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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Democratic party platform calls for $15 minimum wage in win for Sanders

    Democratic party platform calls for $15 minimum wage in win for Sanders

    Published July 09, 2016 FoxNews.com

    Sen. Bernie Sanders' effort to shape the Democratic Party's election platform scored a major victory Friday with the approval of an amendment calling for increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

    The self-described "democratic socialist" from Vermont had repeatedly called for the increase during his surprisingly strong campaign for the Democratic nomination. His opponent, presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, had backed a $12 minimum wage, while saying she approved a $15 minimum wage in certain places.


    An early draft of the platform contained language more consistent with Clinton’s position, saying that “Americans should earn at least $15 an hour” without explicitly calling for that to be the new federal minimum.


    However, the party's 187-member Platform Committee approved an amendment saying an increase from the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour to $15 should happen “over time."


    Sanders supporter Benjamin Jealous, a former NAACP president who serves as a member of the committee, called the amendment "a victory for the Bernie Sanders campaign and for working people across the country."

    Still, Sanders' supporters want more changes before the platform committee completes its work Saturday.

    Many were wearing stickers stressing that they want the platform to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Clinton has come out against but Obama supports. They also want a carbon tax to address climate change and seek a freeze on hydraulic fracking.


    The roughly 15,000-word platform is a nonbinding document that serves as a guidepost for the party. After the Orlando meeting, the document will be voted on at the convention in Philadelphia this month. The draft under review already shows Sanders' influence, as it endorses steps to break up large Wall Street banks and urges an end to the death penalty.

    Also on Friday night, the committee narrowly backed an amendment to strike mentions of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's name in the platform.

    The Sanders and Clinton campaigns are still discussing policy areas where they can reach agreement, including ways to expand access to health care coverage. Clinton's campaign outlined plans earlier this week to expand college affordability and place a three-month moratorium on student loan payments, a proposal that was developed with the Sanders campaign.

    For many Democrats, the endorsement is overdue.

    Sanders' reluctance to endorse Clinton drew catcalls from Democratic lawmakers during a private meeting this week. While he has hung back, other party leaders have coalesced around Clinton.

    "He ran a remarkable campaign; he didn't win," said Bob Shrum, a longtime Democratic strategist and politics professor at the University of Southern California. "Hillary Clinton and her campaign have handled him very well. I think the time is coming to resolve this and to prepare for a convention where hopefully he will give a powerful speech."

    Back in 2008, after a bruising primary race against then-Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton ended her presidential bid and endorsed him in a speech on June 7. The two then campaigned together in Unity, N.H., three weeks later. Asked Wednesday why he was not doing the same, Sanders told CNN he was working to ensure "we have the strongest Democratic platform out there that represents working families, and we have made good progress on that."

    Sanders could take these issue fights to the Democratic convention and his campaign is making sure it is ready to do so. His aides stress his millions of votes and his highly motivated delegates to the convention. Still, Clinton will have more delegates in attendance.

    "He's earned the right to stay on the clock," said Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, a Sanders delegate who has endorsed Clinton since she became the presumptive nominee. Sanders' presence and voice, Grijalva said, will be important to unity.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016...r-sanders.html

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Sanders takes aim at Democratic platform
    Politico‎ - 1 day ago

    Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Sanders both oppose TPP, but only ...

    Democratic platform fight over TPP will show what democracy we really have
    The Hill‎ - 2 days ago

    Ahead of Democratic Platform Meeting, Warren Urges Opposition to TPP Trade Deal
    NBCNews.com‎ - 2 days ago

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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    In platform fight, Sanders loses on trade but wins on minimum wage

    By Eric Bradner, CNN

    Updated 1:36 PM ET, Sat July 9, 2016

    Orlando, Florida (CNN)Hillary Clinton supporters rejected an effort by Bernie Sanders' allies Saturday to add explicit opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal to the Democratic Party's 2016 platform.

    The setback for Sanders comes after he succeeded in getting the party to support a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage, a major priority for his campaign.

    Sanders supporters shouted "shame!" and "fake progressive!" at Clinton backers on the Democratic National Committee's platform panel here as the party met to finalize its official positions on issues ahead of its convention later this month in Philadelphia.


    Some vowed to force a vote on the convention floor on whether to oppose the trade pact in the party's platform.


    It was the biggest point of contention between the two camps, and comes just days before a possible Clinton and Sanders joint event in New Hampshire, where the Vermont senator could endorse his primary rival.


    "If it were not for the Sanders campaign, we wouldn't even be having this conversation," said pro-Sanders delegate Cornel West, the civil rights activist and philosopher. "We don't want window dressing in talking about working people."


    By keeping specific opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership out of the platform, Democrats avoided embarrassing President Barack Obama, whose administration has spent most of his two terms negotiating the massive, 12-nation trade deal.


    However, the decision also opens up Clinton and other Democrats to questions about whether their opposition to the Pacific Rim pact is sincere.


    It's a politically precarious position as presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump turns decades of Republican pro-trade orthodoxy on its head, regularly railing against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other free trade deals on the campaign trail.


