2012 National Republican Party Platform

2012 National Republican Party Platform - Adopted at Republican National Convention (RNC) 2012

Read the PDF version of the 2012 Republican Party Platform HERE http://www.gop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/2012GOPPlatform.pdf or read the entire platform below:

The 2012 Platform is STRONG on Social Issues Like Abortion & Marriage

I suppose while the moderates were trying to sneak in rule changes, they allowed the new platform to be made that is VERY conservative, especially on social issues. Also, contrary to the mainstream media, Republicans still overwhelmingly believe that murdering a young life is still wrong, even in the tragic situation of rape. Two wrongs to not make a right!

According to Phyllis Schlafly, the new 2012 Republican Party National Platform is very good. It is very Pro Life and Pro Traditional Marriage.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/27/republican-party-platform-best-yet/

According to One News Now, the GOP Platform wants to end Obama's 'social experimentation' on military soldiers. A coalition of 15 pro-military organizations working to preserve the conservative culture of the military is pleased with the Republican platform's stance on social issues in the military.
http://onenewsnow.com//politics-govt/2012/08/28/republican-platform-done-with-obamas-social-experimentation


Full Text of 2012 Republican Party Platform:

This platform is dedicated with appreciation and reverence for:
The wisdom of the Framers
of the United States Constitution,
who gave us a Republic,
as Benjamin Franklin cautioned,
if we can keep it.
Paid for by the Committee on Arrangements for the 2012 Republican National Convention
Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate’s Committee
www.gopconvention2012.com
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The 2012 Republican Platform is a statement of
who we are and what we believe as a Party and our
vision for a stronger and freer America.
The pursuit of opportunity has defined America
from our very beginning. This is a land of opportunity.
The American Dream is a dream of equal opportunity
for all. And the Republican Party is the
party of opportunity.
Today, that American Dream is at risk.
Our nation faces unprecedented uncertainty
with great fiscal and economic challenges, and under
the current Administration has suffered through the
longest and most severe economic downturn since
the Great Depression.
Many Americans have experienced the burden
of lost jobs, lost homes, and lost hopes. Our middle
class has felt that burden most acutely. Meanwhile,
the federal government has expanded its size and
scope, its borrowing and spending, its debt and
deficit. Federalism is threatened and liberty retreats.
For the world, this has been four years of lost
American leadership, leadership that depends upon
economic vitality and peace through strength.
Put simply: The times call for trustworthy leadership
and honest talk about the challenges we face.
Our nation and our people cannot afford the status
quo. We must begin anew, with profound changes in
the way government operates; the way it budgets,
taxes, and regulates. Jefferson’s vision of a “wise and
frugal government” must be restored.
Providence has put us at the fork in the road,
and we must answer the question: If not us, who? If
not now, when?
That is the choice facing the American people
this November. Every voter will be asked to choose
between the chronic high unemployment and the
unsustainable debt produced by a big government
entitlement society, or a positive, optimistic view of
an opportunity society, where any American who
works hard, dreams big and follows the rules can
achieve anything he or she wants.
The American people possess vast reserves of
courage and determination and the capacity to hear
the truth and chart a strong course. They are eager
for the opportunity to take on life’s challenges and,
through faith and hard work, transform the future
for the better. They are the most generous people on
earth, giving sacrificially of their time, talent, and
treasure.
This platform affirms that America has always
been a place of grand dreams and even grander realities;
and so it will be again, if we return government
to its proper role, making it smaller and
smarter. If we restructure government’s most important
domestic programs to avoid their fiscal collapse.
If we keep taxation, litigation, and regulation to a
minimum. If we celebrate success, entrepreneurship,
and innovation. If we lift up the middle class. If we
hand over to the next generation a legacy of growth
and prosperity, rather than entitlements and indebtedness.
That same commitment must be present both
here at home and abroad. We are a party that knows
the difference between international acclaim and
world leadership. We will lift the torch of freedom
and democracy to inspire all those who would be
free. As President Reagan issued the clarion call to
“tear down this Wall,” so must we always stand
against tyranny and oppression. We will always support
and cherish our men and women in uniform
who defend our liberties with their lives.
As we embark upon this critical mission, we are
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Preamble
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not without guidance. We possess an owner’s manual:
the Constitution of the United States, the greatest
political document ever written. That sacred
document shows us the path forward. Trust the people.
Limit government. Respect federalism. Guarantee
opportunity, not outcomes. Adhere to the rule of
law. Reaffirm that our rights come from God, are
protected by government, and that the only just government
is one that truly governs with the consent
of the governed.
The principles written in the Constitution are
secured by the character of the American people.
President George Washington said in his first inaugural
address: “The propitious smiles of Heaven can
never be expected on a nation that disregards the
eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself
has ordained.” Values matter. Character counts.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand these
great truths. They share a positive vision for
America – a vision of America renewed and strong.
They know America’s best days lay ahead. It will
take honest results-oriented, conservative leadership
to enact good policies for our people. They will
provide it.
We respectfully submit this platform to the
American people. It is both a vision of where we are
headed and an invitation to join us in that journey.
It is about the great dreams and opportunities that
have always been America and must remain the
essence of America for generations to come.
May God continue to shed his grace on the
United States of America.
Congressman Marsha Blackburn
Co-Chair
Governor Bob McDonnell
Chairman
Senator John Hoeven
Co-Chair
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Restoring the American Dream:
Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs
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We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government
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America’s Natural Resources:
Energy, Agriculture and the Environment
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Reforming Government to Serve the People
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Renewing American Values to Build Healthy Families,
Great Schools and Safe Neighborhoods
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American Exceptionalism
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Table of Contents
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We are the party of maximum economic freedom
and the prosperity freedom makes possible. Prosperity
is the product of self-discipline, work, savings, and
investment by individual Americans, but it is not an
end in itself. Prosperity provides the means by which
individuals and families can maintain their independence
from government, raise their children by
their own values, practice their faith, and build
communities of self-reliant neighbors. It is also the
means by which the United States is able to assert
global leadership. The vigor of our economy makes
possible our military strength and is critical to our
national security.
This year’s election is a chance to restore the
proven values of the American free enterprise system.
We offer our Republican vision of a free people using
their God-given talents, combined with hard work,
self-reliance, ethical conduct, and the pursuit of opportunity,
to achieve great things for themselves and
the greater community. Our vision of an opportunity
society stands in stark contrast to the current Administration’s
policies that expand entitlements and
guarantees, create new public programs, and provide
expensive government bailouts. That road has created
a culture of dependency, bloated government,
and massive debt.
Republicans believe in the Great American
Dream, with its economics of inclusion, enabling
everyone to have a chance to own, invest, build, and
prosper. It is the opposite of the policies which, for
the last three and a half years, have stifled growth,
destroyed jobs, halted investment, created unprecedented
uncertainty, and prolonged the worst economic
downturn since the Great Depression. Those
policies have placed the federal government in the
driver’s seat, rather than relying on energetic and entrepreneurial
Americans to rebuild the economy from
the ground up. Excessive taxation and regulation impede
economic development. Lowering taxes promotes
substantial economic growth and reducing
regulation encourages business formation and job
creation. Knowing that, a Republican President and
Congress will jumpstart an economic renewal that
creates opportunity, rewards work and saving, and
unleashes the productive genius of the American people.
Because the GOP is the Great Opportunity Party,
this is our pledge to workers without jobs, families
without savings, and neighborhoods without hope:
together we can get our country back on track, expanding
its bounty, renewing its faith, and fulfilling
its promise of a better life.
Job Creation:
Getting Americans Back to Work
The best jobs program is economic growth. We
do not offer yet another made-in-Washington package
of subsidies and spending to create temporary or
artificial jobs. We want much more than that. We
want a roaring job market to match a roaring economy.
Instead, what this Administration has given us
is 42 consecutive months of unemployment above 8
percent, the longest period of high unemployment
since the Great Depression. Republicans will pursue
free market policies that are the surest way to boost
employment and create job growth and economic
prosperity for all.
In all the sections that follow, as well as elsewhere
in this platform, we explain what must be done
to achieve that goal. The tax system must be simplified.
Government spending and regulation must be
reined in. American companies must be more competitive
in the world market, and we must be aggressive
in promoting U.S. products abroad and securing
open markets for them. A federal-State-private partnership
must invest in the nation’s infrastructure:
roads, bridges, airports, ports, and water systems,
among others. Federal training programs have to be
overhauled and made relevant for the workplace of
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Restoring the American Dream:
Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs
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the twenty-first century. Potential employers need
certainty and predictability for their hiring decisions,
and the team of a Republican President and Congress
will create the confidence that will get Americans
back to work.
Small Business and Entrepreneurship
America’s small businesses are the backbone
of the U.S. economy, employing tens of millions
of workers. Small businesses create the vast
majority of jobs, patents, and U.S. exporters. Under
the current Administration, we have the lowest
rate of business startups in thirty years. Small businesses
are the leaders in the world’s advances in
technology and innovation, and we pledge to
strengthen that role and foster small business entrepreneurship.
While small businesses have significantly contributed
to the nation’s economic growth, our government
has failed to meet its small business goals year
after year and failed to overcome burdensome regulatory,
contracting, and capital barriers. This impedes
their growth.
We will reform the tax code to allow businesses
to generate enough capital to grow and create jobs for
our families, friends and neighbors all across America.
We will encourage investments in small businesses.
We will create an environment where
adequate financing and credit are available to spur
manufacturing and expansion. We will serve as aggressive
advocates for small businesses.
Tax Relief to Grow the Economy
and Create Jobs
Taxes, by their very nature, reduce a citizen’s
freedom. Their proper role in a free society should be
to fund services that are essential and authorized by
the Constitution, such as national security, and the
care of those who cannot care for themselves. We reject
the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund
unnecessary or ineffective programs, or foster the
crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and
corporations.
Our goal is a tax system that is simple, transparent,
flatter, and fair. In contrast, the current IRS code
is like a patchwork quilt, stitched together over time
from mismatched pieces, and is beyond the comprehension
of the average citizen. A reformed code
should promote simplicity and coherence, savings
and innovation, increase American competitiveness,
and recognize the burdens on families with children.
To that end, we propose to:
Extend the 2001 and 2003 tax relief
packages—commonly known as the Bush tax
cuts—pending reform of the tax code, to keep
tax rates from rising on income, interest, dividends,
and capital gains;
Reform the tax code by reducing marginal
tax rates by 20 percent across-the-board in a
revenue-neutral manner;
Eliminate the taxes on interest, dividends,
and capital gains altogether for lower and
middle-income taxpayers;
End the Death Tax; and
Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.
American Competitiveness
in a Global Economy
American businesses now face the world’s highest
corporate tax rate. It reduces their worldwide
competitiveness, encourages corporations to move
overseas, lessens investment, cripples job creation,
lowers U.S. wages, and fosters the avoidance of tax liability—
without actually increasing tax revenues. To
level the international playing field, and to spur job
creation here at home, we call for a reduction of the
corporate rate to keep U.S. corporations competitive
internationally, with a permanent research and development
tax credit, and a repeal of the corporate
alternative minimum tax. We also support the recommendation
of the National Commission on Fiscal
Responsibility and Reform, as well as the current
President’s Export Council, to switch to a territorial
system of corporate taxation, so that profits earned
and taxed abroad may be repatriated for job-creating
investment here at home without additional penalty.
Fundamental Tax Principles
We oppose retroactive taxation; and we condemn
attempts by activist judges, at any level of government,
to seize the power of the purse by ordering
higher taxes. We oppose tax policies that divide
Americans or promote class warfare.
Because of the vital role of religious organiza-
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tions, charities, and fraternal benevolent societies in
fostering benevolence and patriotism, they should
not be subject to taxation, and donations to them
should continue to be tax deductible.
In any restructuring of federal taxation, to guard
against hypertaxation of the American people, any
value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to
the simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment,
which established the federal income tax.
Reining in Out-of-Control Spending,
Balancing the Budget, and Ensuring
Sound Monetary Policy
The massive federal government is structurally
and financially broken. For decades it has been
pushed beyond its core functions, increasing spending
to unsustainable levels. Elected officials have
overpromised and overspent, and now the bills are
due. Unless we take dramatic action now, young
Americans and their children will inherit an unprecedented
legacy of enormous and unsustainable debt,
with the interest alone consuming an ever-increasing
portion of the country’s wealth.
The specter of national bankruptcy
that now hangs over much
of Europe is a warning to us as
well. Over the last three and a
half years, while cutting the defense
budget, the current Administration
has added an additional
$5.3 trillion to the national
debt—now approximately $16
trillion, the largest amount in
U.S. history. In fiscal year 2011,
spending reached $3.6 trillion,
nearly a quarter of our gross domestic
product. Adjusted for inflation,
that’s more than three
times its peak level in World War II, and almost half
of every dollar spent was borrowed money. Three
programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—
account for over 40 percent of total spending.
While these levels of spending and debt are already
harming job creation and growth, projections of future
spending growth are nothing short of catastrophic,
both economically and socially. And those
dire projections do not include the fiscal nightmare
of Obamacare, with over $1 trillion in new taxes, multiple
mandates, and a crushing price tag.
We can preempt the debt explosion. Backed by
a Republican Senate and House, our next President
will propose immediate reductions in federal spending,
as a down payment on the much larger task of
long-range fiscal control. We suggest a tripartite test
for every federal activity. First, is it within the constitutional
scope of the federal government? Second, is
it effective and absolutely necessary? And third, is it
sufficiently important to justify borrowing, especially
foreign borrowing, to fund it? Against those standards
we will measure programs from international
population control to California’s federally subsidized
high-speed train to nowhere, and terminate programs
that don’t measure up.
Balancing the Budget
Cutting spending is not enough; it must be accompanied
by major structural reforms, increased
productivity, use of technology, and long-term government
downsizing that both reduce debt and
deficits and ignite economic
growth. We must restructure the
twentieth century entitlement
state so the missions of important
programs can succeed in the
twenty-first century. Medicare,
in particular, is the largest driver
of future debt. Our reform of
healthcare will empower millions
of seniors to control their
personal healthcare decisions,
unlike Obamacare that empowered
a handful of bureaucrats to
cut Medicare in ways that will
deny care for the elderly.
We must also change the
budget process itself. From its beginning, its design
has enabled, rather than restrained, reckless spending
by giving procedural cover to Members of Congress.
The budget process gave us the insidious term
“tax expenditure,” which means that any earnings the
government allows a taxpayer to keep through a deduction,
exemption, or credit are equivalent to
spending the same amount on some program. It also
lumped a broad range of diverse programs under the
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Our goal is a tax system
that is simple, transparent,
flatter, and fair… A reformed
code should promote simplicity
and coherence, savings and
innovation, increase
American competitiveness,
and recognize the burdens
on families…
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heading of “entitlement,” as if veterans’ benefits and
welfare checks belong in the same category. Far
worse, the process assumes every spending program
will be permanent and every tax cut will be temporary.
It refuses to recognize the beneficial budgetary
impact of lower tax rates, and it calls a spending increase
a cut if it is less than the rate of inflation.
Republican Members of Congress have repeatedly
tried to reform the budget process to make it
more transparent and accountable, in particular by
voting for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution,
following the lead of 33 States which have
put that restraint into their own constitutions. We
call for a Constitutional amendment requiring a
super-majority for any tax increase, with exceptions
for only war and national emergencies, and imposing
a cap limiting spending to the historical average
percentage of GDP so that future Congresses cannot
balance the budget by raising taxes.
Inflation and the Federal Reserve
A sound monetary policy is critical for maintaining
a strong economy. Inflation diminishes the purchasing
power of the dollar at home and abroad and
is a hidden tax on the American people. Moreover,
the inflation tax is regressive, punishes those who
save, transfers wealth from Main Street to Wall
Street, and has grave implications for seniors living
on fixed incomes.
Because the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy
actions affect both inflation and economic activity,
those actions should be transparent. Moreover,
the Fed’s important role as a lender of last resort
should also be carried out in a more transparent
manner. A free society demands that the sun shine
on all elements of government. Therefore, the Republican
Party will work to advance substantive legislation
that brings transparency and accountability to
the Federal Reserve, the Federal Open Market Committee,
and the Fed’s dealings with foreign central
banks. The first step to increasing transparency and
accountability is through an annual audit of the
Federal Reserve’s activities. Such an audit would
need to be carefully implemented so that the Federal
Reserve remains insulated from political pressures
and so its decisions are based on sound economic
principles and sound money rather than on political
pressures for easy money and loose credit.
Determined to crush the double-digit inflation
that was part of the Carter Administration’s economic
legacy, President Reagan, shortly after his inauguration,
established a commission to consider the feasibility
of a metallic basis for U.S. currency. The
commission advised against such a move. Now, three
decades later, as we face the task of cleaning up the
wreckage of the current Administration’s policies, we
propose a similar commission to investigate possible
ways to set a fixed value for the dollar.
Ending the Housing Crisis and
Expanding Opportunities for
Homeownership
Homeownership expands personal liberty,
builds communities, and helps Americans create
wealth. “The American Dream” is not a stale slogan.
It is the lived reality that expresses the aspirations of
all our people. It means a decent place to live, a safe
place to raise kids, a welcoming place to retire. It bespeaks
the quiet pride of those who work hard to
shelter their family and, in the process, create caring
neighborhoods. Homeownership is best fostered by
a growing economy with low interest rates, as well as
prudent regulation, financial education, and targeted
assistance to responsible borrowers.
The collapse of the housing market over the last
four years has been not only a severe blow to the entire
economy, but also a personal tragedy to millions
of Americans whose homes have lost value and to so
many others who have lost their homes. Combined
with high unemployment, that decline has left countless
homeowners saddled with mortgages exceeding
the value of their homes. The response of the current
Administration has done little to improve, and much
to worsen, the situation. By discouraging private sector
investment, it has stalled the housing recovery.
Its massive intervention in the housing market, with
the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac backing nearly all new mortgages,
has hit the taxpayers with a bill for almost
$200 billion to bail out the latter two institutions. It
has spent billions more on poorly designed and ineffective
housing assistance programs. Making matters
worse, the Congress, under Democrat control, enacted
the Dodd-Frank Act, a massive labyrinth of
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costly new regulations that deter lenders from lending
to creditworthy homebuyers and that disproportionately
harms small and community banks. As a
result, home sales remain weak, investment in housing
remains depressed, construction industry jobs remain
down, and mortgage lending has yet to recover
to pre-crisis levels.
Rebuilding Homeownership
We must establish a mortgage finance system
based on competition and free enterprise that is transparent,
encourages the private sector to return to
housing, and promotes personal responsibility on the
part of borrowers. Policies that promote reliance on
private capital, like private mortgage insurance, will
be critical to scaling back the federal role in the housing
market and avoiding future taxpayer bailouts. Reforms
should provide clear and prudent underwriting
standards and guidelines on acceptable lending practices.
Compliance with regulatory standards should
provide a legal safe harbor to guard against opportunistic
litigation. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were
a primary cause of the housing crisis because their implicit
government guarantee allowed them to avoid
market discipline and make risky investments. Their
favored political status enriched their politicallyconnected
executives and their shareholders at the expense
of the nation. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac should be wound down in size and scope, and
their officials should be held to account.
The FHA, tripled in size to more than $1 trillion
under the current Administration, has crowded out
the private sector and is at risk of requiring a taxpayer
bailout. It must be downsized and limited to helping
first-time homebuyers and low- and moderateincome
borrowers. Taxpayer dollars should not be
used to bail out borrowers and lenders by funding
principal write-downs. While the federal government
must prosecute mortgage fraud and other financial
crimes, any settlements received thereby should be
directed to individuals harmed by the misconduct,
not diverted to pay for unrelated programs.
FDIC insurance for bank depositors must be preserved.
