Table of Contents

Economy

Workplace Flexibility and Choice

John McCain understands that today’s changing economy is making it harder for parents to balance the demands of family life and their jobs. He believes that strong families require that parents be involved in the lives of their children. Flexible work arrangements can help families strike the right balance.

John McCain was proud to support the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993 that ensured men and women are able to take leave to care for a newborn child, adopt a child or care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition and return to a position that is substantially equal in pay, benefits, and responsibility. This was a needed minimum standard to ensure that parents were not penalized for making the important decision to raise a family.

John McCain co-sponsored the Family Friendly Workplace Act, which sought to allow employers to provide flexible work schedules to help employees balance the demands and needs of work and family, such as allowing employees to take compensatory time-off rather than be paid overtime and to work more than 40 hours in one week and correspondingly less in another week.

John McCain also understands that our changing economy forces many families to deal with the disruptions that come with a job change. He believes that families should be able to hold onto the health and retirement benefits that they have chosen. He also believes that workers should be able to choose new training that fits their personal situation so that they can build new skills as their careers change.

John McCain believes that to keep America competitive in the world economy, employers need to be able to attract and retain workers. This requires employers to offer flexible work arrangements and allow workers to bring their health and retirement benefits with them or choose new plans.

John McCain also believes that as our workforce ages, many older Americans want to continue to stay in jobs. These workers have the experience and skills that help keep America competitive. More flexible work arrangements would enable these workers to continue their careers and help keep our economy competitive.

John McCain is calling for National Commission on Workplace Flexibility and Choice. This Commission would bring together a bi-partisan set of leaders representing workers, small and large employers, labor, and academics. The Commission would make recommendations to the President on how modernizing our nation’s labor laws and training programs can help workers better balance the demands of their job with family life and to enable workers to more easily transition between jobs.

The Commission would examine the following issues that John McCain believes are important to workplace flexibility and choice:

  • Modernizing the nation’s labor laws so that they allow for more flexible scheduling arrangements
  • Ensuring that the nation’s labor laws don’t get in the way of working at home
  • Promoting telework so that workers can spend less time commuting
  • Making health more portable so that workers don’t lose their benefits when they switch jobs
  • Ensuring that workers can choose retirement plans that best suit their needs
  • Providing workers with more choice in job training assistance so that they can build the skills they need for new and better jobs

Relief For Families

Gas and Food Prices

John McCain will help Americans hurting from high gasoline and food costs. Americans need relief right now from high gas prices. John McCain will act immediately to reduce the pain of high gas prices.

  • John McCain believes we should send a strong message to world markets. Under his plan, the United States will be telling oil producing countries and oil speculators that our dependence on foreign oil will come to an end - and the impact will be lower prices at the pump.
  • John McCain's policies will increase the value of the dollar and thus reduce the price of oil. In recent years, the declining value of the dollar has added to the cost of imported oil. This will change. Americans will have a stronger economy, a stronger dollar and greater purchasing power for oil, gas and food.
  • John McCain believes we should institute a summer gas tax holiday. Hard-working American families are suffering from higher gasoline prices. John McCain called on Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  1. Reuters: Gas Tax Holiday “Of Most Immediate Effect To Consumers.” “Of most immediate effect to consumers was his appeal to the U.S. Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day at the end of May to Labor Day in early September.” (Steve Holland, “McCain Proposes Tax Cuts And Lashes Democrats,” Reuters, 4/15/08)
  2. USA Today: “A USA TODAY Analysis Showed That McCain's Gas-Tax Proposal Could Save Motorists $6.8 Billion In Taxes During The Summer.” (Kathy Kiely, “Gas-Tax Holiday Among McCain's Plans For Economy,” USA Today, 4/16/08)
  • John McCain will repeal the 54 cents per gallon tax on imported sugar-based ethanol, increasing competition, and lowering prices of gasoline at the pump.
  • John McCain will roll back corn-based ethanol mandates, which are contributing to the rising cost of food.

Home Plan

John McCain believes there is nothing more important than keeping alive the American dream of owning a home. Priority number one is to keep well-meaning, deserving home owners who are facing foreclosure in their homes.

John McCain's approach to helping sub-prime or other financially strapped mortgage borrowers is built on sound principles:

  • No taxpayer money should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to perform due diligence in assessing credit risks. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners and any government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk.
  • Any policy of financial assistance should be accompanied by reforms that promote greater transparency and accountability to ensure we never face this problem again.

John McCain has proposed a new “HOME Plan” to provide robust, timely and targeted help to those hurt by the housing crisis. Under his HOME Plan, every deserving American family or homeowner will be afforded the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects their home's market value.

  • Eligibility: Holders of a sub-prime mortgage taken after 2005 who live in their home (primary residence only); can prove creditworthiness at the time of the original loan; are either delinquent, in arrears on payments, facing a reset or otherwise demonstrate that they will be unable to continue to meet their mortgage obligations; and can meet the terms of a new 30 year fixed-rate mortgage on the existing home.

o John McCain's HOME Plan Will Keep 200,000 To 400,000 Families From Losing Their Homes. “But at the same time, McCain is calling for aggressive federal action to help keep 200,000 to 400,000 families from losing their homes. That plan has many of the elements of a proposal by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., requiring participating lenders to forgive part of the loan principal and then write a new loan that would be backed by the federal government through the Federal Housing Administration.” (Tom Raum, “Everyone's Invited: McCain Economic Plan Draws From Both Parties,” Tucson Citizen, 4/17/08)

  • How It Works: Individuals pick up a form at any Post Office or download the form over the Internet and apply for a HOME loan. The FHA HOME Office certifies that the individual is qualified, and contacts the individual's mortgage servicer. The mortgage servicer writes down and retires the existing loan, which is replaced by an FHA guaranteed HOME loan from a lender.
  • John McCain will bolster groups like Neighborworks America that provide mortgage assistance to homeowners in their communities.

Keeping The Credit Crunch From Hurting College Students

John McCain is proposing a student loan continuity plan. Students face the possibility that the credit crunch will disrupt loans for the fall semester. John McCain calls on the federal government and the 50 governors to anticipate loan problems and expand the lender-of-last resort capabilities for each state's guarantee agency.

  • John McCain believes we should institute a summer gas tax holiday. Hard-working American families are suffering from higher gasoline prices. John McCain called on Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
        o Reuters: Gas Tax Holiday "Of Most Immediate Effect To Consumers." "Of most immediate effect to consumers was his appeal to the U.S. Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day at the end of May to Labor Day in early September." (Steve Holland, "McCain Proposes Tax Cuts And Lashes Democrats," Reuters, 4/15/08)
        o USA Today: "A USA TODAY Analysis Showed That McCain's Gas-Tax Proposal Could Save Motorists $6.8 Billion In Taxes During The Summer." (Kathy Kiely, "Gas-Tax Holiday Among McCain's Plans For Economy," USA Today, 4/16/08)
  • John McCain will repeal the 54 cents per gallon tax on imported sugar-based ethanol, increasing competition, and lowering prices of gasoline at the pump.
  • John McCain will roll back corn-based ethanol mandates, which are contributing to the rising cost of food.

McCains Economic Plan Summary

Home Plan

John McCain believes there is nothing more important than keeping alive the American dream of owning a home. Priority number one is to keep well-meaning, deserving home owners who are facing foreclosure in their homes.

John McCain's approach to helping sub-prime or other financially strapped mortgage borrowers is built on sound principles:

  • No taxpayer money should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to perform due diligence in assessing credit risks. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners and any government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk.
  • Any policy of financial assistance should be accompanied by reforms that promote greater transparency and accountability to ensure we never face this problem again.

John McCain has proposed a new “HOME Plan” to provide robust, timely and targeted help to those hurt by the housing crisis. Under his HOME Plan, every deserving American family or homeowner will be afforded the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects their home's market value.

  • Eligibility: Holders of a sub-prime mortgage taken after 2005 who live in their home (primary residence only); can prove creditworthiness at the time of the original loan; are either delinquent, in arrears on payments, facing a reset or otherwise demonstrate that they will be unable to continue to meet their mortgage obligations; and can meet the terms of a new 30 year fixed-rate mortgage on the existing home.

o John McCain's HOME Plan Will Keep 200,000 To 400,000 Families From Losing Their Homes. “But at the same time, McCain is calling for aggressive federal action to help keep 200,000 to 400,000 families from losing their homes. That plan has many of the elements of a proposal by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., requiring participating lenders to forgive part of the loan principal and then write a new loan that would be backed by the federal government through the Federal Housing Administration.” (Tom Raum, “Everyone's Invited: McCain Economic Plan Draws From Both Parties,” Tucson Citizen, 4/17/08)

  • How It Works: Individuals pick up a form at any Post Office or download the form over the Internet and apply for a HOME loan. The FHA HOME Office certifies that the individual is qualified, and contacts the individual's mortgage servicer. The mortgage servicer writes down and retires the existing loan, which is replaced by an FHA guaranteed HOME loan from a lender.
  • John McCain will bolster groups like Neighborworks America that provide mortgage assistance to homeowners in their communities.

Keeping The Credit Crunch From Hurting College Students

John McCain is proposing a student loan continuity plan. Students face the possibility that the credit crunch will disrupt loans for the fall semester. John McCain calls on the federal government and the 50 governors to anticipate loan problems and expand the lender-of-last resort capabilities for each state's guarantee agency.

Government Reform

John McCain will balance the budget by the end of his first term. The near-term path to balance is built on three principles:

  • Reasonable economic growth. Growth is an imperative - historically the greatest success in reducing deficits (late 1980s; late 1990s) took place in the context of economic growth.
  • Comprehensive spending controls. Bringing the budget to balance will require across-the-board scrutiny of spending and making tough choices on new spending proposals.
  • Bi-partisanship in budget efforts. Much as the late 1990s witnessed bipartisan efforts to put the fiscal house in order, bi-partisan efforts will be the key to undoing the recent spending binge.

In the long-term, the only way to keep the budget balanced is successful reform of the large spending pressures in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

McCain Policies Will Support Reasonable Economic Growth: Small business is the key to job growth. Small business will benefit from:

  • Low individual tax rates - sole-proprietorships, partnerships, landlords and others are taxed under the individual income tax.
  • Access to capital from low tax rates on dividends and capital gains.
  • Minimizing expensive mandates - such as those for health insurance and pro-union initiatives like card check.
  • Enhancing international competitiveness to keep jobs here; not abroad.
  1. A lower corporate tax rate.
  2. Improved investment and research incentives to ensure that workers have the most modern technology.
  3. Bringing the budget to balance, reducing federal borrowing, and controlling spending to reduce the burden on the economy.

Comprehensive Spending Controls: John McCain will institute broad reforms to control spending:

  • The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction.
  • A one-year spending pause. Freeze non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending for a year and use those savings for deficit reduction. A one-year pause in the growth of discretionary spending will be imposed to allow for a comprehensive review of all spending programs. After the completion of a comprehensive review of all programs, projects and activities of the federal government, we will propose a plan to modernize, streamline, consolidate, reprioritize and, where needed, terminate individual programs.
  • Take back earmark funds. The McCain Administration will reclaim billions of add-on spending from earmarks and add-ons in FY 2007 and 2008.

Bi-partisan Fiscal Discipline: A McCain Administration will provide the leadership to achieve bipartisan spending restraint equivalent to that in the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement between a GOP Congress and a Democratic President. In 1997, President Clinton and the GOP Congress agreed to balance the budget by restraining the growth in spending and cutting taxes over a ten-year period.

  • With the same bipartisan effort today, with the federal budget that is now 70 percent larger, we could keep taxes low and still balance the budget by holding overall spending growth to 2.4 percent. Unlike Congress and the Executive branch in recent years, a McCain Administration will enforce the spending restraint to balance the budget and keep it balanced.
  • A McCain Administration would perform a comprehensive review of all programs, projects and activities of the federal government, and then propose a plan to modernize, streamline, consolidate, reprioritize and, where needed, terminate individual programs. McCain could use the bi-partisan commission structure used for the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). Such a commission could be required to report to the President who would then submit the recommendations to the Congress for a straight up or down vote.
  • A McCain Administration will review all special spending provisions to end subsidies to high-income individuals and corporations

Eliminating Wasteful Spending

Stop Earmarks, Pork-Barrel Spending, And Waste: John McCain will veto every pork-laden spending bill and make their authors famous. As President, he will seek the line-item veto to reduce waste and eliminate earmarks that have led to corruption. Earmarks restrict America's ability to address genuine national priorities and interfere with fair, competitive markets.

Leadership, Courage And Choices: Reducing spending means making choices. John McCain will provide the courageous leadership necessary to control spending, including:

  • Eliminate broken government programs. The federal government itself admits that one in five programs do not perform.
  • Reform our civil service system to promote accountability and good performance in our federal workforce.
  • Reform procurement programs and cut wasteful spending in defense and non-defense programs.

Reforming Entitlement Programs For The 21st Century

Reform Social Security: John McCain will fight to save the future of Social Security, and he believes that we may meet our obligations to the retirees of today and the future without raising taxes. John McCain supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal accounts - but not as a substitute for addressing benefit promises that cannot be kept. John McCain will reach across the aisle to address these challenges, but if the Democrats do not act, he will. No problem is in more need of honesty than the looming financial challenges of entitlement programs. Americans have the right to know the truth and John McCain will not leave office without fixing the problems that threaten our future prosperity and power.

Control Medicare Growth: The growth of spending on Medicare threatens our fiscal future. John McCain has proposed comprehensive health care reforms that will reduce the growth in Medicare spending, improve the quality of care, protect seniors against rising Medicare premium payments, and preserve the advancements in medical science central to providing quality care.

Supporting Small Business

Lower Energy Costs

John McCain's Lexington Project will address the rising costs of energy that are hurting small businesses. He strongly supports increased domestic exploration of oil and natural gas. This will send a strong signal to oil markets that future supplies will be more plentiful, countering the rise in oil prices. The market for natural gas is less internationally integrated than that of oil - increased domestic production will lower the cost of this key energy source.

The Project will transform electricity generation. John McCain has set the goal of building 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030 - creating 700,000 jobs and providing cheap electricity. It will provide incentives for the production of electricity from renewable sources. Finally, the Lexington Project will devote $2 billion annually to research that will allow the clean use of our most plentiful and low-cost energy source: coal.

Controlling Health Care Costs

John McCain has a comprehensive health care reform plan that will reduce the spiraling cost of health care - a major burden for those small businesses that offer health insurance and a major impediment for those who cannot. He will provide $5,000 for health insurance to every American family - supporting small businesses that seek to offer insurance. John McCain opposes costly mandates or “pay or play” requirements that would raise the financial burden on small business, cut the ability to hire, expand, or raise payrolls.

John McCain's opponent would burden small businesses with roughly $5,000 to $12,000 of extra cost for every employee through his “pay or play” health care mandates. This will stifle new job creation, and it will require small businesses either to cut employees' pay in order to finance this mandate or fire them. Taxes: Simpler, Fair, Pro-Growth, And Competitive Keep Tax Rates Low: Entrepreneurs are at the heart of American innovation, growth and prosperity. Entrepreneurs create the ultimate job security - a new, better opportunity if your current job goes away. Entrepreneurs should not be taxed into submission. John McCain will keep the top tax rate at 35 percent, maintain the 15 percent rates on dividends and capital gains, and phase-out the Alternative Minimum Tax. Small businesses are the heart of job growth; raising taxes on them hurts every worker. John McCain's opponent wants to increase the marginal income tax rate which applies to the nation's 23 million small business owners who pay their taxes under the individual tax rate system.

Cut The Corporate Tax Rate From 35 To 25 Percent: A lower corporate tax rate is essential to keeping good jobs in the United States. America was once a low-tax business environment, but as our trade partners lowered their rates, America failed to keep pace. American workers deserve the chance to make fine products here and sell them around the globe.

Allow First-Year Deduction, Or “Expensing”, Of Equipment And Technology Investments: American workers need the finest technologies to compete. Expensing of equipment and technology will provide an immediate boost to capital expenditures and reward investments in cutting-edge technologies.

Establish A Permanent Tax Credit Equal To 10 Percent Of Wages Spent On R&D: This reform will greatly simplify the tax code, reward activity in the United States, and make us more competitive with other countries. A permanent credit will provide an incentive to innovate and remove uncertainty. At a time when our companies need to be more competitive, we need to provide a permanent incentive to innovate, and remove the uncertainty now hanging over businesses as they make R&D investment decisions.

Allow Families To Keep Their Businesses: John McCain proposes reducing the Estate Tax rate to 15 percent and permit a generous $10 million exemption.

Opening New Markets

John McCain believes that globalization is an opportunity for American workers today and in the future. Ninety-five percent of the world's customers lie outside our borders and we need to be at the table when the rules for access to those markets are written. To do so, the U.S. should engage in multilateral, regional and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers to trade, level the global playing field and build effective enforcement of global trading rules.

Export growth is the strongest part of our sluggish economy, and we should be encouraging the growth of even more jobs in this sector through more free trade agreements which give American firms more access to sell our goods and services abroad.

Small Business Plan Summary

A Leader We Can Believe in to Help Small Businesses

A Leader We Can Believe in to Help Small Businesses

Today, John McCain Outlined His Agenda For Getting Our Economy Back On Track By Helping Small Businesses. As president, John McCain's goal will be to get our economy running at full strength again. This starts by supporting small businesses across America which account for about half of all jobs in the private sector.

