Where she stands: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born Oct. 26, 1947, in Chicago), a Democrat, was U.S. secretary of state under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. She is the wife of the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, who served from 1993 to 2001. Hillary Clinton subsequently served as a U.S. senator from New York from 2001 to 2009.

Hillary Rodham graduated from Wellesley College in 1969, where she became the first student commencement speaker. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1973. After a stint as a congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas, marrying Bill Clinton in 1975. In 1988 and 1991, the National Law Journal listed her as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.”

After moving to New York, Clinton was elected in 2000 as the first female senator from the state, the only First Lady to have sought elected office. Running for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election, Clinton won more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history, but ultimately lost the nomination to Obama.


Campaign finance reform

  • Overturn Citizens UnitedClinton will appoint Supreme Court justices who value the right to vote over the right of billionaires to buy elections.
  • End secret, unaccountable money in politics. Clinton will push for legislation to require outside groups to publicly disclose significant political spending. Until Congress acts, she’ll sign an executive order requiring federal government contractors to do the same. Clinton also will promote an SEC rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to shareholders.
  • Amplify the voices of everyday Americans. Clinton will establish a small-donor matching system for presidential and congressional elections.

Climate change

  1. Have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of Clinton’s first term.
  2. Generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of Clinton taking office.


  • Students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state under the New College Compact. Pell grants are not included in the calculation of no-debt-tuition, so Pell recipients could use their grants fully for living expenses. Students at community college will receive free tuition.
  • Students will contribute earnings from working 10 hours a week.
  • Families will make an affordable and realistic family contribution.
  • The federal government will provide grants to states that commit to these goals, and cut interest rates on loans.
  • States will maintain current levels of higher education funding.
  • Colleges and universities will ensure that tuition is affordable and that students leave with a degree.
  • Clinton will encourage innovators who design imaginative new ways of providing a college education to students, while cracking down on abusive practices that burden students with debt without value.

Criminal justice reform

  • Work to strengthen trust between communities and police.
    • Make new investments to support state-of-the-art law enforcement training programs at every level on issues such as implicit bias, use of force, de-escalation, community policing and problem solving, alternatives to incarceration, crisis intervention, and officer safety and wellness.
    • Strengthen the U.S. Department of Justice’s pattern or practice unit by increasing resources, working to secure subpoena power, and improving data collection for pattern or practice investigations.
    • Double funding for the U.S. Department of Justice “Collaborative Reform” program to provide technical assistance and training to agencies that work to reform their police departments.
    • Support legislation to end racial profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement officials.
    • Provide federal matching funds to make body cameras available to every police officer to increase transparency and accountability on both sides of the lens.
    • Promote oversight and accountability in use of controlled equipment by limiting the transfer of military equipment by the federal government to local law enforcement, eliminating the one-year use requirement, and requiring transparency by agencies that purchase equipment using federal funds.
    • Collect and report national data on policing, including state and local data on issues such as crime, officer-involved shootings and deaths in custody.
    • Create national guidelines for use of force that recognize the need for officers to protect their safety and the safety of others, but emphasize use of force as a last resort and at the appropriate level. The federal government has an important role to play in standardizing best practices for the use of force.
    • Cut in half mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.
    • Apply the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 retroactively to allow current nonviolent prisoners to seek fairer sentences.
    • Eliminate the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine so that equal amounts of crack and powder cocaine carry equal sentences. Apply this change retroactively.
    • Reform the “strike” system to focus on violent crime by narrowing the category of prior offenses that count as strikes to exclude nonviolent drug offenses, and reducing the mandatory penalty for second- and third-strike offenses.
    • Increase discretion to judges in applying mandatory minimum sentences by expanding the “safety valve” to a larger set of cases.
  • Focus federal enforcement resources on violent crime, not marijuana possession. Marijuana arrests, including for possession, account for a huge number of drug arrests. Further, significant racial disparities exist in marijuana enforcement, with black men significantly more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts, even though usage rates are similar.
    • Allow states that have enacted marijuana laws to act as laboratories of democracy, as long as they adhere to certain federal priorities such as not selling to minors, preventing intoxicated driving, and keeping organized crime out of the industry.
    • Change marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance to advance research into its health benefits.
  • Prioritize treatment and rehabilitation, rather than incarceration, for low-level nonviolent drug offenders. More than half of prison and jail inmates suffer from a mental health problem, and up to 65 percent of the correctional population meets the medical criteria for a substance use disorder. Clinton willensure adequate training for law enforcement for crisis intervention and referral to treatment, as appropriate, for low-level nonviolent drug offenders with mental health or addiction problems.
  • End the privatization of prisons. Clinton’s campaign does not accept contributions from federally registered lobbyists or PACs for private prison companies, and will donate any such direct contributions to charity.
  • Promote re-entry by formerly incarcerated individuals. This year, the number of people released from state or federal prison will reach approximately 600,000. For those given a second chance, and for the health and safety of the communities to which those individuals return, the re-entry pathway must include pathways to employment, housing, health care, education and civic participation.

Gun violence

  • Promote comprehensive federal background check legislation. Background checks reduce gun trafficking, reduce the lethality of domestic violence, and reduce unlawful gun transfers to dangerous individuals.
  • Close the “Charleston loophole.” Clinton will push Congress to close the loophole that allows a gun sale to proceed without a completed background check if that check has not been completed within three days. This loophole allowed the alleged Charleston shooter to purchase a gun even though he had a criminal record.
  • Tighten the gun show and Internet sales loophole. If Congress refuses to act, Clinton will take administrative action to require that any person attempting to sell a significant number of guns abide by the same rules that apply to gun stores, including requiring background checks on gun sales.
  • Repeal the gun industry’s immunity protection. Clinton believes the gun industry must be held accountable for violence perpetrated with their guns. She will promote repeal of the so-called “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which prevents victims of gun violence from holding negligent manufacturers and dealers accountable for violence perpetrated with their guns.
  • Revoke the licenses of bad-actor dealers. As president, Clinton will provide funding to increase inspections and enforce current law by revoking the licenses of dealers that knowingly supply straw purchasers and traffickers.
  • Support legislation to stop domestic abusers from buying and possessing guns. Although federal law generally prohibits domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing guns, this protection does not apply to people in dating relationships or convicted stalkers.
  • Make straw purchasing a federal crime. When an individual with a clean record buys a gun with the intention of giving it to a violent felon — only so that felon can avoid a background check — it should be a crime.
  • Close loopholes that let persons suffering from severe mental illness purchase and possess guns. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should close loopholes in our laws and clarify that people involuntarily committed to outpatient treatment, such as the Virginia Tech shooter, are prohibited from buying guns.
  • Keep military-style weapons off the street. Clinton supports reinstating the assault weapons ban.

Immigration reform

  • Promote legislation with a path to full and equal citizenship. As senator, Clinton supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act in 2006 and 2007. She co-sponsored the DREAM Act in the Senate in 2003, 2005 and 2007 to give undocumented students who grew up in the U.S. a chance to contribute to our nation’s growth. As president, Clinton will fight for comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Defend President Obama’s DACA and DAPA executive actions. President Obama’s executive actions that provide relief from deportation for DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents would protect an estimated 5 million people.
  • Protect families. Clinton will put in place a system for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to be able to make their case and be eligible for deferred action.
  • Conduct humane, targeted immigration enforcement. Clinton will focus enforcement resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and work to ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories.
    • End family detention. The United States has alternatives to detention for those who pose no flight or public safety risk, such as supervised release, that have proved effective and cost a fraction of what it takes to keep families in detention.
    • Close private immigrant detention centers.
  • Expand access to affordable health care to all families. Clinton sponsored the Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act in the Senate, which later became law and allows immigrant children and pregnant women to obtain Medicaid and SCHIP. She believes we should let families, regardless of immigration status, buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
  • Promote naturalization. Clinton will work to expand fee waivers so more people can get a break on costs; increase access to language programs to help people boost their English proficiency; and enhance outreach and education so more people are informed about their options and engaged in the process.

National security

  • Make sure that our military is on the cutting edge. Clinton will ensure the United States maintains the best-trained, best-equipped and strongest military the world has ever known.
  • Follow a vision for America that is centered on core ideals. Clinton will continue her long-standing emphasis on gender equality and human rights, including the rights of LGBT individuals around the globe, and standing up for an open Internet to ensure that all people have equal access to information and ideas.
  • Never allow Iranto acquire a nuclear weapon. America and our allies, especially Israel, will be safer if we vigorously enforce the nuclear agreement with Iran and implement a broader strategy to confront Iran’s behavior in the region.
  • Defeat ISIS. The United States will defeat ISIS in a way that builds greater stability across the region, without miring our troops in a misguided ground war. Clinton will empower our partners to defeat terrorism and the ideologies that drive it, including through an ongoing partnership to build Iraqi military and governingcapacity, our commitment to Afghanistan’s democracy and security, and by supporting efforts to restore stability to Libya and Yemen.
  • Hold China accountable. As secretary of state, Clinton called out China’s aggressive actions in the region. As president, she’ll work with friends and allies to promote strong rules of the road and institutions in Asia, and encourage China to be a responsible stakeholder, including on cyberspace, human rights, trade, territorial disputes and climate change, and hold it accountable if it does not.
  • Stand up to Putin. Clinton will stand with our European allies and help them decrease dependence on Russian oil. With our partners, Clinton will confine, contain and deter Russian aggression in Europe and beyond, and increase the costs to Putin for his actions.

Monday: Ted Cruz


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