However, to correct for the moral hazard created
by deposit insurance, banks should be well
capitalized, which is the best insurance against future
taxpayer bailouts.
The federal government has a role in housing by
enforcing non-discrimination laws and assisting lowincome
families and the elderly with safe and adequate
shelter, especially through the use of housing
vouchers. Homeownership is an important goal, but
public policy must be balanced to reflect the needs of
Americans who choose to rent. A comprehensive
housing policy should address the demand for apartments
and multi-family housing. Any assistance
should be subject to stringent oversight to ensure that
funds are spent wisely.
Infrastructure: Building the Future
America’s infrastructure networks are critical for
economic growth, international competitiveness, and
national security. Infrastructure programs have traditionally
been non-partisan; everyone recognized
that we all need clean water and safe roads, rail,
bridges, ports, and airports. The current Administration
has changed that, replacing civil engineering
with social engineering as it pursues an exclusively
urban vision of dense housing and government transit.
In the vaunted stimulus package, less than six
percent of the funds went to transportation, with
most of that to cosmetic “shovel-ready” projects
rather than fundamental structural improvements.
All the while, the Democrats’ Davis-Bacon law continues
to drive up infrastructure construction and
maintenance costs for the benefit of that party’s
union stalwarts.
What most Americans take for granted—the
safety and availability of our water supply—is in perilous
condition. Engineering surveys report crumbling
drinking water systems, aging dams, and
overwhelmed wastewater infrastructure. Investment
in these areas, as well as with levees and inland waterways,
can renew communities, attract businesses,
and create jobs. Most importantly, it can assure the
health and safety of the American people.
The nation’s ports have become a bottleneck in
international trade. America’s exporters sometimes
use Canadian ports in order to reach the world market
in a timely manner. With the widening of the
Panama Canal, our East Coast and Gulf ports have an
extraordinary opportunity to boost container traffic
but require major improvement to remain competitive
receivers of large vessels.
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Interstate infrastructure has long been a federal
responsibility shared with the States, and a renewed
federal-State partnership and new public-private
partnerships are urgently needed to maintain and
modernize our country’s travel lifelines to facilitate
economic growth and job creation. In the last two
years, Congressional Republicans have taken the lead
with initiatives like the FAA Modernization and Reform
Act; the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty,
and Job Creation Act; and the Coast Guard and Maritime
Transportation Act. The recent highway bill reforming
the federal highway program included some
key reforms. It will shorten the project approval
process, eliminate unnecessary programs, and give
States more flexibility to address their particular
needs. It is a return to the principles of federalism,
and it contains not a single earmark. It should be followed
by reform of the 42-year old National Environmental
Policy Act to create regulatory certainty for
infrastructure projects, expedite their timetables, and
limit litigation against them.
Securing sufficient funding for the Highway
Trust Fund remains a challenge given the debt and
deficits and the need to reduce spending. Republicans
will make hard choices and set priorities, and
infrastructure will be among them. In some States
with elected officials dominated by the Democratic
Party, a proportion of highway funds is diverted to
other purposes. This must stop. We oppose any funding
mechanism that would involve governmental
monitoring of every car and truck in the nation.
Amtrak continues to be, for the taxpayers, an
extremely expensive railroad. The public has to
subsidize every ticket nearly $50. It is long past time
for the federal government to get out of way and
allow private ventures to provide passenger service
to the northeast corridor. The same holds true with
regard to high-speed and intercity rail across
the country.
International Trade:
More American Jobs, Higher Wages, and A
Better Standard of Living
International trade is crucial for our economy. It
means more American jobs, higher wages, and a better
standard of living. Every $1 billion in additional
U.S. exports means another 5,000 jobs here at home.
The Free Trade Agreements negotiated with friendly
democracies since President Reagan’s trailblazing
pact with Israel in 1985 facilitated the creation of
nearly ten million jobs supported by our exports.
That record makes all the more deplorable the
current Administration’s slowness in completing
agreements begun by its predecessor and its failure
to pursue any new trade agreements with friendly
nations.
This worldwide explosion of trade has had a
downside, however, as some governments have used
a variety of unfair means to limit American access to
their markets while stealing our designs, patents,
brands, know-how, and technology—the “intellectual
property” that drives innovation. The chief offender
is China, which has built up its economy in part by
piggybacking onto Western technological advances,
manipulates its currency to the disadvantage of
American exporters, excludes American products
from government purchases, subsidizes Chinese
companies to give them a commercial advantage, and
invents regulations and standards designed to keep
out foreign competition. The current Administration’s
way of dealing with all these violations of world
trade standards has been a virtual surrender.
Republicans understand that you can succeed in
a negotiation only if you are willing to walk away
from it. Thus, a Republican President will insist on
full parity in trade with China and stand ready to impose
countervailing duties if China fails to amend its
currency policies. Commercial discrimination will be
met in kind. Counterfeit goods will be aggressively
kept out of the country. Victimized private firms will
be encouraged to raise claims in both U.S. courts and
at the World Trade Organization. Punitive measures
will be imposed on foreign firms that misappropriate
American technology and intellectual property. Until
China abides by the WTO’s Government Procurement
Agreement, the United States government will
end procurement of Chinese goods and services.
Because American workers have shown that, on
a truly level playing field, they can surpass the competition
in international trade, we call for the restoration
of presidential Trade Promotion Authority. It
will ensure up or down votes in Congress on any new
trade agreements, without meddling by special inter-
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ests. A Republican President will complete negotiations
for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open rapidly
developing Asian markets to U.S. products. Beyond
that, we envision a worldwide multilateral agreement
among nations committed to the principles of open
markets, what has been called a “Reagan Economic
Zone,” in which free trade will truly be fair trade for
all concerned.
A Twenty-First Century Workforce
The greatest asset of the American economy is
the hard-working American. The high rates of
unemployment over the last three and a half years—
disastrously high among youth, minorities, and veterans—
have thus been a tragic waste of energy and ideas,
compounded by the waste of billions in “stimulus”
funds with no payoff in jobs. The chief cause has been
an unprecedented uncertainty in the American free enterprise
system due to the overreaching policies of the
current Administration. Nothing
matters more than getting the
American people back to work. In
addition to cutting spending,
keeping taxes low, and curtailing
bureaucratic red tape, we must replace
outdated policies and ineffectual
training programs with a
plan to develop a twenty-first century
workforce to make the most
of our country’s human capital.
It is critical that the United
States has a highly trained and
skilled workforce. Nine federal agencies currently
run 47 retraining programs at a total cost of $18 billion
annually with dismal results. Both the trainees
in those programs and the taxpayers who fund them
deserve better. We propose consolidation of those
programs into State block grants so that training can
be coordinated with local schools and employers.
That will be critically important if States establish
Personal Reemployment Accounts, letting trainees
direct resources in ways that will steer them toward
long-term employment, especially through on-thejob
training with participating employers.
We can accelerate the process of restoring our
domestic economy—and reclaiming this country’s
traditional position of dominance in international
trade—by a policy of strategic immigration, granting
more work visas to holders of advanced degrees in
science, technology, engineering, and math from
other nations. Highly educated immigrants can assist
in creating new services and products. In the
same way, foreign students who graduate from an
American university with an advanced degree in science,
technology, engineering or math should be encouraged
to remain here and contribute to economic
prosperity and job creation. Highly skilled, Englishspeaking,
and integrated into their communities, they
are too valuable a resource to lose. As in past generations,
we should encourage the world’s innovators
and inventors to create our common future and their
permanent homes here in the United States.
Republicans believe that the employer-employee
relationship of the future will be built upon employee
empowerment and workplace flexibility, which is why
Republicans support employee ownership. We believe
employee stock ownership
plans create capitalists and expand
the ownership of private
property and are therefore the
essence of a high-performing
free enterprise economy, which
creates opportunity for those
who work and honors those
values that have made our nation
so strong. Today’s workforce is
independent, wants flexibility
in working conditions, needs
family-friendly options, and is
most productive when allowed to innovate and rethink
the status quo. The federal government should
set an example in making those adaptations, especially
in promoting portability in pension plans and
health insurance.
Freedom in the Workplace
The current Administration has chosen a different
path with regard to labor, clinging to antiquated
notions of confrontation and concentrating power in
the Washington offices of union elites. It has strongly
supported the anti-business card check legislation to
deny workers a secret ballot in union organizing campaigns
and, through the use of Project Labor Agreements,
barred 80 percent of the construction
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
Today’s workforce is
independent, wants flexibility in
working conditions, needs
family-friendly options, and is
most productive when allowed
to innovate and rethink the
status quo.
8
workforce from competing for jobs in many stimulus
projects. The current Administration has turned the
National Labor Relations Board into a partisan advocate
for Big Labor, using threats and coercion outside
the law to attack businesses and, through “snap elections”
and “micro unions,” limit the rights of workers
and employers alike.
We will restore the rule of law to labor law by
blocking “card check,” enacting the Secret Ballot Protection
Act, enforcing the Hobbs Act against labor violence,
and passing the Raise Act to allow all workers
to receive well-earned raises without the approval of
their union representative. We demand an end to the
Project Labor Agreements; and we call for repeal of
the Davis-Bacon Act, which costs the taxpayers
billions of dollars annually in artificially high wages
on government projects. We support the right of
States to enact Right-to-Work laws and encourage
them to do so to promote greater economic liberty.
Ultimately, we support the enactment of a National
Right-to-Work law to promote worker freedom and
to promote greater economic liberty. We will aggressively
enforce the recent decision by the Supreme
Court barring the use of union dues for political purposes
without the consent of the worker.
We salute the Republican Governors and State
legislators who have saved their States from
fiscal disaster by reforming their laws governing
public employee unions. We urge elected officials
across the country to follow their lead in order to
avoid State and local defaults on their obligations and
the collapse of services to the public. To safeguard
the free choice of public employees, no government
at any level should act as the dues collector for
unions. A Republican President will protect the
rights of conscience of public employees by proposing
legislation to bar mandatory dues for political
purposes.
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
9
We are the party of the Constitution, the solemn
compact which confirms our God-given individual
rights and assures that all Americans stand equal before
the law. Perhaps the greatest political document
ever written, it defines the purposes and limits of government
and is the blueprint for ordered liberty that
makes the U.S. the world’s freest, most stable, and
most prosperous nation. Its Constitutional ideals have
been emulated around the world, and with them has
come unprecedented prosperity for billions of people.
In the spirit of the Constitution, we consider discrimination
based on sex, race, age, religion, creed,
disability, or national origin
unacceptable and immoral. We
will strongly enforce antidiscrimination
statutes and ask
all to join us in rejecting the
forces of hatred and bigotry
and in denouncing all who practice
or promote racism, anti-
Semitism, ethnic prejudice, or
religious intolerance. We support
efforts to help low-income
individuals get a fair chance
based on their potential and individual merit; but we
reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides as the best
or sole methods through which fairness can be
achieved, whether in government, education, or corporate
boardrooms. In a free society, the primary
role of government is to protect the God-given, inalienable,
inherent rights of its citizens, including the
rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Merit, ability, aptitude, and results should be the factors
that determine advancement in our society.
The Republican Party includes Americans
from every faith and tradition, and our policies and positions
respect the right of every American to
follow his or her beliefs and underscore our
reverence for the religious freedom envisioned by the
Founding Fathers of our nation and of our party.
As a matter of principle, we oppose the creation of any
new race-based governments within the United States.
A Restoration of Constitutional Order:
Congress and the Executive
We salute Republican Members of the House of
Representatives for enshrining in the Rules of the
House the requirement that every bill must cite the
provision of the Constitution which permits its introduction.
Their adherence to the Constitution stands
in stark contrast to the antipathy toward the Constitution
demonstrated by the current Administration
and its Senate allies by appointing
“czars” to evade the confirmation
process, making unlawful
“recess” appointments when the
Senate is not in recess, using executive
orders to bypass the separation
of powers and its checks
and balances, encouraging illegal
actions by regulatory agencies
from the NLRB to the EPA,
openly and notoriously displaying
contempt for Congress, the
Judiciary, and the Constitutional prerogatives of the
individual States, refusing to defend the nation’s laws
in federal courts or enforce them on the streets, ignoring
the legal requirement for legislative enactment
of an annual budget, gutting welfare reform by
unilaterally removing its statutory work requirement,
buying senatorial votes with special favors, and evading
the legal requirement for congressional consultation
regarding troop commitments overseas. A
Republican President and Republican Senate will join
House Republicans in living by the rule of law, the
foundation of the American Republic.
Protecting America is the first and most important
duty of our federal government. The Constitution
wisely distributes important roles in the area of
national security to both the President and Congress.
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
We The People:
A Restoration of Constitutional Government
We are the party of the
Constitution, the solemn
compact which confirms our
God-given individual rights and
assures that all Americans stand
equal before the law.
10
It empowers the President to serve as Commander in
Chief, making him the lead instrument of the American
people in matters of national security and foreign
affairs. It also bestows authority on Congress,
including the powers to declare war, regulate commerce,
and authorize the funds needed to keep and
protect our Nation. The United States of America is
strongest when the President and Congress work
closely together—in war and in peace—to advance our
common interests and ideals. By uniting our government
and our citizens, our foreign policy will secure
freedom, keep America safe, and ensure that we remain
the “last best hope on Earth.”
Defending Marriage Against
An Activist Judiciary
A serious threat to our country’s constitutional
order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential
malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which
some judges usurp the powers reserved to other
branches of government. A blatant example has been
the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several
States. This is more than a matter of warring legal
concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the foundations
of our society, challenging the institution which,
for thousands of years in virtually every civilization,
has been entrusted with the rearing of children and
the transmission of cultural values.
A Sacred Contract: Defense of Marriage
That is why Congressional Republicans took the
lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming
the right of States and the federal government not
to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other
jurisdictions. The current Administration’s open defiance
of this constitutional principle—in its handling
of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits,
in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base,
and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts—
makes a mockery of the President’s inaugural oath.
We commend the United States House of Representatives
and State Attorneys General who have defended
these laws when they have been attacked in
the courts. We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional
amendment defining marriage as the union of
one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of
the majority of States which have enshrined in their
constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and
we support the campaigns underway in several other
States to do so.
Living Within Our Means:
A Constitutional Budget
Republican Members of Congress have repeatedly
tried to reform the budget process to make it
more transparent and accountable, in particular by
voting for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution,
following the lead of 33 States which have
put that restraint into their own constitutions. We
call for a Constitutional amendment requiring a
super-majority for any tax increase with exceptions
for only war and national emergencies, and imposing
a cap limiting spending to the historical average percentage
of GDP so that future Congresses cannot balance
the budget by raising taxes.
Federalism and The Tenth Amendment
We support the review and examination of all
federal agencies to eliminate wasteful spending, operational
inefficiencies, or abuse of power to determine
whether they are performing functions that are
better performed by the States. These functions, as
appropriate, should be returned to the States in accordance
with the Tenth Amendment of the United
States Constitution. We affirm that all legislation,
rules, and regulations must conform and public servants
must adhere to the U.S. Constitution, as originally
intended by the Framers. Whether such
legislation is a State or federal matter must be determined
in accordance with the Tenth Amendment, in
conjunction with Article I, Section 8.
When the Constitution is evaded, transgressed,
or ignored, so are the freedoms it guarantees. In that
context, the elections of 2012 will be much more than
a contest between parties. They are a referendum on
the future of liberty in America.
The Republican Party, born in opposition to the
denial of liberty, stands for the rights of individuals,
families, faith communities, institutions – and of
the States which are their instruments of selfgovernment.
In establishing a federal system of government,
the Framers viewed the States as laboratories
of democracy and centers of innovation, as do we.
To maintain the integrity of their system, they
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bequeathed to successive generations an instrument
by which we might correct any misalignment of power
between our States and the federal government, the
Tenth Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the
United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the
States respectively, or to the people.
In fidelity to that principle, we condemn the current
Administration’s continued assaults on State governments
in matters ranging from voter ID laws to
immigration, from healthcare programs to land use
decisions. Our States are the laboratories of democracy
from which the people propel our nation forward, solving
local and State problems through local and State
innovations. We pledge to restore the proper balance
between the federal government and the governments
closest to, and most reflective of, the American people.
Scores of entrenched federal programs violate the constitutional
mandates of federalism by taking money
from the States, laundering it through various federal
agencies, only to return to the States shrunken grants
with mandates attached. We propose wherever feasible
to leave resources where they originate: in the
homes and neighborhoods of the taxpayers. We call
on the federal government to do a systematic analysis
of laws and regulations to eliminate costly bureaucratic
mandates on the States and the people.
With every right comes a responsibility. A few
States and their political subdivisions are currently
in dire fiscal situations, largely because of their
spending, debt, and failure to rein in public employee
unions. In the event those conditions worsen, the federal
government must not assume the State governments’
or their political subdivisions’ financial
responsibility or require the nation’s taxpayers to pay
for the misrule of a few State governments. Nor shall
the States assume the federal government’s financial
responsibility.
The Continuing Importance of
Protecting the Electoral College
We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate
Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the
procedures of the Electoral College. We recognize
that an unconstitutional effort to impose “national
popular vote” would be a mortal threat to our federal
system and a guarantee of corruption as every ballot
box in every state would become a chance to steal the
presidency.
Voter Integrity to Ensure Honest Elections
Honest elections are the foundation of representative
government. We support State efforts to ensure
ballot access for the elderly, the handicapped, military
personnel, and all authorized voters. For the same reason,
we applaud legislation to require photo identification
for voting and to prevent election fraud,
particularly with regard to registration and absentee
ballots. We support State laws that require proof of citizenship
at the time of voter registration to protect our
electoral system against a significant and growing form
of voter fraud. Every time that a fraudulent vote is cast,
it effectively cancels out a vote of a legitimate voter.
Voter fraud is political poison. It strikes at the
heart of representative government. We call on every
citizen, elected official, and member of the judiciary
to preserve the integrity of the vote. We call for vigorous
prosecution of voter fraud at the State and federal
level. To do less disenfranchises present and
future generations. We recognize that having a physical
verification of the vote is the best way to ensure
a fair election. “Let ambition counter ambition,” as
James Madison said. When all parties have representatives
observing the counting of ballots in a
transparent process, integrity is assured. We strongly
support the policy that all electronic voting systems
have a voter verified paper audit trail.
States or political subdivisions that use all-mail
elections cannot ensure the integrity of the ballot.
When ballots are mailed to every registered voter,
ballots can be stolen or fraudulently voted by unauthorized
individuals because the system does not
have a way to verify the identity of the voter. We call
for States and political subdivisions to adopt voting
systems that can verify the identity of the voter.
Military men and women must not be disenfranchised
from the very freedom they defend. We affirm
that our troops, wherever stationed, be allowed to
vote and those votes be counted in the November
election and in all elections. To that end, the entire
chain of command, from President and the Secretary
of Defense, to base and unit commanders—must en-
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
12
sure the timely receipt and return of all ballots and
the utilization of electronic delivery of ballots where
allowed by State law.
We support changing the way that the decennial
census is conducted, so that citizens are distinguished
from lawfully present aliens and illegal aliens. In
order to preserve the principle of one-person, onevote,
the apportionment of representatives among the
States should be according to the number of citizens.
The First Amendment:
The Foresight of Our Founders to
Protect Religious Freedom
The first provision of the First Amendment concerns
freedom of religion. That guarantee reflected
Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious
Freedom, which declared that no one should “suffer
on account of his religious opinion or belief, but that
all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to
maintain, their opinion in matters of religion….” That
assurance has never been more needed than it is
today, as liberal elites try to drive religious beliefs—
and religious believers—out of the public square. The
Founders of the American Republic universally agree
that democracy presupposes a moral people and that,
in the words of George Washington’s Farewell Address,
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead
to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable
supports.”