  • Small Businesses Can Make The American Economy Run Again. Small businesses take the risks, often with little start-up money. Small businesses do most of the innovating and hiring in this country. For Americans of every background, small businesses are the path to success.
  • This Is A Change Election That Offers The Small Business Community A Very Distinct Choice. On issues like tax policy, health-care reform, trade and spending, John McCain and Barack Obama offer very different choices to the American people with very different consequences for American workers and small business owners. In 2009, there will be change in Washington, but the question is what kind of change? Will we enact the single largest tax increase since the Second World War as Barack Obama proposes, or will we keep taxes low for families and employers?

A Vision For Promoting Small Business Growth To Create A Better Economy:

As President, John McCain Will Act Quickly And Decisively To Promote Growth And Opportunity. He will keep the current low income and investment tax rates and pursue tax reform that supports the wage-earners and job creators who make this economy run. To help American companies compete in international markets and keep jobs in this country, John McCain will reduce the corporate tax rate from the second highest in the world to one on par with our trading partners.

John McCain Will Increase The Ability Of American Workers To Benefit From International Trade. John McCain will break down foreign trade barriers so America's small businesses can compete abroad. The strength of the American economy offers a better life to every society we trade with, and the good comes back to us in many ways – in better jobs, higher wages, and lower prices. In the past few years, small businesses have made up close to 97 percent of all identified exporters. Trade can also give once troubled and impoverished nations a stake in the world economy, and in their relations with America.

  • John McCain Will Act To Help Displaced Workers. John McCain is committed to making reforms that expand and improve federal aid to American workers in need. We need to help millions of workers who have lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.
  • Barack Obama Talks Down The Value Of Our Exports And Trade Agreements. He proposes a unilateral re-negotiation of NAFTA – an agreement that accounts for 33 percent of American exports. John McCain will honor its international agreements, including NAFTA, and he expects the same of others. In a time of uncertainty for workers, we will not undo the gains of years in trade agreements now awaiting final approval.

John McCain Will Act To Reform The Tax Code. He has proposed permitting the first-year expensing of new equipment and technology. He will keep the low rate on capital gains, proposes doubling the child tax exemption and phasing out the Alternative Minimum Tax to save more than 25 million middle class families as much as $2,000 in a single year.

  • Small Businesses Have A Clear Choice Concerning The Estate Tax. Barack Obama proposes to increase the estate tax to a top rate of 55 percent. The estate tax is one of the most unfair tax laws and John McCain will act to keep it low. After a lifetime building up a business and paying taxes, the business asset should not be subjected to a confiscatory tax.

John McCain Will Make The Tax Code Simpler, Flatter And Fairer. As president, he will propose an alternative tax system. All who wish to file under the current system could still do so, but everyone else could choose a vastly less complicated system with two tax rates and a generous standard deduction. Small businesses should not be subjected to thousands of pages of needless and often irrational rules and demands from the IRS.

  • Barack Obama's Economic Plan Will Further Burden Small Businesses. Currently, there are 21.6 million sole proprietorships filing under the individual income tax, and Barack Obama's plan to raise income tax rates on those making over $250,000 includes these businesses as well. He also proposes increases in dividend and capital gains taxes. His proposal to eliminate the Social Security earnings cap will increase the tax on employers. Barack Obama proposes to eliminate the secret ballot for union votes, and to raise the minimum wage and index it.

To Help Small Businesses And Employers Afford Health Care, John McCain Will Bring The Rising Cost of Care Under Control And Give People The Option Of Having Personal, Portable Insurance. John McCain's health care reform will help to make health insurance more affordable for every American. His plan offers every individual and family a large tax credit to buy their health care, so their health insurance is theirs to keep even when they move or change jobs. John McCain's plan allows those who want to stick with employer provided health insurance to do so.

John McCain Will Be Vigilant In Holding Corporate Abuses To Account. Americans are right to be offended when extravagant CEO salaries and severance deals bear no relation to their company's success or shareholders' wishes. As president, John McCain will see that wrongdoing of this kind is called to account by federal prosecutors. Under his reforms, all aspects of a CEO's pay, including severance arrangements, must be approved by shareholders.

John McCain Will End Wasteful Government Spending In Washington. John McCain will veto every bill with earmarks. He will seek a constitutionally valid line-item veto to end pork-barrel spending once and for all. John McCain will lead broad reforms that remove the many corporate tax loopholes that are costly, unfair to small businesses, and inconsistent with a free-market economy.

  • John McCain Will Veto Any Bill That Serves Only The Special Interests And Corporate Welfare. On his watch, there will be no more subsidies for special pleaders, no more corporate welfare and no more throwing around billions of the people's money on pet projects.
  • John McCain Will Order A Thorough Review Of Every Federal Program, Department And Agency. The results of this review will be posted on the Internet for every American to see. While the review is underway, he will institute a one-year pause in discretionary spending increases with the necessary exemption of military spending and veterans benefits. John McCain will ensure federal spending serves the common interests, that failed programs are not rewarded but reinvented or ended, and that discretionary spending is going where it belongs.

Clean Energy

Cheap, Clean, Secure Energy for America

Transform Electricity

Nuclear Power: Nuclear power is a proven, reliable, zero-emission source of energy, and it is time to recommit to advancing our use of nuclear power. The U.S. has not started construction on a new nuclear power plant in over 30 years. Currently, nuclear power provides 20 percent of our overall energy portfolio. Other countries such as China, India and Russia are looking to increase the role of nuclear power in their energy portfolio and the U.S. should not just look to maintain, but increase its own use. John McCain will put our country on track to construct 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030 with the ultimate goal of eventually constructing 100 new plants.

It is also critical that the U.S. be able to build the components for these plants and reactors within our country so that we are not dependent on foreign suppliers with long wait times to move forward with our nuclear plans. The development of new nuclear plants will re-create a U.S. industry that has disappeared: manufacturing components of nuclear power plants, as well as assembling and operating the plants. A rough estimate is that 45 new nuclear power plants will create roughly 700,000 jobs - jobs in construction, engineering, operation and maintenance.

Coal: John McCain will commit $2 billion annually to advancing clean coal technologies. Coal produces the majority of our electricity today. Some believe that marketing viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait, and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research and development that advance this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their coal - creating new American jobs and allowing the U.S. to play a greater role in the international green economy.

The development of clean coal technology will revitalize coal mining and return jobs to some of America's most economically disadvantaged areas. The demonstration projects alone will employ over 30,000 Americans.

Renewables: John McCain will encourage the market for alternative, low carbon fuels such as wind, hydro and solar power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continues its double-digit annual growth rate in 2008. To develop these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain believes in an even- handed system of tax credits that will remain in place until renewable energy has progressed to the point that it is competitive with conventional energy sources.

Expand Domestic Production

Of Oil And Gas

John McCain will commit our country to expanding domestic oil and natural gas exploration. The current federal moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf stands in the way of energy exploration and production. John McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and work with states to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities.

We have trillions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the U.S. at a time we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy. This is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. We should keep more of our dollars here in the U.S., lessen our foreign dependency, increase our domestic supplies, and reduce our trade deficit - 41 percent of which is due to oil imports. John McCain proposes to cooperate with the states and the Department of Defense in the decisions to develop these resources.

Estimates from the Minerals Management Service indicate that technically recoverable resources currently off limits in the lower 48 OCS total 18 billion barrels of crude oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. John McCain believes in promoting and expanding the use of our domestic supplies of oil and natural gas when people are hurting, and struggling to afford gasoline, food and other necessities, and when our manufacturing businesses are increasingly hampered by the high cost of natural gas. Addressing Speculative Pricing Of Oil John McCain believes we must understand the role speculation is playing in our soaring energy prices. Congress already has investigations underway to examine this kind of wagering in our energy markets, unrelated to any kind of productive commerce, because it can distort the market, drive prices beyond rational limits, and put the investments and pensions of millions of Americans at risk. John McCain believes that where we find abuses, they need to be swiftly punished. To make sure it never happens again, we must reform the laws and regulations governing the oil futures market, so that they are just as clear and effective as the rules applied to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

Transform Transportation

The only way America can break its strategic dependence on foreign oil is to change how we power our automobiles and rejuvenate our automotive industry. The Lexington Project will help do that through a comprehensive plan.

Battery Technology: John McCain will propose a $300 million prize to improve battery technology for full commercial development of plug-in hybrid and fully electric automobiles. A $300 million prize should be awarded for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. That battery should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs. At $300 million, the prize is one dollar for every man, woman and child in this country - and a small price to pay for breaking our dependence on oil.

Clean Car Challenge: John McCain will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit based on the reduction of carbon emissions. For every automaker who can sell a zero-emissions car, John McCain will commit a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys that car. For other vehicles, whatever type they may be, the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.

Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs): In just three years, Brazil went from new cars sales that were about 5 percent FFVs to over 70 percent of new vehicles that were FFVs. American automakers have committed to make 50 percent of their cars FFVs by 2012. John McCain calls on automakers to make a more rapid and complete switch to FFVs.

Alternative Fuels: John McCain believes alcohol-based fuels hold great promise as both an alternative to gasoline and as a means of expanding consumers' choices. Some choices such as ethanol are on the market right now. The second generation of alcohol-based fuels like cellulosic ethanol, which won't compete with food crops, are showing great potential. Unfortunately, today isolationist tariffs and wasteful special interest subsidies are not moving us toward an energy solution. We need to level the playing field and eliminate mandates, subsidies, tariffs and price supports that focus exclusively on corn-based ethanol and prevent the development of market-based solutions which would provide us with better options for our fuel needs.

CAFE Standards: John McCain has long supported CAFE standards - the mileage requirements that automobile manufacturers' cars must meet. Some carmakers ignore these standards, pay a small financial penalty, and add it to the price of their cars. John McCain believes that the penalties for not following these standards must be effective enough to compel carmakers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles.

Building Efficiency

Government Purchasing: John McCain will make greening the federal government a priority of his administration. The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased and retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.

American Homes: Homeowners can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year with better light bulbs, appliances, windows, and insulation. As Americans retro-fit to improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint, jobs will flow to the U.S. providers of insulation, windows, appliances, and other sources of energy efficiency.

Energy & The Economy Summary

John McCain Discussed The Need For Energy Security To Ensure A Strong Economy. Our economy is directly linked to the health and diversity of our energy sources. High gas prices, restrictions on additional development of oil and gas and the inability to begin construction on new power generating facilities has put our entire economy at risk nationwide.

  • High Oil Prices Negatively Affect The Entire American Economy. Americans are seeing the ripple effect of high oil prices throughout our economy. Gasoline is over $4.00 a gallon. Food prices are predicted to increase between 4.5 and 5.5 percent in 2008. Airline ticket prices have increased 10 times since the end of 2007. Industries are struggling to get their products to consumers and consumers are struggling to pay for them. We must reform the transportation energy portfolio and in doing so enable the American family to afford the basic necessities at home.

Economic Impact Of Volatile Energy Sources

A Volatile Energy Economy And The Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Oil Have Increased Our Trade Deficit And Weakened The Dollar. Since 1973, the U.S. has gone from importing 6 million barrels of oil a day to 12 million barrels per day with petroleum payments comprising 41 percent of the $759 billion U.S. trade deficit. Petroleum imports totaled $331 billion in 2007. We are borrowing from foreign lenders to buy oil from foreign producers. In the world’s capital markets, the result is both dependency and debt. Over time, we lose trillions of dollars in interest payments that could have been better invested in American enterprises.

John McCain Believes That The Increase In Food Prices Is Directly Related To Transportation Cost Increases And The Ethanol Mandate. Ethanol mandates in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created a gold rush in grains requiring 5.4 billion gallons of ethanol to be included in our transportation fuels by 2008. The 2007 Energy bill increased this requirement to 9 billion gallons, causing an increase in the cost of all groceries. The mandates that Barack Obama helped create required minimum ethanol use and with the tariffs and subsidies in place, more corn was grown to meet the demand and less wheat and soy beans were planted. The result was higher costs for food for people and feed for livestock.

America Needs To Reform Its Energy Sector To Rely On Both New And Proven Sources Of Energy. The U.S. needs to advance its research on clean, alternative energy sources like solar, wind and clean coal, while at the same time recommitting itself to expanding the use of nuclear power.

Strengthening And Reforming Our Energy Future

John McCain Believes That The U.S. Must Become A Leader In A New International Green Economy. Green jobs and green technology will be vital to our economic future. There is no reason that the U.S. should not be a leader in developing and deploying these new technologies.

  • John McCain Will Commit $2 Billion Annually To Advancing Clean Coal Technologies. Some believe that marketing viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait, and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research and development that advance this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their coal - creating new American jobs and allowing the U.S. to play a greater role in the international green economy.

John McCain Will Put His Administration On Track To Construct 45 New Nuclear Power Plants By 2030 With The Ultimate Goal Of Eventually Constructing 100 New Plants. Nuclear power is a proven, zero-emission source of energy, and it is time we recommit to advancing our use of nuclear power. The U.S. has not started construction on a new nuclear power plant in over 30 years. China, India and Russia have goals of building a combined total of over 100 new plants and we should be able to do the same. It is also important for the U.S. to be able to build the components for these plants and reactors within our country so that we are not dependent on foreign suppliers with long wait times to move forward with our nuclear plans.

If The U.S. Commits Itself To Expanding Domestic Oil And Gas Exploration, We Can Make A Positive Impact For A Peaceful And Stable International Oil Market. The current federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. John McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities. The Department of Defense will retain its power over any drilling in open waters that they feel might somehow interfere with their training operations. Also, each state has a natural buffer zone within 3 to 9 miles off its coastline where drilling is not allowed.

John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2006. Also, across the country, water is currently the leading renewable energy source used by electric utilities to generate electric power. Developing these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain voted against the patchwork of tax credits for renewable power in the past because they were temporary and reflected special interests, not what was the best policy. Because of the urgent need to reform our energy portfolio, John McCain will put in place real support for these sources of energy in the form of permanent credits that are fair, level and rational, letting the market decide which ideas can move us toward clean and renewable energy.

Taking Control Of The Pricing Of Oil

John McCain Contends That It Is Important For Us To Understand The Role That Speculation Is Playing In Our Soaring Energy Prices. There are already several investigations underway to examine this kind of wagering in our energy markets, unrelated to any kind of productive commerce, because it can distort the market, drive prices beyond rational limits, and put the investments and pensions of millions of Americans at risk. John McCain believes that where we find abuses, they need to be swiftly punished. And to make sure they never happen again, we must reform the laws and regulations governing the oil futures market, so that they are just as clear and effective as the rules applied to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

John McCain On Energy Security For A Prosperous Nation And Clean Environment

Today, John McCain Will Discuss Our Need To Move Toward Cleaner Energy Sources To Safeguard Our Environment And Energy. John McCain believes that we must develop cleaner sources of energy to protect our environment, confront the threat of climate change and become a leader in the international green economy.

  • John McCain Believes That Conservation And Clean Energy Will Result In A Cleaner Environment And A Secure Energy Future. John McCain believes in common-sense conservation which means that it is not always a matter of making due with less energy but using energy in smarter ways. Business owners who invest in green buildings can substantially cut their energy costs and homeowners can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year through conservation. Clean energy in the form of nuclear, clean coal, wind, solar and hydro-electric will provide us green and renewable energy.

The Evidence Of Climate Change Is Compelling And Demands Our Urgent Attention:

Scientific Data Indicates That Climate Change Is Real. Fossil fuel emissions retain heat within our atmosphere, resulting in disastrous changes in our climate. The effects of climate change include: the shrinking of glaciers, Antarctic ice shelves and polar ice sheets; reduced snowpack, with earlier runoffs in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere; and in the frozen wilds of Alaska, the Arctic, Antarctic, and elsewhere, wildlife biologists have noted sudden changes in animal migration patterns, a loss of their habitat, and a rise in sea levels. Carbon emissions contribute to climate change and their reduction is essential.

John McCain Proposes A Cap-And-Trade System That Would Set Limits On Greenhouse Gas Emissions While Encouraging The Development Of Low-Cost Compliance Options. A climate cap-and-trade mechanism would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and allow entities to buy and sell rights to emit, similar to the successful acid rain trading program of the early 1990s. The key feature of this mechanism is that it allows the market to decide and encourage the lowest-cost compliance options.

How Does A Cap-And-Trade System Work? A cap-and-trade system harnesses human ingenuity in the pursuit of alternatives to carbon-based fuels. Market participants are allotted total permits equal to the cap on greenhouse gas emissions. If they can invent, improve, or acquire a way to reduce their emissions, they can sell their extra permits for cash. The profit motive will coordinate the efforts of venture capitalists, corporate planners, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists on the common motive of reducing emissions.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets And Timetables:

  • 2012: Return Emissions To 2005 Levels (18 Percent Above 1990 Levels)
  • 2020: Return Emissions To 1990 Levels (15 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
  • 2030: 22 Percent Below 1990 Levels (34 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
  • 2050: 60 Percent Below 1990 Levels (66 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

The Cap-And-Trade System Would Allow For The Gradual Reduction Of Emissions. The cap-and-trade system would encompass electric power, transportation fuels, commercial business, and industrial business – sectors responsible for just under 90 percent of all emissions. Small businesses would be exempt. Initially, participants would be allowed to either make their own GHG reductions or purchase “offsets” – financial instruments representing a reduction, avoidance, or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions practiced by other activities, such as agriculture – to cover 100 percent of their required reductions. Offsets would only be available through a program dedicated to ensure that all offset GHG emission reductions are real, measured and verifiable. The fraction of GHG emission reductions permitted via offsets would decline over time.

  • Barack Obama's Cap-And-Trade Plan Lacks The Balance To Be Successful. His first year in Congress, Barack Obama supported John McCain's 2005 cap-and-trade proposal. However, as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama has outlined his own cap-and-trade proposal that requires a drastic reduction in emissions without any mechanisms for an easy economic transition. This could result in a shock to the economy with potentially higher energy prices or the need to shutter existing coal electricity facilities.

