Sanders wins liberal influence over Democratic platform
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Bernie Sanders may have lost out on the Democratic nomination, but he won significant influence over the party's official policy positions, getting a draft document that largely reflected his liberal views.
A marathon meeting in Orlando on Friday and Saturday marked the final deliberation of the Democratic Party's platform before the convention later this month. A group of 187 delegates, including supporters of both Democratic candidates, crammed into a steamy hotel ballroom to pore over a draft document and offer amendments.
After a frequently combative negotiating session, all sides agreed the final product was the most liberal set of policies on record. Some of the positions in the non-binding document go beyond Clinton's past policy statements. The platform, which serves as a guidepost for the party, will be voted on at the convention.
The draft going into the meeting already reflected Sanders' influence, with steps to break up large Wall Street banks and support for an end to the death penalty. Here's a look at how the Sanders' campaign fared on their efforts to push the document further to the left in Orlando:
—Trade — Sanders' biggest loss of the weekend came on trade. He sought to explicitly oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. But that issue is thorny because even though Clinton has also come out against it, President Barack Obama favors the deal. The delegates passed an amendment toughening the language on the standards for trade deals, but did not outright oppose TPP.
—Wages —This was the biggest win for Sanders — getting an amendment calling for moving to a $15 federal minimum wage over time, indexed to inflation. The previous draft had more generally expressed support for a $15 wage, without the specificity.
—Climate — In another victory, Sanders got stronger language on climate change added to the draft. He wanted a call for a carbon tax and a national ban on fracking. They got amendments supporting pricing greenhouse gases, prioritizing renewable energy and limiting fracking. Still, Clinton's campaign was quick to stress that pricing greenhouse gases was not part of her climate plan.
—Foreign Policy — Clinton backers pushed back against a proposal to add language on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling for "an end to occupation and illegal settlements." The committee instead kept language that advocates working toward a "two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict" that guarantees Israel's security with recognized borders "and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity."
—Criminal Justice — Both sides agreed on an amendment focused on criminal justice reform, calling for the Department of Justice to investigate any police-involved shootings.