The most offensive instance of this war on religion
has been the current Administration’s attempt
to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing
individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious,
moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health
services, traditional marriage, or abortion. This
forcible secularization of religious and religiously affiliated
organizations, including faith-based hospitals
and colleges, has been in tandem with the current
Administration’s audacity in declaring which faithrelated
activities are, or are not, protected by the First
Amendment—an unprecedented aggression repudiated
by a unanimous Supreme Court in its
Hosanna-
Tabor v. EEOC
decision.
We pledge to respect the religious beliefs and
rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard
the independence of their institutions from government.
We support the public display of the Ten Commandments
as a reflection of our history and of our
country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the
right of students to engage in prayer at public school
events in public schools and to have equal access to
public schools and other public facilities to accommodate
religious freedom in the public square. We
assert every citizen’s right to apply religious values to
public policy and the right of faith-based organizations
to participate fully in public programs without
renouncing their beliefs, removing religious symbols,
or submitting to government-imposed hiring practices.
We oppose government discrimination against
businesses due to religious views. We support the
First Amendment right of freedom of association of
the Boy Scouts of America and other service organizations
whose values are under assault and condemn
the State blacklisting of religious groups which decline
to arrange adoptions by same-sex couples. We
condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and
vandalism by proponents of same-sex marriage
against advocates of traditional marriage and call for
a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious
believers their civil rights.
The First Amendment:
Speech that is Protected
The rights of citizenship do not stop at the ballot
box. They include the free speech right to devote one’s
resources to whatever cause or candidate one supports.
We oppose any restrictions or conditions that
would discourage Americans from exercising their
constitutional right to enter the political fray or limit
their commitment to their ideals. As a result, we support
repeal of the remaining sections of McCain-
Feingold, support either raising or repealing contribution
limits, and oppose passage of the DISCLOSE Act
or any similar legislation designed to vitiate the
Supreme Court’s recent decisions protecting political
speech in
Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election
Commission
and Citizens United v. Federal Election
Commission
. We insist that there should be no regulation
of political speech on the Internet. By the
same token, we oppose governmental censorship of
speech through the so-called Fairness Doctrine or
by government enforcement of speech codes,
free speech zones, or other forms of “political correctness”
on campus.
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The Second Amendment:
Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms
We uphold the right of individuals to keep and
bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution
and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment.
We acknowledge, support, and defend the lawabiding
citizen’s God-given right of self-defense. We
call for the protection of such fundamental individual
rights recognized in the Supreme Court’s decisions in
District of Columbia v. Heller
and McDonald v.
Chicago
affirming that right, and we recognize the individual
responsibility to safely use and store
firearms. This also includes the right to obtain and
store ammunition without registration. We support
the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a lawabiding
citizen has a legal right to be, and we support
federal legislation that would expand the exercise of
that right by allowing those with state-issued carry
permits to carry firearms in any state that issues such
permits to its own residents. Gun ownership is responsible
citizenship, enabling Americans to defend
their homes and communities. We condemn frivolous
lawsuits against gun manufacturers and oppose federal
licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners.
We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict
our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity
of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the illconsidered
Clinton gun ban. We condemn the reckless
actions associated with the operation known as “Fast
and Furious,” conducted by the Department of Justice,
which resulted in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol
Agent and others on both sides of the border. We
applaud the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
in holding the current Administration’s Attorney
General in contempt of Congress for his refusal to
cooperate with their investigation into that debacle.
We oppose the improper collection of firearms sales
information in the four southern border states, which
was imposed without congressional authority.
The Fourth Amendment:
Liberty and Privacy
Affirming “the right of the people to be secure in
their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures,” we support pending legislation
to prevent unwarranted or unreasonable
governmental intrusion through the use of aerial surveillance
or flyovers on U.S. soil, with the exception
of patrolling our national borders. All security measures
and police actions should be viewed through the
lens of the Fourth Amendment; for if we trade liberty
for security, we shall have neither.
The Fifth Amendment:
Protecting Private Property
The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment–
“nor shall private property be taken for public use
without just compensation”–is a bulwark against
tyranny; for without property rights, individual rights
are diminished. That is why we deplore the Supreme
Court’s
Kelo v. New London decision, allowing local
governments to seize a person’s home or land, not for
vital public use, but for transfer to private developers.
We call on State legislatures to moot the impact of the
Kelo
decision in their States by appropriate legislation
or constitutional amendments. Equally important,
we pledge to enforce the Takings Clause in the
actions of federal agencies to ensure just compensation
whenever private property is needed to achieve
a compelling public use. This includes the taking of
property in the form of water rights in the West and
elsewhere and the taking of property by environmental
regulations that destroy its value.
The Ninth Amendment:
Affirming the People’s Rights
This speaks most eloquently for itself: “The enumeration
in the Constitution of certain rights shall
not be construed to deny or disparage others retained
by the people.” This provision codifies the concept
that our government derives its power from the people
and all powers not delegated to the government
are retained by the people. This is an essential feature
of our governmental system, and we therefore
celebrate the grassroots rediscovery of this and other
constitutional guarantees over the last four years and
welcome to our ranks all our fellow citizens who are
determined to reclaim the rights of the people that
have been ignored or violated by government.
The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life
Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in
the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity
of human life and affirm that the unborn child
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has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot
be infringed. We support a human life amendment
to the Constitution and endorse legislation to
make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections
apply to unborn children. We oppose using
public revenues to promote or perform abortion or
fund organizations which perform or advocate it and
will not fund or subsidize health care which includes
abortion coverage. We support the appointment of
judges who respect traditional family values and the
sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the nonconsensual
withholding or withdrawal of care or
treatment, including food and water, from people
with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the
elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive
euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit
the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion
and permitted States to extend health care coverage
to children before birth. We urge Congress to
strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by
enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on
healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment
and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including
early induction delivery where the death of
the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban
sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its
most lethal form—and to protect from abortion unborn
children who are capable of feeling pain; and we
applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort
to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children
in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on
the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research.
We support and applaud adult stem cell research
to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose
the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose
federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
We also salute the many States that have passed
laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods
prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic
regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation
through a parental consent requirement;
and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather
than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned
pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with
counseling and adoption alternatives and empower
them to choose life, and we take comfort in the
tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed
Republican legislative initiatives.
Respect for Our Flag:
Symbol of the Constitution
The symbol of our constitutional unity, to which
we all pledge allegiance, is the flag of the United
States of America. By whatever legislative method is
most feasible, Old Glory should be given legal protection
against desecration. We condemn decisions by
activist judges to deny children the opportunity to say
the Pledge of Allegiance in its entirety, including
“Under God,” in public schools and encourage States
to promote the pledge. We condemn the actions of
those who deny our children the means by which to
show respect for our great country and the constitutional
principles represented by our flag.
American Sovereignty in U.S. Courts
Subjecting American citizens to foreign laws is
inimical to the spirit of the Constitution. It is one reason
we oppose U.S. participation in the International
Criminal Court. There must be no use of foreign law
by U.S. courts in interpreting our Constitution and
laws. Nor should foreign sources of law be used in
State courts’ adjudication of criminal or civil matters.
The Lacey Act of 1900, designed to protect endangered
wildlife in interstate commerce, is now applied
worldwide, making it a crime to use, in our
domestic industries, any product illegally obtained in
the country of origin, whether or not the user had
anything to do with its harvesting. This unreasonable
extension of the Act not only hurts American businesses
and American jobs, but also subordinates our
own rule of law to the legal codes of 195 other governments.
It must be changed.
Just as George Washington wisely warned
America to avoid foreign entanglements and enter
into only temporary alliances, we oppose the adoption
or ratification of international treaties that
weaken or encroach upon American sovereignty.
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We are the party of sustainable jobs and economic
growth – through American energy, agriculture,
and environmental policy. We are also the party
of America’s growers and producers, farmers, ranchers,
foresters, miners, and all those who bring from
the earth the minerals and energy that are the
lifeblood of our nation’s historically strong economy.
We are as well the party of traditional conservation:
the wise development of resources that keeps in mind
both the sacrifices of past generations to secure that
bounty and our responsibility to preserve it for future
generations.
Domestic Energy Independence:
An “All of the Above” Energy Policy
The Republican Party is committed to domestic
energy independence. The United States and its
neighbors to the North and South have been blessed
with abundant energy resources, tapped and untapped,
traditional and alternative, that are among
the largest and most valuable on earth. Advancing
technology has given us a more accurate understanding
of the nation’s enormous reserves that are ours
for the development. The role of public officials must
be to encourage responsible development across the
board. Unlike the current Administration, we will
not pick winners and losers in the energy marketplace.
Instead, we will let the free market and the
public’s preferences determine the industry outcomes.
In assessing the various sources of potential
energy, Republicans advocate an all-of-the-above diversified
approach, taking advantage of all our American
God-given resources. That is the best way to
advance North American energy independence.
Our policies aim at energy security to ensure an
affordable, stable, and reliable energy supply for all
parts of the country and all sectors of the economy.
Energy security is intimately linked to national security
both in terms of our current dependence upon
foreign supplies and because some of the hundreds
of billions of dollars we pay for foreign oil ends up in
the hands of terrorist groups that wish to harm us. A
growing, prosperous economy and our standard of
living and quality of life, moreover, depend on affordable
and abundant domestic energy supplies.
A strong and stable energy sector is a job generator
and a catalyst of economic growth, not only in
the labor-intensive energy industry but also in its secondary
markets. The Republican Party will encourage
and ensure diversified domestic sources of
energy, from research and development, exploration,
production, transportation, transmission, and consumption
in a way that is economically viable and
job-producing, as well as environmentally sound.
When our energy industry is revitalized, millions
more Americans will find work in manufacturing,
food production, metals, minerals, packaging, transportation
and other fields – because of the jobs that
will be created in, and as a result of, the energy sector.
We are determined to create jobs, spur economic
growth, lower energy prices, and strengthen our
energy industry.
Our Nation’s Energy Abundance
Coal
is a low-cost and abundant energy source
with hundreds of years of supply. We look toward the
private sector’s development of new, state-of-the-art
coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally
responsible, and efficient. We also encourage
research and development of advanced technologies
in this sector, including coal-to-liquid, coal gasification,
and related technologies for enhanced oil
recovery.
The current Administration—with a President
who publicly threatened to bankrupt anyone who
builds a coal-powered plant—seems determined to
shut down coal production in the United States, even
though there is no cost-effective substitute for it or
for the hundreds of thousands of jobs that go with it
as the nation’s largest source of electricity generation.
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
America’s Natural Resources:
Energy, Agriculture and the Environment
16
We will end the EPA’s war on coal and encourage the
increased safe development in all regions of the
nation’s coal resources, the jobs it produces, and
the affordable, reliable energy that it provides for
America. Further, we oppose any and all cap and
trade legislation.
All estimates of America’s
oil and natural gas
reserves indicate an incredible bounty for the use of
many generations to come. At a time when unemployment
has been above 8 percent for 42 consecutive
months, the longest stretch since the Great
Depression, and some 23 million Americans are either
unemployed, underemployed, or have given up
on finding work, we should be
pursuing our oil and gas resources
both on and offshore. It
is nonsensical to spurn real job
creation by putting almost all
of our coastal waters off limits
to energy exploration, while
urging other nations to explore
their coasts. We call for a reasoned
approach to all offshore
energy development on the East
Coast and other appropriate waters,
and support the right of
States to a reasonable share of the resulting revenue
and royalties. We support opening the Outer Continental
Shelf (OCS) for energy exploration and
development and ending the current Administration’s
moratorium on permitting; opening the coastal
plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
for exploration and production of oil and natural
gas; and allowing for more oil and natural gas
exploration on federally owned and controlled land.
We support this development in accordance with
applicable environmental, health and safety laws, and
regulations.
The current President personally blocked one of
the most important energy and jobs projects in years.
The Keystone XL Pipeline—which would have
brought much needed Canadian and American oil to
U.S. refineries—would create thousands of jobs.
The current President’s job-killing combination of
extremism and ineptitude threatens to create a permanent
energy shortage. We are committed to approving
the Keystone XL Pipeline and to streamlining
permitting for the development of other oil and natural
gas pipelines.
Nuclear energy
, now generating about 20 percent
of our electricity through 104 power plants, must
be expanded. No new nuclear generating plants have
been licensed and constructed for thirty years.
We call for timely processing of new reactor applications
currently pending at the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission.
The federal government’s failure to address the
storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel has left
huge bills for States and taxpayers. Our country
needs a more proactive approach to managing spent
nuclear fuel, including through
developing advanced reprocessing
technologies.
We encourage the costeffective
development of
renewable
energy
, but the taxpayers
should not serve as venture capitalists
for risky endeavors. It is
important to create a pathway toward
a market-based approach
for renewable energy sources
and to aggressively develop alternative
sources for electricity generation
such as wind, hydro, solar, biomass,
geothermal, and tidal energy. Partnerships between
traditional energy industries and emerging renewable
industries can be a central component in meeting
the nation’s long-term needs. Alternative forms
of energy are part of our action agenda to power the
homes and workplaces of the nation.
Pulling the Plug on American Energy
Independence: The Failure of the
Current Administration
The current Administration has used taxpayer
dollars to pick winners and losers in the energy sector
while publicly threatening to bankrupt anyone who
builds a new coal-fired plant and has stopped the
Keystone XL Pipeline. The current President has
done nothing to disavow the scare campaign against
hydraulic fracturing. Furthermore, he has wasted billions
of taxpayers’ dollars by subsidizing favored
companies like Solyndra, which generated bankruptcies
rather than kilowatts.
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
Unlike the current
Administration, we will not pick
winners and losers in the energy
marketplace. Instead, we will let
the free market and the public’s
preferences determine the
industry outcomes.
17
Since the current President took office in 2009,
consumers pay approximately twice as much for gas
at the pump. Our common theme is to promote development
of all forms of energy, enable consumer
choice to keep energy costs low, and ensure that
America remains competitive in the global marketplace.
We will respect the States’ proven ability to
regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing, continue development
of oil and gas resources in places like the
Bakken formation and Marcellus Shale, and review
the environmental laws that often thwart new energy
exploration and production. We salute the Republican
Members of the House of Representatives for
passing the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, a vital
piece of pro-growth legislation now introduced by
Republicans in the Senate.
Agriculture
Abundant Harvests: Protecting Our Farmers
Agricultural production and agricultural exports
are a fundamental part of the U.S. economy, and the
vigor of U.S. agriculture is central to our agenda for
jobs, growth, and prosperity. Our farmers and ranchers
are responsible for millions of jobs and for generating
a trade surplus of more than $137 billion
annually. Our producers provide America with abundant
food, export food to hungry people around the
world, and create a positive trade balance. Because
of their care for the land, the United States does not
depend on foreign imports for sustenance the way we
depend on others for much of our energy. However,
Americans are concerned about the increasing cost
of their food under the current Administration policies
that restrict energy production and raise costs for
producers due to increased regulation. Our dependence
on foreign imports of fertilizer could threaten
our food supply, and we support the development of
domestic production of fertilizer. The success of our
system of risk management policies will enable farmers
and ranchers to continue to feed and fuel the nation
and much of the world.
Restoring Economic Stability for Our Farmers
Uncertainty is threatening the survival of our nation’s
farmers. America’s growers and farmers are
aging and much of America’s farmland will be passed
to the next generation of farmers with families. Uncertainties
in estate and capital gains tax laws
threaten the survival of multigenerational family
farms. The proposals for tax reforms contained elsewhere
in this document will make certain that family
farms will not be lost.
The Proper Federal Role in Agriculture
Agricultural producers and the jobs they generate
throughout the entire food chain must confront
volatility in both the weather and the markets. We
support farm programs that enable them to manage
the extraordinary risk they meet in the fields every
year. These programs should be as cost-effective as
they are functional, offering risk management tools
that improve producers’ ability to operate when times
are tough.
Just as all other federal programs must contribute
to the deficit reduction necessary to put our
country back on a sound fiscal footing, so must farm
programs contribute to balancing the budget.
Programs like the Direct Payment program
should end in favor of those, like crop insurance, that
help manage risk and are counter-cyclical in nature.
We support the historic role of the USDA in agricultural
research that has transformed farming here
and around the world. Because food safety is a major
concern of the American people, we urge Congress to
ensure adequate resources for the Department’s responsibilities
in that regard.
The U. S. Forest Service controls about 193 million
acres of land and employs 30,000 workers. The
Forest Service should be charged to use these resources
to the best economic potential for the nation.
We must limit injunctions by activist judges regarding
environmental management. In order to secure one
of the country’s most important natural resources, we
will review the way the Forest Service handles wildfires.
This summer’s lack of rainfall over much of agricultural
America highlights the importance of access
to water for farmers and ranchers alike. We stand with
growers and producers in defense of their water rights
against attempts by the EPA and the Army Corps of
Engineers to expand jurisdiction over water, including
water that is clearly not navigable.
The productivity of America’s farmers makes
possible the generosity of U.S. food aid efforts around
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
18
the world. These programs are fragmented between
the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency
for International Development. They should be
streamlined into one agency with a concentration on
reducing overhead to maximize delivery of the actual
goods.
The food stamp program now accounts for nearly
80 percent of the entire USDA budget. In finding ways
to fight fraud and abuse, the Congress should consider
block-granting that program to the States, along with
the other domestic nutrition programs.
Protecting Our Environment
The environment is getting cleaner and healthier.
The nation’s air and waterways, as a whole, are
much healthier than they were
just a few decades ago. Efforts to
reduce pollution, encourage recycling,
educate the public, and
avoid ecological degradation
have been a success. To ensure
their continued support by the
American people, however, we
need a dramatic change in the
attitude of officials in Washington,
a shift from a job-killing
punitive mentality to a spirit of
cooperation with producers,
landowners, and the public. An
important factor is full transparency
in development of the
data and modeling that drive
regulations. Legislation to restore the authority of
States in environmental protection is essential. We
encourage the use of agricultural best management
practices among the States to reduce pollution.
Our Republican Party’s Commitment
to Conservation
Conservation is a conservative value. As the pioneer
of conservation over a century ago, the Republican
Party believes in the moral obligation of the
people to be good stewards of the God-given natural
beauty and resources of our country and bases environmental
policy on several common-sense principles.
For example, we believe people are the most
valuable resource, and human health and safety are
the most important measurements of success. A policy
protecting these objectives, however, must balance
economic development and private property
rights in the short run with conservation goals over
the long run. Also, public access to public lands for
recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, and
recreational shooting should be permitted on all appropriate
federal lands.
Moreover, the advance of science and technology
advances environmentalism as well. Science allows
us to weigh the costs and benefits of a policy so that
we can prudently deal with our resources. This is especially
important when the causes and long-range
effects of a phenomenon are uncertain. We must restore
scientific integrity to our
public research institutions and
remove political incentives from
publicly funded research.
Private Stewardship of the
Environment
Experience has shown that,
in caring for the land and water,
private ownership has been our
best guarantee of conscientious
stewardship, while the worst instances
of environmental degradation
have occurred under
government control. By the same
token, the most economically
advanced countries–those that
respect and protect private property rights—also have
the strongest environmental protections, because
their economic progress makes possible the conservation
of natural resources. In this context, Congress
should reconsider whether parts of the federal government’s
enormous landholdings and control of
water in the West could be better used for ranching,
mining, or forestry through private ownership. Timber
is a renewable natural resource, which provides
jobs to thousands of Americans. All efforts should be
made to make federal lands managed by the U.S. Forest
Service available for harvesting. The enduring
truth is that people best protect what they own.
It makes sense that those closest to a situation
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
As the pioneer of conservation
over a century ago, the
Republican Party believes
in the moral obligation of the
people to be good stewards of
the God-given natural beauty
and resources of our country
and bases environmental
policy on several
common-sense principles.
