As a member of Congress, opposed the war before it began, as a matter of principle,recognizing it was illegal under international law, a war of aggression that had nothing to do with defense of the nation. She has also consistently opposed the occupation and consistently opposed every appropriation meant to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Calls for an orderly but immediate and complete withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign nations.
Recognizing that private, for-profit health insurance is a central cause of our failing health-care system, McKinney uncompromisingly calls for a universal, single-payer 'Medicare for all' health-care system in the United States.Notes that even though we spend more than twice as much per capita on health care as most industrialized nations, we rank 37th in the world in health care,18,000 Americans die every year from lack of access to health care and about half of all bankruptcies are partly due to medical costs. Countries with single payer systems have better life expectancy, lower infant mortality, and more doctors, nurses, hospital beds and doctor visits per capita. She says it's time to stand up to the insurance lobby and bring single-payer health care to America, pointing out that the $2.3 trillion lost by the Pentagon could pay instead for jobs, health care, and education.
Believes that tax relief must flow to those who need it the most, the working class and people with limited incomes. Received a 100 percent approval rating from Citizens for Tax Justice, as a champion of progressive and fair taxation. Authored legislation to take tax breaks from companies that move their plants overseas. Voted against cutting taxes on capitol gains and eliminating the estate tax. Relentlessly fought Pentagon waste, fraud and abuse. By dismantling the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex and corporate welfare, she will bring about a real 'peace and justice dividend' that would allow us to put our resources into meeting social needs, and still lower the tax burden on the vast majority of Americans.
Recognizes that the root cause of the flow of undocumented immigration is our nation's domineering corporatist economic policies that destroy domestic agriculture in Latin America, then seek to blame the impoverished victims and stir up racism and repression when they come to the United States. Recognizes that the way to address the problem is to address the cause; repeal NAFTA and CAFTA. Rejects the border fence as a wasteful militarized approach to the question. It's not the immigrants who are 'illegal'; what is illegal is the way U.S. economic policies treat workers in this country and throughout the world. Supports immigration policies that promote fairness, non-discrimination, family reunification, not preferential quotas based on race, class and ideology.
Supports the right of all individuals to freely choose their partners regardless of sex or sexual orientation and the equal rights of all to the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage. Every religion is free to define 'marriage' as it sees fit, but 'marriage' under the law must not discriminate. Supports a transgender-inclusive employment nondiscrimination act, the right of lesbian and gay persons to serve in the military, and laws allowing federal investigation of local bias-motivated crimes. Voted against the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. As Rev. Al Sharpton once observed, we should be less concerned with who people go to bed with at night, and more concerned with whether either partner has a job to go to in the morning. The only kind of 'marriage' that needs a constitutional ban is the marriage between corporations and government.
Calls for a 'New Deal'-scale program for sustainable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation, to eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels and combat global warming. Supports a policy of 'leave the oil in the soil';goal is to go carbon-free and nuclear-free. This is not only necessary for life on the planet; it is also essential for economic recovery and health. The promotion of solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy will create hundreds of thousands of new manufacturing, construction and service jobs, sited in under-served communities.
Would promote investment in solar energy through tax credits. Supports energy policies that emphasize mass transportation and conservation rather than rewarding oil-company profiteering. In Congress, supported Kyoto Protocol, raising CAFÉ standards, more funds for rail; consistently opposed oil exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. Supported Clean Alternatives for Energy Independence Act to divert record energy profits toward doubling incentives for producing vehicles using cleaner, more efficient and hybrid technologies.
Supports fair trade, not corporate globalization. Has consistently opposed so-called 'free trade' agreements – NAFTA, CAFTA, Fast Track, the Caribbean FTA, the US-Peru FTA, etc. – that undermine labor and environmental rights and cause the loss of living-wage jobs. She supported the No Tax Breaks for Runaway Plants bill in Congress; authored the TRUTH Act, requiring disclosure of the whereabouts of subsidiaries of US corporations operating overseas, and the Corporate Responsibility Act, to force US corporations operating overseas to abide by US environmental and labor standards. Opposed Most Favored Nation status for China; and to condition trade with China on an improved human rights record; supported U.S. withdrawal from the World Trade Organization. As President, she would continue the fight against corporate globalization and require corporations to be held publicly accountable and socially responsible.