In Becoming Energy Independent, The Government Must Lead By Setting The Right Example In Its Own Use Of Fossil Fuels:

John McCain Will Make Greening The Federal Government A Priority Of His Administration. The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased or retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.

John McCain Will Reduce Emissions From Transportation And Electricity Production:

John McCain's Clean Car Challenge. John McCain will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit for the consumer based on the reduction of carbon emissions. John McCain will commit up to a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys that car, encouraging automakers to be first on the market with these cars in order to capitalize on the consumer incentives. For other vehicles, whatever type they may be, the credit is determined on a sliding scale – the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.

John McCain Will Propose A $300 Million Prize To Improve Battery Technology For Full Commercial Development Of Plug-In Hybrid And Fully Electric Automobiles. A $300 million prize should be awarded for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. That battery should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs. At $300 million, the prize is one dollar for every man, woman and child in this country – and a small price to pay for breaking our dependence on oil.

John McCain Will Commit $2 Billion Annually For 15 Years To Advance Our Clean Coal Technologies. Some believe that market viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research, development, and deployment of this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their own vast resources of coal.

Nuclear Power Is A Proven, Safe, Zero-Emission Source Of Energy And It Is Time For The U.S. To Recommit To Advancing Our Use Of Nuclear Power. The U.S. has not started construction on a new nuclear power plant in over 30 years. Currently, nuclear power provides 20 percent of our overall energy portfolio. It is also important to be able to build the components for these plants and reactors within the United States so that we are not dependent on foreign suppliers with long wait times to move forward with our nuclear plans.

John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2006. To develop these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain believes in an even-handed system of tax credits that will remain in place until the market transforms sufficiently to the point where renewable energy no longer merits the taxpayers' dollars.

John McCain Will Move The United States Toward Electricity Grid And Metering Improvements To Save Energy. John McCain will work to reduce red tape to allow a serious investment to upgrade our national grid to meet the demands of the 21st century – which will include a capacity to charge the electric cars that will one day fill the roads and highways of America. And to save both money and electrical power for our people and businesses, we will also need to deploy SmartMeter technologies. These new meters give customers a more precise picture of their overall energy consumption, and over time will encourage a more cost-efficient use of power.

Healthcare

  • Get healthcare records online to reduce costs. (Oct 2008)
  • Mandated heath insurance is Big Government at its best. (Oct 2008)
  • Put health records online, to reduce medical errors. (Oct 2008)
  • Health care is a responsibility: just make it available. (Oct 2008)
  • FactCheck: Plan is $5,000 per family, not $5,000 per person. (Oct 2008)
  • Bring together smart Americans to solve Medicare. (Oct 2008)
  • $5,000 refundable tax credit for every family. (Sep 2008)
  • Family should make health decisions, not federal government. (Sep 2008)
  • FactCheck: Obama's plan is voluntary for adults. (Sep 2008)
  • FactCheck: McCain's $5,000 health tax credit would be taxed. (Aug 2008)
  • Large tax credit for families to buy their health care. (Jul 2008)
  • Harness market competition for comprehensive reform. (Feb 2008)
  • Preserve quality of health care by individual responsibility. (Dec 2007)
  • Give individuals $2500 refundable tax credits for healthcare. (Oct 2007)
  • Control health costs so manufacturers stay competitive. (Oct 2007)
  • No mandated universal system; no mandated insurance coverage. (Jun 2006)
  • We should be able to reimport drugs from Canada. (Jan 2006)
  • Include a health savings account in healthcare reform. (Jan 2006)
  • The problem with health care in America is inflation. (Jan 2006)
  • Supports tax-free medical savings accounts & tax credits. (Nov 2004)
  • 1989: No mandatory catastrophic Medicare coverage. (Jan 2004)
  • 1993: To socialize healthcare would be to ruin it. (Jan 2004)
  • Greater consumer access to generic drugs. (May 2002)
  • Favorite cause: Cleft-palate surgery for children. (Oct 2007)
  • Higher taxes on cigarettes. (Jan 2000)
  • Matching funds for seniors citizens’ prescription drugs. (Dec 1999)
  • Expand health insurance to 11 million uninsured children. (Dec 1999)
  • Keep health care promises to aging veterans. (Nov 1999)
  • Address powerlessness when faced with health care crises. (Jul 1999)
  • “Patient rights” means value human life over dollars. (Jul 1999)
  • Expand medical savings; community health; & tax deductions. (Jul 1999)
  • Patient Rights: access; MDs over HMOs; grievance process. (Jul 1999)
  • Allow paying extra for choice of doctors & care. (Jul 1999)
  • Full doctor-patient discussion even when it costs HMO. (Jul 1999)
  • Supports patient rights; regulate nicotine as a drug. (Jul 1998)
  • More tax-deductible health costs; limits on malpractice. (Jul 1998)
  • Allow appealing HMO decisions externally & in court. (Jul 1999)
  • Voted NO on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D. (Feb 2006)
  • Voted YES on increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted YES on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted NO on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Jun 2003)
  • Voted YES on allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada. (Jul 2002)
  • Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted YES on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted NO on including prescription drugs under Medicare. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on limiting self-employment health deduction. (Jul 1999)
  • Voted YES on increasing tobacco restrictions. (Jun 1998)
  • Voted NO on Medicare means-testing. (Jun 1997)
  • Voted NO on blocking medical savings acounts. (Apr 1996)
  • Tax credits for those without employee health insurance. (May 2002)
  • Tax deduction for long-term care insurance. (May 2002)
  • Support telemedicine for underserved areas. (May 2002)
  • $350 billion for prescriptions for poor seniors. (May 2002)
  • Rated 25% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Allow appealing HMO decisions externally & in court. (Jul 1999)
  • Voted NO on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D. (Feb 2006)
  • Voted YES on increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted YES on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted NO on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Jun 2003)
  • Voted YES on allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada. (Jul 2002)
  • Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted YES on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted NO on including prescription drugs under Medicare. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on limiting self-employment health deduction. (Jul 1999)
  • Voted YES on increasing tobacco restrictions. (Jun 1998)
  • Voted NO on Medicare means-testing. (Jun 1997)
  • Voted NO on blocking medical savings acounts. (Apr 1996)
  • Tax credits for those without employee health insurance. (May 2002)
  • Tax deduction for long-term care insurance. (May 2002)
  • Support telemedicine for underserved areas. (May 2002)
  • $350 billion for prescriptions for poor seniors. (May 2002)
  • Rated 25% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record. (Dec 2003)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/

Reforms To Reduce The Rate Of Health Care Inflation John McCain proposes a number of initiatives that can lower health care costs. If we act today, we can lower health care costs for families through common-sense initiatives. Within a decade, health spending will comprise twenty percent of our economy. This is taking an increasing toll on America's families and small businesses.

Cheaper Drugs: John McCain will look to bring greater affordability and competition to our drug markets through safe re-importation of drugs and faster introduction of generic drugs.

Chronic Disease: Chronic conditions account for three-quarters of the nation's annual health care bill. By emphasizing prevention, early intervention, healthy habits, new treatment models, new public health infrastructure and the use of information technology, we can significantly reduce these costs. We should dedicate more federal research to treating and curing chronic disease.

Coordinated Care: Coordinated care - with providers collaborating to produce the best health care for the patient - offers better outcomes at lower cost. We should pay a single bill for high-quality care which will make every single provider accountable and responsive to the patients' needs.

Greater Access And Convenience: Families place a high value on quickly getting simple care. Government should promote greater access through walk-in clinics in retail outlets.

Information Technology: John McCain will promote the rapid deployment of 21st century information systems and technology to improve patient safety, enhance quality and lower costs.

Medicaid And Medicare: John McCain will reform the payment systems in Medicaid and Medicare to compensate providers for diagnosis, prevention and care coordination. Medicaid and Medicare should not pay for preventable medical errors or mismanagement. We also need to implement a zero tolerance policy towards Medicare and Medicaid fraud that is increasingly stripping away resources from the sick and the elderly.

Smoking: John McCain will promote the availability of smoking cessation programs. Most smokers would love to quit but find it hard to do so. Working with businesses and insurance companies to promote availability, we can improve lives and reduce associated chronic diseases through smoking cessation programs.

Tort Reform: John McCain will lead the fight for medical liability reform that eliminates lawsuits directed at doctors who follow clinical guidelines and adhere to proven safety protocols. Every patient should have access to legal remedies in cases of bad medical practice but that should not be an open invitation to endless, frivolous lawsuits that drive up health care costs for everyone and make the practice of medicine unaffordable for good doctors everywhere.

Transparency: John McCain believes we must make information on treatment options and doctor records more public, and require greater transparency regarding medical outcomes, quality of care, costs and prices. We must also facilitate the development of national standards for measuring and evaluating treatments and outcomes. Reforms To Make Health Insurance Innovative, Portable And Affordable Health Care Costs: John McCain will reform health care making it easier for individuals and families to obtain insurance. Americans are working harder and longer, yet the amount workers take home in their paychecks is not keeping pace because of rising health care costs. An important part of his plan is to use competition to improve the quality of health insurance with greater variety to match people's needs, lower prices, and promote portability. Families should be able to purchase health insurance nationwide, across state lines.

Making the Tax Subsidy Fair: By making the tax code more equitable and transparent, John McCain will give every family a refundable tax credit - cash towards insurance - of $5,000 (Individuals receive $2,500). Every family in America, regardless of the source of their insurance or how much they make will get the same help. Families will be able to stay with their current plan, or choose the insurance provider that suits them best and have the money sent directly to the insurance provider.

Making Insurance More Portable: Americans need insurance that follows them from job to job. Too many job decisions today are controlled by a fear of losing health care. Americans want insurance that is still there if they retire early and does not change if they take a few years off to raise the children. John McCain will lead the reform for portable insurance.

Taxes: Simpler, Fair, Pro-Growth and Competitive Pro-Growth Tax Policy

  • Keep tax rates the same; let's not raise anybody's taxes. (Oct 2008)
  • FactCheck: Obama voted for taxes 76 times, not 94 times. (Oct 2008)
  • Worst thing in bad economic climate is to raise taxes. (Sep 2008)
  • Double the child tax exemption from $3,500 to $7,000. (Sep 2008)
  • FactCheck: $7,000-per-child tax EXEMPTION, not tax CREDIT. (Aug 2008)
  • Double the personal tax exemption for every dependent. (Jul 2008)
  • Terrible mistake to raise taxes during an economic downturn. (Jun 2008)
  • Veto any tax increase; worst thing now is to raise taxes. (Feb 2008)
  • 2001: tax package with spending restraint, against Bush cuts. (Feb 2008)
  • Require a 3/5 majority vote in Congress to raise taxes. (Feb 2008)
  • FactCheck: Against Bush tax cuts in 2003; for them in 2006. (Jan 2008)
  • Romney raising fees a quarter-billion dollars is a tax hike. (Jan 2008)
  • Opposed to the Bush tax cuts as spending got out of control. (Jan 2008)
  • Supported Reagan tax cuts because matched by spending cuts. (Jan 2008)
  • Reform the tax code that nobody trusts and believes in. (Dec 2007)
  • We need a simpler, fairer tax code, but not FairTax. (Nov 2007)
  • Tax system is fair; wealthy pay bulk of taxes. (Oct 2007)
  • Won't sign no-tax pledge; focus on cutting spending. (Sep 2007)
  • Make tax reform commission & vote yes-or-no on outcome. (Aug 2007)
  • FactCheck: Families spend $20B on tax prep, not $140B. (Aug 2007)
  • Opposed Bush tax cuts, but must extend them now. (May 2007)
  • New tax cuts account for contingencies and over-spending. (May 2007)
  • Alternative minimum tax is eating Americans alive. (May 2007)
  • Bush tax cuts fiscally reckless & favored rich;but keep them. (Apr 2007)
  • Consistent on focusing tax cuts more toward middle class. (May 2002)
  • Tax plan: $238B over 5 years; $500B over 10 years. (Feb 2000)
  • Double child tax credit; add family incentives. (Feb 2000)
  • “Balanced approach”, and starts a flat tax system. (Feb 2000)
  • Reagan Republican: simplify taxes; cut waste. (Feb 2000)
  • Big money interests fear closing loopholes. (Jan 2000)
  • Remove charitable deduction; it only benefits rich. (Jan 2000)
  • Replace employer-provided benefits with a tax cut. (Jan 2000)
  • Middle-class tax cut: expand 15% tax bracket. (Jan 2000)
  • Don’t promise tax cuts from future surpluses we may not have. (Jan 2000)
  • 1st step to simplify taxes: close special interest loopholes. (Dec 1999)
  • Supports flat tax; stop complexity by special interests. (Oct 1999)
  • Keep lump-sum earned income tax credit. (Oct 1999)
  • Cut marriage tax, inheritance tax, & earnings test. (Sep 1999)
  • Taxes should be flatter, lower, and simpler. (Apr 1999)
  • GovWatch: 2001: against tax cut that went to rich. (Feb 2008)
  • Voting against Bush cuts then for them: not a mistake. (Jan 2008)
  • Voted against Bush tax cuts for not reining in spending. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on allowing AMT reduction without budget offset. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on raising the Death Tax exemption to $5M from $1M. (Feb 2008)
  • Voted YES on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on raising estate tax exemption to $5 million. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on supporting permanence of estate tax cuts. (Aug 2006)
  • Voted YES on permanently repealing the `death tax`. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on $47B for military by repealing capital gains tax cut. (Feb 2006)
  • Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Feb 2006)
  • Voted YES on extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted NO on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. (May 2003)
  • Voted YES on reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates. (May 2001)
  • Voted NO on increasing tax deductions for college tuition. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on eliminating the 'marriage penalty'. (Jul 2000)
  • Voted YES on phasing out the estate tax (“death tax”). (Jul 2000)
  • Voted NO on across-the-board spending cut. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on requiring super-majority for raising taxes. (Apr 1998)
  • Rated 72% by NTU, indicating “Satisfactory” on tax votes. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 50% by CTJ, indicating a mixed record on progressive taxation. (Dec 2006)
  • Implement socially fair, broad-based tax cuts. (Sep 1998)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/

Keep Tax Rates Low: Entrepreneurs are at the heart of American innovation, growth and prosperity. Entrepreneurs create the ultimate job security - a new, better opportunity if your current job goes away. Entrepreneurs should not be taxed into submission. John McCain will keep the top tax rate at 35 percent, maintain the 15 percent rates on dividends and capital gains, and phase-out the Alternative Minimum Tax. Small businesses are the heart of job growth; raising taxes on them hurts every worker.

Cut The Corporate Tax Rate From 35 To 25 Percent: A lower corporate tax rate is essential to keeping good jobs in the United States. America was once a low-tax business environment, but as our trade partners lowered their rates, America failed to keep pace. We now have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, making America a less attractive place for companies to do business. American workers deserve the chance to make fine products here and sell them around the globe.

Allow First-Year Deduction, Or “Expensing”, Of Equipment And Technology Investments: American workers need the finest technologies to compete. Expensing of equipment and technology will provide an immediate boost to capital expenditures and reward investments in cutting-edge technologies.

Establish Permanent Tax Credit Equal To 10 Percent Of Wages Spent On R&D: This reform will simplify the tax code, reward activity in the United States, and make us more competitive with other countries. A permanent credit will provide an incentive to innovate and remove uncertainty. At a time when our companies need to be more competitive, we need to provide a permanent incentive to innovate, and remove the uncertainty now hanging over businesses as they make R&D investment decisions.

Innovation Tax Policy

Ban Internet Taxes: John McCain believes we must make a farsighted, robust, and fervent commitment to innovation and new technologies to sustain our global competitiveness, meet our national security challenges, achieve less costly and more effective health care, reduce dangerous dependence on foreign sources of oil, and raise the quality of education in the United States. John McCain has been a leader in keeping the Internet free of taxes. As President, he will seek a permanent ban on taxes that threaten this engine of economic growth and prosperity.

Ban New Cell Phone Taxes: John McCain understands that the same people that would tax e-mail will tax every text message - and even 911 calls. John McCain will prohibit new cellular telephone taxes.

Trade

Lower Barriers to Trade

John McCain believes that globalization is an opportunity for American workers today and in the future. Ninety-five percent of the world's customers lie outside our borders, and we need to be at the table when the rules for access to those markets are written. To do so, the U.S. should engage in multilateral, regional and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers to trade, level the global playing field and build effective enforcement of global trading rules

Competitive American Workers

John McCain understands that globalization will not automatically benefit every American. We must prepare the next generation of workers by making American education worthy of the promise we make to our children and ourselves. We must be a nation committed to competitiveness and opportunity. We must fight for the ability of all students to have access to any school of demonstrated excellence. We must place parents and children at the center of the education process, empowering parents by greatly expanding the ability of parents to choose among schools for their children.

John McCain will overhaul unemployment insurance and make it a program for retraining, relocating and assisting workers who have lost a job. The unemployment insurance system created in the 1950s needs to be modernized to meet the goals of helping displaced workers make ends meet between jobs and moving people quickly on to the next opportunity. John McCain will reform the half-dozen training programs to approaches that can be used to meet the bills, pay for training, and get back to work. John McCain believes that we can strengthen community colleges and technical training, and give displaced workers more choices to find their way back to productive and prosperous lives.

America In The Global Economy

America in the Global Economy

America in the Global Economy

Today, In Chicago, John McCain Addressed His Vision For Ensuring America's Economic Preeminence In The Global Economy. John McCain will promote a strong and growing economy – an economy that creates jobs, increases wages, and helps American workers compete with rivals in any market in the world. He will pursue an economic agenda that places the need for low taxes, fiscal discipline, and economic opportunity for Americans above the special interests. His vision stands in stark contrast to that of Senator Obama who promises higher taxes, higher spending, and isolationism from the global economy.