19
are best able to determine its remedy. That is why a
site- and situation-specific approach to an environmental
problem is more likely to solve it, instead of a
national rule based on the ideological concerns of
politicized central planning. We therefore endorse
legislation to require congressional approval before
any rule projected to cost in excess of $100 million to
American consumers can go into effect.
The Republican Party supports appointing public
officials to federal agencies who will properly and
correctly apply environmental laws and regulations,
always in support of economic development, job creation,
and American prosperity and leadership. Federal
agencies charged with enforcing environmental
laws must stop regulating beyond their authority.
There is no place in regulatory agencies for activist
regulators.
Reining in the EPA
Since 2009, the EPA has moved forward with expansive
regulations that will impose tens of billions
of dollars in new costs on American businesses and
consumers. Many of these new rules are creating regulatory
uncertainty, preventing new projects from
going forward, discouraging new investment, and
stifling job creation.
We demand an end to the EPA’s participation in
“sue and settle” lawsuits, sweetheart litigation
brought by environmental groups to expand the
Agency’s regulatory activities against the wishes of
Congress and the public. We will require full transparency
in litigation under the nation’s environmental
laws, including advance notice to all State and
local governments, tribes, businesses, landowners,
and the public who could be adversely affected. We
likewise support pending legislation to ensure cumulative
analysis of EPA regulations, and to require full
transparency in all EPA decisions, so that the public
will know in advance their full impact on jobs and the
economy. We oppose the EPA’s unwarranted revocation
of existing permits. We also call on Congress
to take quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving
forward with new greenhouse gas regulations
that will harm the nation’s economy and threaten
millions of jobs over the next quarter century. The
most powerful environmental policy is liberty, the
central organizing principle of the American Republic
and its people. Liberty alone fosters scientific inquiry,
technological innovation, entrepreneurship,
and information exchange. Liberty must remain
the core energy behind America’s environmental
improvement.
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
20
21
We are the party of government reform. At a time
when the federal government has become bloated, antiquated
and unresponsive to taxpayers, it is our intention
not only to improve management and provide
better services, but also to rethink and restructure
government to bring it into the twenty-first century.
Government reform requires constant vigilance and
effort because government by its nature tends to expand
in both size and scope. Our goal is not just less
spending in Washington but something far more important
for the future of our nation: protecting the
constitutional rights of citizens, sustainable prosperity,
and strengthening the American family.
It isn’t enough to merely downsize government,
having a smaller version of the same failed systems.
We must do things in a dramatically different way by
reversing the undermining of
federalism and the centralizing
of power in Washington. We
look to the example set by Republican
Governors and legislators
all across the nation. Their
leadership in reforming and
reengineering government closest
to the people vindicates the
role of the States as the laboratories
of democracy.
Our approach, like theirs, is
two-fold. We look to government—
local, State, and federal—
for the things government must
do, but we believe those duties
can be carried out more efficiently and at less cost.
For all other activities, we look to the private sector;
for the American people’s resourcefulness, productivity,
innovation, fiscal responsibility, and citizenleadership
have always been the true foundation of
our national greatness.
For much of the last century, an opposing view
has dominated public policy where we have witnessed
the expansion, centralization, and bureaucracy in an
entitlement society. Government has lumbered on,
stifling innovation, with no incentive for fundamental
change, through antiquated programs begun generations
ago and now ill-suited to present needs and future
requirements. As a result, today’s taxpayers—and
future generations—face massive indebtedness, while
Congressional Democrats and the current Administration
block every attempt to turn things around.
This man-made log-jam—the so-called stalemate in
Washington—particularly affects the government’s
three largest programs, which have become central to
the lives of untold millions of Americans: Medicare,
Medicaid, and Social Security.
Saving Medicare for Future Generations
The Republican Party is committed to saving
Medicare and Medicaid. Unless the programs’ fiscal
ship is righted, the individuals
hurt the first and the worst will be
those who depend on them the
most. We will save Medicare by
modernizing it, by empowering
its participants, and by putting it
on a secure financial footing. This
will be an enormous undertaking,
and it should be a non-partisan
one. We welcome to the effort
all who sincerely want to ensure
the future for our seniors and
the poor. Republicans are determined
to achieve that goal with a
candid and honest presentation
of the problem and its solutions
to the American people.
Despite the enormous differences between
Medicare and Medicaid, the two programs share the
same fiscal outlook: their current courses cannot be
sustained. Medicare has grown from more than 20
million enrolled in 1970 to more than 47 million enrolled
today, with a projected total of 80 million in
2030. Medicaid counted almost 30 million enrollees
in 1990, has about 54 million now, and under Obamacare
would include an additional 11 million.
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
Reforming Government to Serve the People
At a time when the federal
government has become
bloated, antiquated and
unresponsive to taxpayers, it is
our intention not only to improve
management and provide better
services, but also to rethink and
restructure government to bring
it into the twenty-first century.
22
Medicare spent more than $520 billion in 2010 and
has close to $37 trillion in unfunded obligations,
while total Medicaid spending will more than double
by 2019. In many States, Medicaid’s mandates and
inflexible bureaucracy have become a budgetary
black hole, growing faster than most other budget
lines and devouring funding for many other essential
governmental functions.
The problem goes beyond finances. Poor quality
healthcare is the most expensive type of care because
it prolongs affliction and leads to ever more complications.
Even expensive prevention is preferable to
more costly treatment later on. When approximately
80 percent of healthcare costs are related to lifestyle
–smoking, obesity, substance abuse–far greater emphasis
has to be put upon personal responsibility for
health maintenance. Our goal for both Medicare and
Medicaid must be to assure that every participant receives
the amount of care they need at the time they
need it, whether for an expectant mother and her baby
or for someone in the last moments of life. Absent reforms,
these two programs are headed for bankruptcy
that will endanger care for seniors and the poor.
The first step is to move the two programs away
from their current unsustainable defined-benefit
entitlement model to a fiscally sound definedcontribution
model. This is the only way to limit costs
and restore consumer choice for patients and introduce
competition; for in healthcare, as in any other
sector of the economy, genuine competition is the
best guarantee of better care at lower cost. It is also
the best guard against the fraud and abuse that have
plagued Medicare in its isolation from free market
forces, which in turn costs the taxpayers billions of
dollars every year. We can do this without making
any changes for those 55 and older. While retaining
the option of traditional Medicare in competition
with private plans, we call for a transition to a premium-
support model for Medicare, with an incomeadjusted
contribution toward a health plan of the
enrollee’s choice. This model will include private
health insurance plans that provide catastrophic protection,
to ensure the continuation of doctor-patient
relationships. Without disadvantaging retirees or
those nearing retirement, the age eligibility for
Medicare must be made more realistic in terms of
today’s longer life span.
Strengthening Medicaid in the States
Medicaid, as the dominant payer in the health
market in regards to long-term care, births, and individuals
with mental illness, is the next frontier of
welfare reform. It is simply too big and too flawed to
be managed in its current condition from Washington.
Republican Governors have taken the lead in
proposing a host of regulatory changes that could
make the program more flexible, innovative, and accountable.
There should be alternatives to hospitalization
for chronic health problems. Patients could be
rewarded for participating in disease prevention activities.
Excessive mandates on coverage should be
eliminated. Patients with long-term care needs might
fare better in a separately designed program.
As those and other specific proposals show, Republican
Governors and State legislatures are ready
to do the hard work of modernizing Medicaid for the
twenty-first century. We propose to let them do all
that and more by block-granting the program to the
States, providing the States with the flexibility to design
programs that meet the needs of their low income
citizens. Such reforms could be achieved
through premium supports or a refundable tax credit,
allowing non-disabled adults and children to be
moved into private health insurance of their choice,
where their needs can be met on the same basis as
those of more affluent Americans. For the aged and
disabled under Medicaid, for whom monthly costs
can be extremely high, States would have flexibility
to improve the quality of care and to avoid the inappropriate
institutional placing of patients who prefer
to be cared for at home.
Security For Those Who Need It:
Ensuring Retirement Security
While no changes should adversely affect any
current or near-retiree, comprehensive reform
should address our society’s remarkable medical advances
in longevity and allow younger workers the
option of creating their own personal investment accounts
as supplements to the system. Younger Americans
have lost all faith in the Social Security system,
which is understandable when they read the nonpartisan
actuary’s reports about its future funding
status. Born in an old industrial era beyond the mem-
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
23
ory of most Americans, it is long overdue for major
change, not just another legislative stopgap that postpones
a day of reckoning. To restore public trust in
the system, Republicans are committed to setting it
on a sound fiscal basis that will give workers control
over, and a sound return on, their investments. The
sooner we act, the sooner those close to retirement
can be reassured of their benefits and younger workers
can take responsibility for planning their own retirement
decades from now.
Unlike Social Security, the problems facing private
pension plans are both demographic and
ethical. While pension law may be complicated, the
current bottom line is that many plans are increasingly
underfunded by overestimating their rates of return
on investments. This in turn endangers the
integrity of the Pension Guaranty Benefit Corporation,
which is itself seriously underfunded. In both
cases, the taxpayers will be expected to pay for a
bailout. As the first step toward possible corrective action,
we call for a presidential panel to review the private
pension system in this country of only those
private pensions that are backed by the Pension
Guaranty Benefit Corporation and to make public
its findings.
The situation of public pension systems demands
immediate remedial action. The irresponsible promises
of politicians at every level of government have
come back to haunt today’s taxpayers with enormous
unfunded pension liabilities. Many cities face bankruptcy
because of excessive outlays for early retirement,
extravagant health plans, and overly generous
pension benefits. We salute the Republican Governors
and State legislators who have, in the face of
abuse and threats of violence, reformed their State
pension systems for the benefit of both taxpayers and
retirees alike.
Regulatory Reform:
The Key to Economic Growth
The proper purpose of regulation is to set forth
clear rules of the road for the citizens, so that business
owners and workers can understand in advance what
they need to do, or not do, to augment the possibilities
for success within the confines of the law. Regulations
must be drafted and implemented to balance legitimate
public safety or consumer protection goals and
job creation. Constructive regulation should be a helpful
guide, not a punitive threat. Worst of all, overregulation
is a stealth tax on everyone as the costs of
compliance with the whims of federal agencies are
passed along to the consumers at the cost of $1.75 trillion
a year. Many regulations are necessary, like those
which ensure the safety of food and medicine, especially
from overseas. But no peril justifies the regulatory
impact of Obamacare on the practice of medicine,
the Dodd-Frank Act on financial services, or the EPA’s
and OSHA’s overreaching regulation agenda. A Republican
Congress and President will repeal the first
and second, and rein in the third. We support a sunset
requirement to force reconsideration of out-ofdate
regulations, and we endorse pending legislation
to require congressional approval for all new major
and costly regulations.
The bottom line on regulations is jobs. In listening
to America, one constant we have heard is the jobcrippling
effect of even well-intentioned regulation.
That makes it all the more important for federal agencies
to be judicious about the impositions they create
on businesses, especially small businesses. We call for
a moratorium on the development of any new major
and costly regulations until a Republican Administration
reviews existing rules to ensure that they have a
sound basis in science and will be cost-effective.
Protecting Internet Freedom
The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled
growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively
than any other technological advance in
human history. Its independence is its power. The Internet
offers a communications system uniquely free
from government intervention. We will remove regulatory
barriers that protect outdated technologies
and business plans from innovation and competition,
while preventing legacy regulation from interfering
with new and disruptive technologies such as mobile
delivery of voice video data as they become crucial
components of the Internet ecosystem. We will resist
any effort to shift control away from the successful
multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance
and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental
organizations. We will ensure that
personal data receives full constitutional protection
from government overreach and that individuals re-
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
24
tain the right to control the use of their data by third
parties; the only way to safeguard or improve these
systems is through the private sector.
A Vision for the Twenty-First Century:
Technology, Telecommunications
and the Internet
The most vibrant sector of the American economy,
indeed, one-sixth of it, is regulated by the federal
government on precedents from the nineteenth
century. Today’s technology and telecommunications
industries are overseen by the Federal Communications
Commission, established in 1934 and given
the jurisdiction over telecommunications formerly
assigned to the Interstate Commerce Commission,
which had been created in 1887 to regulate the railroads.
This is not a good fit. Indeed, the development
of telecommunications advances so rapidly that even
the Telecom Act of 1996 is woefully
out of date. An industry
that invested $66 billion in 2011
alone needs, and deserves, a
more modern relationship with
the federal government for the
benefit of consumers here and
worldwide.
The current Administration
has been frozen in the past. It
has conducted no auction of
spectrum, has offered no incentives
for investment, and,
through the FCC’s net neutrality rule, is trying to micromanage
telecom as if it were a railroad network. It
inherited from the previous Republican Administration
95 percent coverage of the nation with broadband.
It will leave office with no progress toward the
goal of universal coverage – after spending $7.2 billion
more. That hurts rural America, where farmers,
ranchers, and small business manufacturers need
connectivity to expand their customer base and operate
in real time with the world’s producers. We encourage
public-private partnerships to provide
predictable support for connecting rural areas so that
every American can fully participate in the global
economy.
We call for an inventory of federal agency spectrum
to determine the surplus that could be auctioned
for the taxpayers’ benefit. With special recognition
of the role university technology centers are
playing in attracting private investment to the field,
we will replace the administration’s Luddite approach
to technological progress with a regulatory
partnership that will keep this country the world
leader in technology and telecommunications.
Protecting the Taxpayers:
No More “Too Big to Fail”
For more than a century, the U.S. was the world
leader in financial services. The visionary management
of capital was the lifeblood of the entire economy.
By giving responsible access to credit, it helped
small businesses grow, created jobs, and made Americans
the best-housed people in history. By funding
innovation, financial services underwrote our future.
Then came the financial collapse of 2008 and a critical
reassessment of the role and
condition of financial institutions—
most of which, it must be
said, were responsible and
healthy, especially those closest to
their investors and borrowers.
In cases of malfeasance or
other criminal behavior, the full
force of the law should be used.
But in all cases, this rule must
apply: No financial institution is
too big to fail. The taxpayers must
never again be on the hook for the
losses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The public
must never again be left holding the bag for Wall
Street giants, which is why we decry the current Administration’s
record of over-regulation and selective
intervention, which has already frozen investment
and job creation and threatens to make financial institutions
the coddled wards of government.
A far better approach—protecting consumers and
taxpayers alike—is institutional transparency. Banks
need to know that they could be at risk, and investors
need clear rules that are not subject to political meddling.
The same holds true for the equity market
regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
We propose reasonable federal oversight of financial
institutions, practical safeguards for consumers,
and – what is crucial for this country’s economic re-
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
The Internet has unleashed
innovation, enabled growth,
and inspired freedom more
rapidly and extensively than
any other technological advance
in human history. Its
independence is its power.
25
bound – sound spending, tax, and regulatory policies
that will allow those institutions to once again become
the builders of the next American century. We
strongly support tax reform; in the event we do not
achieve this, we must preserve the mortgage interest
deduction.
Judicial Activism:
A Threat to the U.S. Constitution
Despite improvements as a result of Republican
nominations to the judiciary, some judges in the federal
courts remain far afield from their constitutional
limitations. The U.S. Constitution is the law of the
land. Judicial activism which includes reliance on
foreign law or unratified treaties undermines American
law. The sole solution, apart from impeachment,
is the appointment of constitutionalist jurists, who
will interpret the law as it was originally intended
rather than make it. That is both a presidential responsibility,
in selecting judicial candidates, and a
senatorial responsibility, in confirming them. We
urge Republican Senators to do all in their power to
prevent the elevation of additional leftist ideologues
to the courts, particularly in the waning days of the
current Administration.
In addition to appointing activist judges, the current
Administration has included an activist and
highly partisan Department of Justice. With a Republican
Administration, the Department will stop
suing States for exercising those powers reserved to
the States, will stop abusing its preclearance authority
to block photo-ID voting laws, and will fulfill its
responsibility to defend all federal laws in court, including
the Defense of Marriage Act.
Restructuring the U.S. Postal Service
for the Twenty-First Century
The dire financial circumstances of the Postal
Service require dramatic restructuring. In a world of
rapidly advancing telecommunications, mail delivery
from the era of the Pony Express cannot long survive.
We call on Congress to restructure the Service to ensure
the continuance of its essential function of delivering
mail while preparing for the downsizing
made inevitable by the advance of internet communication.
In light of the Postal Service’s seriously underfunded
pension system, Congress should explore
a greater role for private enterprise in appropriate aspects
of the mail-processing system.
Protecting Travelers and their Rights:
Reforming the TSA for Security and Privacy
While the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks
brought about a greater need for homeland security,
the American people have already delivered their verdict
on the Transportation Security Administration:
its procedures – and much of its personnel – need to
be changed. It is now a massive bureaucracy of
65,000 employees who seem to be accountable to no
one for the way they treat travelers. We call for the
private sector to take over airport screening wherever
feasible and look toward the development of security
systems that can replace the personal violation of
frisking.
The Rule of Law: Legal Immigration
The greatest asset of the American economy is
the American worker. Just as immigrant labor
helped build our country in the past, today’s legal immigrants
are making vital contributions in every aspect
of our national life. Their industry and
commitment to American values strengthens our
economy, enriches our culture, and enables us to better
understand and more effectively compete with the
rest of the world. Illegal immigration undermines
those benefits and affects U.S. workers. In an age of
terrorism, drug cartels, human trafficking, and criminal
gangs, the presence of millions of unidentified
persons in this country poses grave risks to the safety
and the sovereignty of the United States. Our highest
priority, therefore, is to secure the rule of law both at
our borders and at ports of entry.
We recognize that for most of those seeking
entry into this country, the lack of respect for the rule
of law in their homelands has meant economic exploitation
and political oppression by corrupt elites.
In this country, the rule of law guarantees equal treatment
to every individual, including more than one
million immigrants to whom we grant permanent
residence every year. That is why we oppose any
form of amnesty for those who, by intentionally violating
the law, disadvantage those who have obeyed
it. Granting amnesty only rewards and encourages
more law breaking. We support the mandatory use
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of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements
(S.A.V.E.) program—an internet-based system that
verifies the lawful presence of applicants—prior to
the granting of any State or federal government entitlements
or IRS refunds. We insist upon enforcement
at the workplace through verification systems
so that jobs can be available to all legal workers. Use
of the E-verify program—an internet-based system
that verifies the employment authorization and identity
of employees—must be made mandatory nationwide.
State enforcement efforts
in the workplace must be welcomed,
not attacked. When
Americans need jobs, it is absolutely
essential that we protect
them from illegal labor in the
workplace. In addition, it is why
we demand tough penalties for
those who practice identity theft,
deal in fraudulent documents,
and traffic in human beings. It is
why we support Republican legislation
to give the Department of
Homeland Security long-term
detention authority to keep dangerous but undeportable
aliens off our streets, expedite expulsion of
criminal aliens, and make gang membership a deportable
offense.
The current Administration’s approach to immigration
has undermined the rule of law at every turn.
It has lessened work-site enforcement—and even allows
the illegal aliens it does uncover to walk down
the street to the next employer—and challenged legitimate
State efforts to keep communities safe, suing
them for trying to enforce the law when the federal
government refuses to do so. It has created a backdoor
amnesty program unrecognized in law, granting
worker authorization to illegal aliens, and shown little
regard for the life-and-death situations facing the
men and women of the border patrol.
Perhaps worst of all, the current Administration
has failed to enforce the legal means for workers or
employers who want to operate within the law.
In contrast, a Republican Administration and
Congress will partner with local governments
through cooperative enforcement agreements in Section
287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act to
make communities safer for all and will consider, in
light of both current needs and historic practice, the
utility of a legal and reliable source of foreign labor
where needed through a new guest worker program.
