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Klobuchar says English should not be US national language, reversing from prior vote

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after pushback from Klobuchar, Lee Lobbying world MORE (D-Minn.) says that English should not be the official language of the U.S., a reversal from a vote she cast more than a decade ago.

At a campaign event in Las Vegas on Friday, Klobuchar said she has now “taken a strong position against” the English-language amendment, which she voted for in 2007, according to The Associated Press.

Klobuchar was one of 17 Senate Democrats to vote for the amendment, which would have reversed an executive order by former President Clinton that required government materials to be provided in languages other than English.

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Her shift on the issue comes a week before the Democratic caucuses in Nevada, which has a significant Latino population and where she polls at about 10 percent support.

“I think that when you look at a state like this state, and a country like ours that is so diverse, you don’t want to have that provision in law because then it would be very difficult to have, say, government documents and other things translated into other languages,” she said Friday, according to the AP. “So that is not a position I take. I did vote that way, but way back then, along with many other people.”

Klobuchar is competing with former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegWhite House says gas tax won't be part of infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations Senate Republicans label Biden infrastructure plan a 'slush fund' MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Democrats to offer bill to expand Supreme Court Former Israeli prime minister advises Iran to 'cool down' amid nuclear threats MORE for support from moderate voters in the Democratic race following her third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary earlier this week.

On Thursday, Klobuchar received subtle criticism from Buttigieg, who, without mentioning her, pointed out that "some of those same voices" from Washington who criticize his campaign also voted to confirm former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, who presided over family separation policies at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBernie Sanders says he disagrees with Tlaib's call for 'no more police' Briahna Joy Gray: IRS needs proper enforcement mechanisms to tax wealthy Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenForgiving K in school loans would free 36 million student borrowers from debt: data IRS chief warns of unpaid taxes hitting trillion Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  MORE (D-Mass.) — the only other senators still in the race — did not vote to confirm McAleenan.

Klobuchar responded by telling the AP she “vehemently” disagrees with Trump’s immigration policies while noting that McAleenan was recommended by former Obama administration officials and other Democrats. 

The Klobuchar campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.