Expanding Opportunities In A Global Economy:

John McCain Will Fight To Ensure American Workers Continue To Benefit From Exports To Other Countries. American workers make and sell about $200 billion in heavy machinery to other countries every year. Our workers export more than $70 billion in aircraft and parts, more than $148 billion in electrical machinery and equipment, and $106 billion in cars, trucks, and other vehicles. In all, one in every five American jobs depends on factory exports.

John McCain's Plan For Global Trade Offers New Opportunities For Small Businesses And Higher Wages For American Workers. Exports are essential to American workers and employers across our nation:

Illinois: Illinois is the fifth largest exporting state. Its merchandise exports have almost doubled since 2002, hitting $48.7 billion last year. Top products include Machinery ($12.7 billion); Transportation Equipment ($7.5 billion); Chemicals ($6.2 billion); Computers & Electronics ($5.8 billion); and Appliances ($2.6 billion). Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generated nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of Illinois' total exports of merchandise in 2005. A total of 13,891 companies exported goods from Illinois locations in 2005. Of those, 12,359 (89 percent) were SMEs, with fewer than 500 employees

California: California is the second largest exporting state. Its merchandise exports have almost increased 45 percent since 2002, hitting $134.2 billion last year. Top products include Computers & Electronics ($43.7 billion); Machinery ($14.5 billion); Transportation Equipment ($13.7 billion); Chemicals ($10.4 billion); and Agriculture ($6.7 billion). Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) generated more than two-fifths (43 percent) of California's total exports of merchandise in 2005. A total of 51,466 companies exported goods from California locations in 2005. Of those, 49,148 (95 percent) were SMEs, with fewer than 500 employees.

Florida: Florida is the sixth largest exporting state. Its merchandise exports have almost doubled since 2002, hitting $44.8 billion last year. Top products include Computers & Electronic Products ($12.2 billion); Transportation Equipment ($7.2 billion); Machinery ($5.1 billion); Chemicals ($4.7 billion); and Appliances ($1.7 billion). Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) generated nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of Florida's total exports of merchandise in 2005 – the highest of all 50 states. A total of 28,524 companies exported goods from Florida locations in 2005. Of those, 27,048 (95 percent) were SMEs, with fewer than 500 employees.

Honoring Trade Agreements With Key Allies:

John McCain Is Committed To Pursuing Free Trade Agreements With Our World Trading Partners. As president, he will pursue multilateral, regional and bilateral efforts to reduce trade barriers, level the global playing field and build effective enforcement of global trading rules. Senator Obama has pledged to abrogate our trade commitments, and unsettle the ability of American workers to sell their goods abroad.

John McCain Will Push To Ratify The Colombia Free Trade Agreement. American exporters now pay an extra $3.5 million in tariffs each day because we don't have a completed trade agreement with Colombia. Colombia is a friend and crucial democratic ally. The stability of Colombia is more critical than ever as others in the region seek to turn Latin America away from democracy and away from our country. Trade serves all of these national interests, and the interests of the American economy as well. This agreement is currently being held up in the Senate, in part through the efforts of Senator Obama.

John McCain Supports A Free Trade Agreement With South Korea. America exports nearly $50 billion in goods to South Korea, a key ally that deployed the third-largest contingent of troops to Iraq, and assisted in the rebuilding of Afghanistan. Senator Obama opposes ratifying this agreement, and would turn our nation's back on this commitment to a key ally and trade partner.

Senator Obama's Habit Of Talking Down The Value Of America's Exports And Trade Agreements Harkens To “Old-Style Politics.” Senator Obama has proposed a unilateral re-negotiation of NAFTA – an agreement that accounts for 33 percent of American exports. This is bad judgment and a bit inconsistent. Senator Obama scolds others for engaging in the “old-style politics,” but playing on fears of foreign trade is resorting to the oldest kind of politics there is.

Helping American Workers In The Global Economy:

John McCain Is Committed To Reforming Worker Assistance Programs. John McCain understands there are vast benefits of a global marketplace, but they come at a cost for many, and we have an obligation to help our workers receive the training they need when plants close and jobs are lost. We have to help displaced workers at every turn on a tough road, so that they are not just spectators on the opportunities of others. John McCain has made a commitment with reforms to expand and improve federal aid to American workers in need.

Pursuing A Responsible Agricultural Policy:

John McCain Will Seek An End To All Agricultural Tariffs, And To All Farm Subsidies That Are Not Based On Clear Need. He will veto any bill containing special-interest favors and corporate welfare in any form. As President, John McCain will base our farm policy on the common good, with policies that help our small farmers to succeed, and our rural communities to survive and flourish once again.

John McCain Will Open Foreign Markets Across The World To American Farmers. The biggest obstacle to this goal, however, is not to be found in any foreign market, or in the policies of any other government. It's in the United States Congress, in the billions of dollars in subsidies served up every five years to corporate farmers.

John McCain Opposes The $300 Billion Farm Bill. Unlike Senator Obama, John McCain opposes providing billions to subsidize large commercial farms with an average income of $200,000, and an average net worth of $2 million while American workers and taxpayers struggle to buy food, because of rising prices.

Energy

Our nation's future security and prosperity depends on the next President making the hard choices that will break our nation's strategic dependence on foreign sources of energy and will ensure our economic prosperity by meeting tomorrow's demands for a clean portfolio. John McCain has made the necessary choices - producing more power, pushing technology to help free our transportation sector from its use of foreign oil, cleaning up our air and addressing climate change, and ensuring that Americans have dependable energy sources. John McCain will lead the effort to develop advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels to promote energy independence and cut off the flow of oil wealth to repressive dictatorships like Iran.

Expanding Domestic Oil And Natural Gas Exploration And Production

John McCain Will Commit Our Country To Expanding Domestic Oil Exploration. The current federal moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf stands in the way of energy exploration and production. John McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities. We have trillions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the U.S. at a time we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy. This is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. We should keep more of our dollars here in the U.S., lessen our foreign dependency, increase our domestic supplies, and reduce our trade deficit - 41% of which is due to oil imports. John McCain proposes to cooperate with the states and the Department of Defense in the decisions to develop these resources.

John McCain Believes In Promoting And Expanding The Use Of Our Domestic Supplies Of Natural Gas. When people are hurting, and struggling to afford gasoline, food, and other necessities, common sense requires that we draw upon America's own vast reserves of oil and natural gas. Within the United States we have tremendous reserves of natural gas. The Outer Continental Shelf alone contains 77 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. It is time that we capitalize on these significant resources and build the infrastructure needed to transport this important component of electricity generation and transportation fuel around the country.

Taking Action Now To Break Our Dependency On Foreign Oil By Reforming Our Transportation Sector

The Nation Cannot Reduce Its Dependency On Oil Unless We Change How We Power Our Transportation Sector.

John McCain's Clean Car Challenge. John McCain will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit for the consumer based on the reduction of carbon emissions. He will commit a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys a zero carbon emission car, encouraging automakers to be first on the market with these cars in order to capitalize on the consumer incentives. For other vehicles, a graduated tax credit will apply so that the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.

John McCain Will Propose A $300 Million Prize To Improve Battery Technology For Full Commercial Development Of Plug-In Hybrid And Fully Electric Automobiles. A $300 million prize should be awarded for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. That battery should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs. At $300 million, the prize is one dollar for every man, woman and child in this country - and a small price to pay for breaking our dependence on oil.

John McCain Supports Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) And Believes They Should Play A Greater Role In Our Transportation Sector. In just three years, Brazil went from new cars sales that were about 5 percent FFVs to over 70 percent of new vehicles that were FFVs. American automakers have committed to make 50 percent of their cars FFVs by 2012. John McCain calls on automakers to make a more rapid and complete switch to FFVs.

John McCain Believes Alcohol-Based Fuels Hold Great Promise As Both An Alternative To Gasoline And As A Means of Expanding Consumers' Choices. Some choices such as ethanol are on the market right now. The second generation of alcohol-based fuels like cellulosic ethanol, which won't compete with food crops, are showing great potential.

Today, Isolationist Tariffs And Wasteful Special Interest Subsidies Are Not Moving Us Toward An Energy Solution. We need to level the playing field and eliminate mandates, subsidies, tariffs and price supports that focus exclusively on corn-based ethanol and prevent the development of market-based solutions which would provide us with better options for our fuel needs.

John McCain Will Effectively Enforce Existing CAFE Standards. John McCain has long supported CAFE standards - the mileage requirements that automobile manufacturers' cars must meet. Some carmakers ignore these standards, pay a small financial penalty, and add it to the price of their cars. John McCain believes that the penalties for not following these standards must be effective enough to compel all carmakers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles.

Investing In Clean, Alternative Sources Of Energy

John McCain Believes That The U.S. Must Become A Leader In A New International Green Economy. Green jobs and green technology will be vital to our economic future. There is no reason that the U.S. should not be a leader in developing and deploying these new technologies.

John McCain Will Commit $2 Billion Annually To Advancing Clean Coal Technologies. Coal produces the majority of our electricity today. Some believe that marketing viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait, and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research and development that advance this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their coal - creating new American jobs and allowing the U.S. to play a greater role in the international green economy.

John McCain Will Put His Administration On Track To Construct 45 New Nuclear Power Plants By 2030 With The Ultimate Goal Of Eventually Constructing 100 New Plants. Nuclear power is a proven, zero-emission source of energy, and it is time we recommit to advancing our use of nuclear power. Currently, nuclear power produces 20% of our power, but the U.S. has not started construction on a new nuclear power plant in over 30 years. China, India and Russia have goals of building a combined total of over 100 new plants and we should be able to do the same. It is also critical that the U.S. be able to build the components for these plants and reactors within our country so that we are not dependent on foreign suppliers with long wait times to move forward with our nuclear plans.

John McCain Will Establish A Permanent Tax Credit Equal To 10 Percent Of Wages Spent On R&D. This reform will simplify the tax code, reward activity in the U.S., and make us more competitive with other countries. A permanent credit will provide an incentive to innovate and remove uncertainty. At a time when our companies need to be more competitive, we need to provide a permanent incentive to innovate, and remove the uncertainty now hanging over businesses as they make R&D investment decisions.

John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2006. To develop these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain believes in an even-handed system of tax credits that will remain in place until the market transforms sufficiently to the point where renewable energy no longer merits the taxpayers' dollars.

Protecting Our Environment And Addressing Climate Change: A Sound Energy Strategy Must Include A Solid Environmental Foundation

John McCain Proposes A Cap-And-Trade System That Would Set Limits On Greenhouse Gas Emissions While Encouraging The Development Of Low-Cost Compliance Options. A climate cap-and-trade mechanism would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and allow entities to buy and sell rights to emit, similar to the successful acid rain trading program of the early 1990s. The key feature of this mechanism is that it allows the market to decide and encourage the lowest-cost compliance options.

How Does A Cap-And-Trade System Work? A cap-and-trade system harnesses human ingenuity in the pursuit of alternatives to carbon-based fuels. Market participants are allotted total permits equal to the cap on greenhouse gas emissions. If they can invent, improve, or acquire a way to reduce their emissions, they can sell their extra permits for cash. The profit motive will coordinate the efforts of venture capitalists, corporate planners, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists on the common motive of reducing emissions.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets And Timetables:

  • 2012: Return Emissions To 2005 Levels (18 Percent Above 1990 Levels)
  • 2020: Return Emissions To 1990 Levels (15 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
  • 2030: 22 Percent Below 1990 Levels (34 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
  • 2050: 60 Percent Below 1990 Levels (66 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

The Cap-And-Trade System Would Allow For The Gradual Reduction Of Emissions. The cap-and-trade system would encompass electric power, transportation fuels, commercial business, and industrial business - sectors responsible for just under 90 percent of all emissions. Small businesses would be exempt. Initially, participants would be allowed to either make their own GHG reductions or purchase “offsets” - financial instruments representing a reduction, avoidance, or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions practiced by other activities, such as agriculture - to cover 100 percent of their required reductions. Offsets would only be available through a program dedicated to ensure that all offset GHG emission reductions are real, measured and verifiable. The fraction of GHG emission reductions permitted via offsets would decline over time.

Promoting Energy Efficiency

John McCain Will Make Greening The Federal Government A Priority Of His Administration. The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased or retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers substantial money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.

John McCain Will Move The United States Toward Electricity Grid And Metering Improvements To Save Energy. John McCain will work to reduce red tape to allow a serious investment to upgrade our national grid to meet the demands of the 21st century - which will include a capacity to charge the electric cars that will one day fill the roads and highways of America. And to save both money and electrical power for our people and businesses, we will also need to deploy SmartMeter technologies. These new meters give customers a more precise picture of their overall energy consumption, and over time will encourage a more cost-efficient use of power.

Addressing Speculative Pricing Of Oil

John McCain Believes We Must Understand The Role Speculation Is Playing In Our Soaring Energy Prices. Congress already has investigations underway to examine this kind of wagering in our energy markets, unrelated to any kind of productive commerce, because it can distort the market, drive prices beyond rational limits, and put the investments and pensions of millions of Americans at risk. John McCain believes that where we find abuses, they need to be swiftly punished. To make sure it never happens again, we must reform the laws and regulations governing the oil futures market, so that they are just as clear and effective as the rules applied to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

John McCain Does Not Support A Windfall Profits Tax. A windfall profits tax on the oil companies will ultimately result in increasing our dependence on foreign oil and hinder investment in domestic exploration. Jimmy Carter put a windfall profits tax in to place with little to no useful results.

John McCain On Energy For A Secure Nation

Today, John McCain Will Discuss How Our Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Oil Threatens Our National Security. Oil is not just a commodity. It is a strategic weapon that others use to threaten our economy and to finance terrorist attacks. In addition, the lines of our oil supply provide an ample target for terrorists.

  • John McCain Will Break From The Failed Policies Of The Past And Lead A Great National Campaign To Eliminate Our Dependence On Oil. John McCain will lead the effort to develop advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels to promote energy independence and cut off the flow of oil wealth to repressive dictatorships like Iran.

Dependence On Oil Provides Direct Support To Our Enemies And Threatens The Peace:

Rising Oil Prices Provide Massive Infusions Of Wealth To Some Of The World's Most Repressive Dictatorships. Oil wealth enriches bad actors in the world that support terrorism, finances the brutal repression of women in the Middle East, and supports criminal syndicates in our own hemisphere.

  • Iran Alone Earned $66 Billion From Oil Sales to Others Last Year. This wealth encourages Iran to finance terrorists, threaten Israel, and defy international efforts to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. This wealth also allows Iran to suppress its own long-suffering population.

The Formation Of The OPEC Cartel And The Oil Embargo Of The 1970s Demonstrated Our Vulnerability. At the time of the oil embargo, we imported roughly one third of our oil. Today, we import almost two-thirds. Since 1973, the United States has gone from importing 6 million barrels of oil a day to 12 million barrels per day with petroleum payments comprising 41 percent of the U.S. trade deficit ($293 billion of $759 billion).

While Our Dependence On Foreign Oil Does Support Our Enemies, The United States Relies On Canada And Mexico – Our Democratic Friends And NAFTA Partners – For Much Of Our Oil. America imports about one third of its oil from Canada and Mexico. When politicians threaten to renegotiate NAFTA unilaterally, they threaten to disrupt relations between the United States and our most stable and friendly providers of oil. These politicians also forget that Canada is the most important export market for 36 of our 50 states.

John McCain Will Put America On The Path To Eliminate the Strategic Threat From Oil:

To Mitigate The Threats Posed By Our Dependence On Foreign Oil, We Must Increase Oil Production Here At Home. We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production of another 18 billion barrels of oil. It is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use.

As Part Of His Plan To Break The Stranglehold Of Oil, John McCain Supports The Development Of Alternate Sources Of Power For Our Vehicles And The Promotion Of Energy Efficiency. Ninety-seven percent of our transportation runs on oil. Cars and trucks consume almost 60 percent of all of the oil used in the United States.

John McCain Will Effectively Enforce Existing CAFE Standards. John McCain has long supported CAFE standards – the mileage requirements that automobile manufacturers' cars must meet. Some carmakers ignore these standards, pay a small financial penalty, and add it to the price of their cars. John McCain believes that the penalties for not following these standards must be effective enough so that all carmakers have an incentive to produce fuel-efficient vehicles.

John McCain Believes Alcohol-Based Fuels Hold Great Promise As Both An Alternative To Gasoline And As A Means of Expanding Consumers' Choices. Some choices such as ethanol are on the market right now. The second generation of alcohol-based fuels like cellulosic ethanol, which won't compete with food crops, are showing great potential.

  • Today, Isolationist Tariffs And Wasteful Special Interest Subsidies Are Not Moving Us Toward An Energy Solution. We need to level the playing field and eliminate mandates, subsidies, tariffs and price supports that focus exclusively on corn-based ethanol and prevent the development of market-based solutions which would provide us with better options for our fuel needs.
  • John McCain Supports Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) And Believes They Should Play A Greater Role In Our Transportation Sector. Flex-fuel technologies cost less per car than options such as rear-seat foot rests. In just three years, Brazil went from new cars sales that were about 5 percent to over 70 percent of new vehicles that were FFVs. American automakers have committed to make 50 percent of their cars FFVs by 2012. John McCain calls on automakers to make a more rapid and complete switch to FFVs.

John McCain Will Issue A Clean Car Challenge. John McCain will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit based on the reduction of carbon emissions. For every automaker who can sell a zero-emissions car, John McCain will commit a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys that car. For other vehicles, whatever type they may be, the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.