We will create humane procedures to encourage illegal
aliens to return home voluntarily, while enforcing
the law against those who overstay their visas.
State efforts to reduce illegal immigration must
be encouraged, not attacked. The pending Department
of Justice lawsuits against Arizona, Alabama,
South Carolina, and Utah must
be dismissed immediately. The
double-layered fencing on the border
that was enacted by Congress
in 2006, but never completed,
must finally be built. In order to
restore the rule of law, federal
funding should be denied to sanctuary
cities that violate federal law
and endanger their own citizens,
and federal funding should be denied
to universities that provide instate
tuition rates to illegal aliens,
in open defiance of federal law.
We are grateful to the thousands of new immigrants,
many of them not yet citizens, who are serving
in the Armed Forces. Their patriotism should encourage
us all to embrace the newcomers legally among
us, assist their journey to full citizenship, and help
their communities avoid isolation from the mainstream
of society. To that end, while we encourage
the retention and transmission of heritage tongues,
we support English as the nation’s official language,
a unifying force essential for the educational and economic
advancement of—not only immigrant communities—
but also our nation as a whole.
Honoring Our Relationship
with American Indians
Based on both treaty and other law, the federal
government has a unique government-to-government
relationship with and trust responsibility for Indian
Tribal Governments and American Indians and
Alaska Natives. These obligations have not been sufficiently
honored. The social and economic problems
that plague Indian country have grown worse over
the last several decades; we must reverse that trend.
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The greatest asset of the
American economy is the
American worker. Just as
immigrant labor helped build
our country in the past, today’s
legal immigrants are making
vital contributions in every
aspect of our national life.
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Ineffective federal programs deprive American Indians
of the services they need, and long-term failures
threaten to undermine tribal sovereignty itself.
American Indians have established elected tribal
governments to carry out the public policies of the
tribe, administer services to its tribal member constituents,
and manage relations with federal, State,
and local governments. We respect the tribal governments
as the voice of their communities and encourage
federal, State, and local governments to heed
those voices in developing programs and partnerships
to improve the quality of life for American
Indians and their neighbors in their communities.
Republicans believe that economic selfsufficiency
is the ultimate answer to the challenges
confronting Indian country. We believe that tribal
governments and their communities, not Washington
bureaucracies, are best situated to craft solutions
that will end systemic problems that create poverty
and disenfranchisement. Just as the federal government
should not burden States with regulations, it
should not stifle the development of resources within
the reservations, which need federal assistance to advance
their commerce nationally through roads and
technology. Federal and State regulations that thwart
job creation must be withdrawn or redrawn so that
tribal governments acting on behalf of American Indians
are not disadvantaged. It is especially egregious
that the Democratic Party has persistently undermined
tribal sovereignty in order to provide advantage
to union bosses in the tribal workplace.
Republicans recognize that each tribe has the
right of consultation before any new regulatory policy
is implemented on tribal land. To the extent possible,
such consultation should take place in Indian country
with the tribal government and its members. Before
promulgating and imposing any new laws or
regulations affecting trust land or members, the federal
government should encourage Indian tribes to
develop their own policies to achieve program objectives,
and should defer to tribes to develop their own
standards, or standards in conjunction with State
governments.
Republicans reject a one-size-fits-all approach to
federal-tribal-State partnerships and will work to expand
local autonomy where tribal governments seek
it. Better partnerships will help us to expand economic
opportunity, deliver top-flight education to future
generations, modernize and improve the Indian
Health Service to make it more responsive to local
needs, and build essential infrastructure in Indian
country in cooperation with tribal neighbors. Our approach
is to empower American Indians, through
tribal self-determination and self-governance policies,
to develop their greatest assets, human resources
and the rich natural resources on their lands,
without undue federal interference.
Like all Americans, American Indians want safe
communities for their families; but inadequate resources
and neglect have, over time, allowed criminal
activities to plague Indian country. To protect everyone—
and especially the most vulnerable: children,
women, and elders—the legal system in tribal communities
must provide stability and protect property
rights. Everyone’s due process and civil rights must
be safeguarded.
We support efforts to ensure equitable participation
in federal programs by American Indians, including
Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and to
preserve their culture and languages that we consider
to be national treasures. Lastly, we recognize that
American Indians have responded to the call for military
service in percentage numbers far greater than
have other groups of Americans. We honor that commitment,
loyalty, and sacrifice of all American Indians
serving in the military today and in years past
and will ensure that all veterans and their families receive
the care and respect they have earned through
their loyal service to America.
Preserving the District of Columbia
The nation’s capital city, a special responsibility
of the federal government, belongs both to its residents
and to all Americans, millions of whom visit it
every year. Congressional Republicans have
taken the lead in efforts to foster homeownership and
open access to higher education for Washington residents.
Against the opposition of the current President
and leaders of the Democratic Party, they have
fought to establish, and now to expand, the D.C.
Opportunity Scholarship Program, through which
thousands of low-income children have been able to
attend a school of their choice and receive a quality
education.
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D.C.’s Republicans have been in the forefront of
exposing and combating the chronic corruption
among the city’s top Democratic officials. We join
their call for a non-partisan elected Attorney
General to clean up the city’s political culture and for
congressional action to enforce the spirit of the Home
Rule Act assuring minority representation on the
City Council. After decades of inept one-party rule,
the city’s structural deficit demands congressional
attention.
As the center of our government, the District
contains many potential targets for terrorist attacks.
Federal security agencies should work closely with
local officials and regional administrations like the
Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority. A
top priority must be ensuring that all public transportation,
especially Metro rails, is functioning in the
event of an emergency evacuation. Also, to ensure
protection of the fundamental right to keep and bear
arms, we call on the governing authority to pass laws
consistent with the Supreme Court’s decisions in the
District of Columbia v. Heller
and McDonald v.
Chicago
cases, which upheld the fundamental right to
keep and bear arms for self-defense.
We oppose statehood for the District of Columbia.
Modernizing the Federal Civil Service
The federal workforce bears great responsibilities
and sometimes wields tremendous power, especially
when Congress delegates to it the execution of
complicated and far-reaching legislation. We recognize
the dedication of federal workers and the difficulty
of their thankless task of implementing poorly
drafted or open-ended legislation.
Under the current Administration, the civil service
has grown by at least 140,000 workers, while the
number making at least $150,000 has doubled. At a
time when the national debt has increased to over
$15.9 trillion under the current Administration, this
is grossly irresponsible. The American people work
too hard and too long to support a bloated government.
We call for a reduction, through attrition, in
the federal payroll of at least 10 percent and the adjustment
of pay scales and benefits to reflect those of
the private sector. We must bring the 130-year old
Civil Service System into the twenty-first century.
The federal pay system should be sufficiently flexible
to acknowledge and reward those who dare to innovate,
reduce overhead, optimize processes, and expedite
paperwork.
Delinquency in paying taxes and repaying student
loans has been too common in some segments of
the civil service. A Republican Administration will
make enforcement among its own employees a priority
and, unlike the current Administration, will name
to public office no one who has failed to meet their financial
obligations to the government and fellow taxpayers.
America’s Future in Space:
Continuing this Quest
The exploration of space has been a key part of
U.S. global leadership and has supported innovation
and ownership of technology. Over the last halfcentury,
in partnership with our aerospace industry,
the work of NASA has helped define and strengthen
our nation’s technological prowess. From building
the world’s most powerful rockets to landing men on
the Moon, sending robotic spacecraft throughout
our solar system and beyond, building the International
Space Station, and launching space-based
telescopes that allow scientists to better understand
our universe, NASA science and engineering
have produced spectacular results. The technologies
that emerged from those programs propelled our
aerospace industrial base and directly benefit our national
security, safety, economy, and quality of life.
Through its achievements, NASA has inspired generations
of Americans to study science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics, leading to careers
that drive our country’s technological and economic
engines.
Today, America’s leadership in space is challenged
by countries eager to emulate—and surpass—
NASA’s accomplishments. To preserve our national
security interests and foster innovation and competitiveness,
we must sustain our preeminence in space,
launching more science missions, guaranteeing unfettered
access, and maintaining a source of high-value
American jobs.
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Honoring and Supporting
Americans in the Territories
We honor the extraordinary sacrifices of the men
and women of the territories who protect our freedom
through their service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
We welcome their greater participation in all aspects
of the political process and affirm their right to seek
the full extension of the Constitution, with all the
rights and responsibilities it entails.
U.S. territories face serious economic challenges
as they struggle to retain existing industries and develop
new ones. Development of local energy options
is crucial to reduce their dependence on imported fuel
and promote economic stability. The Pacific territories
should have flexibility to determine the minimum
wage, which has seriously restricted progress in the
private sector. A stronger private sector can raise
wages, reduce dependence on public sector employment,
and lead toward local self-sufficiency. All unreasonable
economic impediments must be removed,
including unreasonable U.S. customs practices.
We support the right of the United States citizens
of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a
fully sovereign state if they freely so determine. We
recognize that Congress has the final authority to define
the constitutionally valid options for Puerto Rico
to achieve a permanent non-territorial status with
government by consent and full enfranchisement. As
long as Puerto Rico is not a State, however, the will
of its people regarding their political status should
be ascertained by means of a general right of referendum
or specific referenda sponsored by the U.S.
government.
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31
We are the party of independent individuals
and the institutions they create—families, schools,
congregations, neighborhoods—to advance their
ideals and make real their dreams. Foremost among
those institutions is the American family. It is the
foundation of our society and the first level of selfgovernment.
Its daily lessons–cooperation, patience,
mutual respect, responsibility, self-reliance – are fundamental
to the order and progress of our Republic.
Government can never replace the family. That is
why we insist that public policy, from taxation to
education, from healthcare to welfare, be formulated
with attention to the needs and strengths of the
family.
Preserving and Protecting
Traditional Marriage
The institution of marriage is the foundation of
civil society. Its success as an institution will determine
our success as a nation. It has been proven by
both experience and endless social science studies
that traditional marriage is best for children. Children
raised in intact married families are more
likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally
healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol,
engage in crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage.
The success of marriage directly impacts the economic
well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the
future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family
formation not only leads to more government costs,
but also to more government control over the lives
of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor
the courageous efforts of those who bear the many
burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that
marriage, the union of one man and one woman must
be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand
for, encourage, and promote through laws governing
marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans
should be treated with respect and dignity.
Creating a Culture of Hope:
Raising Families Beyond Poverty
The Republican-led welfare reforms enacted in
1996 marked a revolution in government’s approach
to poverty. They changed the standard for policy success
from the amount of income transferred to the
poor to the number of poor who moved from welfare
to economic independence. We took the belief of
most Americans—that welfare should be a hand up,
not a hand out—and made it law. Work requirements,
though modest, were at the heart of this success. That
is why so many are now outraged by the current Administration’s
recent decision to permit waivers for
work requirements for welfare benefits, in other
words, to administratively repeal the most successful
anti-poverty policy in memory. Instead of undermining
the expectation that low-income parents and individuals
should strive to support themselves, benefit
programs like food stamps must ensure that those
benefits are better targeted to those who need help
the most.
For the sake of low-income families as well as the
taxpayers, the federal government’s entire system of
public assistance should be reformed to ensure that
it promotes work. Each year, this system dispenses
nearly $1 trillion in taxpayer funds across a maze of
approximately 80 programs that are neither coordinated
nor effective in solving poverty and lifting up
families. For many individuals collecting benefits
from multiple categorical programs, efforts to work
or earn more actually result in less money in their
pocket through the resulting loss of benefits. This
poverty trap would ensnare even more Americans if
Obamacare were implemented. Taking a part time
job, working an extra shift, or even just marrying
someone who works, would result in a loss of benefits,
thereby discouraging the very acts necessary to
achieve the American Dream.
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Renewing American Values to Build Healthy Families,
Great Schools and Safe Neighborhoods
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Adoption and Foster Care
Families formed or enlarged by adoption
strengthen our communities and ennoble our nation.
We applaud the Republican legislative initiatives that
led to a significant increase in adoptions in recent
years, and we call upon the private sector to consider
the needs of adoptive families on a par with others.
Any restructuring of the federal tax code should recognize
the financial impact of the adoption process
and the commitment made by adoptive families.
The nation’s foster care system remains a necessary
fallback for youngsters from troubled families.
Because of reforms initiated by many States, the
number of foster children has declined to just over
400,000. A major problem of the system is its lack of
support, financial and otherwise, for teens who age
out of foster care and into a world in which many are
not prepared to go it alone. We urge States to work
with the faith-based and other community groups
which reach out to these young people in need.
Making the Internet Family-Friendly
Millions of Americans suffer from problem or
pathological gambling that can destroy families. We
support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet
and call for reversal of the Justice Department’s decision
distorting the formerly accepted meaning of
the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet
betting.
The Internet must be made safe for children. We
call on service providers to exercise due care to ensure
that the Internet cannot become a safe haven for
predators while respecting First Amendment rights.
We congratulate the social networking sites that bar
known sex offenders from participation. We urge active
prosecution against child pornography, which is
closely linked to the horrors of human trafficking.
Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity
need to be vigorously enforced.
Advancing Americans with Disabilities
We renew our commitment to the inclusion of
Americans with disabilities in all aspects of our national
life. In keeping with that commitment, we oppose
the non-consensual withholding of care or
treatment from people with disabilities, including
newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as
we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger
especially those on the margins of society. Because
government should set a positive standard in
hiring and contracting for the services of persons
with disabilities, we need to update the statutory authority
for the Ability One program, a major avenue
by which those productive members of our society
can offer high quality services.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) has opened up unprecedented opportunities
for many students, and we reaffirm our support for
its goal of minimizing the separation of children with
disabilities from their peers. We urge preventive efforts
in early childhood, especially assistance in gaining
pre-reading skills, to help many students move
beyond the need for IDEA’s protections. We endorse
the program of Employment First, developed by
major disability rights groups, to replace dependency
with jobs in the mainstream of the American
workforce.
Repealing Obamacare
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act—Obamacare—was never really about healthcare,
though its impact upon the nation’s health is disastrous.
From its start, it was about power, the expansion
of government control over one sixth of our
economy, and resulted in an attack on our Constitution,
by requiring that U.S. citizens purchase health
insurance. We agree with the four dissenting justices
of the Supreme Court: “In our view the entire Act before
us is invalid in its entirety.” It was the high-water
mark of an outdated liberalism, the latest attempt to
impose upon Americans a euro-style bureaucracy to
manage all aspects of their lives. Obamacare has
been struck down in the court of public opinion and
is falling by the weight of its own confusing, unworkable,
budget-busting, and conflicting provisions. It
would tremendously expand Medicaid without significant
reform, leaving the States to assume unsustainable
financial burdens. If fully implemented, it
could not function; and Republican victories in the
November elections will guarantee that it is never implemented.
Congressional Republicans are committed
to its repeal; and a Republican President, on the
first day in office, will use his legitimate waiver authority
under that law to halt its progress and then
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will sign its repeal. Then the American people,
through the free market, can advance affordable and
responsible healthcare reform that meets the needs
and concerns of patients and providers. Through
Obamacare, the current Administration has promoted
the notion of abortion as healthcare. We, however,
affirm the dignity of women by protecting the
sanctity of human life. Numerous studies have
shown that abortion endangers the health and wellbeing
of women, and we stand firmly against it.
Our Prescription for American Healthcare:
Improve Quality and Lower Costs
We believe that taking care of one’s health is an
individual responsibility. Chronic diseases, many of
them related to lifestyle, drive healthcare costs, accounting
for more than 75 percent of the nation’s
medical spending. To reduce demand, and thereby
lower costs, we must foster personal responsibility
while increasing preventive services
to promote healthy lifestyles.
We believe that all Americans
should have improved access to
affordable, coordinated, quality
healthcare, including individuals
struggling with mental illness.
Our goal is to encourage the
development of a healthcare system
that provides higher quality
care at a lower cost to all Americans
while protecting the patientphysician
relationship based on
mutual trust, informed consent,
and privileged patient confidentiality.
We seek to increase healthcare choice and options,
contain costs and reduce mandates, simplify
the system for patients and providers, restore cuts
made to Medicare, and equalize the tax treatment of
group and individual health insurance plans. For
most Americans, those who are insured now or who
seek insurance in the future, our practical, non-intrusive
reforms will promote flexibility in State leadership
in healthcare reform, promote a free-market
based system, and empower consumer choice. All of
which will return direction of the nation’s healthcare
to the people and away from the federal government.
To return the States to their proper role of regulating
local insurance markets and caring for the
needy, we propose to block grant Medicaid and other
payments to the States; limit federal requirements on
both private insurance and Medicaid; assist all patients,
including those with pre-existing conditions,
through reinsurance and risk adjustment; and promote
non-litigation alternatives for dispute resolution.
We call on State officials to carefully consider
the increased costs of medical mandates, imposed
under their laws, which may price many low-income
families out of the insurance market. We call on the
government to permanently ban all federal funding
and subsidies for abortion and healthcare plans that
include abortion coverage.
To achieve a free market in healthcare and ensure
competition, we will promote price transparency so
that consumers will know the actual cost of treatments
before they undergo them. When patients are
aware of costs, they are less likely to over-utilize services.
We support legislation to
cap non-economic damages in
medical malpractice lawsuits,
thereby relieving conscientious
providers of burdens that are not
rightly theirs and addressing a
serious cause of escalating medical
bills. We will empower individuals
and small businesses to
form purchasing pools in order
to expand coverage to the uninsured.
Individuals with preexisting
conditions who maintain
continuous insurance coverage
should be protected from
discrimination. We support technology enhancements
for medical health records and data systems
while affirming patient privacy and ownership of
health information.
Ensuring Consumer Choice in Healthcare
Consumer choice is the most powerful factor in
healthcare reform. Today’s highly mobile work force
requires portability of insurance coverage that can go
with them from job to job. The need to maintain coverage
should not dictate where families have to live
and work. Putting the patient at the center of policy
decisions will increase choice and reduce costs while
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Consumer choice is the most
powerful factor in healthcare
reform… Putting the patient
at the center of policy decisions
will increase choice and reduce
costs while ensuring that
services provide what
Americans actually want.
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ensuring that services provide what Americans actually
want. We must end tax discrimination against the
individual purchase of insurance and allow consumers
to purchase insurance across State lines.
While promoting “co-insurance” products and alternatives
to “fee for service,” government must promote
Health Savings Accounts and Health
Reimbursement Accounts to be used for insurance
premiums and should encourage the private sector to
rate competing insurance plans. We will ensure that
America’s aging population has access to safe and affordable
care. Because seniors overwhelmingly desire
to age at home, we will make home care a priority
in public policy. We will champion the right of individual
choice in senior care. We will aggressively implement
programs to protect against elder abuse, and
we will work to ensure that quality care is provided
across the care continuum from home to nursing
home to hospice.
Supporting Federal Healthcare
Research and Development
We support federal investment in healthcare delivery
systems and solutions creating innovative
means to provide greater, more cost-effective access
to high quality healthcare. We also support federal
investment in basic and applied biomedical research,
especially the neuroscience research that may
hold great potential for dealing with diseases
and disorders such as Autism, Alzheimer’s, and
Parkinson’s. If we are to make significant headway
against breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and
other killers, research must consider the special
needs of formerly neglected groups. We call for
expanded support for the stem-cell research that now
offers the greatest hope for many afflictions–
with adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells
reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells–without
the destruction of embryonic human life. We urge a
ban on human cloning and on the creation of or experimentation
on human embryos. We support
restoring the Drug Enforcement Administration ban
on the use of controlled substances for physicianassisted
suicide. We oppose the FDA approval of
Mifeprex, formerly known as RU-486, and similar
drugs that terminate innocent human life after
conception.
Protecting Individual Conscience
in Healthcare
No healthcare professional or organization
should ever be required to perform, provide for, withhold,
or refer for a medical service against their conscience.
