WASHINGTON (CNN) – Next week Al Franken comes to the nation's capital to take his seat as his state's junior U.S. senator. So where does the Minnesota Democrat stand on some of the major issues the Senate will be grappling with this year?
Here's a look:
HEALTH CARE REFORM
According to his senate campaign, Franken supports universal health care. He backs requiring states to cover their citizens, with the federal government providing the necessary funding. Franken supports requiring states to cover all children up to 18 with Medicare-style single payer system health care.
Franken supports an "Apollo project" on renewable energy, which calls for a comprehensive economic investment strategy to build a clean energy economy and cut energy bills for American families and businesses. He supports additional research and funding for alternative energy sources such as corn, soy, wind and solar power. Franken also backs increased CAFE standards for vehicles and calls for additional funding, research for energy efficiency programs and light rail.
Franken supports "comprehensive immigration reform," which includes creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements. He backs stronger fines and incarceration for employers who hire undocumented workers. Franken calls for tamper-proof worker identification cards. Franken opposes mass deportation of illegal immigrants and supports guest worker programs for seasonal jobs. He wants to work with Mexico to improve its economic conditions to reduce incentive for illegal immigrants to come to the United States.
Franken will sit on the Judiciary Committee, so he's expected to take part in the confirmation hearing of Sonya Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. The hearing is expected to begin on July 13. Following the president's nomination of Sotomayor, Franken released a statement saying, "I look forward to joining my colleagues as we examine Judge Sotomayor's qualifications carefully before confirmation. However, it is already clear that President Obama has chosen a remarkable jurist with an impressive record of accomplishment and a life story with which working families can identify."
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