John McCain Will Propose A $300 Million Prize To Improve Battery Technology For Full Commercial Development Of Plug-In Hybrid And Full Electric Automobiles. A $300 million prize should be awarded for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. That battery should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs. At $300 million, the prize is one dollar for every man, woman and child in this country – and a small price to pay for breaking our dependence on oil.

National Security

A Strong Military in a Dangerous World

In a dangerous world, protecting America's national security requires a strong military. Today, America has the most capable, best-trained and best-led military force in the world. But much needs to be done to maintain our military leadership, retain our technological advantage, and ensure that America has a modern, agile military force able to meet the diverse security challenges of the 21st century.

John McCain is committed to ensuring that the men and women of our military remain the best, most capable fighting force on Earth - and that our nation honors its promises to them for their service.

The global war on terrorism, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, threats from rogue states like Iran and North Korea, and the rise of potential strategic competitors like China and Russia mean that America requires a larger and more capable military to protect our country's vital interests and deter challenges to our security. America confronts a range of serious security challenges: Protecting our homeland in an age of global terrorism and Islamist extremism; working with friends and partners overseas, from Africa to Southeast Asia, to help them combat terrorism and violent insurgencies in their own countries; defending against missile and nuclear attack; maintaining the credibility of our defense commitments to our allies; and waging difficult counterinsurgency campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

John McCain understands national security and the threats facing our nation. He recognizes the dangers posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, violent Islamist extremists and their terrorist tactics, and the ever present threat of regional conflict that can spill into broader wars that endanger allies and destabilize areas of the world vital to American security. He knows that to protect our homeland, our interests, and our values - and to keep the peace - America must have the best-manned, best-equipped, and best-supported military in the world.

John McCain has been a tireless advocate of our military and ensuring that our forces are properly postured, funded, and ready to meet the nation's obligations both at home and abroad. He has fought to modernize our forces, to ensure that America maintains and expands its technological edge against any potential adversary, and to see that our forces are capable and ready to undertake the variety of missions necessary to meet national security objectives.

As President, John McCain will strengthen the military, shore up our alliances, and ensure that the nation is capable of protecting the homeland, deterring potential military challenges, responding to any crisis that endangers American security, and prevailing in any conflict we are forced to fight.

Fighting Against Violent Islamic Extremists and Terrorist Tactics

The attacks on September 11th represented more than a failure of intelligence. The tragedy highlighted a failure of national policy to respond to the development of a global terror network hostile to the American people and our values. The 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 bombing of the USS COLE indicated a growing global terrorist threat before the attacks on New York and Washington. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden's declaration of war against the United States hit home with unmistakable clarity.

America faces a dedicated, focused, and intelligent foe in the war on terrorism. This enemy will probe to find America's weaknesses and strike against them. The United States cannot afford to be complacent about the threat, naive about terrorist intentions, unrealistic about their capabilities, or ignorant to our national vulnerabilities.

In the aftermath of 9/11 John McCain fought for the creation of an independent 9/11 Commission to identify how to best address the terrorist threat and decrease our domestic vulnerability. He fought for the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security and the creation of the U.S. Northern Command with the specific responsibility of protecting the U.S. homeland.

As President, John McCain will ensure that America has the quality intelligence necessary to uncover plots before they take root, the resources to protect critical infrastructure and our borders against attack, and the capability to respond and recover from a terrorist incident swiftly.

He will ensure that the war against terrorists is fought intelligently, with patience and resolve, using all instruments of national power. Moreover, he will lead this fight with the understanding that to impinge on the rights of our own citizens or restrict the freedoms for which our nation stands would be to give terrorists the victory they seek.

John McCain believes that just as America must be prepared to meet and prevail against any adversary on the field of battle, we must engage and prevail against them on the battleground of ideas. In so doing, we can and must deprive terrorists of the converts they seek and counter their teaching of the doctrine of hatred and despair.

As President, John McCain will take it as his most sacred responsibility to keep America free, safe, and strong - an abiding beacon of freedom and hope to the world.

Effective Missile Defense

John McCain strongly supports the development and deployment of theater and national missile defenses. Effective missile defenses are critical to protect America from rogue regimes like North Korea that possess the capability to target America with intercontinental ballistic missiles, from outlaw states like Iran that threaten American forces and American allies with ballistic missiles, and to hedge against potential threats from possible strategic competitors like Russia and China. Effective missile defenses are also necessary to allow American military forces to operate overseas without being deterred by the threat of missile attack from a regional adversary.

John McCain is committed to deploying effective missile defenses to reduce the possibility of strategic blackmail by rogue regimes and to secure our homeland from the very real prospect of missile attack by present or future adversaries. America should never again have to live in the shadow of missile and nuclear attack. As President, John McCain will not trust in the “balance of terror” to protect America, but will work to deploy effective missile defenses to safeguard our people and our homeland.

Increasing the Size of the American Military

The most important weapons in the U.S. arsenal are the men and women of American armed forces. John McCain believes we must enlarge the size of our armed forces to meet new challenges to our security. For too long, we have asked too much of too few - with the result that many service personnel are on their second, third and even fourth tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. There can be no higher defense priority than the proper compensation, training, and equipping of our troops.

Our existing force is overstretched by the combination of military operations in the broader Middle East and the need to maintain our security commitments in Europe and Asia. Recruitment and retention suffer from extended overseas deployments that keep service personnel away from their homes and families for long periods of time.

John McCain believes that the answer to these challenges is not to roll back our overseas commitments. The size and composition of our armed forces must be matched to our nation's defense requirements. As requirements expand in the global war on terrorism so must our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard be reconfigured to meet these new challenges. John McCain thinks it is especially important to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps to defend against the threats we face today.

John McCain knows that the most difficult and solemn decision a president must make is sending young Americans into harm's way. Having experienced firsthand the brutality of war, as president, John McCain would never make the decision to use force lightly, only when the cause is just, and our nation's values and interests absolutely demand it.

Modernizing the Armed Services

Modernizing American armed forces involves procuring advanced weapons systems that will help rapidly and decisively defeat any adversary and protect American lives. It also requires addressing force protection needs to make sure that America's combat personnel have the best safety and survivability equipment available.

Modernizing the armed forces also means adapting our doctrine, training, and tactics for the kind of conflicts we are most likely to face. Today, American forces are engaged in dangerous operations throughout the world. From Iraq and Afghanistan to Somalia and the Philippines, American forces are fighting the battles of the 21st century against terrorists and insurgents. These asymmetric conflicts require a very different force structure than the one we used to fight and win the Cold War.

The missions of the 21st century will not center on traditional territorial defense or mass armor engagements. Instead, the men and women of the U.S. armed forces will be engaged in, among other things, counter insurgency, counter terrorism, missile defense, counter proliferation and information warfare. This calls not just for a larger and more capable military, but for a new mix of military forces, including civil affairs, special operations, and highly mobile forces capable of fighting and prevailing in the conflicts America faces.

Smarter Defense Spending

John McCain has worked aggressively to reform the defense budgeting process to ensure that America enjoys the best military at the best cost. This includes reforming defense procurement to ensure the faithful and efficient expenditure of taxpayer dollars that are made available for defense acquisition. Too often, parochial interests - rather than the national interest - have guided our spending decisions. John McCain supports significant reform in our defense acquisition process to ensure that dollars spent actually contribute to U.S. security.

John McCain also feels strongly that our nation's military spending, except in time of genuine emergency, must be funded by the regular appropriations process, not by “emergency” supplementals that allow defense to be funded outside the normal budget cycle. This process gives Congressional committees less ability to closely scrutinize defense budget requests to ensure military funding is being budgeted wisely. It makes possible Congressional pork-barrel spending that diverts scarce defense resources to parochial home-state interests. And it allows the administration to add spending above that set by budget caps, bloating the federal deficit. Budgeting annually through emergency supplemental appropriation bills encourages pork barrel spending. The American taxpayer has a right to expect us to get the most out of each and every defense dollar, especially at a time when those dollars are so critical. Throughout his career, John McCain has fought pork-barrel defense spending that diverts scarce defense resources to parochial, home-state projects rather than addressing the needs of service personnel. He believes that unauthorized earmarks drain our precious defense resources and adversely affect our national security. John McCain will continue to fight pork-barrel spending to ensure that military funds are spent where they are needed most - in support of our military personnel and our national defense.

Taking Care of Our Military Personnel and their Families

Our military personnel and their families deserve the nation's unfailing gratitude, respect, and support. As a former naval officer with a distinguished record of military service, John McCain understands the profound sacrifices made by our men and women who serve in the uniform of our country and their families.

He believes one of America's most solemn obligations is to treat our military personnel with the same sense of devotion and duty as they demonstrate in rendering their service to the nation. John McCain has fought for improved military pay and benefits, and an improved quality of life for military families.

America's deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan rely heavily on Reserve and National Guard forces. John McCain has worked hard to ensure that benefits for deployed Reservists and National Guardsmen are brought in line with our active-duty military forces.

As president, he will make sure that just as we are always proud of our military personnel for what they do for the country, the country can be proud of what we do for them.

Honoring our Nation's Commitments to Veterans and Military Retirees

John McCain has worked tirelessly to protect increased benefits for America's veterans. He understands that our country has a duty to care for veterans who have honorably served. John McCain will continue to look out for the men and women who have answered our nation's call.

America must never leave its military retirees in any doubt that it will keep its commitments to them for their many years of faithful service. John McCain has been a champion of military retirees in the Senate and believes that it is especially important to ensure retired service personnel enjoy full health care and benefits comparable to that received by retired federal employees. John McCain understands that a key to recruiting and retaining a new generation of American military personnel is demonstrating that our government keeps its promises to retired service members. He will remain an unwavering champion for the rights of military retirees and their families.

John McCain on Security in the Middle East

Today, John McCain Addressed The AIPAC Policy Conference Outlining His Vision For Israel's Security And The Middle East. The United States and Israel are the most natural of allies and that alliance will stand forever. John McCain will honor America's promise of “never again” against any enemy.

  • In A World Full Of Dangers, Israel And The United States Must Always Stand Together. As the threats to Israel's security increase, John McCain believes America's commitment must also grow. He strongly supports the increase in military aid to Israel scheduled to begin in October, and is committed to making certain Israel maintains its qualitative military edge.

Addressing The Iranian Threat:

The Foremost Threat To Israel Is The Iranian Regime. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called Israel a “stinking corpse” and for it to be “wiped off the map.” Beyond the vile insults, the Iranian leadership acts in ways directly detrimental to the security of Israel and America.

  • Iran's Leadership Has Repeatedly Used Violence To Undermine Israel And The Middle East Peace Process. Iran sponsors both Hamas and Hezbollah. It has trained, financed, and equipped extremists in Iraq, and remains the world's chief sponsor of terrorism.
  • Iran's Continued Pursuit Of Nuclear Weapons Poses An Unacceptable Danger That We Cannot Allow. Emboldened by nuclear weapons, Iran would feel unconstrained to sponsor terrorist attacks. Its flouting of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty would render that agreement obsolete and could induce others to join a nuclear arms race. There would be the possibility that Tehran might pass nuclear materials or weapons to terrorist networks. An Iranian nuclear bomb would pose an existential threat to Israel.

Rather Than Sitting Down Unconditionally With The Iranian President Or Supreme Leader, John McCain Will Work To Create Real-World Pressures To Peacefully But Decisively Change Iran's Behavior. John McCain has been a leader on these issues, having coauthored the 1992 Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act.

  • The United Nations Security Council Should Impose Progressively Tougher Political And Economic Sanctions. Should the Security Council continue to delay, the U.S. must lead like-minded countries in imposing multilateral sanctions outside the UN framework.
  • John McCain Has Proposed Applying Sanctions To Restrict Iran's Ability To Import Refined Petroleum Products. A severe limit on imports of gasoline would create immediate pressure on Iran's leadership to change course, and to cease in the pursuit of nuclear weapons.
  • We Will Encourage Those In The Region And Our European Partners To Impose Targeted Sanctions. These would include the denial of visas and freezing of assets.
  • We Will Impose Financial Sanctions On The Central Bank Of Iran, Which Aids In Iran's Terrorism And Weapons Proliferation.
  • We Will Apply The Full Force Of Law To Prevent Business Dealings With Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. John McCain was pleased to join Sens. Lieberman and Kyl in backing an amendment calling for the designation of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Over three quarters of the Senate supported this obvious step, but not Sen. Obama.
  • We Will Launch A Worldwide Divestment Campaign. As more people, businesses, pension funds, and financial institutions across the world divest from companies doing business with Iran, the radical elite who run that country will become even more unpopular than they are already.

Supporting The Peace Process:

The Palestinian People Are Badly Served With Hamas In Charge Of Gaza. This is a group that refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, to denounce violence, and to acknowledge prior peace commitments. They deliberately target Israeli civilians, spread hatred, and set back their people's cause with every new bombing.

We Hope That The Talks Between Israel And Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Will Yield Progress Toward Peace. While encouraging this process, we must also ensure that Israelis can live in safety until there is a Palestinian leadership willing and able to deliver peace. A peace process that places faith in terrorists can never end in peace.

Strengthening Our Allies In Lebanon:

The International Community Must Support Our Allies In Lebanon. Israel's chance for enduring peace with Lebanon depends on a Lebanese government that has a monopoly on authority within its country's borders. We can fully empower our allies – not only with military aid but also with the resources to undermine Hezbollah's appeal: better schools, hospitals, roads and power generation.

John McCain Will Bring More Attention To The Kidnapping Of Three Young Israelis In 2006. In the summer of 2006, Hamas and Hezbollah kidnapped three young Israelis and have held them ever since. John McCain has met with the families and will bring attention to their situation, insist that the Geneva Conventions are observed, and call for the swift release of these men.

Succeeding In Iraq:

Succeeding In Iraq Is Critical To Israeli And American Security. Our troops in Iraq have made hard-won progress under General Petraeus' new strategy. Iraqi political leaders have moved ahead. Sectarian violence has declined. Sunnis are cooperating in the fight against al Qaeda. Shia extremist militias no longer control Basra. Al Qaeda terrorists are on the run.

  • Senator Obama's Plan To Withdraw Regardless Of The Consequences Will Surely Result In Catastrophe. If our troops are ordered to retreat, we risk all-out civil war, genocide, and a failed state in the heart of the Middle East. Allowing a potential terrorist sanctuary would profoundly affect the security of the United States, Israel, and our other friends.

John McCain on Nuclear Security

John McCain believes that we can build a safer world, one with fewer nuclear weapons and in which proliferation, instability, and nuclear terrorism are far less likely. To achieve this, John McCain outlined a series of initiatives that will enhance nuclear security and prevent proliferation.

A Crisis That Has Been Building For Decades, The Global Spread Of Nuclear Weapons, Demands Action Now. North Korea pursues a nuclear weapons program that has advanced to the point where Kim Jong-Il has tested a nuclear weapon, and almost certainly possesses several more nuclear warheads. North Korea has shared its nuclear and missile know-how with others, including Syria. Iran is marching with single-minded determination toward the same goal. Other nations are wondering whether they need to have such weapons. We could find ourselves in a world where a dozen or more nations have viable nuclear weapons programs.

A World Free Of Nuclear Weapons:

As President, John McCain Will Establish A Long-Term Commitment To A World Free Of Nuclear Weapons. Like President Reagan, John McCain believes we can see a day when nuclear weapons are banished from the Earth. While a distant and difficult goal, we must proceed toward it prudently and pragmatically, and with a focused concern on our security and our allies' security. The time has come to take further measures to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, and the U.S. must be a leader.

John McCain's Highest Priority Will Be To Reduce The Danger Nuclear Weapons Will Ever Be Used. We must seek to do all we can to ensure that nuclear weapons will never again be used. While working closely with our allies, John McCain will ask the Joint Chiefs of Staff to engage in a comprehensive review of all aspects of our nuclear strategy and policy.

At The Same Time, The U.S. Must Continue To Deploy A Safe And Reliable Nuclear Deterrent, Robust Missile Defense And Superior Conventional Forces.

John McCain Supports Further Strategic Arms Reductions. John McCain will seek to reduce the size of our nuclear arsenal to the lowest number possible consistent with our security requirements and global commitments, moving as rapidly as possible to a significantly smaller force.

John McCain Will Work With Russia On Nuclear Security. John McCain is prepared to enter into a new arms control agreement with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons. He will work toward agreement with Russia on binding verification measures based on those currently in effect under the START Agreement. Working with our allies, John McCain will explore ways with Russia to reduce – and hopefully eliminate – deployments of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. He will work with Russia to build confidence in our missile defense program, seriously consider Russia’s recent proposal to work together to globalize the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and redouble our common efforts to reduce the risk that nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons may fall into the hands of terrorists or unfriendly governments.

John McCain Believes We Should Begin A Nuclear Dialogue With China. We should work to achieve the greatest possible transparency and cooperation on nuclear force structure and doctrine. We should work hard to bring China in to line with the practices of the other four nuclear weapon states recognized in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We should also work to see China move toward a moratorium on the production of additional fissile material.

John McCain Will Also Address Nuclear Testing. As president, John McCain will continue America’s current moratorium on testing and begin a dialogue with our allies to identify ways we can move forward in limiting testing in a verifiable manner. This includes taking another look at the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to see what can be done to overcome shortcomings that prevented it from entering into force.

John McCain Opposes The Development Of New Nuclear Weapons Unless Certain Specific Conditions Are Met. John McCain would only support the development of any new type of nuclear weapon that is essential for the viability of our deterrent, that results in making possible further decreases in the size of our nuclear arsenal, and furthers our global national security goals. John McCain will cancel all further work on the so-called Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.