This is especially true of the religious
organizations which deliver a major portion of America’s
healthcare, a service rooted in the charity of faith
communities. We do not believe, however, that
healthcare providers should be allowed to withhold
services because the healthcare provider believes the
patient’s life is not worth living. We support the ability
of all organizations to provide, purchase, or enroll
in healthcare coverage consistent with their religious,
moral or ethical convictions without discrimination
or penalty. We likewise support the right of parents
to consent to medical treatment for their children, including
mental health treatment, drug treatment, and
treatment involving pregnancy, contraceptives and
abortion. We urge enactment of pending legislation
that would require parental consent to transport girls
across state lines for abortions.
Reforming the FDA
America’s leadership in life sciences R&D and
medical innovation is being threatened. As a country,
we must work together now or lose our leadership position
in medical innovation, U.S. job creation, and access
to life-saving treatments for U.S. patients. The
United States has led the global medical device and
pharmaceutical industries for decades. This leadership
has made the U.S. the medical innovation capital
of the world, bringing millions of high-paying jobs to
our country and life-saving devices and drugs to our
nation’s patients. But that leadership position is at
risk; patients, innovators, and job creators point to the
lack of predictability, consistency, transparency and
efficiency at the Food and Drug Administration that
is driving innovation overseas, benefiting foreign, not
U.S., patients.
We pledge to reform the FDA so we can ensure
that the U.S. remains the world leader in medical innovation,
that device and drug jobs stay in the U.S.,
that U.S. patients benefit first from new devices and
drugs, and that the FDA no longer wastes U.S. taxpayer
and innovators’ resources because of bureaucratic
red tape and legal uncertainty.
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Reducing Costs through Tort Reform
Frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits have ballooned
the cost of healthcare for the average American.
Physicians are increasingly practicing defensive
medicine because of the looming threat of malpractice
liability. Moreover, some medical practitioners
are avoiding patients with complex and high-risk
medical problems because of the high costs of medical
malpractice lawsuits. Rural America is hurt especially
hard as obstetricians, surgeons, and other
healthcare providers are moving to urban settings or
retiring, causing a significant healthcare workforce
shortage and subsequently decreasing access to care
for all patients. We are committed to aggressively
pursuing tort reform legislation to help avoid the
practice of defensive medicine, to keep healthcare
costs low, and improve healthcare quality.
Education: A Chance for Every Child
Parents are responsible for the education of their
children. We do not believe in a one size fits all approach
to education and support providing broad education
choices to parents and children at the State
and local level. Maintaining American preeminence
requires a world-class system of education, with high
standards, in which all students can reach their potential.
Today’s education reform movement calls for accountability
at every stage of schooling. It affirms
higher expectations for all students and rejects the
crippling bigotry of low expectations. It recognizes the
wisdom of State and local control of our schools, and
it wisely sees consumer rights in education—choice—
as the most important driving force for renewing our
schools.
Education is much more than schooling. It is the
whole range of activities by which families and communities
transmit to a younger generation, not just
knowledge and skills, but ethical and behavioral norms
and traditions. It is the handing over of a personal and
cultural identity. That is why education choice has expanded
so vigorously. It is also why American education
has, for the last several decades, been the focus of
constant controversy, as centralizing forces outside the
family and community have sought to remake education
in order to remake America. They have not succeeded,
but they have done immense damage.
Attaining Academic Excellence for All
Since 1965 the federal government has spent $2
trillion on elementary and secondary education with
no substantial improvement in academic achievement
or high school graduation rates (which currently
are 59 percent for African-American students
and 63 percent for Hispanics). The U.S. spends an average
of more than $10,000 per pupil per year in
public schools, for a total of more than $550 billion.
That represents more than 4 percent of GDP devoted
to K-12 education in 2010. Of that amount, federal
spending was more than $47 billion. Clearly, if
money were the solution, our schools would be
problem-free.
More money alone does not necessarily equal
better performance. After years of trial and error, we
know what does work, what has actually made a difference
in student advancement, and what is powering
education reform at the local level all across
America: accountability on the part of administrators,
parents and teachers; higher academic standards;
programs that support the development of
character and financial literacy; periodic rigorous assessments
on the fundamentals, especially math, science,
reading, history, and geography; renewed focus
on the Constitution and the writings of the Founding
Fathers, and an accurate account of American history
that celebrates the birth of this great nation; transparency,
so parents and the public can discover which
schools best serve their pupils; flexibility and freedom
to innovate, so schools can adapt to the special
needs of their students and hold teachers and administrators
responsible for student performance. We
support the innovations in education reform occurring
at the State level based upon proven results. Republican
Governors have led in the effort to reform
our country’s underperforming education system,
and we applaud these advancements.
We advocate the policies and methods that have
proven effective: building on the basics, especially
STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering,
and math) and phonics; ending social promotions;
merit pay for good teachers; classroom discipline;
parental involvement; and strong leadership by principals,
superintendents, and locally elected school
boards. Because technology has become an essential
tool of learning, proper implementation of technol-
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ogy is a key factor in providing every child equal access
and opportunity.
Consumer Choice in Education
The Republican Party is the party of fresh and innovative
ideas in education. We support options for
learning, including home schooling and local innovations
like single-sex classes, full-day school hours, and
year-round schools. School choice—whether through
charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab
schools, virtual schools, career and technical education
programs, vouchers, or tax credits—is important
for all children, especially for families with children
trapped in failing schools. Getting those youngsters
into decent learning environments and helping them
to realize their full potential is the greatest civil rights
challenge of our time. We support the promotion of
local career and technical educational programs and
entrepreneurial programs that have been supported
by leaders in industry and will retrain and retool the
American workforce, which is the best in the world.
A young person’s ability to achieve in school must be
based on his or her God-given talent and motivation,
not an address, zip code, or economic status.
In sum, on the one hand enormous amounts of
money are being spent for K-12 public education with
overall results that do not justify that spending. On
the other hand, the common experience of families,
teachers, and administrators forms the basis of what
does work in education. We believe the gap between
those two realities can be successfully bridged, and
Congressional Republicans are pointing a new way
forward with major reform legislation. We support
its concept of block grants and the repeal of numerous
federal regulations which interfere with State and
local control of public schools.
The bulk of the federal money through Title I for
low-income children and through IDEA for disabled
youngsters should follow the students to whatever
school they choose so that eligible pupils, through
open enrollment, can bring their share of the funding
with them. The Republican-founded D.C. Opportunity
Scholarship Program should be expanded as a
model for the rest of the country. We deplore the efforts
by Congressional Democrats and the current
President to kill this successful program for disadvantaged
students in order to placate the leaders of
the teachers’ unions. We support putting the needs
of students before the special interests of unions
when approaching elementary and secondary education
reform.
Because parents are a child’s first teachers, we
support family literacy programs, which improve the
reading, language, and life skills of both parents and
children from low-income families. To ensure that all
students have access to the mainstream of American
life, we support the English First approach and oppose
divisive programs that limit students’ ability to
advance in American society. We renew our call for
replacing “family planning” programs for teens with
abstinence education which teaches abstinence until
marriage as the responsible and respected standard
of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the
only protection that is 100 percent effective against
out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually-transmitted
diseases including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually.
It is effective, science-based, and empowers
teens to achieve optimal health outcomes and avoid
risks of sexual activity. We oppose school-based clinics
that provide referrals, counseling, and related
services for abortion and contraception. We support
keeping federal funds from being used in mandatory
or universal mental health, psychiatric, or socioemotional
screening programs.
We applaud America’s great teachers, who
should be protected against frivolous litigation and
should be able to take reasonable actions to maintain
discipline and order in the classroom. We support
legislation that will correct the current law provision
which defines a “Highly Qualified Teacher” merely by
his or her credentials, not results in the classroom.
We urge school districts to make use of teaching talent
in business, STEM fields, and in the military, especially
among our returning veterans. Rigid tenure
systems based on the “last in, first out” policy should
be replaced with a merit-based approach that can attract
fresh talent and dedication to the classroom. All
personnel who interact with school children should
pass background checks and be held to the highest
standards of personal conduct.
Improving Our Nation’s Classrooms
Higher education faces its own challenges, many
of which stem from the poor preparation of students
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before they reach college. One consequence has been
the multiplying number of remedial courses for
freshmen. Even so, our universities, large and small,
public or private, form the world’s greatest assemblage
of learning. They drive much of the research
that keeps America competitive and, by admitting
large numbers of foreign students, convey our values
and culture to the world.
Ideological bias is deeply entrenched within the
current university system. Whatever the solution in
private institutions may be, in State institutions the
trustees have a responsibility to the public to ensure
that their enormous investment is not abused for political
indoctrination. We call on State officials to ensure
that our public colleges and universities be
places of learning and the exchange of ideas, not
zones of intellectual intolerance favoring the Left.
Addressing Rising College Costs
College costs, however, are on an unsustainable
trajectory, rising year by year far ahead of overall inflation.
Nationwide, student loan debt now exceeds
credit card debt, roughly $23,300 for each of the
35,000,000 debtors, taking years to pay off. Over 50
percent of recent college grads are unemployed or
underemployed, working at jobs for which their expensive
educations gave them no training. It is time
to get back to basics and to higher education programs
directly related to job opportunities.
The first step is to acknowledge the need for
change when the status quo is not working. New systems
of learning are needed to compete with traditional
four-year colleges: expanded community
colleges and technical institutions, private training
schools, online universities, life-long learning, and
work-based learning in the private sector. New models
for acquiring advanced skills will be ever more important
in the rapidly changing economy of the
twenty-first century, especially in science, technology,
engineering, and math. Public policy should advance
the affordability, innovation, and transparency
needed to address all these challenges and to make
accessible to everyone the emerging alternatives,
with their lower cost degrees, to traditional college
attendance.
Federal student aid is on an unsustainable path,
and efforts should be taken to provide families with
greater transparency and the information they need
to make prudent choices about a student’s future:
completion rates, repayment rates, future earnings,
and other factors that may affect their decisions. The
federal government should not be in the business of
originating student loans; however, it should serve as
an insurance guarantor for the private sector as they
offer loans to students. Private sector participation
in student financing should be welcomed. Any regulation
that drives tuition costs higher must be reevaluated
to balance its worth against its negative impact
on students and their parents.
Justice for All:
Safe Neighborhoods and Prison Reform
The most effective forces in reducing crime and
other social ills are strong families and caring communities
supported by excellent law enforcement.
Both reinforce constructive conduct and ethical standards
by setting examples and providing safe havens
from dangerous and destructive behaviors. But even
under the best social circumstances, strong, welltrained
law enforcement is necessary to protect us all,
and especially the weak and vulnerable, from predators.
Our national experience over the last several
decades has shown that citizen vigilance, tough but
fair prosecutors, meaningful sentences, protection of
victims’ rights, and limits on judicial discretion can
preserve public safety by keeping criminals off the
streets.
Liberals do not understand this simple axiom:
criminals behind bars cannot harm the general public.
To that end, we support mandatory prison sentencing
for gang crimes, violent or sexual offenses
against children, repeat drug dealers, rape, robbery
and murder. We support a national registry for convicted
child murderers. We oppose parole for dangerous
or repeat felons. Courts should have the
option of imposing the death penalty in capital
murder cases.
In solidarity with those who protect us, we call
for mandatory prison time for all assaults involving
serious injury to law enforcement officers. Criminals
injured in the course of their crimes should not be
able to seek monetary damages from their intended
victims or from the public.
While getting criminals off the street is essential,
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more attention must be paid to the process of restoring
those individuals to the community. Prisons
should do more than punish; they should attempt to
rehabilitate and institute proven prisoner reentry systems
to reduce recidivism and future victimization.
We endorse State and local initiatives that are trying
new approaches, often called accountability courts.
Government at all levels should work with faithbased
institutions that have proven track records in
diverting young and first time, non-violent offenders
from criminal careers, for which we salute them.
Their emphasis on restorative justice, to make the
victim whole and put the offender on the right path,
can give law enforcement the flexibility it needs in
dealing with different levels of criminal behavior. We
endorse State and local initiatives that are trying new
approaches to curbing drug abuse and diverting firsttime
offenders to rehabilitation.
Public authorities must regain control of their
correctional institutions, for we cannot allow prisons
to become ethnic or racial battlegrounds. Persons
jailed for whatever cause should be protected against
cruel or degrading treatment by other inmates. In
some cases, the institution of family-friendly policies
may curtail prison violence and reduce the rate of recidivism,
thus reducing the enormous fiscal and social
costs of incarceration. Breaking the cycle of crime
begins with the children of those who are prisoners.
Deprived of a parent through no fault of their own,
these youngsters should be a special concern of our
schools, social services, and religious institutions.
Thirty years ago, President Reagan’s Task Force
on Victims of Crime, calling the neglect of crime victims
a “national disgrace,” proposed a Constitutional
amendment to secure their formal rights. While
some progress has been made to rectify that situation,
the need for national action still persists in the
unacceptable treatment of innocent victims. We call
on the States to make it a bipartisan priority to protect
the rights of crime victims, who should also be
assured of access to social and legal services; and we
call on the Congress to make the federal courts a
model in this regard for the rest of the country.
The resources of the federal government’s
law enforcement and judicial systems have been
strained by two unfortunate expansions: the overcriminalization
of behavior and the over-federalization
of offenses. The number of criminal offenses in
the U.S. Code increased from 3,000 in the early
1980s to over 4,450 by 2008. Federal criminal law
should focus on acts by federal employees or acts
committed on federal property – and leave the rest
to the States. Then Congress should withdraw from
federal departments and agencies the power to criminalize
behavior, a practice which, according to the
Congressional Research Service, has created “tens of
thousands” of criminal offenses. No one other than
an elected representative should have the authority
to define a criminal act and set criminal penalties. In
the same way, Congress should reconsider the extent
to which it has federalized offenses traditionally
handled on the State or local level.
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We are the party of peace through strength. Professing
American exceptionalism—the conviction that
our country holds a unique place and role in human
history—we proudly associate ourselves with those
Americans of all political stripes who, more than three
decades ago in a world as dangerous as today’s, came
together to advance the cause of freedom. Repudiating
the folly of an amateur foreign policy and defying
a worldwide Marxist advance, they announced their
strategy in the timeless slogan we repeat today: peace
through strength—an enduring peace based on freedom
and the will to defend it, and American democratic
values and the will to promote them. While the
twentieth century was undeniably an American century—
with strong leadership, adherence to the principles
of freedom and democracy our Founders’
enshrined in our nation’s Declaration of Independence
and Constitution, and a continued reliance on
Divine Providence—the twenty-first century will be
one of American greatness as well.
Today’s adversaries are different, as are their
weapons and their ideology, but this remains the
same: the unity of Americans, beyond party, in gratitude
to those who have defended our country, pursued
its attackers to the ends of the earth, and today
stand vigilant guard in our cities, on our coasts, and
in alien lands. We pledge to our servicemen and
women the authority and resources they need to protect
the nation and defend America’s freedom. Continued
vigilance, especially in travel and commerce,
is necessary to prevent bioterrorism, cyber terrorism,
and other asymmetric or non-traditional warfare attacks
and to ensure that the horror of September 11,
2001 is never repeated on our soil.
Our country and its way of life have enemies
both abroad and within our shores. We affirm the
need for our military to protect the nation by finding
and capturing our enemies and the necessity for the
President to have the tools to deal with these threats.
As history has sadly shown, even our fellow citizens
may rarely become enemies of their country. Nevertheless,
our government must continue to ensure the
protections under our Constitution to all citizens,
particularly the rights of habeas corpus and due
process of law.
History proves that the best way to promote
peace and prevent costly wars is to ensure that we
constantly renew America’s economic strength. A
healthy American economy is what underwrites and
sustains American power. The current Administration
is weakening America at home through anemic
growth, high unemployment, and record-setting
debt. We must therefore rebuild our economy and
solve our fiscal crisis. In an American century, America
will have the strongest economy and the strongest
military in the world.
The Current Administration’s Failure:
Leading From Behind
The Republican Party is the advocate for a strong
national defense as the pathway to peace, economic
prosperity, and the protection of those yearning to be
free. Since the end of World War II, American military
superiority has been the cornerstone of a strategy
that seeks to deter aggression or defeat those who
threaten our national security interests. In 1981,
President Reagan came to office with an agenda of
strong American leadership, beginning with a
restoration of our country’s military strength. The
rest is history, written in the rubble of the Berlin Wall
and the Iron Curtain.
We face a similar challenge today. The current
Administration has responded with weakness to
some of the gravest threats to our national security
this country has faced, including the proliferation of
transnational terrorism, continued belligerence by a
nuclear-armed North Korea, an Iran in pursuit of nuclear
weapons, rising Chinese hegemony in the Asia
Pacific region, Russian activism, and threats from
cyber espionage and terrorism. In response to these
growing threats, President Obama has reduced the
defense budget by over $487 billion over the next
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American Exceptionalism
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decade and fought Republican efforts to avoid another
$500 billion in automatic budget cuts through
a sequestration in early 2013 that will take a meat ax
to all major defense programs.
The Dangers of A Hollow Force:
The Looming Sequestration
Sequestration—which is severe, automatic,
across-the-board cuts in defense spending over the
next decade—of the nation’s military budget would
be a disaster for national security, imperiling the
safety of our servicemen and women, accelerating the
decline of our nation’s defense industrial base, and
resulting in the layoff of more than 1 million skilled
workers. Opposition to sequester is bipartisan; even
the current Secretary of Defense has said the cuts will
be “devastating” to America’s military. Yet the current
President supported sequestration, signed it into
law, and has threatened to veto Republican efforts to
prevent it. If he allows an additional half trillion
dollars to be cut from the defense budget, America
will be left with the smallest ground force since 1940,
the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the
smallest Air Force in its history—at a time when our
Nation faces a growing range of threats to our
national security and a struggling economy that can
ill afford to lose 1.5 million defense-related jobs.
Leaks for Political Purposes
The current Administration’s leaks of classified
information have imperiled intelligence assets which
are vital to American security. This conduct is contemptible.
It betrays our national interest. It compromises
our men and women in the field. And it
demands a full and prompt investigation by a special
counsel. Equally threatening to the long-term
strength and safety of our Armed Forces are the current
Administration’s efforts to sacrifice our national
security for political gain and a partisan agenda. We
give the current President credit for maintaining his
predecessor’s quiet determination and planning to
bring to justice the man behind the 9/11 attack on
America, but he has tolerated publicizing the details
of the operation to kill the leader of Al Qaeda; those
leaks exposed the tactics and techniques of our Special
Operations forces and denied our nation an unprecedented
intelligence opportunity. Subsequent
leaks by senior Administration officials regarding
cyber warfare, the use of drones against Al Qaeda and
its operatives, and the targeting of our enemies—unprecedented
leaks that compromised key sources and
methods and damaged our national security—served
the single purpose of propping up the image of a weak
President.
A Failed National Security Strategy
The current Administration’s most recent National
Security Strategy reflects the extreme elements
in its liberal domestic coalition. It is a budget-constrained
blueprint that, if fully implemented, will diminish
the capabilities of our Armed Forces. The
strategy significantly increases the risk of future conflict
by declaring to our adversaries that we will no
longer maintain the forces necessary to fight and win
more than one conflict at a time. It relies on the good
intentions and capabilities of international organizations
to justify constraining American military readiness.
Finally, the strategy subordinates our national
security interests to environmental, energy, and
international health issues, and elevates “climate
change” to the level of a “severe threat” equivalent to
foreign aggression. The word “climate,” in fact, appears
in the current President’s strategy more often
than Al Qaeda, nuclear proliferation, radical Islam,
or weapons of mass destruction. The phrase “global
war on terror” does not appear at all, and has been
purposely avoided and changed by his Administration
to “overseas contingency operations.”