Has been a consistent supporter of full reproductive rights for women, including funding for contraception and UN family planning. Option of safe, legal abortion must remain available, while we promote policies that will minimize unwanted pregnancies. Supports making 'morningafter' pill affordable and accessible without prescription.
By dismantling the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex and corporate welfare, she will bring about a real 'peace and justice dividend' that will allow us to create the foundation of a truly healthy economy:single-payer health care, Green energy and transportation projects, rebuilding our infrastructure and affordable housing, quality K-12 and subsidized higher education eliminating student indebtedness and investments in Main Street's small businesses, not Wall Street's predatory corporations and banks. This will create a rebuilt manufacturing base and strong local economies. She supports monetary reform: the power to create money must be taken from private hands and restored to Congress. She supports – and has authored – legislation to create a national living wage.
Education should be free, motivating, relevant and high quality. Opposes 'reforms'l ike No Child Left Behind that are basically aimed at dismantling public education. Says we need to instill pride and a desire to learn. Supports free higher education for all; no student should be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. By eliminating tax cuts for the wealthy and obscene spending on militarism, war and prisons, we can afford to invest in quality education for all. Supports decreasing class sizes, modernizing schools in disrepair, and combating the digital divide. In Congress, she consistently supported improved education funding and opposed voucher schemes aimed at undermining our public schools. She supports keeping Title IX in place so that women and girls have equal access to participation in sports.
Transparency and Accountability
She worked hard to open classified government files while in office concerning the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tupak Shakur. She held briefings when hearings were impossible, on key issues about 9/11 and the policies and New COINTELPRO abuses that followed it, both on Capitol Hill and in the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conferences. She promoted legislation to gather information on conscientious objectors inside the US military and how they have been treated. She opposed government secrecy and took part in many public forums to support oversight and accountability in government.
She believes that the right to bear arms must be tempered by common-sense measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those most inclined to threaten others with violence. (In light of its history, this would have to include the U.S.government and many police officers, but those issues are dealt with elsewhere.) She has favored waiting periods for gun purchases and opposed measures to restrict or bar lawsuits against gun manufacturers resulting from the misuse of their products by others.
She has been a consistent and strong advocate for a peaceful foreign policy based on human rights. Supports complete withdrawal of U.S.forces and bases worldwide; opposes U.S.military intervention and U.S.military sales, on the basis of Green values and principles.Supported closing the School of the Americas. Introduced, championed, and passed in the House the Arms Trade Code of Conduct, prohibiting the sale of arms to know n human rights abusers; authored legislation to end the use of depleted uranium weapons.Co-sponsored the Hunger to Harvest bill to reduce hunger in sub-Saharan Africa. Supports debt relief for developing nations and genuine aid policies, not phony 'aid' policies that actually subsidize corporate agribusiness and exploitation.
Has been a strong and consistent advocate for a restored, protected, healthy environment.Says we want our forests protected and restored; sustainable resource use and reuse, and less waste to dispose of. Supports renewable energy and opposes policies that pit food production against energy production. Calls for an entirely new paradigm that encourages us to produce green, local, and fairly; most importantly we need true, representative government that puts the needs of the people over those of corporations so that these policies can become law. Supports organic farming and local food production for local use; opposes GMO foods. Opposes commercial logging on public land. Supports the precautionary principle, and cradle-to-grave,closed-loop industrial practices to eliminate toxic emissions from our environment; supports right-to-know laws for communities. Recognizes global climate destabilization as a critical issue; see also her stance on Energy issues.
Ethics & Election Integrity
Supports comprehensive campaign finance reform. Has long been a supporter of publicly financed elections. Supports the principle that the public airwaves belong to the people. Calls for the reinstatement and enforcement of the Equal Time Provision of the Federal Communication Act, requiring broadcasters to carry debates including all ballot-qualified candidates and provide free time for all such candidates as a license requirement to use our public airwaves. Believes that ethics reform must also include protecting and restoring the integrity of the voting process itself. She has been a champion of voting integrity, declaring that we need to eliminate privately owned and/or party-controlled electronic voting machines and every machine that does not provide a paper ballot.Supports Instant Runoff Voting; opposes voter caging, requiring voters to produce photo ID and other tactics of voter disenfranchisement.