John McCain Will Work To Strengthen Existing International Treaties And Institutions To Combat Proliferation And Develop New Ones Where Necessary. The U.S. should move quickly to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and improve the ability to interdict the spread of nuclear weapons and material under the Proliferation Security Initiative. John McCain will increase funding for American nonproliferation efforts, including the Cooperative Threat Reduction programs established by the landmark Nunn-Lugar legislation.

Strengthen The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): As President, John McCain will work to strengthen and enhance the non-proliferation regime. We need to strengthen enforcement of the so-called “atoms for peace” bargain by insisting that countries that receive the benefits of peaceful nuclear cooperation must return or dismantle what they receive if they violate or withdraw from the NPT.

Increase IAEA Funding And Enhance The Intelligence Support It Receives: The UN Security Council should require that international transfers of sensitive nuclear technology be disclosed in advance, and further require that undisclosed transfers be deemed illicit and subject to interdiction. To enforce treaty obligations, IAEA member states must be willing to impose sanctions on nations that seek to withdraw from it.

John McCain Supports The U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Accord. This accord strengthens our relationship with the world's largest democracy and further involves India in the fight against proliferation. John McCain will actively engage both India and Pakistan to improve the security of their nuclear stockpiles and weapons materials.

To Prevent Countries From Using Civilian Nuclear Programs As A Cover For The Development Of Nuclear Weapons, John McCain Will Limit The Further Spread Of Enrichment And Reprocessing. John McCain supports international guarantees of nuclear fuel supply to countries that renounce enrichment and reprocessing. He also supports establishing international nuclear enrichment centers and an international repository for spent nuclear fuel.

Health Care

A "Call to Action"

John McCain believes we can and must provide access to health care for every American. He has proposed a comprehensive vision for achieving that. For too long, our nation's leaders have talked about reforming health care. Now is the time to act.

Americans Are Worried About Health Care Costs. The problems with health care are well known: it is too expensive and 47 million people living in the United States lack health insurance.

The Four Pillars of Reform

Affordability. John McCain believes in making health care more affordable for all Americans by ensuring that drug companies, doctors, insurance companies, hospitals and every other aspect of the health care system competes vigorously to respond to their needs. By rewarding quality, promoting prevention and delivering health care more effectively and efficiently we can ensure that every American can afford health care coverage of their choice.

Access & Choice. John McCain believes that every American should have access to quality and affordable coverage of their choice, including keeping their current coverage. American families – not government bureaucrats or insurance companies – should choose the coverage that best meets their unique needs.

Portability & Security. John McCain believes in allowing every American to keep their health insurance as they move from job to job or job to home, and protecting Americans' economic security from unforeseen health events by expanding coverage and savings options.

Quality. John McCain believes in strengthening health care quality by promoting research and development of new treatment models, promoting wellness, investing in technology and empowering Americans with better information on quality.

John McCain's Vision for Health Care Reform

John McCain Believes The Key To Health Care Reform Is To Restore Control To The Patients Themselves. We want a system of health care in which everyone can afford and acquire the treatment and preventative care they need. Health care should be available to all and not limited by where you work or how much you make. Families should be in charge of their health care dollars and have more control over care.

Making Health Insurance Innovative, Portable and Affordable

John McCain Will Reform Health Care Making It Easier For Individuals And Families To Obtain Insurance. An important part of his plan is to use competition to improve the quality of health insurance with greater variety to match people's needs, lower prices, and portability. Families should be able to purchase health insurance nationwide, across state lines.

John McCain Will Reform The Tax Code To Offer More Choices Beyond Employer-Based Health Insurance Coverage. While still having the option of employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance. Families will be able to choose the insurance provider that suits them best and the money would be sent directly to the insurance provider. (This sentence was referred to in a recent untruthful attack ad by Barack Obama. Click here to read the facts.) Those obtaining innovative insurance that costs less than the credit can deposit the remainder in expanded Health Savings Accounts.

John McCain Proposes Making Insurance More Portable. Americans need insurance that follows them from job to job. They want insurance that is still there if they retire early and does not change if they take a few years off to raise the kids.

John McCain Will Encourage And Expand The Benefits Of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) For Families. When families are informed about medical choices, they are more capable of making their own decisions and often decide against unnecessary options. Health Savings Accounts take an important step in the direction of putting families in charge of what they pay for.

A Specific Plan of Action: Ensuring Care for Higher Risk Patients

John McCain's Plan Cares For The Traditionally Uninsurable. John McCain understands that those without prior group coverage and those with pre-existing conditions have the most difficulty on the individual market, and we need to make sure they get the high-quality coverage they need.

John McCain Will Work With States To Establish A Guaranteed Access Plan. As President, John McCain will work with governors to develop a best practice model that states can follow - a Guaranteed Access Plan or GAP - that would reflect the best experience of the states to ensure these patients have access to health coverage. One approach would establish a nonprofit corporation that would contract with insurers to cover patients who have been denied insurance and could join with other state plans to enlarge pools and lower overhead costs. There would be reasonable limits on premiums, and assistance would be available for Americans below a certain income level.

John McCain Will Promote Proper Incentives. John McCain will work with Congress, the governors, and industry to make sure this approach is funded adequately and has the right incentives to reduce costs such as disease management, individual case management, and health and wellness programs.

A Specific Plan of Action: Lowering Health Care Costs

John McCain Proposes A Number Of Initiatives That Can Lower Health Care Costs. If we act today, we can lower health care costs for families through common-sense initiatives. Within a decade, health spending will comprise twenty percent of our economy. This is taking an increasing toll on America's families and small businesses. Even Senators Clinton and Obama recognize the pressure skyrocketing health costs place on small business when they exempt small businesses from their employer mandate plans.

CHEAPER DRUGS: Lowering Drug Prices. John McCain will look to bring greater competition to our drug markets through safe re-importation of drugs and faster introduction of generic drugs.

CHRONIC DISEASE: Providing Quality, Cheaper Care For Chronic Disease. Chronic conditions account for three-quarters of the nation's annual health care bill. By emphasizing prevention, early intervention, healthy habits, new treatment models, new public health infrastructure and the use of information technology, we can reduce health care costs. We should dedicate more federal research to caring and curing chronic disease.

COORDINATED CARE: Promoting Coordinated Care. Coordinated care - with providers collaborating to produce the best health care - offers better outcomes at lower cost. We should pay a single bill for high-quality disease care which will make every single provider accountable and responsive to the patients' needs.

GREATER ACCESS AND CONVENIENCE: Expanding Access To Health Care. Families place a high value on quickly getting simple care. Government should promote greater access through walk-in clinics in retail outlets.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Greater Use Of Information Technology To Reduce Costs. We should promote the rapid deployment of 21st century information systems and technology that allows doctors to practice across state lines.

MEDICAID AND MEDICARE: Reforming The Payment System To Cut Costs. We must reform the payment systems in Medicaid and Medicare to compensate providers for diagnosis, prevention and care coordination. Medicaid and Medicare should not pay for preventable medical errors or mismanagement.

SMOKING: Promoting The Availability Of Smoking Cessation Programs. Most smokers would love to quit but find it hard to do so. Working with business and insurance companies to promote availability, we can improve lives and reduce chronic disease through smoking cessation programs.

STATE FLEXIBILITY: Encouraging States To Lower Costs. States should have the flexibility to experiment with alternative forms of access, coordinated payments per episode covered under Medicaid, use of private insurance in Medicaid, alternative insurance policies and different licensing schemes for providers.

TORT REFORM: Passing Medical Liability Reform. We must pass medical liability reform that eliminates lawsuits directed at doctors who follow clinical guidelines and adhere to safety protocols. Every patient should have access to legal remedies in cases of bad medical practice but that should not be an invitation to endless, frivolous lawsuits.

TRANSPARENCY: Bringing Transparency To Health Care Costs. We must make public more information on treatment options and doctor records, and require transparency regarding medical outcomes, quality of care, costs and prices. We must also facilitate the development of national standards for measuring and recording treatments and outcomes.

Confronting the Long-Term Challenge

John McCain Will Develop A Strategy For Meeting The Challenge Of A Population Needing Greater Long-Term Care. There have been a variety of state-based experiments such as Cash and Counseling or The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) that are pioneering approaches for delivering care to people in a home setting. Seniors are given a monthly stipend which they can use to hire workers and purchase care-related services and goods. They can get help managing their care by designating representatives, such as relatives or friends, to help make decisions. It also offers counseling and bookkeeping services to assist consumers in handling their programmatic responsibilities.

Setting the Record Straight: Covering Those With Pre-Existing Conditions

MYTH: Some Claim That Under John McCain's Plan, Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Would Be Denied Insurance.

FACT: John McCain Supported The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act In 1996 That Took The Important Step Of Providing Some Protection Against Exclusion Of Pre-Existing Conditions.

FACT: Nothing In John McCain's Plan Changes The Fact That If You Are Employed And Insured You Will Build Protection Against The Cost Of Any Pre-Existing Condition.

FACT: As President, John McCain Would Work With Governors To Find The Solutions Necessary To Ensure Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Are Able To Easily Access Care.

Combating Autism in America

John McCain is very concerned about the rising incidence of autism among America's children and has continually supported research into its causes and treatment.

John McCain is very concerned about the rising incidence of autism among America's children and has continually supported research into its causes and treatment. He has heard countless stories about families' hardships obtaining a diagnosis for their children's autism and accessing quality medical treatment. He believes that federal research efforts should support broad approaches to understanding the factors that may play a role in the incidence of autism, including factors in our environment, for both prevention and treatment purposes.

John McCain was proud to lend his support to the Combating Autism Act of 2006, which he cosponsored, and worked to ensure its enactment. This law is helping to increase public awareness and screening of autism spectrum disorder, promote the use of evidence-based interventions, and create autism Centers of Excellence for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research and Epidemiology. John McCain understands that despite the federal and scientific research efforts to date, the exact causes of autism are not yet known and greater research is needed to understand this disorder. That is why in November 2007, he joined with Senator Lieberman in requesting the leadership of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal research into autism, to hold a hearing on federal research efforts regarding factors affecting incidence and treatment in order to help determine where research efforts can best be directed. As President, John McCain will work to advance federal research into autism, promote early screening, and identify better treatment options, while providing support for children with autism so that they may reach their full potential.

Strategy for Victory in Iraq

  • In Afghanistan, employ same winning strategy as in Iraq. (Sep 2008)
  • Don't threaten Pakistan; it's part of Afghan strategy. (Sep 2008)
  • We face transcendent evil of radical Islamic extremism. (Sep 2008)
  • Since 1998, championed policy of “rogue-state rollback”. (Oct 2007)
  • Follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell. (May 2007)
  • Prefers not to take troops out of Afghanistan. (Jan 2007)
  • The War on Terror is the overriding and transcendent issue. (Oct 2004)
  • The War on Terror is a fight between good and evil. (Aug 2004)
  • The War on Terror a war we must fight. (Aug 2004)
  • Avoiding the War on Terror has cost us dearly. (Aug 2004)
  • Bush promised enemies would soon hear from us and they did. (Aug 2004)
  • Our adversaries express a hatred for all good in humanity. (Aug 2004)
  • 2000: Warned against radical Islamic terrorism. (May 2002)
  • 2001: No pinprick responses to 9/11; it's a long haul. (May 2002)
  • 2001: Nuclear weapons unnecessary against terrorists. (May 2002)
  • Palestine: Against declaration of statehood. (Feb 1999)
  • Don't wait for UN if Iran attacks Israel. (Oct 2008)
  • FactCheck: Obama did declare Republican Guard terrorists. (Sep 2008)
  • Strategic bombing of Iran OK only if imminent threat. (Dec 2007)
  • Congress can only declare war; not micromanage wars. (Dec 2007)
  • Keep military option open against Iran, even if no nukes. (Dec 2007)
  • No direct talk with Iran; talk is over-rated. (Dec 2007)
  • Iran & Syria must not get nukes; they'll exterminate Israel. (Nov 2007)
  • Iran is state sponsor of terrorism; no more evidence needed. (Nov 2007)
  • Congressional consultation before attacking Iran's nukes. (Oct 2007)
  • Sanctions to prevent Iranian nukes; but don't count on UN. (Sep 2007)
  • Iran is sponsor of terrorism; US strike if they get nukes. (May 2007)
  • Biden's plan to partition Iraq was a cockamamie idea. (Oct 2008)
  • FactCheck: Biden's plan decentralized Iraq; not 3 countries. (Oct 2008)
  • Bring our troops home with victory and with honor. (Oct 2008)
  • FactCheck: Bush vetoed troop bill that Obama voted against. (Sep 2008)
  • We now have a great strategy & are winning in Iraq. (Sep 2008)
  • The next president has to decide how and when to leave Iraq. (Sep 2008)
  • FactCheck: Admiral did not call Obama's plan dangerous. (Sep 2008)
  • Obama would lose a war to win a political campaign. (Sep 2008)
  • Quoting “100 years in Iraq” is out-of-context. (Apr 2008)
  • Despite deserters & Basra loss, Iraqi military doing better. (Apr 2008)
  • Costs will be far greater should we fail in Iraq. (Feb 2008)
  • Not a matter of how long in Iraq, but a matter of casualties. (Feb 2008)
  • Don't let enemy lay in the weeds until we leave. (Jan 2008)
  • Support the surge and bring troops home with honor. (Jan 2008)
  • Timetable for withdrawal is a white flag of surrender. (Jan 2008)
  • Staying for 100 years OK, if US casualties are low. (Jan 2008)
  • The Iraq war was worth the price in blood and treasure. (Jan 2008)
  • Ok with American presence in Iraq for 100 years. (Jan 2008)
  • FactCheck: Yes, criticized Rumsfeld, but not before invasion. (Jan 2008)
  • Help Maliki government move forward as rapidly as possible. (Nov 2007)
  • I would much rather lose a campaign than lose a war. (Oct 2007)
  • Stategy in Iraq: defeat al-Qaeda; limit Iran's influence. (Sep 2007)
  • Iraq is now the central front in the war against al-Qaeda. (Sep 2007)
  • Americans want to win; bin Laden thinks he's winning now. (Sep 2007)
  • Democrats proposing failure in Iraq by withdrawing. (Sep 2007)
  • Reducing military presence has never in history won a war. (Sep 2007)
  • Bring troops home the right way: home with honor. (Sep 2007)
  • Surge is working; let it continue until it succeeds. (Sep 2007)
  • Tragic mistake of Iraq: no plan to deal with success. (Aug 2007)
  • Support the surge even if benchmarks are not met. (Aug 2007)
  • Did not read NIE before war vote, but was fully briefed. (Jun 2007)
  • If new strategy not working by Sept., we still must succeed. (Jun 2007)
  • Willing to be last man standing for US involvement in Iraq. (May 2007)
  • Consequences of failure: regional chaos & we must come back. (May 2007)
  • In hindsight, Iraq invasion was still justified. (May 2007)
  • Timetable would be catastrophe, even if Iraq wants it. (May 2007)
  • Advocated leaving Somalia, but no comparison to Iraq. (May 2007)
  • War has been mismanaged, but we are now on the right track. (May 2007)
  • War in Iraq has not gone well: dire but not hopeless. (Mar 2007)
  • Al Qaeda may take over Iraqi oilwells. (Mar 2007)
  • Prefers more troops for surge, but 20,000 is sufficient. (Jan 2007)
  • Bush now has the right strategy, and it's our last chance. (Jan 2007)
  • Generals advising “no more troops” was a failed policy. (Jan 2007)
  • McCain Principle: Committing troops means completing mission. (Jan 2007)
  • If we leave Iraq, terrorists will follow us home. (Jan 2007)
  • Send in a heavy wave of troops to Iraq to establish order. (Nov 2006)
  • Looting, terrorism in Iraq a result of US mistakes. (Sep 2004)
  • The Iraqi war was necessary after years of failed diplomacy. (Aug 2004)
  • Saddam would have acquired terrible weapons again. (Aug 2004)
  • The Iraqi war was necessary, achievable and noble. (Aug 2004)
  • The cause of the Iraqi war was just. (Apr 2004)
  • 1991: Urged formally declaring war on Iraq over Kuwait. (Jan 2004)
  • Congress has no authority to cut off funds for Iraqi use. (Jan 2007)
  • Voted NO on redeploying non-essential US troops out of Iraq in 9 months. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted YES on requiring on-budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding. (Apr 2005)
  • Voted YES on $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Oct 2003)
  • Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (Oct 2002)
  • Voted NO on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on ending the Bosnian arms embargo. (Jul 1995)
  • Supports $48 billion in new spending for anti-terrorism. (Jan 2002)
  • CIA assessments ib Iraqi WMDs were all wrong. (Mar 2005)
  • Belief in Iraqi nukes was poor analysis of aluminum tubes. (Mar 2005)
  • Belief in Iraqi BWs was based on one unreliable person. (Mar 2005)
  • Belief in Iraqi CWs was based on flawed imagery. (Mar 2005)
  • Iraq never had delivery systems to attack US mainland. (Mar 2005)
  • CIA never questioned assumption that Saddam had WMDs. (Mar 2005)
  • Conclusions on Iran and North Korea are all classified. (Mar 2005)
  • Support the completion of the US mission in Iraq. (Feb 2007)
  • Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. (Nov 1995)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/

The Importance of Succeeding

John McCain believes it is strategically and morally essential for the United States to support the Government of Iraq to become capable of governing itself and safeguarding its people. He strongly disagrees with those who advocate withdrawing American troops before that has occurred.

It would be a grave mistake to leave before Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated and before a competent, trained, and capable Iraqi security force is in place and operating effectively. We must help the Government of Iraq battle those who provoke sectarian tensions and promote a civil war that could destabilize the Middle East. Iraq must not become a failed state, a haven for terrorists, or a pawn of Iran. These likely consequences of America's failure in Iraq almost certainly would either require us to return or draw us into a wider and far costlier war.

