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THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION

Comparing the Platforms

August 01, 2000

The Republican Party platform is expected to be approved today. Democrats will consider their platform when their convention begins Aug. 14 in Los Angeles. Brief summaries of some key proposals in both platforms:

Proposed Platforms

Abortion

Republican: Support a constitutional amendment that would ban abortions. Appoint anti-abortion judges.

Democratic: Support every woman's right to have an abortion, consistent with Roe vs. Wade and regardless of ability to pay.

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Defense

Republican: A robust missile defense system, withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty if Russia does not agree to changes. U.S. to take lead in reducing nuclear weapons.

Democratic: Support a tactical missile defense for U.S. forces but reject GOP's "unproven, expensive" national missile defense plan. Develop new weapons to maintain America's technological edge in defense. Engage former enemies, such as Russia, to promote safer, more stable world.

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Education

Republican: Children in "persistently failing" or dangerous schools could go to school of their parents' choice, or one that is safer. More charter schools. Flexibility in federal aid to states in return for progress in student achievement. Yet, a progressively limited federal role in education.

Democratic: Have fully qualified, well-trained teachers in every classroom--and every teacher should pass a rigorous test to get there. Every failing school in America should be turned around--or shut down and reopened as public school under new leadership. Make high-quality preschool fully available to every family in every community.

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Gay Rights

Republican: Agree that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. No special legal protection based on sexual preference. Support for Defense of Marriage Act.

Democratic: Continue to lead the fight to end discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation. Support continued efforts, such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to end workplace discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

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Social Security

Republican: Give people option of investing a portion of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts.

Democratic: Create Retirement Savings Plus--voluntary, tax-free savings accounts with a government match that help couples build a nest egg of up to $400,000. It would allow Americans to save and invest on top of Social Security's guaranteed benefit.

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Taxes

Republican: Across-the-board cuts in income taxes, with fewer and lower tax rates. Require a two-thirds majority in House and Senate to raise taxes.

Democratic: Give middle-class families tax cuts that would allow them to save for college, invest in job skills and lifelong learning, pay for health insurance and afford child care. Eliminate marriage penalty for working families. Tax incentives for environmental improvements.

Source: tk

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