Politics

Clinton Campaign Touts 'Ambitious, Progressive Agenda' in Party Platform

Follows criticism from Sanders' supporters about some planks

Supporters of Hillary Clinton are highlighting progressive aspects of the Democratic party platform. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign is highlighting the shift of the party platform  in a progressive direction,  while some backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders believe the draft coming out of meetings in St. Louis has not gone far enough.  

Clinton senior adviser Maya Harris on Saturday touted what she called "the most ambitious and progressive platform our party has ever seen."  

The platform "reflects the issues Hillary Clinton has championed throughout this campaign, from raising wages and creating more good-paying jobs to fixing our broken immigration system, reforming our criminal justice system, and protecting women’s reproductive health and rights," Harris said in a statement.  

Harris highlighted the adoption of an amendment championed by supporters of both Sanders and Clinton pushing a transition to clean energy and an affirmative declaration calling for throwing out longstanding provision of law which blocks the use of federal funds for abortion services, among others.  

[ Sanders, Clinton Meet to Discuss Platform ]  

In a statement Friday, the Sanders campaign praised language on financial regulation and calling for the elimination of too-big-to-fail institutions, among other provisions.  

But the same could not be said on trade policy.  

"The drafting committee rebuffed a proposal by Sanders allies to put the party on record saying Congress this year should not take up a trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership," the Sanders campaign statement said.  

Going that far would put the national Democratic platform at odds with President Barack Obama, who has championed the Pacific-rim trade pact.  

Harris, in her statement, sought to make clear that Clinton also opposes the TPP as drafted, despite her previous role as Secretary of State in the Obama administration. The drafting committee agreed that U.S. trade deals should be more protective of workers’ rights, labor rights, the environment and public health.  

"The draft reviewed by committee members yesterday included a call to review past trade agreements and update them to reflect these principles," Harris said. "An amendment adopted yesterday further emphasized the fact that many Democrats oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership because 'the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform.'"  

Neera Tanden, the president of the liberal Center for American Progress and a Clinton supporter on the platform drafting panel, was active Saturday on Twitter calling for Democrats to read the platform before spreading misinformation about details.

Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski.
 
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