Committee and Subcommittee Assignments
Here is some information about the Senate Committees I serve on. – Al
Committee and Subcommittee Assignments
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP)
- Employment and Workplace Safety (Ranking Member)
- Children and Families
I guess the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee really isn't a big deal unless you care about little issues like health, education, labor and pensions. Ok, so it is a big deal. In fact being able to help Minnesotans with these issues is a big part of why I became a Senator. I want to help Minnesotans through every stage of their life. I want to give them the start they need, keep them healthy, make sure that they have the best education out there, protect them as workers, and make sure that they're taken care of when they retire. Being a member of the HELP Committee gives me a seat at the table so I can do just that, that's why it's so important to me. Reforming our broken health care system, investigating the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, and fixing the No Child Left Behind Act are just some of the issues we have addressed on this Committee.
Learn more about the Senate HELP Committee:
Committee on the Judiciary
- Privacy, Technology, and the Law (Ranking Member)
- Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights
- The Constitution
- Crime and Terrorism
- Immigration and the National Interest
The Judiciary Committee oversees important legal issues such as civil rights, consumer protection, crime, and judicial nominations. Most Senators on the Judiciary Committee are lawyers, but I'm not. So at first I thought it was unusual that I was appointed to Judiciary. But I did some research, and it turns out that most Minnesotans aren't lawyers either. So I decided to use my spot on this Committee to ask the common sense questions that regular Minnesotans would ask and ensure that someone was looking out for how these issues affect consumers, small businesses, and individuals' civil rights. It's actually a pretty great Committee for doing those things. My first week in the Senate I got a great chance to speak up for regular Minnesotans as part of the nomination hearing for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and I've since been involved in the discussion of how corporate donations will affect our American elections, and how the proposed NBC/Comcast merger is going to affect consumers.
I am the Ranking Member on the subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law which includes oversight of laws and policies governing the collection, protection, use, and dissemination of commercial information by the private sector, including online behavioral advertising; privacy within social networking websites and other online privacy issues; enforcement and implementation of commercial information privacy laws and policies; use of technology by the private sector to protect privacy, enhance transparency and encourage innovation; privacy standards for the collection, retention, use and dissemination of personally identifiable commercial information; and privacy implications of new or emerging technologies.
Learn more about the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Committee on Indian Affairs
Minnesota is home to 11 Indian reservations and I am proud to represent one of the largest American Indian communities in the country. As I've visited reservations and talked to tribes throughout Minnesota one thing is clear: there's a lot of work to be done and too few resources to do it. Indian affairs have not been the federal priority they need to be. And I intend to use my seat on the Indian Affairs Committee to change that. So far we've begun to tackle the trafficking of drugs and the trafficking of young Native women between urban areas and reservation land, the dilapidated state of reservation schools, and the need for improved access to health and dental services.
Learn more about the Senate Indian Affairs Committee:
http://indian.senate.gov/public/Committee on Indian Affairs
- Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
- Water and Power
I'm honored to serve on the Energy Committee, where my focus will be on promoting energy policies that create well-paying jobs, boost American innovation, and decrease our dependence on dirty energy sources. Minnesota is poised to be a global leader in clean energy, and I'm going to use this new position to do all that I can to promote Minnesota's wind and biofuels industries and bring clean-energy research and manufacturing jobs to the state. Since the cheapest energy is the energy we don't use, I'll also be working to improve our nation's energy efficiency in industry, buildings, and our transportation sector.
Learn more about the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: