A glance at key items in GOP platform

Associated Press

Some key elements of the Republican platform, which is to be approved Tuesday at the party's national convention in Tampa, Fla.:

PREAMBLE:

"The American Dream is at risk," the platform opens. It promises that Republicans will "begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes and regulates."

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JOB CREATION:

It states that 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."

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SMALL BUSINESS:

The GOP pledges to reform the tax code to make it easier for businesses to generate more capital and create more jobs.

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TAXES:

"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."

It 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 would also 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.

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MARRIAGE:

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.

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VOTER INTEGRITY:

"Voter fraud is a political poison," the platform says. It praises legislation to require photo identification for voting and to prevent election fraud.

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GUN CONTROL:

The party says it opposes legislation intended to restrict Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the assault weapon ban passed during the Clinton presidency.

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ABORTION:

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 abortion or to fund organizations that perform or advocate abortions. It says the party will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage.

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ENERGY:

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. It criticizes the Obama administration for picking winners and losers in the energy sector and expresses support for new coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally responsible and efficient.

It adds: "We will end the EPA's war on coal and encourage the increased safe development in all regions of the nation's coal resources." It calls on Congress 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."

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MEDICARE and MEDICAID:

The platform pledges to move both Medicare and Medicaid away from "the current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model." It supports a Medicare transition to a premium-support model with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee's choice. Age eligibility in Medicare must be made more realistic in light of longer life spans.

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.

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IMMIGRATION:

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 says federal funding should be denied to universities that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants. It advocates making English the official national language.

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HEALTH CARE:

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. It proposes a Republican plan based on improving health care quality and lowering costs and a system that promotes the free market and gives consumers more choice.

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EDUCATION:

Republicans support consumer choice, including home schooling, local innovations such as single-sex classes, full-day school hours and year-round schools. It says Republicans renew their call for replacing family planning programs for teens "with abstinence education which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior."

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DEFENSE:

The platform says Republicans are "the party of peace through strength" and support the concept of American exceptionalism — "the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history." It criticizes the current administration for its weak positions toward such countries as North Korea, China and Iran and its reductions in military spending. The Republican national military strategy "restores as a principal objective the deterrence using the full spectrum of our military capabilities."

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