Republicans emphatically approved a party platform Tuesday that would ban all abortions and gay marriages and reshape Medicare into a voucherlike program.
The document opens by warning that while the American Dream has long been of equal opportunity for everyone, “Today that American Dream is at risk.” It pledges that the GOP will “begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes and regulates.”
Here are key elements of the platform:
The party says a Republican administration would extend the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 pending reform of the tax code. It says the party would strive to eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains altogether for lower- and middle-income taxpayers. It also would work to repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax. The party backs constitutional amendments to balance the federal budget and require a super majority for any tax increases.
The platform affirms the rights of states and the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriage. It backs a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The party states that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” It opposes using public revenues to promote or perform abortions or to fund organizations that perform or advocate abortions. It says the party will not fund or subsidize health care that includes abortion coverage.
The party is committed to domestic energy independence and an “all-of-the-above” energy policy, backing the exploration and development of the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The platform supports a Medicare transition to a premium-support model with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee's choice. Medicaid services for low-income people would be transformed into a block grant program in which the states would be given the flexibility to determine the best programs for their residents.
The platform makes clear that “we oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by intentionally violating the law, disadvantage those who have obeyed it.” It demands that the Justice Department halt lawsuits against Arizona, Alabama and other states that have enacted tough measures against illegal immigrants.
It states that a Republican president on his first day in office would use his waiver authority to halt progress in carrying out the health care act pushed through by President Barack Obama, and that Republican victories in November would guarantee that the act is never implemented.