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Klobuchar, Smith Statements on Confirmation of Jerry Blackwell to be U.S. District Court Judge

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) issued the following statements after the Senate confirmed Jerry Blackwell to serve as a United States District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota. Blackwell has more than three decades of legal experience and was highly recommended  by the judicial selection committee Senators Klobuchar and Smith convened to assist them in providing a recommendation to President Biden. “Jerry Blackwell is one of the most widely respected and accomplished members of the Minnesota legal community. With nearly 35 years of trial practice– including the successful prosecution of the murder of George Floyd – I’m confident he has the qualifications and experience needed to be an excellent U.S. District Court Judge,” said Klobuchar. “As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I fought to advance his nomination through the Senate, and I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their support of this outstanding nominee.” “Jerry Blackwell’s confirmation is an exciting event for Minnesota,” said Smith.“His dedication to equal justice and distinguished record as an attorney and leader in Minnesota’s legal community make him exceptionally well-qualified for this position, and I congratulate him on his confirmation.” Blackwell was appointed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General during the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Since 2005, he has also worked as a founding partner of Blackwell Burke P.A., where he has litigated numerous

Senator Smith, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill Giving Tribal Colleges and Universities a Stronger Voice in Education Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), along with U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jon Tester (D-Mon.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), introduced bipartisan legislation – the National Advisory Council on Indian Education Improvement Act – aimed at giving Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) greater input over federal funding and policymaking that impacts them. “Minnesota’s Tribal Colleges are important institutions that serve Native and non-Native students alike in some of the most impoverished and geographically isolated regions of the country,” said Smith. “These institutions deserve a seat at the table when federal agencies make decisions that impact them. I’m proud of this bipartisan effort to support TCUs and their students and look forward to getting this bill across the finish line.” “The 35 accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the U.S., which together form the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, commend Senators Fischer and Tester for their leadership in introducing this important legislation. The National Advisory Council on Indian Education Act will ensure Tribal College and University voices are included and supported throughout the council’s work, thereby strengthening the K-16 pathway for American Indian and Alaska Native students. We urge Congress to swiftly pass this much needed legislation,”said Carrie L. Billy, President and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. The National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE) advises the Secretaries of Education and Interior on programs serving Native students of all ages. NACIE releases an annual report, but neither Department has a process for considering NACIE’s

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pushes For Public Companies to Disclose Risks from Climate Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. [07/10/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced that she is pushing for new requirements for publicly traded companies to disclose critical information about how much they are contributing to climate change, including the extent of their greenhouse gas emissions and their exposure to climate risk. Originally introduced in 2018, the Climate Risk Disclosure Act will help investors appropriately assess climate-related risks, accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner and more efficient energy sources, and reduce the risks of both environmental and financial catastrophe.  It builds on the work of former Vice President Al Gore, who has warned that ignoring the risks of climate change is producing a “carbon bubble” that will have

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins Bipartisan Push to Expand U.S. Grain Exports to Canada

WASHINGTON, D.C. [07/09/19]— Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) joined a bipartisan group of Senators pushing Trump Administration trade officials to negotiate fewer restriction on U.S. grain exports to Canada under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA). The Senators pressed for action in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Gregg Doud. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) joined Sen. Smith on the letter. “The grain article in the agreement is a significant area of interest for North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana grain producers,” the senators wrote. “The ability for our growers to export wheat of domestic origin to

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Small Business Innovation with Energy Department National Labs

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/27/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) along with Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), James Risch (R-Ind.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced bipartisan legislation to allow small businesses to gain access to premier facilities at the Department of Energy (DOE) National Labs to spur innovation and the culture of private-public collaboration.   The Small Businesses Partnering with National Labs Act of 2019—which has a House companion bill introduced by Reps. Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.)—will allow small businesses to analyze the innovation potential of new technologies by accessing facilities and expertise at National Labs to

U.S. Senators Smith and Cramer Introduce Bold, Bipartisan Bill to Bring Down Cost of Insulin, Hold Manufacturers Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/27/19]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) introduced bipartisan legislation to bring down the cost of insulin and to hold insulin manufacturers accountable for excessive increases in the price of the life-sustaining medicine. The bill—announced last week in Minneapolis and introduced today in remembrance of Minnesotan Alec Smith, who tragically passed away two years ago today after rationing his insulin—would provide emergency access to insulin for people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and across the country who can’t afford the skyrocketing price of the drug that they need to stay alive. You can access a summary