Conventional Forces in Decline
More than a century ago, Republican President
Theodore Roosevelt predicted that America’s future
was in the Pacific. That future is here today, but it can
develop peacefully only under the shield of American
Naval and Air power. Yet the current Administration
plans to significantly curtail production of our most
advanced combat aircraft, decommission 6 of 60 Air
Force tactical squadrons, and eliminate critical air mobility
assets, including 27 giant C-5As and 65 C-130s,
while divesting the nation of the brand new C-27.
The President plans to reduce our naval forces
by retiring seven cruisers and slowing work on amphibious
ships and attack submarines, further reducing
the Navy that already has the smallest fleet since
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the early years of the twentieth century. And he will
reduce ground forces by separating 100,000 soldiers
and Marines—many of whom will be discharged after
recently returning from combat—and another
100,000 under the sequester.
These plans limit our strategic flexibility in an
increasingly dangerous world. The current President
is repeating the disastrous cuts of the post-Vietnam
war era, putting our nation in danger of returning to
the “hollow force” of the Carter Administration, when
the U.S. military was not respected in the world.
Nuclear Forces and
Missile Defense Imperiled
We recognize that the gravest terror threat we
face—a nuclear attack made possible by nuclear proliferation—
requires a comprehensive strategy for reducing
the world’s nuclear stockpiles and preventing
the spread of those armaments. But the U.S. can lead
that effort only if it maintains an effective strategic
arsenal at a level sufficient to fulfill its deterrent purposes,
a notable failure of the current Administration.
The United States is the only nuclear power not
modernizing its nuclear stockpile. It took the current
Administration just one year to renege on the President’s
commitment to modernize the neglected infrastructure
of the nuclear weapons complex—a
commitment made in exchange for approval of the
New START treaty. In tandem with this, the current
Administration has systematically undermined
America’s missile defense, abandoning the missile
defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, reducing
the number of planned interceptors in Alaska,
and cutting the budget for missile defense. In an embarrassing
open microphone discussion with former
Russian President Medvedev, the current President
made clear that, if he wins a second term, he intends
to exercise “more flexibility” to appease Russia, which
means further undermining our missile defense
capabilities. A Republican President will be honest
and forthright with the American people about
his policies and plans and not whisper promises to
authoritarian leaders.
A strong and effective strategic arsenal is still
necessary as a deterrent against competitors like Russia
or China. But the danger in this age of asymmetric
or non-traditional warfare comes from other
quarters as well. With unstable regimes in Iran and
North Korea determined to develop nuclear-tipped
missiles capable of reaching the United States, with
the possibility that a terrorist group could gain control
of a nuclear weapon, it is folly to abandon a
missile shield for the country.
A Twenty-First Century Threat:
The Cybersecurity Danger
The frequency, sophistication, and intensity of
cyber-related incidents within the United States have
increased steadily over the past decade and will continue
to do so until it is made clear that a cyber attack
against the United States will not be tolerated. The
current Administration’s cyber security policies have
failed to curb malicious actions by our adversaries,
and no wonder, for there is no active deterrence protocol.
The current deterrence framework is overly reliant
on the development of defensive capabilities and
has been unsuccessful in dissuading cyber-related aggression.
The U.S. cannot afford to risk the cyberequivalent
of Pearl Harbor.
The government and private sector must
work together to address the cyberthreats posed to
the United States, help the free flow of information
between network managers, and encourage innovation
and investment in cybersecurity. The government
must do a better job of protecting its own
systems, which contain some of the most sensitive
data and control some of our most important facilities.
As such, we encourage an immediate update of
the law that was drafted a decade ago to improve the
security of government information systems. Additionally,
we must invest in continuing research to develop
cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies to
protect the U.S. However, we acknowledge that the
most effective way of combating potential cybersecurity
threats is sharing cyberthreat information between
the government and industry, as well as
protecting the free flow of information within the
private sector.
The current Administration’s laws and policies
undermine what should be a collaborative relationship
and put both the government and private entities
at a severe disadvantage in proactively
identifying potential cyberthreats. The costly and
heavy-handed regulatory approach by the current
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Administration will increase the size and cost of the
federal bureaucracy and harm innovation in cybersecurity.
The government collects valuable information
about potential threats that can and should be shared
with private entities without compromising national
security. We believe that companies should be free
from legal and regulatory barriers that prevent or
deter them from voluntarily sharing cyberthreat information
with their government partners.
An America That Leads: The Republican
National Security Strategy for the Future
We will honor President Reagan’s legacy of
peace through strength by advancing the most costeffective
programs and policies crucial to our national
security, including our economic security and fiscal
solvency. To do that, we must honestly assess the
threats facing this country, and we must be able to
articulate candidly to the American people our priorities
for the use of taxpayer dollars to address those
threats.
We must deter any adversary who would attack
us or use terror as a tool of government. Every potential
enemy must have no doubt that our capabilities,
our commitment, and our will to defeat them are
clear, unwavering, and unequivocal. We must immediately
employ a new blueprint for a National Military
Strategy that is based on an informed and
validated assessment of the potential threats we face,
one that restores as a principal objective the deterrence
using the full spectrum of our military capabilities.
As Ronald Reagan proved by the victorious
conclusion of the Cold War, only our capability to
wield overwhelming military power can truly deter
the enemies of the United States from threatening
our people and our national interests.
In order to deter aggression from nation-states,
we must maintain military and technical superiority
through innovation while upgrading legacy systems
including aircraft and armored vehicles. We must
deter the threat posed by rogue aggressors with the
assurance that justice will be served through state-ofthe-
art surveillance, enhanced special operations capabilities,
and unmanned aerial systems.
We will employ the full range of military and
intelligence options to defeat Al Qaeda and its
affiliates who threaten not just the West but the
community of nations. We will have a comprehensive
and just detainee policy that treats those who
would attack our nation as enemy combatants. We
will accept no arms control agreement that limits our
right to self-defense; and we will fully deploy a missile
defense shield for the people of the United States and
for our allies.
We will pursue an effective cybersecurity strategy,
supported by the necessary resources, that recognizes
the importance of offensive capabilities.
Whether it is a nation-state actively probing our national
security networks, a terror organization seeking
to obtain destructive cyber capabilities, or a
criminal network’s theft of intellectual property,
more must be done to deter, defeat, and respond to
cyberthreats.
We will restore the morale and advance the capabilities
of our intelligence community to ensure
that the President and our military leaders are fully
informed in an uncertain and increasingly dangerous
world. We will restore accountability to ensure that
our nation’s most sensitive information and activities
are protected appropriately.
The Department of Defense, like all government
agencies, needs to be careful to spend taxpayers’ dollars
wisely. We will implement sound management
policies to ensure the timely, cost-effective delivery
of the tools our troops need to fight. We reject Congressional
earmarks that put personal and parochial
interests ahead of military effectiveness and the best
interests of the nation. We recognize the need for,
and value of, competition within a robust industrial
base to most effectively maximize quality and drive
down costs in everything the Department buys.
Supporting our Troops,
Standing By Our Heroes
The foundation of our military lies in the men
and women who wear our country’s uniform,
whether on active duty or in the Reserves and
National Guard, and the families who support them.
Under no circumstances will we reveal any secret or
detail of a military operation that could put our people
into additional harm’s way. The members of our
military should be treated with the utmost respect
and dignity. We reject the use of the military as a
platform for social experimentation and will not
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43
accept attempts to undermine military priorities and
mission readiness.
Consistent with this commitment, we believe
compensation and conditions for our Armed Forces
in place at the time military service is initiated should
be sufficient to attract and retain quality men and
women as we honor our promises and commitments
to veterans, retirees, and their families. These shall
continue and not be reduced or otherwise diminished
while in service, or upon separation, or retirement.
The combat readiness of our Armed Forces is the
foundation of strength and deterrence. Readiness requires
a consistent and sustained investment in the
training and re-equipping of our military personnel.
We will never assume the risk of reduced readiness,
and we can never return to the “hollow” forces of the
1970s. Combat readiness also requires that we reserve
troops for truly necessary operations by not
overextending them around the world.
We recognize that drastic cuts to our military’s
end strength pose severe national security challenges.
To avoid the overextension of our forces, we support
a larger active force and oppose cuts to the National
Guard and Reserves.
The all-volunteer force, begun on the watch of
Republican Presidents, has carried America to victory
from the Caribbean and Central America to the
Balkans and Southwest Asia. We oppose the reinstatement
of the draft whether directly or through
compulsory national service. We support the advancement
of women in the military, which has not
only opened doors of opportunity for individuals but
has also made possible the devoted, and often heroic,
services of additional members of every branch of the
Armed Forces. We support military women’s exemption
from direct ground combat units and infantry
battalions. We affirm the cultural values that encourage
selfless service and superiority in battle, and we
oppose anything which might divide or weaken team
cohesion, including intra-military special interest
demonstrations. We will support an objective and
open-minded review of the current Administration’s
management of military personnel policies and will
correct problems with appropriate administrative,
legal, or legislative action.
The National Guard and Reserves are a fully operational
and battle-tested component of our Armed
Forces. Many of them have heroically served for multiple
deployments resulting in inadequate time between
deployments, also known as dwell time. We
pledge to maintain their manpower and equipment
strength and to ensure their members receive the
pay, benefits, and adequate training to continue their
service and maintain mission readiness through
Presidential leadership and Congressional budget
support. Their historic and continuing role as citizensoldiers
is a proud tradition linking every community
across America to the cause of freedom. We affirm
service members’ legal right to return to their civilian
jobs, whether in government or the private sector,
and we urge greater transition assistance to and
from employers as they return to the civilian world.
Especially in light of the high unemployment rates
faced by younger Reserve and Guard members, we
salute those employers who have wisely decided that
it is a smart and patriotic business decision to
hire those who have served above and beyond the call
of duty.
The spiritual welfare of our troops and retired
service members should be a priority of our national
leadership. With military suicides running at the rate
of one a day, with post-service medical conditions, including
addiction and mental illness, and with the
financial stress and homelessness that is often related
to these factors, there is an urgent need for the kind
of counseling that faith-based institutions can best
provide. We support rights of conscience and
religious freedom for military chaplains and people
of faith. A Republican Commander in Chief will
protect religious independence of military chaplains
and will not tolerate attempts to ban Bibles or religious
symbols from military facilities. We will enforce
and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) in the Armed Forces as well as in the civilian
world.
We call upon the entire chain of command—
from the President and the Secretary of Defense, to
base and unit commanders—to ensure that our
troops and retired service members, wherever stationed,
have the opportunity to vote in the November
elections, and that their ballots will be returned in
time to be properly counted. Those who fight for and
defend freedom around the world must not be disenfranchised.
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Recognizing and Supporting
Military Families
The families of our military personnel currently
serving, retired service members, and veterans must
also be assured of the pay, health care, housing, education,
and overall support they have earned. We will
ensure that the federal government keeps its commitments
to those who signed on the dotted line of enlistment
with the assurance that those promises
would be kept. We must also do more to retain the
services of those service members
who have borne the fight
since 2001.
We must acknowledge that
as our troops have experienced
repeated deployments, so have
their families. We are committed
to providing programs that
offer readjustment information
and counseling to our military
families, and urge States to offer
support for job programs, license
reciprocity, one-stop service centers,
and education programs to
support these families. The nation must also recognize
the ultimate sacrifice of survivors and protect
their benefits. We will work to protect service members
and their families by not overextending their deployments.
Honoring and Supporting
Our Veterans: A Sacred Obligation
America has a sacred trust with our veterans,
and we are committed to providing them and their
families with care and dignity. This is particularly
true because our nation’s warriors are volunteers,
who served from a sense of duty. The work of the Department
of Veterans Affairs—with a staff of
300,000—is essential to meet our obligations to
them: providing health, education, disability, survivor,
and home loan benefit services and arranging
memorial services upon death. All its branches in
those various fields must be made more responsive,
moving from an adversarial to an advocacy relationship
with veterans. To that end we will consider a
fundamental change in structure to make the
regional directors of the Department presidential appointees
rather than careerists.
Our wounded warriors, whether still in service or
discharged, deserve the best medical care our country
can provide. The nature of the fighting in Iraq and
Afghanistan has resulted in an unprecedented incidence
of traumatic brain injury, loss of limbs, and
post-traumatic stress disorder which calls for a new
commitment of resources and personnel for its treatment
and care to promote recovery. We must make
military and veterans’ medicine the gold standard for
mental health care, advances in
prosthetics, and treatment of
trauma and eye injuries. We must
heed Abraham Lincoln’s command
“to care for him who bore
the battle.” To care, as well, for
the families of those who have
made the ultimate sacrifice, who
must be assured of meaningful
financial assistance, remains our
solemn duty.
Because the conditions of
warfare have changed dramatically
since the war on terror
began, today’s veterans face new challenges. Asymmetrical
or non-traditional warfare results in a high
incidence of severe conditions that must receive high
priority and call for continued research into prevention
and treatment.
We are committed to ending homelessness for
our veterans. One key is to assist their reentry into
the job market as soon as possible after military service
ends. A job for a veteran is more than a source of
income. It is a new mission, with a new status, and
the transition can be difficult. It is a national scandal
that veterans are one of the groups with the highest
unemployment rates. We urge the private sector to
make hiring vets a company policy and commend the
many organizations that have specific programs to
accomplish this. But the federal government must
take the lead by simplifying the paper work required
for a tax break for hiring a veteran and by giving vets
their assured place at the head of the training and
employment line.
Every State has an office dealing with veterans.
The federal Department needs to consider these as
The foundation of our military
lies in the men and women who
wear our country’s uniform,
whether on active duty or in the
Reserves and National Guard,
and the families
who support them.
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45
partners in assisting vets, recognizing that those closest
to the individual can best diagnose a problem and
apply a remedy. This is especially important with regard
to the determination of veterans’ disability
claims. If private insurance companies can deal with
car wrecks and hurricanes within weeks or months,
it is inexplicable that the federal government takes,
on average, a year to process a veteran’s claim. We
urge immediate action to review the automatic denial
of gun ownership to returning members of our
Armed Forces who have had representatives
appointed to manage their financial affairs.
Sovereign American Leadership in
International Organizations
Since the end of World War II, the United States,
through the founding of the United Nations and
NATO, has participated in a wide range of international
organizations which can, but sometimes do
not, serve the cause of peace and prosperity. While
acting through them, our country must always reserve
the right to go its own way. There can be no
substitute for principled American leadership.
The United Nations remains in dire need of reform,
starting with full transparency in the financial
operations of its overpaid bureaucrats. As long as its
scandal-ridden management continues, as long as
some of the world’s worst tyrants hold seats on its
Human Rights Council, and as long as Israel is
treated as a pariah state, the U.N. cannot expect the
full support of the American people.
The United Nations Population Fund has a
shameful record of collaboration with China’s program
of compulsory abortion. We affirm the Republican
Party’s long-held position known as the Mexico
City Policy, first announced by President Reagan in
1984, which prohibits the granting of federal monies
to non-governmental organization that provide or
promote abortion.
Under our Constitution, treaties become the law
of the land. So it is all the more important that the
Congress—the Senate through its ratifying power and
the House through its appropriating power—shall reject
agreements whose long-range impact on the
American family is ominous or unclear. These include
the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights, the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and
the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty as well as the various
declarations from the U.N. Conference on Environment
and Development. Because of our concern for
American sovereignty, domestic management of our
fisheries, and our country’s long-term energy needs,
we have deep reservations about the regulatory, legal,
and tax regimes inherent in the Law of the Sea Treaty
and congratulate Senate Republicans for blocking its
ratification. We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as
erosive of American sovereignty, and we oppose any
form of U.N. Global Tax. We oppose any diplomatic
efforts that could result in giving the United Nations
unprecedented control over the Internet. International
regulatory control over the open and free Internet
would have disastrous consequences for the
United States and the world.
To shield members of our Armed Forces and
others in service to America from ideological prosecutions
overseas, the Republican Party does not accept
the jurisdiction of the International Criminal
Court. We support statutory protection for U.S. personnel
and officials as they act abroad to meet our
global security requirements.
Protecting Human Rights
To those who stand in the darkness of tyranny,
America has always been a beacon of hope, and so it
must remain. That is why we strongly support the
work of the U.S. Commission on International Religious
Freedom, established by Congressional Republicans
to advance the rights of persecuted peoples
everywhere. It has been shunted aside by the current
Administration at a time when its voice more than
ever needs to be heard. Religious minorities across
the Middle East are being driven from their ancient
homelands, fanaticism leaves its bloody mark on both
West and East Africa, and even among America’s
Western friends and allies, pastors and families are
penalized for their religious convictions. A Republican
Administration will return the advocacy of religious
liberty to a central place in our diplomacy.
America’s Generosity: International
Assistance that Makes a Difference
Americans are the most generous people in the
world. Apart from the taxpayer dollars our govern-
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46
ment donates abroad, our foundations, educational
institutions, faith-based groups, and committed men
and women of charity devote billions of dollars and
volunteer hours every year to help the poor and needy
around the world. This effort, along with commercial
investment from the private sector, dwarfs the results
from official development assistance, most of which
is based on an outdated, statist, government-togovernment
model, the proven breeding ground for
corruption and mismanagement by foreign kleptocrats.
Limiting foreign aid
spending helps keep taxes
lower, which frees more resources
in the private and charitable
sectors, whose giving
tends to be more effective and
efficient.
Foreign aid should serve
our national interest, an essential
part of which is the peaceful
development of less advanced
and vulnerable societies in critical
parts of the world. Assistance
should be seen as an
alternative means of keeping the peace, far less costly
in both dollars and human lives than military engagement.
The economic success and political progress of
former aid recipients, from Latin America to East
Asia, has justified our investment in their future. U.S.
aid should be based on the model of the Millennium
Challenge Corporation, for which foreign governments
must, in effect, compete for the dollars by
showing respect for the rule of law, free enterprise,
and measurable results. In short, aid money should
follow positive outcomes, not pleas for more cash in
the same corrupt official pockets.
The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited
by the cultural agenda of the current Administration,
attempting to impose on foreign countries,
especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion
and the homosexual rights agenda. At the same time,
faith-based groups—the sector that has had the best
track record in promoting lasting development—have
been excluded from grants because they will not conform
to the administration’s social agenda. We will
reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement
by the most effective aid organizations, and
trust developing peoples to build their future from
the ground up.
Combating Human Trafficking
As we approach the 150th anniversary of the
Emancipation Proclamation, issued by the first Republican
President Abraham Lincoln, we are reminded
to be vigilant against human bondage in
whatever form it appears. We will use the full force
of the law against those who engage in modern-day
forms of slavery, including the
commercial sexual exploitation of
children and the forced labor of
men, women, and children. Building
on the accomplishments of the
last Republican Administration in
implementing the Trafficking Victims
Protection Act of 2000, we
call for increased diplomatic efforts
with foreign governments to
root out complicit public officials
who facilitate or perpetrate this
evil. We highlight the need for
greater scrutiny of overseas labor
contractors to prevent the imposition of usurious
terms on temporary foreign workers brought to the
United States. Our government must address the increasing
role of vicious drug cartels and other gangs
in controlling human smuggling across our southern
border. The principle underlying our Megan’s Law—
publicizing the identities of known offenders—should
be extended to international travel in order to protect
innocent children everywhere.
We affirm our country’s historic tradition of welcoming
refugees from troubled lands. In some cases,
they are people who stood with us during dangerous
times, and they have first call on our hospitality.
Promoting a Free Marketplace of Ideas:
Public Diplomacy
International broadcasting of free and impartial
information during the Cold War kept truth and hope
alive in the Captive Nations. Today, Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio/TV Marti do the
same in other lands where freedom is unknown or
endangered. We support these essential extensions
of American values and culture and urge their
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We must deter any adversary
who would attack us or use
terror as a tool of government.