    Democrats approved an amendment to the platform proposed by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union president Lee Saunders, which laid out priorities for trade deals to address, including labor policy, the environment and currency manipulation. "These are standards all Democrats believe should be applied to all trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership," the amendment said.


    But when Ben Jealous, the pro-Sanders delegate and former head of the NAACP, sought a tweak to Saunders' proposal that would have explicitly stated that those reasons are why Democrats oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he ran into opposition, as Clinton's camp -- supporting the White House, and led on the floor by Saunders -- called it unnecessary.


    Jealous pointed to Trump's stance, saying Democrats face something "we have never seen before -- which is a Republican opponent who intends to run clearly against the TPP."


    "We must empower every representative of the Democratic Party to speak clearly against the TPP," he said.


    Jealous added: "Hillary is against the TPP. Bernie is against the TPP. Let's not be bureaucrats -- let's be leaders."


    None of the pro-Clinton Democrats spoke in favor of the trade deal.


    Instead, Saunders sought to cast the party as already unified on trade -- even as he opposed the Jealous language.


    "We have to open opposition to TPP from both of our candidates running for president of the United States.

    For once -- for once -- all Democratic candidates and labor are of one view: No on TPP," Saunders said.


    Minutes later, another pro-Sanders delegate, Jim Hightower, proposed an amendment that specifically denounces the Trans-Pacific Partnership and says Democrats will oppose giving it a vote -- even in a lame-duck session of Congress before the next president is sworn in. That, too, was rejected.


    It led more than a dozen furious Sanders supporters to walk out of the meeting.


    "You don't care about the people!" one shouted.


    The trade fight likely isn't over. Sanders supporter Jonathan Tasini said "there's absolutely no doubt" that his side will file a "minority report" calling for a vote against the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

    That mechanism, which Sanders has enough votes to use, will force another trade debate, with all of the convention's delegates able to vote.


    Sanders prevails on minimum wage



    The trade battle was one major loss in a weekend that has included several victories for Sanders.

    Democrats amended their platform late Friday to call for a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage -- a Sanders priority from the outset of his 2016 campaign.


    The amendment calls for the change "over time" -- less specific language than Sanders had wanted, making it a concession for Clinton.


    But it is much more specific than the previous draft of the platform, which said Americans "should earn more than $15 an hour" but didn't mention the federal minimum wage specifically.


    The amendment calling for the $15-an-hour federal minimum wage was introduced by former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Sanders supporter.


    Mary Kay Henry, the international president of the Service Employees International Union, proposed adding language that included the phrase "over time."


    Both were adopted without a fight -- the product of hours of negotiations between the Clinton and Sanders camps at an Orlando hotel on the first day of the two-day meeting.


    The minimum wage language pushes Clinton left of the position she's taken on the campaign trail. She has supported a $12-an-hour federal minimum wage, as well as local efforts to set higher minimum wages in places like New York and California.


    Clinton on Saturday also expressed support for expanding taxpayer-funded health insurance, in a nod to the desires of Sanders' supporters. She affirmed support for the so-called "public option," which would expand health insurance coverage beyond the current provisions in Obamacare.


    Clinton has supported the public option for decades. But she ran in the Democratic primary as a candidate who wanted to expand Obamacare and used Sanders' support for a public option against him, saying it would be too costly and run into interference from Republican governors.


    "We have more work to do to finish our long fight to provide universal, quality, affordable health care to everyone in America," Clinton said in a statement released by her campaign. "Already, the Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage to 20 million Americans. As president, I will make sure Republicans never succeed in their attempts to strip away their care and that the remaining uninsured should be able to get the affordable coverage they need to stay healthy."


    Clinton also called for allowing people 55 years and older to be able to enroll in Medicare. Currently, the typical age for enrollment is 65.


    On a conference call, Sanders called it "an important step forward in expanding health care in America and expanding health insurance and health care access to tens of millions of Americans. I congratulate Secretary Clinton for this extremely important initiative. It will save lives, it will ease suffering."


    Still up at the Democratic platform meeting in Orlando are potentially contentious fights over issues like fracking and a carbon tax.


    The platform gathering in Orlando comes ahead of Sanders' expected joint appearance with Clinton in New Hampshire on Tuesday.


    Asked whether that meeting would happen, and whether there are plans for further joint events, Sanders said: "We look forward to continue working with the Clinton campaign and we'll have more to say as to where we go forward in the near future."

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/09/politi...llary-clinton/

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  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    JUL 10 2016, 1:30 PM ET

    Democrats Advance Most Progressive Platform in Party History

    by ALEX SEITZ-WALD

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Democrats this weekend advanced what is easily their most liberal platform ever as representatives of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton strove toward unity during a sometimes contentious party meeting.

    The draft platform, which still needs to be ratified at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia later this month, showed Sanders' clear influence, even though he lost a battle on his top priority: opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


    "We are proud of the work that Democrats did in Orlando and for coming together to further strengthen the most progressive platform in the history of our party," said Clinton senior policy adviser Maya Harris as the two-day Platform Committee meeting wrapped up late Saturday night.

