits and resources to pay future education costs or loans. This proposal is similar to a bill Senator Klobuchar helped introduce with Senators Udall and Heinrich, the Care Corps Demonstration Act of 2018, and builds on a program by the Administration for Community Living.
Fixing and Expanding Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Loan forgiveness can be a powerful tool to help encourage recent graduates and current students to enter public service, but the current Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is broken. Senator Klobuchar has previously announced her plan to completely overhaul the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to expand eligibility, require lenders to provide better information to borrowers about their eligibility and progress toward forgiveness, allow borrowers more flexibility to meet the program requirements, and streamline reporting and verification requirements.
To pay for these investments, Senator Klobuchar will pass bipartisan legislation she has introduced in the Senate to reduce single use drug waste. For example an October 2017 investigation concluded that many pharmaceutical companies manufacture individual eye-drops in over-sized doses, in some cases more than twice what the eye can hold, which results in both drug waste and excess spending. Senator Klobuchar’s bill requires the Food and Drug Administration to develop a plan to reduce this type of drug waste and better manage costs with respect to drug vial sizes and other drug delivery systems like eye-drops. A 2016 study found that about $3 billion a year is spent on unused cancer drugs in the United States and a Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Report found that, among the 20 single-use vial drugs with the highest amounts of identifiable Medicare Part B reimbursement for discarded drugs, $195 million was reimbursed between 2013–2014 for medication that was discarded.
* This climate national service program is based off of an idea put forward by Governor Jay Inslee.