Democratic Party Platform 2016

These are the key points of the 2016 Democratic Party Platform:

These platform positions are expanded in further detail below (further reading):

Raise income and restore economic security for the middle class

  • Raise working wages to at least $15 per hour
  • Raise federal minimum wage to $15 an hour
  • Make it easier to join/form a union
  • Oppose “right to work”
  • Favors seven days of paid sick leave per year
  • Favors 12 weeks of paid leave for maternity care or to care for a sick relative
  • Incentivize companies to share profits with employees
  • Expand access to affordable housing and home ownership
  • Increase funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and other federal housing programs
  • Protect and expand social security by increasing taxes on those who earn more than $250,000
  • Favors securing pensions and upholding the “conflict of interest” rule for senior financial advisors
  • Revitalize the US Postal Service

Create good-paying jobs (top)

  • Make huge investments in infrastructure modernization/revitalization
  • Create an independent national infrastructure bank
  • Support the Export-Import Bank
  • Incentivize American manufacturing
  • Invest in industrial energy efficiency
  • Invest in science, research, education, and technology
  • Invest in a 5G wireless system
  • Support a free and open internet; net neutrality
  • Support legal challenges for intellectual property rights
  • Support funding for NASA
  • Decrease regulations on small businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Increase small business loans
  • Provide federal funding for youth jobs programs

Fight for economic fairness and against inequality (top)

  • Supports stronger criminal laws and civil penalties for financial crimes
  • Extend the statute of limitations for financial fraud
  • Increase funding to federal agencies charged with combating financial crime
  • Support, implement, enforce, and improve Dodd-Frank
  • Supports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created by Dodd-Frank
  • Supports the notion that banks should not pose an undue risk to the public
  • Favors empowering regulators to downsize or break apart banks when necessary
  • Favors an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall
  • Favors banning golden parachutes for former finance professionals taking government positions
  • Prevent undue influence of major corporations, monopolies, and price fixing
  • Take away tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas, as well as for large oil and gas companies
  • Favors a multimillionaire surtax
  • Favors closing tax loopholes on the wealthy and hedge fund profits
  • Favors tax breaks for middle-class families
  • Opposes special privileges and private courts for corporations regarding trade
  • Opposes trade agreements that would not raise wages and improve national security
  • Opposes trade agreements that prevent any government from protecting the environment or health
  • Does not specifically oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Bring Americans together and remove barriers to opportunities (top)

  • Supports removing the Confederate flag from public properties
  • Supports ending racism
  • Favors closing the racial wealth gap
  • Favors criminal justice reform
  • Favors national use-of-force guidelines and body cameras for police
  • Opposes racial profiling
  • Favors DOJ investigations for every questionable shooting
  • Favors improving the standards of public defenders
  • Pledges to end “policing for profit”
  • Favors “banning the box” that asks about a criminal record on job applications
  • Proposes to prioritize prevention and treatment for drug use over arrests
  • Remove marijuana from the Schedule 1 list of drugs, and create an eventual path to legalization
  • Abolish the death penalty
  • Support legal immigration within reasonable limits
  • Repeal 3-to-10-year bars on immigration for those who overstay their visa
  • Defend and support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA)
  • Support efforts to make illegal immigrants covered under the DREAM Act eligible for driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition
  • Prioritize deportations for those who have a criminal record
  • Ensure due process for those fleeing violence in Central America
  • Favors comprehensive immigration reform, and in the meantime allowing illegal immigrants to buy into healthcare through the Affordable Care Act
  • Favors ending government contracts with for-profit prisons
  • Opposes discrimination based on intolerance
  • Fight to end gender discrimination
  • Fight for LGBT rights
  • Fulfill the Americans with Disabilities Act and work for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Support and strengthen AmeriCorps
  • Invest in rural America
  • Promote environmentally sustainable agricultural practices
  • Supports stronger agricultural worker protection and the EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard
  • Expand the New Markets Tax Credits to rural small businesses
  • End poverty and invest in communities left behind, such as on the 10-20-30 model
  • Protect programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Expand the earned-income tax credit
  • Expand and make permanent the New Markets Tax Credit
  • Supports the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Honor indigenous tribal nations, such as by streamlining the land-into-trust process
  • Reauthorize the Indian Housing Block Grant Program
  • Fully fund the Bureau of Indian Education
  • Strengthen tribal sovereignty
  • Favors fully funding the Indian Health Service
  • Favors the Indian Child Welfare Act
  • Proposes an annual White House Tribal Nations Conference
  • Support the self-governance of native Hawaiians
  • Puerto Ricans should be treated equally by Medicare and Medicaid
  • Supports the right to self determination for Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Protect voting rights, fix the campaign finance system, and restore democracy (top)