Has been a strong advocate for social justice and combating discrimination in all of its forms. She has supported Federal funding and contracting preferences for women and minority owned businesses; advocated for reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans; opposed efforts to end Affirmative Action in college admissions; opposed racial profiling. She exposed the racial discrimination that occurred in the disenfranchisement of voters in the 2000 and 2004elections. Served on the international tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and has been an advocate for those kept from their homes on grounds of race and class.
Opposes efforts to privatize Social Security. Claims about the insolvency of the system have been deliberately concocted and the facts distorted in order to push privatization schemes. Social Security was a gain of the progressive movements of the past that must be guarded from encroachment. If there are any future solvency issues, they should be dealt with by improving the funding stream as needed, not sacrificing the integrity of the program. She supported the Social Security Lockbox bill to require that any budget surplus cannot be spent until the solvency of Social Security and Medicare is guaranteed.
She believes that, like food and health-care, housing must be recognized as a right.As part of her plan to rebuild America's infrastructure, she would greatly expand the construction of affordable, quality housing. As part of her energy policy, she supports providing rapid, substantial assistance for the energy-efficient retrofitting of homes, with priority going to low-income housing, which typically imposes the highest heating and cooling costs on those least able to afford it. In Congress, she supported increased funding for the Section 8 housing program. To stop the wave of foreclosures,the goal must be to promote home ownership, not bail out irresponsible banks with taxpayer money. She supports legislation requiring renegotiation of unconscionable mortgage agreements to fall within new regulatory standards and repeal of the relaxed laws on speculation and predatory lending that led to the current mortgage crisis.
McKinney has long been a strong supporter of the nation's veterans. She passed legislation to extend health benefits for Vietnam War veterans still suffering the health effects from exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange. She supports measures to acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome and provide full health benefits and disability pay for veterans who suffer from both physical and mental effects of war,including PTSD. She supports a new GI Bill, including tuition grants and low-interest loans for housing and business start-ups.
A longtime peace activist, she opposes all research, testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapons and calls for rapid, mutual nuclear disarmament. She supports immediate ratification and signing of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,and complete honoring of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and any other treaties banning or limiting research, development, testing, or deployment of any nuclear weapons. She would reverse the Bush administration's sabotage of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. She would ban the manufacture and use of depleted uranium, as well as biological, chemical and anti-personnel weapons such as cluster bombs and mines. She opposes the 'Nukes in Space' and 'Star Wars' programs.
The question of accepting money from federally registered lobbyists has not been an issue for the McKinney campaign, as corporate lobbyists, knowing where to find a receptive audience, don't exactly beat a path to the door of Green Party candidates. However, if they did, they would find the door locked shut. McKinney does recognize a distinction between public interest lobbyists, like those representing NETWORK,American Friends, etc., and the corporate variety. The door would be open to public interest lobbyists – for their ideas, not their money.
As is reflected in her energy policies, she recognizes global climate change as a major threat to our survival: 'The United States can no longer hide its truculence under the mask of weather fluctuations or unclear science.Islands are disappearing; indigenous ways of life are threatened; indeed the world as we know it is at risk if the US continues to do nothing. Therefore, a drastic cut in emissions is necessary. This can be accomplished by using the tax code to incentivize behavior. From retrofitting buildings, demanding new standards for all new construction, utilizing existing technologies and developing new ones, to subsidizing infrastructure rehabilitation, not only can the US reverse its deadly inaction, but it can become a world-class leader.'
Special Message from Rosa
'I am honored and excited to accept this invitation to run with Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia McKinney is a hero to me and many others across this country and around the world for her courage in standing up to George Bush while the Democratic Party establishment caved.'
'This campaign is the opportunity the Hip-Hop generation has been working for. This is our time to address the issues affecting our communities -- “ rising unemployment, the high cost of food and housing, a lack of quality public education and access to higher education, the prison-industrial complex, and unaccountable corporate media. These issues are not being addressed by either the Republican or Democratic nominee.'
'I choose to do this, not for me, but for my generation, my community and my daughter. I don't see the Green Party as an alternative; I see it as an imperative. I trust that my Vice Presidential run will inspire all people, but especially young people of color, to recognize that we have more then two choices. Together, we can build the future we've been dreaming of.'
Rosa Clemente, Green Party candidate for Vice President