What's in the Republican party's official platform?
The Republican National Convention kicked off in high gear in Cleveland this week, with all eyes on the pageantry and speeches from its full lineup of speakers. But plagiarism scandals aside, the four-day GOP coronation ceremony for nominee Donald Trump was also an exercise in solidifying the Republican party's platform, a statement of tenets that lays out the primary beliefs and policy proposals of the GOP.
Republican delegates officially adopted the 60-page document on Monday, and in the days since it's drawn considerable media attention.
Soon after its passage, the New York Times published an editorial calling it "the most extreme" party platform in recent memory, noting the influence of the party's newly minted nominee, Donald Trump.
"Rather than trying to reconcile Mr. Trump's heretical views with conservative orthodoxy, the writers of the platform simply opted to go with the most extreme version of every position," the Times' editorial board read. "Tailored to Mr. Trump's impulsive bluster, this document lays bare just how much the G.O.P. is driven by a regressive, extremist inner core."
At the same time, the document includes language on Wall Street regulations that would readily be embraced by progressive icons Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Vermont's Bernie Sanders.
So what are some of the need-to-know tenets of the Republican party? Here are some of its most notable planks:
In a strange veer leftwards, the Republican party is supporting the revival of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which draws a strict line between commercial banks and investment securities firms. The legislation, repealed under President Bill Clinton back in 1999, is popular among the progressive wing of the Democratic party, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Hillary Clinton has not advocated its return. She has said she supports the Dodd-Frank Act, passed after the financial crisis.)
The GOP platform, in its final draft, had this to say about Glass-Steagall:
"We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment. Sensible regulations can be compatible with a vibrant economy."
Tony Fratto, a former Bush administration Treasury official thinks this is an attempt to appeal to liberals in the general election. He told the Associated Press that "The Trump campaign seems to have a fantasy that they will be able to acquire some significant share of Bernie Sanders voters in the general election and this is one way to appeal to them."
Build a border wall
This key tenet is straight out of a Donald Trump rally riff.
"In a time of terrorism, drug cartels, human trafficking, and criminal gangs, the presence of millions of unidentified individuals in this country poses grave risks to the safety and sovereignty of the United States," the platform reads. "That is why we support building a wall along our southern border and protecting all ports of entry. The border wall must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic."
Back in 2012, the wall was just "fencing," according to the party's previous platform: "The double-layered fencing on the border that was enacted by Congress in 2006, but never completed, must finally be built," the GOP wrote.
The 2016 platform stopped short, however, of demanding that Mexico pay for the wall.
Apply "special scrutiny" to refugees, foreign nationals from countries linked to Islamic terror
Similar to Donald Trump's proposals for "extreme vetting" of any immigrants and refugees from countries plagued by extreme terror groups, the Republican platform calls for "special scrutiny" to be applied to those seeking entry into the U.S. from "regions associated with Islamic terrorism." The document, however, did not call for a temporary ban on Muslims stepping foot on U.S. soil -- a proposal made by Trump during his presidential campaign.
"To ensure our national security, refugees that cannot be carefully vetted, cannot be admitted to the country, especially those whose homelands have been the breeding grounds for terrorism," the GOP wrote in its platform.
It goes on, "To keep our people safe, we must secure our borders, enforce our immigration laws, and properly screen refugees and other immigrants entering from any country. In particular we must apply special scrutiny to those foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States from terror-sponsoring countries or from regions associated with Islamic terrorism."
In 2012, the party platform only made one mention of refugees:
"We affirm our country's historic tradition of welcoming refugees from troubled lands," it read. "In some cases, they are people who stood with us during dangerous times, and they have first call on our hospitality."
Overturn SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage
Of the Supreme Court case that definitively ruled same-sex marriage legal nationwide, the platform does "not accept the Supreme Court's redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states."
The platform also took issue with transgender rights, pointing specifically at the Education Department's latest guidance on public schools allowing students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identities.
"Their edict to the states concerning restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities is at once illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues," the platform reads. "We salute the several states which have filed suit against it."
Studying the Bible should be offered in public school curricula
"A good understanding of the Bible being indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry, we encourage state legislatures to offer the Bible in a literature curriculum as an elective in America's high schools," the platform reads.
The 2012 platform made no such push for the Bible in public schools.
for more features.