One in a series profiling Democratic presidential candidates – in their own words:
- Creating jobs
Mike will launch a major public research and development initiative in industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and medicine to create jobs and reward cities with the best plans for inclusive growth. He will also invest in community college partnerships and apprenticeships that connect people with identifiable jobs and career paths.
- Minimum wage
Mike’s plan will enhance the Earned Income Tax Credit, pay it monthly and pay more where it’s most needed. Mike will also increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, indexed to inflation, ensure affordable child care, paid family leave and the right to sue employers for harassment and discrimination related to characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability. And his plan will grant all workers — including gig, contract and franchise employees — the right to organize and bargain collectively.
- Small businesses
Mike will set up “Business Resource Centers” across the country to help entrepreneurs access capital, navigate bureaucracy and take advantage of federal programs. And he will consolidate programs for small businesses in the Small Business Administration, and increase staffing and funding.
- Rural America
Mike’s plan will include improving rural America’s connection to growth centers – for example, by investing in rural broadband access. These areas will be provided with technical assistance to help reap benefits from efforts to connect them with educational institutions, entrepreneurial projects and the online information economy.
- Mike Bloomberg commits to propelling the country towards a 100% clean-energy economy-wide future … before 2050, slashing emissions by 50% across the U.S. economy in 10 years. Mike calls for phasing out all carbon and health-threatening pollution in the electricity sector, ensuring 80% clean electricity by the end of his second term of office.
- Immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement and meet the targets science recommends. …
- Restore U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund, so that developed countries meet and exceed their goal to contribute $100 billion a year to developing countries, and ensure that this funding enables these countries to access affordable clean energy and strengthen their resilience to natural disasters.
- Achieve reductions in all greenhouse gases, including … refrigerants, methane, and black-carbon emissions. Submit the Kigali Amendment to the Senate for ratification; improve satellite detection of methane leaks worldwide; reinstate U.S. leadership on the Arctic Council and prioritize the removal of black carbon from the atmosphere; and strengthen efforts to reduce emissions from the shipping and aviation industries.
- Make climate change a top priority of U.S. foreign policy, and intensify U.S. and international actions to stop the expansion of coal and otherwise lower emissions. …
- Calculate the costs of U.S. climate change efforts and apply a corresponding border adjustment – a charge on imports and a tax break for exports – for emissions-intensive goods.
- Work with other countries to jointly end export assistance for fossil fuel investments.
- Hold governments accountable and penalize corporations responsible for deforestation and other practices that increase climate change and rob indigenous peoples of their lives and communities.
- Mandate the disclosure of all climate-related risks, including the full cost of retiring fossil-fuel assets, and greenhouse gas reporting. Furthermore, institute stress testing of financial institutions, including banks. Work with financial regulators around the world to do the same, and standardize these actions.
- Encourage the G20 and the Financial Stability Board to develop a Task Force that would bring financial institutions together with multilateral and national development banks to finance clean energy and resilience projects in developing countries.
- Protect national security, and ensure that the world’s most vulnerable people are kept safe from the impacts of climate change.
- … Create an entry point to apply for refugee status in the United States at a minimum.
- Make funding clean energy and resilience a priority for U.S. development assistance programs in the President’s annual budget request.
- Establish an Office of Climate Security in the White House to coordinate climate-related strategies in intelligence, defense, development and diplomacy, and will include civilian and military staff.
- Lead a new council bringing together all research-focused federal agencies, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to work together on R&D challenges affecting the most vulnerable to climate change.
- Put military bases at home and abroad on a path to self-sufficiency by improving the resilience of all infrastructure that the military relies on at home and abroad from the effects of climate change, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. …
- Help homeowners, building owners and tenants replace appliances, and upgrade existing buildings to save energy and reduce building emissions.
- Direct the FDA to prohibit the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes, as well as all menthol-flavored tobacco products. .,.
- Reduce tobacco use by increasing the federal tax on cigarettes by $1. …
- Fight back against addiction. Nicotine levels in e-cigarettes are boosted to increase the chance of addiction in children. The same is true of traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products marketed to all ages. As president, Mike will mandate the reduction of nicotine in tobacco products to make them less addictive.
- Make it easier for smokers to quit. … As president, Mike will make health insurance companies cover counseling and cessation medicines for smokers trying to quit. These services will be provided without co-pays, prior authorization requirements or limits on the duration of treatment. Mike will also require the FDA to expedite the approval of improved smoking-cessation products through its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
More effective background checks:
- Require point-of-sale background checks for all gun sales and close the private sale loophole, which enables prohibited people to buy guns simply by finding unlicensed sellers at gun shows or on the Internet.
- Require every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase.
- Use sales records to identify crime guns and notify local police when individuals have been prohibited from having a gun. A central system will let local authorities know when a gun owner has become barred from having firearms – due to a criminal conviction or a restraining order.