  • Restore the full protection of the Voting Rights Act
  • Fully fund the Help America Vote Act
  • Supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United
  • Increase transparency of campaign contributions
  • Favors eliminating super PACs
  • Favors securing statehood for Washington DC
  • Opposes privatization of the postal service, schools, and government services
  • Favors funding the US Census Bureau
  • Favors improving internet accessibility of the top-25 federal government programs

Combat climate change, build a clean energy economy, and secure environmental justice (top)

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent of 2005 levels by 2050
  • Limit global temperature increase to below 2 degrees C, with a goal of 1.5 degree C
  • Obtain 50 percent of America’s energy from clean sources by 2026
  • Create incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy
  • Supports the Clean Power Plan
  • Favors EPA regulation of fracking
  • Reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas production to at least 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2025
  • Opposes the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Believes clean air and clean water are basic rights of Americans
  • Favors making the eradication of lead poisoning a national priority
  • Favors DOJ investigation of corporations for possibly misleading shareholders about climate change
  • Proposes the establishment of an American Parks Trust Fund to expand recreational opportunities
  • Opposes oil drilling in the Arctic and off the Atlantic
  • Phase down extraction of fossil fuel from public lands
  • Supports the Endangered Species Act

Provide quality and affordable education (top)

  • Make college debt-free; working families should not have to pay to go to public colleges or universities
  • Make community colleges free
  • Provide debt relief for students with current loans – allow for refinancing at low interest rates and simplify income-based repayment
  • Proposes creating a student-borrower bill of rights
  • Supports the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
  • Support historically black colleges and universities
  • Support minority-serving colleges and universities
  • Crack down on predatory for-profit schools
  • Guarantee universal preschool
  • Invest in early childhood education programs like Early Head Start
  • Supports efforts to raise wages for early childhood educators
  • Invest in after school and summer learning programs
  • Work towards full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Opposes high-stakes standardized testing
  • Proposes a national campaign to recruit and retain high quality teachers
  • Opposed to opportunity gaps
  • Favors expanding Title I funding for schools
  • Oppose for-profit charter schools
  • Favors public charter schools as one option

Ensure the health and safety of all Americans (top)

  • Favors a public option for healthcare
  • Favors allowing those over 55 to opt-in to Medicare
  • Repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance
  • Opposes attempts to privatize, phase out, or voucherize Medicare
  • Favors implementing the ACA’s Medicaid expansion
  • Favors expanding funding for community health centers, community mental health centers, and family planning centers
  • Favors reducing prescription drug costs and capping monthly out-of-pocket expenses
  • Favors allowing importation of drugs by individuals and pharmacies from safe foreign pharmacies
  • Favors fully funding the National Institutes of Health
  • Favors full implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equality Act of 2008 to combat drug and alcohol addiction
  • Favors establishing preventative programs for drug and alcohol abuse
  • Favors a national initiative for suicide prevention
  • Favors a nationwide early screening program for autism
  • Favors mandating private insurance plans to cover autism treatments and services
  • Opposes attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood
  • Favors repealing the Hyde Amendment
  • Supports a woman’s right to safe reproductive healthcare
  • Support programs that allow elderly to receive home care as opposed to institutionalization
  • Protect and promote public health
  • End violence against women
  • Prevent gun violence
  • Expand and strengthen background checks for gun owners, as well as close certain loopholes
  • Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)

Provide principled leadership (top)

  • Military must be the strongest in the world
  • Military should only be sent into combat when the terms of engagement are clearly presented to the American people
  • War must always be the last resort

