Klobuchar said her “number one focus is getting us through and out of this pandemic, bar none,” which Democrats hope the $1.9 trillion stimulus package will help achieve. But she’s also looking ahead on infrastructure, including access to broadband, and says spending there would help Minnesota, given the hit to rural areas during the pandemic.
Her effort to bridge the digital divide, alongside House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, is dubbed the “Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act.”
The two prominent Democrats had joined together on an earlier version of the legislation last year that failed to become law after it passed the House in a larger package. Klobuchar’s office says of the more than $94 billion in the bill, $80 billion would be steered to roll out the much-needed infrastructure for high-speed internet across the country.
While South Carolina and Minnesota have many differences, Klobuchar notes that both states have rural communities where broadband is lacking. To the senator, such a significant investment could create better outcomes in areas like education and health.