- Allow for extreme risk screening before guns are purchased so that issuers would be equipped to deny permits to troubled people who pose a danger to themselves or others. …
Keep guns out of the wrong hands:
- Close the “boyfriend loophole” which allows domestic abusers to have guns, despite criminal convictions or restraining orders simply because they are not married to their victims.
- Pass a federal red flag law that expands extreme risk orders to 50 states, and funds state efforts to maximize the policy.
- Require buyers to be at least 21 years old to buy handguns and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.
- Set a temporary ban on gun possession by assault and other violent misdemeanor offenders.
Ban assault weapons, protect schools, and prevent unintentional shootings:
- Reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
- Require secure storage of firearms, which have been shown to reduce the risk of child gun injuries by up to 85 percent. However, an estimated 4.6 million American children live in houses with an unlocked gun.
- Ban all guns in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, except for law enforcement.
Tackle daily gun violence in the hardest-hit communities:
- Fund at least $100 million annually for local violence intervention programs.
- Increase ATF funding by up to $100 million annually so that the Bureau is able to police the gun industry more effectively.
- Fund at least $100 million annually for public health research into gun violence.
- Require all buyers to wait at least 48 hours before any firearm purchase.
- Make straw purchasing and trafficking stand-alone federal crimes, with serious penalties for offenders in order to help stop illicit sales.
- Require all gun owners to report to police if their firearms have been lost or stolen, within three days after they know or should know that their guns are missing.
- Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) so that gunmakers and gun dealers will no longer have broad immunity from civil lawsuits.
- Allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to treat guns like other household products so that the federal government will have the power to set safety requirements for gun technology.
- Formally declare the gun violence crisis to be a public health emergency to expedite funds and research.
- Appoint a White House gun coordinator to mobilize the public to fight gun violence and launch an interagency hub to fight gun violence.
- Focus executive energy on suicide reduction, school safety interventions, and corporate partnerships.
- Public option. The first step is to create a Medicare-like public option — health insurance that would be administered by the federal government but paid for by customer premiums. Priority would go to the uninsured, including low-income people who are in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid under the ACA. A public insurance option would improve consumer choice and increase competition in the private insurance market, lower everyone’s premiums. People of modest means who buy the public option would be eligible for the same subsidies that would apply on the health insurance exchanges.
- Build on the Affordable Care Act. The ACA made great strides in helping people who don’t get health insurance through an employer afford coverage in the individual market. Mike … would expand enrollment efforts, restrict the sale of health plans that don’t meet ACA standards, and defend the law against politically motivated lawsuits. He would expand subsidies to cap premiums at 8.5% of a household’s income. He would create a permanent reinsurance program that, by helping insurers with the largest claims, would reduce customer premiums roughly 10%. Finally, because about a third of Americans choose not to see a dentist regularly because it is too expensive, Mike would expand Medicare to include an optional policy covering dental, hearing, and vision care, and would require all states to cover oral health services for adults in Medicaid.
- Cap health care prices and ban surprise medical bills. … To bring prices down, Mike would cap out-of-network charges at 200% of Medicare rates. (Medicare does something similar; beneficiaries enrolled in private plans, known as Medicare Advantage plans, have capped prices for out-of-network providers. This cap protects beneficiaries, and, at the same time, gives private insurers greater leverage in negotiating rates with hospitals and clinicians.)
- Lower drug costs. Mike would work with Congress to authorize the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. The government would cap drug prices at 120% of the average in other advanced nations — and this cap would apply to consumers with public or private insurance. Mike would ban drug company payments to the people who make decisions at pharmacies so that drug makers compete on the cost and value of their products — not on the amount of money they pay to get preferential treatment.
- … Mike’s plan encourages states to pass laws that allow trained medical professionals to provide more care that is currently limited to a doctor’s scope. This is also aimed at providing better care for more women, especially in rural areas.
- His proposal calls for the expansion of the National Health Service Corps, which offers loan repayment and scholarship opportunities for doctors who practice in high-need areas, to also cover medical students from minority communities. And he will boost funding for medical schools at historically black colleges and universities to increase the number of people of color in the health care workforce.
- The plan re-confirms Mike’s long-standing support for women’s reproductive rights. Mike will work with Congress to codify Roe v. Wade into law, guaranteeing legal access to safe abortion in all 50 states. He will also partner with Congress to repeal the Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of incest or rape.
- Mike will work to alleviate the nation’s severe shortage of affordable housing, break down barriers to building it in places where people want to live and ensure that the nation’s poorest can get into it. …
- He will expand the Low Income Tax Credit, with conditions to ensure that more new construction is in low-income areas with substantial community investments to improve schools and reduce crime.
- He will increase funding to federal affordable housing programs, such as the Public Housing Capital Fund, the HOME program, Community Development Block Grants, the Capital Magnet Fund and the Housing Trust Fund. …
- He will set aside $10 billion in federal funds for a competition to reward municipalities that remove obstacles to the construction of affordable housing in neighborhoods with good schools, transportation and economic opportunities — for example, by changing zoning rules or allowing property owners to build additional housing units. Research suggests that in some cities, zoning restrictions increase housing costs by 50% or more.
