Presidential hopeful Klobuchar woos rural votes, vows help for farmers
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[August 07, 2019]
By Sharon Bernstein
(Reuters) - U.S. presidential hopeful Amy
Klobuchar on Wednesday will propose help for American farmers including
looser restrictions on biofuels and student loan forgiveness, the latest
effort by a Democratic candidate to woo rural voters who backed
Republican Donald Trump.
Klobuchar, a senator from Minnesota, is one of two dozen Democrats
seeking the party's nomination to face Trump in the 2020 presidential
In delivering a sweeping plan to support farming communities, she joins
candidates including South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Montana
Governor Steve Bullock and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper in
reaching out to rural voters, many of whom favored Trump in 2016.
Klobuchar's plan, to be unveiled in a speech in the farm state of Iowa
on Wednesday, would expand federal commodity price supports and federal
crop insurance programs, while also promising to fight the consolidation
that is eating up many small farms.
Without directly mentioning the tit-for-tat trade war the Trump
administration is waging with China that has hurt many American farmers,
she promised to lower barriers to agricultural trade and review all
Her plan will also call for a loan forgiveness program for students who
study agriculture and work in rural areas, according to a draft seen by
Reuters on Tuesday night.
In addition to support for farmers, the plan also calls for repair of
rural bridges and a modernization program for locks controlling the flow
of water through the Mississippi river.
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Democratic 2020 presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Amy
Klobuchar gestures as she speaks at the UnidosUS Annual Conference,
in San Diego, California, U.S., August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
In a move that may anger environmentalists, Klobuchar also calls for
allowing more ethanol, the automobile fuel additive made from corn,
to be used in U.S. cars during the summer.
The high-level mixture was banned during the summer by the
administration of former President Barack Obama because of air
quality concerns. The Trump administration has moved to allow it,
and Klobuchar said she would push for legislation to permanently
keep more of the corn-based fuel in the mix.
Her plan also calls for improvements in rural health care and
broadband internet access for all communities, both issues of
longtime concern for residents who do not live in urban areas.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California; Editing by
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