    Play


    The document goes further left than Clinton's position on a number of issues, with Sanders policy director Warren Gunnells saying his campaign achieved "at least 80 percent" of what it came for. "I think if you read the platform right now, you will understand that the political revolution is alive and kicking," he said.
    And both campaigns used the platform process to find common ground, moving ahead with plans for Sanders to endorse Clinton at an event in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

    But just as the meeting was coming to a harmonious close came a reminder of the work left to do. Sanders supporters in the audience, many of whom will be delegates to the national convention, erupted in protest and shouted down an amendment to call Clinton the party's nominee.


    Sanders campaign officials had signed off on the language, which also praised Sanders, but its sponsors decided to withdraw the unity plank given the uproar from the gallery.


    Still, both campaigns left Orlando feeling good about the document they produced and optimistic about their ability to work together to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.


    At least two process issues still remain.


    Sanders has 48 hours to decide whether he'll demand a vote at the Democratic National Convention on any of the amendments he lost. Sanders delegates signed petitions to start that process, but Gunnells said forcing a floor vote was "the last thing on my mind."


    And both campaigns will have to work through an entirely separate process on party rules ahead of the convention, where Sanders will push to eliminate superdelegates.


    Related: Democrats' Platform Calls for End to Death Penalty


    Clinton won the nomination and now effectively controls the party, but it was Sanders who drove the process in Orlando. While many questioned his decision to stay in the primary race long after losing the nomination, none of the progress of his ideas on the platform would have happened if he had dropped out.


    Party platforms are unenforceable message documents that are generally ignored almost as quickly as they're written. Democrats have not had a contested platform process since 1988 or one fought in the open like this since 1980.


    While critics scoffed at the attention to a platform this year, both campaigns, along with President Obama's administration, clearly thought it was important enough to take seriously.


    Delegates fought over details as they worked into the wee hours of the morning over two days, debating the substance and morality of every public policy question under the sun as a boisterous galley cheered and booed from the back of the room.


    And if nothing else, Sanders allies say they will use the document to press Clinton to follow through on the promises codified there if she wins the presidency.


    "Now, let's put in place a president that can actually deliver on this -- and then let's make sure that she does," said Sanders backer Ben Jealous, the former president of the NAACP.


    One of the Clinton campaign's main concerns seemed to be preventing the platform from containing anything that Republicans could construe as a major tax increase. They opposed taxing carbon, single-payer health care and eliminating the Social Security tax cap.

    Play

    Sanders' team came into Florida with a number of wins secured in an earlier round of platform drafting on Wall Street reform, Social Security expansion and opposition to the death penalty.

    His biggest win came Friday night, when the Clinton campaign agreed to a plank raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and indexing it to inflation.


    His biggest loss came the next morning, when Democrats twice voted down a plank opposing the TPP, a massive trade pact that Sanders says is bad for workers, substituting it with language calling for tough standards on new trade deals.


    Meanwhile, both sides came together to unanimously pass a strong criminal justice plank and an aggressive climate plan that calls for putting a price on carbon.


    Clinton aides were quick to note, however, that the presumptive Democratic nominee does not actually support carbon pricing, saying she prefers executive actions that don't require congressional approval. "It's not her plan," said Clinton energy adviser Trevor Houser.


    Democrats approved compromise language on fracking that allows federal, state and local government to apply more regulations, while stopping short of the outright ban Sanders sought.


    The climate section earned the strong backing of Sanders-aligned environmentalists like filmmaker Josh Fox and Bill McKibben.


    The process was uneven at times, as leaders stumbled through the rules, reflecting their unfamiliarity with a process that has not been used in years. At times, the heated debate felt farcical, like when delegates debated whether to call the Dodd-Frank financial reform law merely "landmark" or "landmark and historic."


    Meanwhile, Sanders allies won an accidental victory when the committee approved -- by a single vote -- a plank to include a "reasoned pathway for future legalization" of marijuana. (Clinton supports medical marijuana and rescheduling the drug, but not legalization.)


    Several delegates had apparently misplaced the devices they used to vote. But after much discussion, Clinton delegates allowed the vote to stand -- a move that earned one of the loudest cheers of the entire meeting.


    However, Sanders lost several key votes beyond TPP.


    Issues concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stirred the most passion from observers, with police officers wading into the audience at several points as activists shouted at the delegates.


    A Sanders-backed measure to "end the occupation" of Palestinians failed, as did one calling for an international effort to rebuild the Gaza Strip.


    Sanders also lost a vote on an amendment calling for a ban to so-called "revolving doors" between the government and the private sector.


    For both sides, the platform process was about making sure Sanders supporters felt heard. Clinton needs their votes in November, and Sanders needed to bring home some spoils to his supporters to justify his campaign.

    They mostly succeeded, but as the opposition in the room and on social media showed, there may be some who never come on board.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016...istory-n606646

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  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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