The best way to secure long-term peace and security is to establish a stable, prosperous, and democratic state in Iraq that poses no threat to its neighbors and contributes to the defeat of terrorists. When Iraqi forces can safeguard their own country, American troops can return home.

Support the Successful Counterinsurgency Strategy

John McCain has been a leading advocate of the “surge” and the counterinsurgency strategy carried out by General David Petraeus. At the end of 2006, four years of a badly conceived military strategy that concentrated American troops on large bases brought us near to the point of no return. Sectarian violence in Iraq was spiraling out of control. Al Qaeda in Iraq was on the offensive. Entire provinces were under extremists’ control and were deemed all but lost. At that critical moment, John McCain supported sending reinforcements to Iraq to implement a classic counterinsurgency strategy of securing the population.

That strategy has paid off. From June 2007 through March 2008, sectarian and ethnic violence in Iraq was reduced by 90 percent. Civilian deaths and deaths of coalition forces fell by 70 percent. This has opened the way for a return to something that approaches normal political and economic life for the average Iraqi. Political reconciliation is occurring across Iraq at the local and provincial grassroots level. Sunni and Shi'a chased from their homes by terrorist and sectarian violence are returning. The “Sons of Iraq” and Awakening movements, where former Sunni insurgents have now joined in the fight against Al Qaeda, continue to grow.

Those gains would be lost if we were to follow the policy advocated by Senator Barack Obama to withdraw most of our troops and leave behind only a small “strike force” to battle terrorists. That is, in essence, the same strategy of withdrawing from Iraq’s streets that failed in 2006. John McCain advocates continuing the successful counterinsurgency strategy that began in 2007.

Push for Political Reconciliation and Good Government

Thanks to the success of the surge, Iraq's political order is evolving in positive and hopeful ways. Four out of the six laws cited as benchmarks by the U.S. have been passed by the Iraqi legislature. A law on amnesty and a law rolling back some of the harsher restrictions against former employees of the Iraqi government have made it possible for Iraqis to move toward genuine reconciliation. The legislature has devolved greater power to local and provincial authorities, where much of the real work of rebuilding Iraq is taking place.

More progress is necessary. The government must improve its ability to serve all Iraqis. A key test for the Iraqi government will be finding jobs in the security services and the civilian sector for the “Sons of Iraq” who have risked so much to battle terrorists.

Iraq will conduct two landmark elections in the near future – one for provincial governments in late 2008 and the other for the national government in 2009. John McCain believes we should welcome a larger United Nations role in supporting the elections. The key condition for successful elections is for American troops to continue to work with brave Iraqis to allow the voting to take place in relative freedom and security. Iraqis need to know that the U.S. will not abandon them, but will continue to press their politicians to show the necessary leadership to help develop their country.

Get Iraq's Economy Back on its Feet

John McCain believes that economic progress is essential to sustaining security gains in Iraq. Markets that were once silent and deserted have come back to life in many areas, but high unemployment rates continue to fuel criminal and insurgent violence. To move young men away from the attractions of well-funded extremists, we need a vibrant, growing Iraqi economy. The Iraqi government can jump-start this process by using a portion of its budget surplus to employ Iraqis in infrastructure projects and in restoring basic services.

The international community should bolster proven microfinance programs to spur local-level entrepreneurship throughout the country. Iraq's Arab neighbors, in particular, should promote regional stability by directly investing the fruits of their oil exports in Iraq. As these efforts begin to take hold in Iraq, the private sector, as always, will create the jobs and propel the growth that will end reliance on outside aid. Iraq’s government needs support to better deliver basic services—clean water, garbage collection, abundant electricity, and, above all, a basic level of security—that create a climate where the Iraqi economy creation can flourish.

Call for International Pressure on Syria and Iran

Syria and Iran have aided and abetted the violence in Iraq for too long. Syria has refused to crack down on Iraqi insurgents and foreign terrorists operating within its territory. Iran has been providing the most extreme and violent Shia militias with training, weapons, and technology that kill American and Iraqi troops. American military spokesmen have also said there is evidence that Iran has provided aid to Sunni insurgents.

The answer is not unconditional dialogues with these two dictatorships from a position of weakness. The answer is for the international community to apply real pressure to Syria and Iran to change their behavior. The United States must also bolster its regional military posture to make clear to Iran our determination to protect our forces and deter Iranian intervention.

Level with the American People

John McCain believes it is essential to be honest with the American people about the opportunities and risks that lie ahead. The American people deserve the truth from their leaders. They deserve a candid assessment of the progress made in the last year, of the serious difficulties that remain, and of the grave consequences of a reckless and irresponsible withdrawal.

Many Americans have given their lives so that America does not suffer the worst consequences of failure in Iraq. Doing the right thing in the heat of a political campaign is not always easy. But it is necessary.

John McCain on the Road Ahead

“I do not want to keep our troops in Iraq a minute longer than necessary to secure our interests there. Our goal is an Iraq that can stand on its own as a democratic ally and a responsible force for peace in its neighborhood. Our goal is an Iraq that no longer needs American troops. And I believe we can achieve that goal, perhaps sooner than many imagine. But I do not believe that anyone should make promises as a candidate for President that they cannot keep if elected. To promise a withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, regardless of the calamitous consequences to the Iraqi people, our most vital interests, and the future of the Middle East, is the height of irresponsibility. It is a failure of leadership. “

“I know the pain war causes. I understand the frustration caused by our mistakes in this war. And I regret sincerely the additional sacrifices imposed on the brave Americans who defend us. But I also know the toll a lost war takes on an army and on our country's security. By giving General Petraeus and the men and women he has the honor to command the time and support necessary to succeed in Iraq we have before us a hard road. But it is the right road. It is necessary and just. Those who disregard the unmistakable progress we have made in the last year and the terrible consequences that would ensue were we to abandon our responsibilities in Iraq have chosen another road. It may appear to be the easier course of action, but it is a much more reckless one, and it does them no credit even if it gives them an advantage in the next election.” –John McCain

Homeownership Resurgence Plan

John McCain will direct his Treasury Secretary to implement an American Homeownership Resurgence Plan (McCain Resurgence Plan) to keep families in their homes, avoid foreclosures, save failing neighborhoods, stabilize the housing market and attack the roots of our financial crisis. America’s families are bearing a heavy burden from falling housing prices, mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures, and a weak economy. It is important that those families who have worked hard enough to finance homeownership not have that dream crushed under the weight of the wrong mortgage. The existing debts are too large compared to the value of housing. For those that cannot make payments, mortgages must be re-structured to put losses on the books and put homeowners in manageable mortgages.

The McCain Resurgence Plan would purchase mortgages directly from homeowners and mortgage servicers, and replace them with manageable, fixed-rate mortgages that will keep families in their homes. By purchasing the existing, failing mortgages the McCain resurgence plan will eliminate uncertainty over defaults, support the value of mortgage-backed derivatives and alleviate risks that are freezing financial markets.

The McCain resurgence plan would be available to mortgage holders that:

  • Live in the home (primary residence only)
  • Can prove their creditworthiness at the time of the original loan (no falsifications and provided a down payment).

The new mortgage would be an FHA-guaranteed fixed-rate mortgage at terms manageable for the homeowner. The direct cost of this plan would be roughly $300 billion because the purchase of mortgages would relieve homeowners of “negative equity” in some homes. Funds provided by Congress in recent financial market stabilization bill can be used for this purpose; indeed by stabilizing mortgages it will likely be possible to avoid some purposes previously assumed needed in that bill.

The plan could be implemented quickly as a result of the authorities provided in the stabilization bill, the recent housing bill, and the U.S. government's conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It may be necessary for Congress to raise the overall borrowing limit.

Veterans

America owes its liberty, its prosperity, and its future to our veterans who have dedicated their lives to protecting our great country. John McCain has fought to honor our national commitment to our veterans who have given their careers and livelihoods to ensuring our freedom. He believes we must provide for service members and their families while they serve, we must help those who return from combat to adjust to civilian life, and we must honor and never forget the service of those who do not return.

John McCain has been a leader in Congress, fighting for all those who serve and their families, improving veterans' health care, providing veterans with the benefits they have earned, easing their transition to civilian life, and honoring the fallen.

Providing for Our Service Members

John McCain believes that meeting the needs of our service members who defend us is our obligation and is essential to our national security. He worked to increase pay scales for servicemen and women during both the Persian Gulf War and the current War on Terror and to increase enlistment and reenlistment bonuses for reservists and guardsmen. He also sponsored bills to give special tax relief to deployed service members and to set up overseas savings programs for the men and women fighting in the Gulf War.

Honoring the Service of Reservists and Guardsmen

The nation's reserve personnel have been a vital component of the Global War on Terror, with reservists serving side-by-side with active duty members in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe. John McCain believes that the fundamental role of reservists has changed over the last decade, and given their invaluable role and the tremendous sacrifices that these men and women have made, they should receive additional benefits than those that they have traditionally been granted.

For this reason, John McCain has supported legislation to expand retirement benefits for reservists, supported provisions to expand eligibility for health care benefits for reservists and their families, and sponsored legislation to grant survivor benefit payments to the spouses of reservists who die during or as the result of training.

Improving Veterans' Health Care

John McCain believes that America's veterans who dedicated themselves to protecting our country deserve the highest quality health care. He is committed to ensuring that veterans' health care programs receive the funding necessary to provide the quality health care our veterans need and deserve. He has worked to ensure that the Veteran's Affairs provides care for all eligible veterans, no matter where they live or what they need. In addition, John McCain has fought to ensure that retired servicemen and women have meaningful access to affordable health care.

Funding Veterans' Health Care

John McCain has voted repeatedly, throughout his career, to ensure that the Veteran's Affairs health care programs receive the funding necessary to serve our veterans. He has supported numerous funding increases, initiatives to make the VA more efficient, and proposals to give higher pay to VA doctors in order to recruit and retain high quality physicians and dentists.

Expanding Veterans' Access to Health Care

John McCain has worked to ensure that geography does not prevent veterans from receiving the care they have earned. He supported measures to allow veterans in remote areas of Alaska to get care at existing facilities run by the Indian Health Service or tribal organizations. He also rallied support for a demonstration project to send mobile health centers to remote locations where veterans need care. In addition, he sponsored legislation that would ensure that health care funding is distributed fairly, and that eligible veterans in all regions of the country can equally access high quality health care.

Serving the Special Health Care Needs of Veterans

John McCain understands that veterans face a broad array of health challenges, many of which disproportionately afflict our former service members. He has fought to ensure that veterans receive health care that reflects their unique needs.

For this reason, John McCain advocated for guaranteeing health benefits to veterans who have been exposed to radiation. He also worked to advance studies on the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and to give disability benefits to veterans with cancer and other health problems caused by Agent Orange. He supported efforts to provide veterans with treatment for tobacco related illnesses and substance abuse problems, and he sponsored legislation to cover mental health care in military retiree health plans. John McCain has also been a leading advocate for providing veterans with hospice benefits.

Health Care for Retired Veterans

John McCain believes that all military retirees, even if they are not eligible for VA health care, should be provided with meaningful access to health care. The federal government should ease the burden of health care costs on those people who have dedicated their careers to protecting our freedom. He has supported allowing military retirees to remain eligible for CHAMPUS or TRICARE military health care programs even when they reach the age of 65 and are eligible for Medicare. He has also consistently supported efforts to give military retirees tax breaks to help pay health insurance premiums, and he has opposed placing user fees on military retirees for using military medical facilities.

Providing Veterans with the Benefits They Have Earned

John McCain strongly believes that it is our duty as a nation to provide our veterans, who dedicated their careers, risked their personal safety, and sometimes sacrificed their lives in order to protect us, with the benefits that we have promised them and that they have earned.

John McCain has voted consistently to increase funding for veterans' benefits, recognizing that the people who serve our country should get priority over the disgraceful amounts of spending on corporate subsidies and wasteful pork barrel spending. He also pushed for various initiatives to ensure that veterans who are eligible for benefits know what they are entitled to and have the resources to obtain their benefits.

Caring for Our Disabled Veterans

John McCain has been a leading advocate in the Senate for disabled veterans throughout his entire career. He fought for nearly fifteen years, introducing numerous bills, to ensure that veterans with service-connected disabilities can receive the retirement benefits that they have earned, as well as the disability compensation benefits that they are entitled to. He has also worked to ensure that veterans can have their disability claims processed in a timely manner, working with the VA to rectify its huge backlog of claims and providing additional resources for that purpose.

John McCain believes very strongly that service members who suffered permanent injuries in service to our nation should not be forced to give up their disability compensation in order to collect their retirement pay. For this reason, John McCain has been a staunch supporter of repealing the historic ban on receiving both disability and retirement pay at the same time. Over the past few years, John McCain has successfully pushed for provisions to compensate disabled retired veterans for this disparity. Now, because of his efforts, veterans with severe combat-related disabilities are able to collect their retirement and disability compensation at the same time. John McCain will continue to fight for equal treatment of disabled veterans under the retirement system. In an effort to help disabled veterans with their health care, he cosponsored a measure to allow disabled veterans to be enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the same health insurance offered to Senators and Congressmen. He has also supported higher payments to disabled veterans and survivors of veterans who died because of service connected injuries.

John McCain has worked to increase VA resources for paralysis research, and he spearheaded an effort to establish a Blind Rehabilitation Center in Tucson, Arizona to help the 1,200 vets on waiting lists for rehab services for the blind.

A Leading Advocate for Gulf War Veterans

John McCain has always been a leader on veteran's issues, and Congress has often looked to him, particularly during times of conflict and war. On January 31, 1991, Senator Bob Dole appointed John McCain Co-Chairman of a task force to make recommendations to the Senate regarding effective policies to help the men and women and their families who served in Operations Desert Shield/Storm. John McCain worked with his colleagues to identify the most beneficial proposals, including doubling veteran and service member life insurance benefits, the establishment of a death gratuity payment for Persian Gulf service members, housing loan benefits for Gulf War veterans, expanded reemployment rights, and providing readjustment counseling for veterans.

Easing the Transition to Civilian Life

John McCain believes that we must do what we can to smooth the transition for veterans from military to civilian life. He has strongly supported educational and job counseling programs to help veterans get civilian employment. He has worked to provide new educational assistance for reservists. He also fought to extend the availability of G.I. bill education benefits for Vietnam veterans, and to expand flight training benefits to more veterans. In addition, John McCain is a strong supporter of the Troops-To-Teachers Act, a program to train veterans to become teachers, and introduced legislation to extend the program. John McCain also believes that we must provide more assistance to veterans who are recently discharged and has worked to extend unemployment and vocational training benefits for veterans.

John McCain has also been a strong advocate for those veterans most in need. He has supported numerous bills to help homeless veterans by providing them with counseling, independent living training, and residential treatment programs so that they can address and overcome those ailments that plague many homeless veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.

Protecting Veterans from Financial Loss

John McCain has also worked for a number of other financial protection and relief provisions for service members and veterans. He supported amendments to the bankruptcy reform bill that would protect veterans from being denied bankruptcy claims if they incurred their debts while defending our country. He also sponsored legislation to extend the tax filing deadline for Gulf War service members. In addition, he pushed for legislation to protect veterans from scam artists and loan sharks who would prey on low income veterans by offering them a small amount of “fast cash” to sign over their veteran's benefits.

Protecting for the Families of Our Fallen Heroes

John McCain believes that in addition to our national duty to provide benefits to veterans who return from combat, we must honor those who do not return and provide for their families with a death gratuity benefit and meaningful life insurance coverage. During the last two major military conflicts, John McCain worked to increase death gratuity payments. He cosponsored legislation to double the death gratuity payment in 2003 for service men and women who are killed in the War on Terror. He also sponsored legislation during the first Gulf War to increase the death gratuity payment, and to double the soldier and veterans' group life insurance.

In 2007, after learning about problems that the families of some service members killed in combat were having accessing the death gratuity payment, John McCain introduced legislation to allow service members to designate who they want their benefits to go to in the event of their death. John McCain has also worked to increase the survivor benefit plan for widows or widowers of retired veterans.

Honoring the Service and Sacrifice of Our Past and Present Veterans

John McCain has worked throughout his time in Congress to fulfill our nation's solemn duty to honor those veterans who sacrificed their lives to protect our liberty. In 2006, he sponsored legislation to immortalize the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial as a symbol honoring veterans of the Korean War.

He also advocated for the creation of a number of other veterans' memorials, including a memorial to honor disabled veterans and the National Native American Veterans' Memorial. He sponsored legislation to create National Medal of Honor Sites to honor recipients of the Medal of Honor. He worked to create Arizona's only National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, and he authored legislation to ensure that veterans have honor guards at their funerals.

Honoring Our Compact With America's Veterans

Today, In Nevada, John McCain Will Outline His Plan To Ensure That Those Who Have Served This Country In The Armed Forces Receive The Care That They Need. We have a sacred compact with our wounded veterans to provide for their recovery when they return from the battlefield.

John McCain Will Implement a Comprehensive Plan for Providing High-Quality, Timely Health Care For Our Veterans:

John McCain Believes We Must Provide Our Veterans With World-Class Health Care. We must fully fund the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care budget in a timely and predictable manner. Those who have risked their lives in service to their fellow citizens deserve nothing less than the best medical care in the world.

When The VA Cannot Meet Our Veterans' Needs, Our Veterans Must Be Given Alternative Means Of Access To Health Care And Freedom Of Choice. Too many veterans are unable to obtain health care through the VA because of geographical constraints, unreasonably long waiting lists, or the lack of specialized facilities at local VA hospitals. John McCain will develop and enforce demanding new standards for veterans' access to health care for injuries or illness related to military service: no more than an hour's drive for care, routine care within a week, urgent care within 24 hours, and specialty care within a month.