Every potential enemy must have
no doubt that our capabilities,
our commitment, and our will to
defeat them are clear,
unwavering, and unequivocal.
47
expansion in the Middle East. Recognizing the vital
role of social media in recent efforts to promote
democracy, we support unrestricted access to the Internet
throughout the world to advance the free marketplace
of ideas.
Strengthening Ties in the Americas
We will resist foreign influence in our hemisphere.
We thereby seek not only to provide for our
own security, but also to create a climate for democracy
and self-determination throughout the Americas.
The current Administration has turned its back
on Latin America, with predictable results. Rather
than supporting our democratic allies in the region,
the President has prioritized engagement with our enemies
in the region. Venezuela represents an increasing
threat to U.S. security, a threat which has grown
much worse on the current President’s watch. In the
last three years, Venezuela has become a narcoterrorist
state, turning it into an Iranian outpost in the
Western hemisphere. The current regime issues
Venezuelan passports or visas to thousands of Middle
Eastern terrorists offering safe haven to Hezbollah
trainers, operatives, recruiters and fundraisers.
Alternatively, we will stand with the true democracies
of the region against both Marxist subversion
and the drug lords, helping them to become prosperous
alternatives to the collapsing model of Venezuela
and Cuba.
We affirm our friendship with the People of Cuba
and look toward their reunion with the rest of our
hemispheric family. The anachronistic regime in Havana
which rules them is a mummified relic of the age
of totalitarianism, a state-sponsor of terrorism. We reject
any dynastic succession of power within the Castro
family and affirm the principles codified in U.S.
law as conditions for the lifting of trade, travel, and financial
sanctions: the legalization of political parties,
an independent media, and free and fair internationally-
supervised elections. We renew our commitment
to Cuba’s courageous pro-democracy movement as
the protagonists of Cuba’s inevitable liberation and
democratic future. We call for a dedicated platform
for the transmission of Radio and TV Marti and for
the promotion of Internet access and circumvention
technology as tools to strengthen the pro-democracy
movement. We support the work of the Commission
for Assistance to a Free Cuba and affirm the principles
of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, recognizing the
rights of Cubans fleeing Communism.
The war on drugs and the war on terror have become
a single enterprise. We salute our allies in this
fight, especially the people of Mexico and Colombia.
We propose a unified effort on crime and terrorism to
coordinate intelligence and enforcement among our
regional allies, as well as military-to-military training
and intelligence sharing with Mexico, whose people
are bearing the brunt of the drug cartels’ savage
assault.
Our Canadian neighbors can count on our close
cooperation and respect. As soon as possible, we will
reverse the current Administration’s blocking of the
Keystone XL Pipeline so that both our countries can
profit from this vital venture and there will no need
for hemispheric oil to be shipped to China.
Advancing Hope and Prosperity in Africa
PEPFAR, President George W. Bush’s Plan for
AIDS Relief, is one of the most successful global
health programs in history. It has saved literally millions
of lives. Along with the Global Fund to fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, another initiative of
President Bush, it represents America’s humanitarian
commitment to the peoples of Africa, though
these are only one aspect of our assistance to the nations
of that continent. From Peace Corps volunteers
teaching in one-room schools to U.S. Seabees building
village projects, we will continue to strengthen the
personal and commercial ties between our country
and African nations.
We stand in solidarity with those African countries
now under assault by the forces of radical Islam
and urge other governments throughout the continent
to recognize this threat to them as well. We support
closer cooperation in both military and
economic matters with those who are under attack by
forces which seek our destruction.
U.S. Leadership in the
Asian-Pacific Community
We are a Pacific nation with economic, military,
and cultural ties to all the countries of the oceanic
rim, from Australia, the Philippines, and our Freely
Associated States in the Pacific Islands to Japan
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
48
and the Republic of Korea. With them, we look
toward the restoration of human rights to the
suffering people of North Korea and the fulfillment
of their wish to be one in peace and freedom. The
U.S. will continue to demand the complete, verifiable,
and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea’s
nuclear weapons programs with a full accounting of
its proliferation activities.
We celebrate the political and economic development
of most of the nations of Southeast Asia.
Their example of material progress through hard
work and free enterprise, in tandem with greater
democracy should encourage their less fortunate
neighbors to set aside crippling ideologies and embrace
a more humane future. While our relations
with Vietnam have improved, and U.S. investment is
welcomed, we need unceasing efforts to obtain an accounting
for, and repatriation of the remains of,
Americans who gave their lives in the cause of Vietnamese
freedom. We cannot overlook the continued
repression of human rights and religious freedom, as
well as retribution against ethnic minorities and
others who assisted U.S. forces during the conflict
there.
South Asia
We welcome a stronger relationship with the
world’s largest democracy, India, both economic and
cultural, as well as in terms of national security. We
hereby affirm and declare that India is our geopolitical
ally and a strategic trading partner. We encourage
India to permit greater foreign investment and trade.
We urge protection for adherents of all India’s religions.
Both as Republicans and as Americans, we note
with pride the contributions to this country that are
being made by our fellow citizens of Indian ancestry.
The aftermath of the last decade’s conflicts in
Iraq and Afghanistan has put enormous pressure on
the political and military infrastructure of Pakistan,
which faces both internal terrorism and external dangers.
The working relationship between our two countries
is a necessary, though sometimes difficult,
benefit to both, and we look toward the renewal of historic
ties that have frayed under the weight of international
conflict.
The imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan of
the 30,000 “surge” troops sent there two years ago
comes weeks before this year’s presidential election
and against the advice of the current President’s top
military commanders. Future decisions by a Republican
President will never subordinate military necessity
to domestic politics or an artificial timetable.
Afghans, Pakistanis, and Americans have a common
interest in ridding the region of the Taliban and other
insurgent groups, but we cannot expect others to remain
resolute unless we show the same determination
ourselves. We will expect the Afghan government
to crackdown on corruption, respect free elections,
and assist our fight against the narcotic trade that
fuels the insurgency. We must likewise expect the
Pakistan government to sever any connection between
its security and intelligence forces and the insurgents.
No Pakistani citizen should be punished for
helping the United States against the terrorists.
Taiwan
We salute the people of Taiwan, a sound democracy
and economic model for mainland China. Our
relations must continue to be based upon the provisions
of the Taiwan Relations Act. America and Taiwan
are united in our shared belief in fair elections,
personal liberty, and free enterprise. We oppose any
unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo
in the Taiwan Straits on the principle that all issues
regarding the island’s future must be resolved peacefully,
through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people
of Taiwan. If China were to violate those
principles, the U.S., in accord with the Taiwan Relations
Act, will help Taiwan defend itself. We praise
steps taken by both sides of the Taiwan Strait to reduce
tension and strengthen economic ties. As a loyal
friend of America, Taiwan has merited our strong
support, including free trade agreements status, as
well as the timely sale of defensive arms and full participation
in the World Health Organization, International
Civil Aviation Organization, and other
multilateral institutions.
China
We will welcome the emergence of a peaceful
and prosperous China, and we will welcome even
more the development of a democratic China. Its
rulers have discovered that economic freedom leads
to national wealth. The next lesson is that political
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49
and religious freedom leads to national greatness.
The exposure of the Chinese people to our way of life
can be the greatest force for change in their country.
We should make it easier for the people of China to
experience our vibrant democracy and to see for
themselves how freedom works. We welcome the increase
in trade and education alliances with the U.S.
and the opening of Chinese markets to American
companies.
The Chinese government has engaged in a number
of activities that we condemn: China’s pursuit of
advanced military capabilities without any apparent
need; suppression of human rights in Tibet, Xinjiang,
and other areas; religious persecution; a barbaric
one-child policy involving forced abortion; the erosion
of democracy in Hong Kong; and its destabilizing
claims in the South China Sea. Our serious trade
disputes, especially China’s failure to enforce international
standards for the protection of intellectual
property and copyrights, as well as its manipulation
of its currency, call for a firm response from a new
Republican Administration.
Europe
The West has been the bulwark of democracy
and freedom, providing hope and faith to the oppressed
around the globe. Our historic ties to the
peoples of Europe have been based on shared culture
and values, common interests and goals. Their endurance
cannot be taken for granted, especially in
light of the continent’s economic upheaval and demographic
changes. Ensuring the continued vitality of
our political alliance with Europe through NATO will
require effort and understanding on both sides of the
Atlantic. We honor our special relationship with the
United Kingdom and appreciate its staunch support
for our fight against terrorism worldwide. We thank
the several other nations of Europe which have contributed
to a united effort in Iraq, Afghanistan, and
Libya. Their sacrifice will not soon be forgotten. We
are heartened by the ongoing reconciliation in Northern
Ireland and hopeful that its success might be
replicated in Cyprus.
Russia
The heroism—and the suffering—of the people
of Russia over the last century demand the world’s
respect. As our allies in their Great Patriotic War,
they lost 28 million fighting Nazism. As our allies in
spirit, they ended the Soviet terror that had consumed
so many millions more. They deserve our admiration
and support as they now seek to reestablish
their rich national identity. We do have common imperatives:
ending terrorism, combating nuclear proliferation,
promoting trade, and more. To advance
those causes, we urge the leaders of their government
to reconsider the path they have been following:
suppression of opposition parties, the press, and
institutions of civil society; unprovoked invasion
of the Republic of Georgia, alignment with tyrants in
the Middle East; and bullying their neighbors while
protecting the last Stalinist regime in Belarus. The
Russian people deserve better, as we look to their full
participation in the ranks of modern democracies.
Russia should be granted Permanent Normal
Trade Relations, but not without sanctions on Russian
officials who have used the government to violate
human rights. We support enactment of the Magnitsky
Rule of Law Accountability Act as a condition of
expanded trade relations with Russia.
Our Unequivocal Support of Israel
Israel and the United States are part of the great
fellowship of democracies who speak the same language
of freedom and justice, and the right of every
person to live in peace. The security of Israel is in the
vital national security interest of the United States;
our alliance is based not only on shared interests, but
also shared values. We affirm our unequivocal commitment
to Israel’s security and will ensure that it
maintains a qualitative edge in military technology
over any potential adversaries. We support Israel’s
right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible
borders; and we envision two democratic states—
Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—
living in peace and security. For that to happen, the
Palestinian people must support leaders who reject
terror, embrace the institutions and ethos of democracy,
and respect the rule of law. We call on Arab
governments throughout the region to help advance
that goal. Israel should not be expected to negotiate
with entities pledged to her destruction. We call on
the new government in Egypt to fully uphold its peace
treaty with Israel.
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50
The U.S. seeks a comprehensive and lasting
peace in the Middle East, negotiated between the parties
themselves with the assistance of the U.S., without
the imposition of an artificial timetable. Essential
to that process will be a just, fair, and realistic framework
for dealing with the issues that can be settled
on the basis of mutually agreed changes reflecting
today’s realities as well as tomorrow’s hopes.
The Challenges of a Changing Middle East
We recognize the historic nature of the events of
the past two years—the Arab Spring—that have unleashed
democratic movements leading to the
overthrow of dictators who have been menaces to
global security for decades. In a season of upheaval,
it is necessary to be prepared for anything. That is
true on the ground in the Middle East, and it will be
equally true in the next Administration, particularly
with a new President unbound by the failures of
the past. We welcome the aspirations of the Arab
peoples and others for greater freedom, and we
hope that greater liberty—and with it, a greater
chance for peace—will result from the recent
turmoil. Many governments in the region have given
substantial assistance to the U.S. over the last
decade because they understood that our struggle
against terror is not an ethnic or religious fight, and
that violent extremists are abusers of their faith, not
its champions.
On the other hand, radical elements like Hamas
and Hezbollah must be isolated because they do not
meet the standards of peace and diplomacy of the international
community. We call for the restoration of
Lebanon’s independence, which those groups have
virtually destroyed. We support the transition to a
post-Assad Syrian government that is representative
of its people, protects the rights of all minorities and
religions, respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors,
and contributes to peace and stability in the region.
We offer a continuing partnership with the
people of Iraq, who have endured extremist terror to
now have a chance to build their own security and
democracy. We urge special efforts to preserve and
protect the ethnic and religious diversity of their
nation.
Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability
threatens America, Israel, and the world. That threat
has only become worse during the current Administration.
A continuation of its failed engagement
policy with Iran will lead to nuclear cascade. In
solidarity with the international community, America
must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building
and possessing nuclear weapons capability. We
express our respect for the people of Iran, who seek
peace and aspire to freedom. Their current regime
is unworthy of them. It exports terror and provided
weapons that killed our troops in Iraq. We affirm
the unanimous resolution of the U.S. Senate calling
for “elections that are free, fair, and meet international
standards” and “a representative and responsive
democratic government that respects human
rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.” We urge
the next Republican President to unequivocally
assert his support for the Iranian people as they
protest their despotic regime. We must retain all
options in dealing with a situation that gravely
threatens our security, our interests, and the safety
of our friends.
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
51
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
The Platform Committee
Republican National Committee Chairman
Reince Priebus
Chairman
Governor Bob McDonnell
Co-Chairmen
Senator John Hoeven
Congressman Marsha Blackburn
Subcommittee Chairs
Restoring the American Dream:
Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs
Co-Chairman Jonathan Barnett
Co-Chairman Lynn Fitch
Co-Chairman Andy Puzder
We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government
Co-Chairman Jim Bopp
Co-Chairman Jane Timken
America’s Natural Resources:
Energy, Agriculture and the Environment
Co-Chairman Mary Dye
Co-Chairman Ed Whitfield
Reforming Government to Serve the People
Co-Chairman Jim Cawley
Co-Chairman Rachel Kemp
Renewing American Values to Build Healthy Families,
Great Schools and Safe Neighborhoods
Co-Chairman Tom Luna
Co-Chairman Carolyn McLarty
Co-Chairman Sam Olens
American Exceptionalism
Co-Chairman Donna Cain
Co-Chairman Jim Talent
52
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
ALABAMA
Jacqueline Curtiss
Cam Ward
A
LASKA
Ric Davidge
Debbie Joslin
AMERICAN SAMOA
Salote Schuster
Brandon Smart
ARIZONA
Kip Kempton
Heather Sandstrom
ARKANSAS
Jonathan Barnett
Julie Harris
CALIFORNIA
Andrew Puzder
Audra Strickland
COLORADO
Suzanne Sharkey
Guy Short
CONNECTICUT
L. Scott Frantz
Themis Klarides
DELAWARE
Ruth Briggs King
John Sigler
DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA
Teri Galvez
Edward Newton
FLORIDA
Allen Bense
Remedios Diaz
GEORGIA
Sue Everhart
Sam Olens
GUAM
Arthur Boyd Clark
Telo Taitague
HAWAII
Lynne Hansen
Philip Hellreich
IDAHO
Gayann DeMordaunt
Tom Luna
ILLINOIS
Steve Kim
Sharee Langenstein
INDIANA
James Bopp Jr.
Deborah Fleming
IOWA
Gopal T.K. Krishna
Kimberly Lehman
KANSAS
Beverly Caley
Kris Kobach
KENTUCKY
Ed Whitfield
Shirley Wiseman
LOUISIANA
Ambia Baker
Tony Perkins
MAINE
Linda Bean
Mike Wallace
MARYLAND
Christian Cavey
Kathy Szeliga
MASSACHUSETTS
Jay Barrows
Rachel Kemp
MICHIGAN
Krista Haroutunian
Norm Shinkle
MINNESOTA
Kevin Erickson
Juliette Jordal
MISSISSIPPI
Lynn Fitch
Delbert Hosemann
MISSOURI
Phyllis Schlafly
Jim Talent
MONTANA
Mark Baker
Tamara Hall
NEBRASKA
Brian Buescher
Darlene Starman
Committee Members
53
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
NEVADA
Cynthia Kennedy
Pat Kerby
NEW HAMPSHIRE
David Boutin
Beverly Bruce
NEW JERSEY
Aubrey Fenton
Lynda Pagliughi
NEW MEXICO
James Damron
Rocky Galassini
NEW YORK
John Cahill
Adele Malpass
NORTH CAROLINA
Wayne King
Mary Summa
NORTH DAKOTA
Kyle Handegard
Paul Henderson
NORTHERN
MARIANA ISLANDS
Ellsbeth Alepuyo
Juan Diego Blanco
OHIO
Clarence Mingo
Jane Timken
OKLAHOMA
Anthony Lauinger
Carolyn McLarty
OREGON
Donna Cain
Russ Walker
PENNSYLVANIA
Jim Cawley
Joyce Haas
PUERTO RICO
Jorge San Miguel
Vanessa Viera
RHODE ISLAND
Barbara Ann Fenton
Richard Ford
SOUTH CAROLINA
Randy Page
LaDonna Ryggs
SOUTH DAKOTA
Mary Jean Jensen
Dana Randall
TENNESSEE
Marsha Blackburn
Chris Devaney
TEXAS
David Barton
Denise McNamara
UTAH
Margaret Dayton
Brad Dee
VERMONT
Rick Cochran
Darcie Johnston
VIRGINIA
Chris Stearns
Kathy Terry
VIRGIN ISLANDS
April Newland
Herbert Schoenbohm
WASHINGTON
Mary Dye
Lew Moore
WEST VIRGINIA
Conrad Lucas II
WISCONSIN
Daniel
Feyen
Susan Lynch
WYOMING
Cynthia Cloud
Dan Dockstader
54
Ben Key, Executive Director
Elise Stefanik, Policy Director
Bill Gribbin, Editor
Gracey Roskam, Executive Assistant
Bob Dove, Parliamentarian
Laura Dove, Clerk
Jeff Rosen, Counsel
Tim Flanigan, Counsel
Kirsten Kukowski, Press Secretary
Gary Howard, Press Secretary
Leslie Rutledge, RNC Associate Counsel
Jon Waclawski, RNC Advisor and Associate Counsel
Karen Portik, Graphic Designer
Marcia Brown, Production
Administrative Team:
Gregg Edgar, Brian O’Malley, Mallory Loring
Court Reporter:
Raymond Heer III, Alderson Court Reporting
Policy Staff
R E P U B L I C A N P L A T F O R M 2 0 1 2
Platform Staff
Economy Subcommittee
Andrew Olmem
Matt Weidinger
Restoring Constitutional Government
Ed Corrigan
William Henderson
Billy Gribbin
Energy Subcommittee
Tony Eberhard
Mary Neumayr
Government Reform Subcommittee
George Fishman
Jonathan Slemrod
Health, Education & Crime
Cynthia Herrle
Mike O’Rielly
Keith Studdard
National Security Subcommittee
Neil Bradley
Robert Wilkie
Special thanks to the following for their valuable insights:
Former Executive Directors:
Ambassador John Bolton, 1984; William Martin, 1992; Judy VanRest, 1996;
Mitch Bainwol, 2000; Anne Phelps, 2004; Steven Duffield, 2008
Former Policy Director:
Candi Wolff, 2000
Senior Advisors:
Tony Feather, James Tobin, Brian Noyes
Special thanks to:
Betsy Ankney, Sara Armstrong, Julia Biebighauser, Tyler Brown, Britt Carter, Brittany Cohan, Cesar deGuzman, Sharon Day,
Dirk Eyman, Mike Gilding, Wells Griffith, Bill Harris, Anne Hathaway, Rebecca Heilig, Aly Higgins, Colleen House,
Mark Isaacson, Bettina Inclain, Jeff Larson, Jeremy Kenney, Tom Kise, Tory Maguire, James Min, Johanna Persing, Joe
Pounder, Ryan Price, Matt Sauvage, Tim Schigel, Sean Spicer, Elizabeth Steil, Bill Steiner, Christine Samuelian, Matt Terrill,
Jennifer Voldness, Rick Wiley, Larissa Ziemann and all our volunteers

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