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Obama's agenda

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2008-11-05

What now for Barack Obama? From 'Abortion' to 'National Security', catch a glimpse of the new US president's political platform.

Abortion

 

As his official Web site carefully states, Obama "understands that abortion is a divisive issue." But the site categorically states that the Democratic candidate is a "consistent champion" of reproductive choice.

He upholds the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case that legalized abortion in the USA.

He is committed to appointing judges who will not overturn Roe v Wade.

 

Afghanistan

 

Obama proposes to send 2 additional brigades. He also proposes an additional $1 billion in nonmilitary assistance annually.

He maintains that he will press on Pakistan to crackdown on militancy in the tribal zones. "We must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets."

 

Video by Elisabeth Allain and Nicolas Germain

 

Economy

 

As the financial crisis worsened in early Sept. 2008, polls showed McCain’s edge over Obama slipping as more Americans believed the Democratic candidate was better placed to handle the crisis.

Obama was quick to fault McCain’s stated economic "philosophy" that regulations were "unnecessary."

The new president pledges to provide a tax cut for working families and to simplify tax filings for middle class Americans.

He promises to repeal Bush tax cuts for affluent rich households earning more than $250,000 per year.

 

Video by Nicolas Germain

 

Energy and environment

 

Obama initially opposed lifting federal restrictions on offshore drilling, but has since backtracked. He now supports "a process that will allow us to make future drilling decisions based on science and fact."

He opposes energy exploration in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska.

He opposed McCain’s summer gas-tax holiday proposal.

The new president puts his environmental platform high on his policy agenda. He promises to re-engage with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) -- the main international forum dedicated to addressing the problem. He also promises to create a Global Energy Forum of the world’s largest emitters to focus on the issue.

He proposes an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Cap-and-trade involves providing economic incentives for reductions in the emissions of pollutants.

Proposes immediate closure of Guantanamo Bay detention center. Opposes torture, supports ban on water-boarding, but was not present for Feb. 2008 Senate vote on a bill to ban the practice. Previously criticized USA Patriot Act, which expands authority of law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism. But voted to reauthorize it in 2006.

 

Video by Marion Gaudin and Catherine Norris-Trent

 

Foreign policy

 

Obama's platform is based on "securing America and restoring America’s standing in the international community."

He supports "tough, direct presidential diplomacy …without preconditions" with Iran.

He also favours a strong US-Israeli partnership, Israel’s right to self-defence and US foreign assistance to Israel.

The new president supports a two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Obama and running mate Sen. Joe Biden are co-sponsors of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, which outlaws direct assistance to any entity controlled by Hamas.

 

Video by Nicolas Germain

 

Guns - Second Amendment

 

The Democratic candidate has supported banning sale or transfer of semi automatic firearms, increasing state restrictions on purchase of firearms.

He sponsored a 2000 bill limiting handgun purchases to one per month. Obama is rated "F" ("true enemy of gun owners’ rights") by National Rifle Association (NRA).

 

Immigration

 

Obama supports "additional personnel, infrastructure and technology" on US borders and ports of entry.

He supports Bush-backed immigration reform legislation, which provides a legal path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants.

 

Iraq

 

Obama opposed what he called a "dumb" Iraq war. He also opposed Bush’s troop "surge" strategy.

He initially pledged to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months, but has since wriggled on commitment.

The new president backs a phased withdrawal of US forces in Iraq.

 

National security

 

Obama proposes the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

He opposes torture, supports a ban on water-boarding, but was not present for the Feb. 2008 Senate vote on a bill to ban the practice.

He previously criticized the USA Patriot Act, which expands authority of law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism. But he voted to re-authorise it in 2006.

Date created : 2008-11-05

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