Support the troops and keep faith with veterans (top)

  • Supports a smart and predictable defense budget
  • Supports an audit of the Pentagon
  • Pledges to launch a review into the role of defense contractors
  • Advocates more educational benefits and job training programs for veterans
  • Preserve the GI Bill
  • Ensure member of the National Guard and reservists are not discriminated against in employment
  • Opposes privatizing the services of the VA
  • Pledges to fight for timely healthcare access for veterans
  • Pledges to promote military family-friendly policies
  • Supports the repealing of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
  • Supports the rights of LGBT service members and veterans
  • Favors increasing efforts to prevent sexual violence against women in the military

Confront global threats (top)

  • Pledges to defeat Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates abroad
  • Pledges to dismantle the global network of terror
  • Improve intelligence capabilities
  • Seek an updated Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)
  • Favors supporting a unified moderate Syrian opposition to end Assad’s government in Syria
  • Supports increased humanitarian assistance to civilians from Syria and Iraq
  • Supports a limited troop presence in Afghanistan through at least 2017
  • Bolster the Afghan government
  • Supports the nuclear agreement with Iran
  • Opposes Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East
  • Supports bolstering partners in the Persian Gulf
  • Press China to restrain North Korea
  • Provide incentives for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program
  • Stand up to Russian aggression
  • Protect industry, infrastructure, and government from cyber attacks
  • Build on the Cybersecurity National Action Plan
  • Opposes warrantless surveillance of American citizens
  • Pledges to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans
  • Supports the creation of a national commission on digital security and encryption
  • Pledges to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
  • Favors a new Nuclear Posture Review to appropriately shape the US nuclear deterrent
  • Pledges to reduce excessive spending on nuclear weapons-related programs
  • Pledges to make the US a leader in fighting global climate change

Protect values (top)

  • Advocate for the rights of women and girls around the world as a focal point of diplomacy
  • Pledges continued support for the United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security
  • Advocates the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • Supports sexual and reproductive rights throughout the world
  • Advocates repeal of the Helms Amendment
  • Believes that American foreign policy should advance the rights of LGBT people worldwide
  • Opposes human trafficking and modern slavery
  • Supports an international summit to address the refugee crisis
  • Advocates foreign policy that support civil rights in other countries
  • Supports the closing of offshore tax havens
  • Opposes torture as a means of interrogation
  • Favors closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility
  • Favors development assistance to end extreme poverty and hunger
  • Favors investments in global health to combat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis
  • Favors implementation of the National HIV and AIDS Strategy
  • Favors a cap for pharmaceutical expenses for people living with HIV and AIDS
  • Advocates using pressure to prevent poverty-wage, child, and slave labor in other countries from competing with American labor

Be a leader in the world (top)

  • Work with partners in the Asia Pacific
  • Honor defense commitment with Japan
  • Protect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea
  • Stand up to China on unfair trade practices, piracy, cyber attacks, and internet censorship
  • Supports a One China policy regarding Taiwan
  • Push for more inclusive governments in Iraq and Syria that respect their citizens’ rights
  • Provide support and security for Jordan and Lebanon
  • Maintain security cooperation with countries in the Persian Gulf
  • Supports a strong and secure Israel
  • Opposes the BDSM strategy or activism through the UN
  • Work towards a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine
  • Deter Russian aggression in Europe
  • Strengthen the security partnership with Turkey
  • End the division of Cyprus
  • Support countries that seek to strengthen ties with NATO including Georgia and Ukraine
  • Supports stabilization of the Northern Triangle in Central America
  • End the travel ban and embargo against Cuba
  • Push Venezuela to respect human rights
  • Supports efforts to improve democratic institutions in Haiti
  • Pledges to close the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas
  • Strengthen partnership with the African Union, emphasizing trade
  • Help African countries fight terrorism
  • Supports stronger bans on hunting trophy importation
  • Supports the UN as an amplifier of American strength throughout the world

Further Reading (top)

You may be interested in these contrasting articles:

All information about the content of the platform has been taken from the official 2016 Democratic Party Platform (official party website). Curious how effective the Democrats were at implementing their previous platform? Here is the 2012 Democratic Party Platform.

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