- He will enforce Department of Housing and Urban Development rules, such as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, that require cities to demonstrate progress in addressing segregation — for example, by removing exclusionary zoning regulations. …
- He will increase funding for housing vouchers. It’s unacceptable that only one in four households that qualify for federal housing assistance actually receive it.
- He will make it easier for people using vouchers to move to where opportunities are — for example, by administering them regionally and matching their value to rents by ZIP code.
- Mike will … expand efforts to provide housing and prevent people from becoming homeless. …
- He will expand permanent supportive housing, which provides stability to the chronic homeless, provides services to address issues such as substance abuse and seeks to graduate them to independent living. This approach … reduces the use of publicly-funded crisis services, including shelters, hospitals, psychiatric centers and prisons.
- He will use federal funds to encourage cities to adopt rapid rehousing strategies, which provide housing search support and short-term rental assistance, and to implement strategies that prioritize access for the homeless and provide support and work training needed to achieve economic independence.
- He will expand federal grants to cities that implement effective homelessness prevention programs such as Homebase, which work to keep people facing crises in their homes, including with legal aid and temporary financial assistance.
- Mike recognizes that generations of discriminatory public policy — such as redlining, which effectively denied federal loan guarantees to minorities — have prevented some Americans from accumulating housing wealth and left them concentrated in high-poverty, low-opportunity neighborhoods. …
- He will create a Housing Fairness Commission, funded with an initial $10 billion, to work with municipalities and nonprofits on testing policies aimed at reversing the effects of discrimination and expanding programs that work.
- He will expand Fair Housing Act protections to include all relevant forms of discrimination, such as family status, veteran status, sexual orientation and source of funds.
- He will enforce fair lending laws and keep gathering the data needed to do so.
- He will revive HUD’s efforts to enforce progress on housing desegregation (under its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule) and ensure people’s right to challenge discriminatory policies in the courts (under its disparate impact rule).
- Sentencing reform: Mike supports the First Step Act but he believes that Washington can go further. The Justice Department should provide incentives for states to experiment with and evaluate the impact of shorter sentences.
- Prison reform: … Mike will push to expand alternative-to-incarceration programs that have a proven record of success, based on his work in New York City. He’ll expand drug treatment, mental health services, and re-entry and career-training for people who are incarcerated. He will restore access to Pell Grant funding for incarcerated individuals, allowing them to pay for post-secondary education while in prison. And he will lower barriers to hiring for public employee and government contractor positions so that job applicants are not asked about their criminal records until after they receive a conditional offer.
- Bail reform: Americans are spending almost $10 billion a year to incarcerate people who are awaiting trial – in other words, who haven’t yet been convicted of a crime. Many have been granted bail but can’t afford to pay. At the same time, African Americans and Latinos are less likely to be granted bail, which is the definition of injustice. Mike supports reform efforts that aim to reduce or eliminate cash bail for non-violent offenders.
- Juvenile justice reform: There are more than 50,000 young people in confinement away from their homes. Close to 17,000 of them are being held for low-level, non-violent crimes, and 6,000 are being held before even being convicted. Mike will launch a nationwide initiative to cut imprisonment of young people in half by the end of his first term and eliminate juvenile incarceration for all non-violent offenders.
- Creates a central repository of the skills required for a military position and the most common civilian jobs that are related.
- Educates companies to better understand the unique skills that veterans bring to the workforce, including the value in including veterans as part of their diversity-and-inclusion efforts.
- Calls for the collection of data and developing systems to better evaluate the needs of veterans in order to inform and prioritize future employment support services.
- Offers credentialing services and support throughout a veteran’s entire career.
- Makes employment and education benefits available to veterans, and provides critical financial literacy support to help protect veterans and their families from predatory lenders.
- Helps veterans transition to life outside of the military and into new communities.
- Mike’s plan also provides relief to any veterans who need support to combat the isolation that may contribute to veteran homelessness, opioid use and suicide.
- Protecting voting rights for all Americans. Mike will fix burdensome voting laws and practices that make it more difficult for Black and Latino voters, Native Americans, transgender people, and people with disabilities to vote in federal elections. And he will end voter suppression by banning states from purging eligible voters.
- Preventing gerrymandering and eliminating partisan influence in elections. Mike will require states to establish independent redistricting commissions to draw federal congressional districts, through a transparent and inclusive process, that produces fair representation. This is especially important for communities of color. …
- Making it easy for all eligible voters to cast their ballots. Mike will make it simpler to vote by implementing uniform standards for federal elections across states, requiring policies like automatic voter registration and early voting, and ensuring the availability and accessibility of polling places.
- Modernizing election infrastructure so our elections are safe and secure. Mike will … mandate the use of state-of-the-art voting machines, provide training and technical assistance for election officials, and require the Department of Homeland Security to assess threats prior to elections.