  • Veterans' Care Access Card: John McCain has proposed a Veterans' Care Access Card, which would expand access and choice for those veterans with illness or injury incurred during military service, as well as low-income veterans. This supplement to ordinary VA care – which would not replace or privatize existing programs – would permit those veterans unable to obtain timely and appropriate VA care under the standards set out above, to receive care at a private facility.

John McCain Has Proposed Other Reforms To Help Our Veterans Overcome 21st Century Challenges:

  • Modern Warfare Injuries: John McCain co-authored the Wounded Warrior Act, which, among other things, was the first major legislative initiative to address injuries specific to the War on Terror. As President, he will build on this legislation and work to provide greatly enhanced screening and treatment and to foster greater cooperation between the Department of Defense and the VA.
  • Women Veterans: The VA must respond to the specialized health care needs of women veterans, including victims of sexual assault.
  • Outreach: Every veteran should receive easy-to-understand, comprehensive information about the rights and benefits he or she has earned. As President, John McCain will ensure that the promises of the Wounded Warrior Act are fulfilled – including the establishment of a Wounded Warrior Resource Center, accessible information and clear pathways to rehabilitation, and documentation of the long-term needs of the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Family Caregivers: Care provided by a parent, spouse, or child can be instrumental in the recovery of a wounded or ill service member. The VA and the Department of Defense must expand educational programs for family members to teach them how to properly care for their injured or ill loved ones.

John McCain Will Overhaul Our Veterans' Disability System:

Our Veterans' Disability System Is Tragically Broken. Too many of our wounded veterans come home to an administrative nightmare rather than a hero's welcome. We need a disability evaluation process for the 21st Century.

John McCain Has Proposed An 8-Point Plan For Bold Reform:

  • Training. Ensure that every VA employee who assists in processing a claim for VA benefits completes a demanding and comprehensive on-going training program.
  • Accountability. Guarantee that all VA employees who assist in processing claims for VA benefits are held to the highest standards of quality that our nation's heroes deserve.
  • Automation. Bring the VA claims processing system into the 21st Century by converting to a paperless system in which records can be located and searched instantly and that incorporates rules-based technology to assist claims processors in developing and deciding cases expeditiously.
  • Partnerships. Expand partnerships with Veterans' Service Organizations to rely more heavily on the help of trained, certified veterans' service officers in developing necessary evidence to support disability claims by veterans.
  • Simplification. Simplify the Department of Defense disability retirement system – to get benefits for service members who are medically retired immediately upon discharge from the service, based on clear, predictable, and fair standards.
  • Concurrent Receipt. Enable veterans who are medically discharged to receive their entire Department of Defense annuity in addition to any VA disability compensation.
  • Quality Of Life. Compensate veterans for loss of quality of life caused by their service-related disabilities, in addition to loss of earnings.
  • Restorative Care. Put additional emphasis on the most fundamental mission of the VA – to help restore veterans with disabilities to the maximum extent possible. This means providing veterans with disabilities the treatment, rehabilitation, and training that they need to return to productive, fulfilling lives.

John McCain Will Launch An Aggressive Program to Reintegrate Veterans Into Civilian Society:

When Veterans Return Home, Our Country Must Be There to Support Them. As President, John McCain will champion – as he has throughout his career – efforts to coordinate federal, state, and local programs to support reintegration of veterans into civilian society following their medical service.

We Must Target All Aspects Of Reintegration. Key reforms must include:

  • Education. Until recently, we were long overdue for an increase in veterans' education benefits. The enactment of the “GI Bill for the 21st Century,” legislation which John McCain proudly supported in its final form, dramatically increases education benefits for a broad spectrum of veterans, including members of our National Guard and Reserves. It also addresses the top concern of career service members regarding education – the freedom to transfer their benefits to their spouses or children.
  • Homelessness. As President, John McCain will make sure that we never leave behind those veterans who are homeless and those without jobs. We must increase outreach to homeless veterans through multiple federal agencies to ensure access to the health care and disability benefits that they need. We must also focus initiatives on providing permanent and transitional housing where appropriate, implementing special-needs programs for female homeless veterans, and helping homeless veterans acquire new skills so that they can regain independence in society.
  • Employment. Meaningful employment opportunities, along with support for rehabilitation, mental health, and families, are the most critical factors in helping veterans reintegrate into society following their military service. John McCain will work hard to see that the U.S. Government operates as a model employer to support veteran preferences in federal hiring, and he will aggressively enforce the law when employers illegally discriminate against service members.

John McCain Will Guarantee That America Honors the Memory Of Our Fallen Heroes By Providing For Their Families.

John McCain Believes That We Must Honor Those Who Do Not Return From Combat By Providing Their Families With A Death Gratuity Benefit and Meaningful Life Insurance Coverage. During the last two major military conflicts, John McCain worked to increase death gratuity payments going so far as to cosponsor legislation to double the payment in 2003.

John McCain on Border Security and Immigration

“As you know, I and many other colleagues twice attempted to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to fix our broken borders; ensure respect for the laws of this country; recognize the important economic contribution of immigrant laborers; apprehend those who came here illegally to commit crimes; and deal practically and humanely with those who came here, as my distant ancestors did, to build a better, safer life for their families, without excusing the fact they came here illegally or granting them privileges before those who have been waiting their turn outside the country. Many Americans did not believe us when we said we would secure our borders, and so we failed in our efforts. I don't want to fail again to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. We must prove we have the resources to secure our borders and use them, while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States. When we have achieved our border security goal, we must enact and implement the other parts of practical, fair and necessary immigration policy. We have economic and humanitarian responsibilities as well, and they require no less dedication from us in meeting them.” - John McCain

John McCain believes America's immigration system is broken. He is committed to a two-step process to reform.

Securing Our Borders First. John McCain's top immigration priority is to finish securing our borders in an expedited manner. Governors of border states will be required to certify that the border is secure. Steps to border security include:

  • Setting clear guidelines and objectives for securing the border through physical and virtual barriers.
  • Ensuring that adequate funding is provided for resources on the ground, but also training facilities, support staff and the deployment of technologies.
  • Dedicating funding to US Attorney’s offices in border states.
  • Implementing sound policies for contracting Department of Homeland Security software and infrastructure.
  • Deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and other aircraft where needed and appropriate in the border region.
  • Continue implementation of the US-VISIT comprehensive visitor security program.

Comprehensive Immigration Initiatives for a Secure Nation. Once the borders are secure, John McCain will:

Prosecute “Bad-Actor” Employers. John McCain will implement a secure, accurate, and reliable electronic employment verification system to ensure that individuals are screened for work eligibility in a real-time fashion. John McCain will use this new system in conjunction with other Department of Homeland Security resources to identify and aggressively prosecute employers that continue to hire illegal immigrants. The Electronic Employment Verification System will:

  • Establish a user-friendly system employing a limited set of secure documents that contain biometric data and are electronically verifiable to check a worker’s identity.
  • Provide responses to employer inquiries in a prompt and timely manner to provide both the employer and employee security in their hiring decisions.
  • Update and ensure the accuracy of current databases of government agencies that play a role in employment verification.
  • Protect the identities of each employee being screened and allow both employer and employee adequate time and opportunity to correct possible errors with any information in the system.
  • Institute targeted auditing by Department of Labor in order to weed out employers abusing the system.

Meet America’s Labor Needs.

John McCain will implement temporary worker programs that will reflect the labor needs of the United States in both the high-tech and low skilled sectors while protecting the employment opportunities for US workers:

  • Highly Skilled workers:

o Ensure high skilled workers trained and educated in the United States have the opportunity to stay and work in the United States upon graduation.

        o Reform caps for H-1B visa program to rise and fall in response to market conditions.  Reduce bureaucracy and waiting times for workers to arrive in the United States.
        o Increase available green card numbers to reflect employer and employee demand.
        o Extend the ability for H-1B visa holders to renew their H-1B status while waiting for their green card number to become available. 
        o Ensure available and qualified American workers are given adequate and fair opportunities to apply for available positions. 
  * Low-skilled non-agricultural workers:
        o Implement a usable, market based system for low-skilled workers to enter the United States in an orderly fashion.
        o Ensure that the cap rises and falls with market demand to meet the changing needs of the economy. 
        o Provide for adequate worker protection to guard against employer abuses of temporary workers.   
        o Protect American workers by designing a program that allows willing and eligible United States workers adequate opportunity to apply for available positions.
        o Ensure that workers return to their home countries after their temporary period in the United States.
        o Allow for appropriate visa renewals to assure that both the employer and employee have stability in the workforce. 
        o Offer a limited number of green cards to reflect the small number of workers that may wish to remain in the United States permanently.
  * Low-skilled agricultural workers:
        o Reform the H-2A visa program to provide a non-bureaucratic, adaptable, useable program that is reflective of market needs and protects both the immigrant and US workers. 

Address the Undocumented.

John McCain will address the fact that we have a large number undocumented individuals living in the United States and working in our economy:

  • All undocumented individuals will be required to enroll in a program to resolve their status.
  • This program will use background checks to identify criminal aliens for prosecution and deportation.

o Assure that the remaining undocumented immigrants learn English, pay back taxes and fines, and pass a citizenship course as part of a path to legal status.

        o Guarantee that no person here illegally receives a green card before those that have been legally waiting outside the country.  
        o Do a proper accounting of all social security numbers used and attained illegally, rectifying the accounts and alerting those whose identity had been compromised. 
  * The program will also ensure that all undocumented aliens either leave or follow the path to legal residence.  America cannot permit a permanent category of individuals that do not have recognized status – a permanent second class. 
  * In addition, the program will provide a system that is fair, humane, realistic, and ensures the rights of the individual and families will be protected.
        o Ensure that families are reunited.
        o Address in an expedited manner the status of individuals brought here illegally as minors through no will or intention of their own. 

Eliminate the Family Backlog.

John McCain will commit to clearing out the backlog of individuals that are waiting legally outside of the country, some for up to 20 years, for their green card number to become available.

Education

  • Achieved equality in schools; but failing schools don't help. (Oct 2008)
  • I want schools to answer to parents and students. (Sep 2008)
  • Pay bonuses to teachers in the most troubled schools. (Jul 2008)
  • Target funding to recruit top graduates as teachers. (Jul 2008)
  • Direct $750 million to build virtual schools. (Jul 2008)
  • Give parents easier access to obtain help for their children. (Jul 2008)
  • Shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition. (Jun 2008)
  • Teaching creationism should be decided by school districts. (Jun 2007)
  • Believes in evolution, but sees the hand of God in nature. (May 2007)
  • Against nationally imposed standards & funding strings. (Feb 2000)
  • Teach virtues in all schools. (Dec 1999)
  • Enlist retirees for tutoring. (Nov 1999)
  • Good teachers should earn more than bad lawyers. (Oct 1999)
  • Decisions on teaching evolution should be made locally. (Aug 1999)
  • Help unqualified teachers find other lines of work. (Jul 1999)
  • Supports tax-free savings accounts for education expenses. (Jul 1999)
  • Supports “Reading Excellence”; and rewarding good schools. (Jul 1999)
  • Supports at-risk programs; homeless ed.; anti-drop-out ed. (Jul 1999)
  • Internet access, with filters, at every school & library. (Jun 1999)
  • Merit pay & competency testing for teachers. (Jun 1999)
  • Ed-ACT Bill: college plans; language proficiency. (May 1999)
  • Vouchers in DC work; parents wait in line for them. (Oct 2008)
  • Vouchers and school choice for all. (Jul 2008)
  • Offer more choices to those who wish to become teachers. (Jul 2008)
  • Place parents & children at the center of education. (Feb 2008)
  • We need more choice and competition in education. (Dec 2007)
  • Charters, homeschooling, & vouchers are key to success. (Dec 2007)
  • Local charters are the best Arizona schools. (Mar 2000)
  • Let states decide if they link vouchers to student testing. (Feb 2000)
  • Use sugar, oil, and ethanol subsidies to finance vouchers. (Jan 2000)
  • Tax breaks for charters - not from public school funds. (Dec 1999)
  • Vouchers & charters will improve our school system. (Oct 1999)
  • Nationwide test of school vouchers. (Sep 1999)
  • $5B program for 3-year test of school vouchers. (Jul 1999)
  • Tax-funded vouchers for private schools or charter schools. (Jun 1999)
  • Shift policy-making from bureaucrats to parents. (May 1999)
  • Vouchers needed where teachers fail. (May 1999)
  • Vouchers for any schools; more charter schools. (Jul 1998)
  • Unrestricted block grants–let states decide spending. (Feb 2000)
  • Voted NO on $52M for “21st century community learning centers”. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted NO on $5B for grants to local educational agencies. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted NO on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted NO on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
  • Voted NO on funding student testing instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
  • Voted NO on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted YES on declaring memorial prayers and religious symbols OK at schools. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on allowing more flexibility in federal school rules. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on education savings accounts. (Jun 1998)
  • Voted YES on school vouchers in DC. (Sep 1997)
  • Voted YES on $75M for abstinence education. (Jul 1996)
  • Voted YES on requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer. (Jul 1994)
  • Voted NO on national education standards. (Feb 1994)
  • Focus educational resources to help those with greatest need. (Jul 2001)
  • Require state standards, regular assessments, and sanctions. (Jul 2001)
  • Support Ed-Flex: more flexibility if more accountable. (Jul 2001)
  • Rated 45% by the NEA, indicating a mixed record on public education. (Dec 2003)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/

Excellence, Choice, and Competition in American Education

John McCain believes American education must be worthy of the promise we make to our children and ourselves. He understands that we are a nation committed to equal opportunity, and there is no equal opportunity without equal access to excellent education.

Public education should be defined as one in which our public support for a child's education follows that child into the school the parent chooses. The school is charged with the responsibility of educating the child, and must have the resources and management authority to deliver on that responsibility. They must also report to the parents and the public on their progress.

The deplorable status of preparation for our children, particularly in comparison with the rest of the industrialized world, does not allow us the luxury of eliminating options in our educational repertoire. John McCain will fight for the ability of all students to have access to all schools of demonstrated excellence, including their own homes.

No Child Left Behind has focused our attention on the realities of how students perform against a common standard. John McCain believes that we can no longer accept low standards for some students and high standards for others. In this age of honest reporting, we finally see what is happening to students who were previously invisible. While that is progress all its own, it compels us to seek and find solutions to the dismal facts before us.

John McCain believes our schools can and should compete to be the most innovative, flexible and student-centered - not safe havens for the uninspired and unaccountable. He believes we should let them compete for the most effective, character-building teachers, hire them, and reward them.

If a school will not change, the students should be able to change schools. John McCain believes parents should be empowered with school choice to send their children to the school that can best educate them just as many members of Congress do with their own children. He finds it beyond hypocritical that many of those who would refuse to allow public school parents to choose their child's school would never agree to force their own children into a school that did not work or was unsafe. They can make another choice. John McCain believes that is a fundamental and essential right we should honor for all parents.

As president, John McCain will pursue reforms that address the underlying cultural problems in our education system - a system that still seeks to avoid genuine accountability and responsibility for producing well-educated children.

John McCain will place parents and children at the center of the education process, empowering parents by greatly expanding the ability of parents to choose among schools for their children. He believes all federal financial support must be predicated on providing parents the ability to move their children, and the dollars associated with them, from failing school.

Early Childhood Education

Every child born in America is destined to compete with his or her peers around the world. Their success will be determined in great part by whether or not we meet our obligation to provide them with the education critical to their success. A foundation for this effort is ensuring that every child, regardless of their financial means, arrives on the first day of elementary school ready to learn.

There is no shortage of federal programs targeted at early child care and preschool. State and federal funding for early childhood care and education programs is over $25 billion each year. The list of programs includes Head Start, Title I preschool programs, Early Head Start, Even Start, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Early Reading First, the Social Services Block Grant, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. There is much to be achieved by leveraging and better coordinating these programs to increase availability of high quality programs. When used effectively this approach has had a tremendous impact on the wellbeing and educational outcomes of children.

State-level preschool and early care programs have created greater access for very young children whose families could not otherwise afford high quality programs. Several states such as Minnesota have launched new, high quality pre-K programs with a commitment to study their outcomes. Estimates are that 70-85 percent of children from low-income families have access to early care and/or preschool, and that nearly 90 percent of children younger than five with employed mothers are in a regular child care arrangement. However, due to complicated formulas and budgetary constraints, not every low-income child is getting access to high quality care and education on a consistent basis. Federal dollars can do far more to broaden access to high quality programs.

As President, John McCain will focus federal resources on ensuring that the neediest children have access to a range of high quality programs. The objective will be to ensure that these children have the opportunity to begin school with a strong foundation in language and numbers, and that they have the social and emotional skills necessary to succeed. Where taxpayer dollars are involved, early childhood programs must be built on a solid foundation that focuses on the fundamentals necessary to prepare children for a lifetime of learning.

Early Childhood Development: Make certain students are ready to learn.

The Head Start program was created to meet the educational and social needs of young children. While there are some excellent Head Start centers that can serve as models for leadership and best practices, far too many Head Start centers have fallen prey to the same institutional flaws that have undermined the larger public education system. They lack quality instructors; they lack accountability to parents; and they are focused on process, not outcomes. We should build Centers for Excellence in Head Start that actually leads to excellence in all of the pre-K and early learning programs that taxpayers support.

Centers for Excellence in Head Start

 1. Who is eligible? Head Start centers operating in the state with a demonstrated record of success in improving the school readiness of children are eligible to be nominated by the Governor for recognition as a Center of Excellence.
 2. How does it work?  The Secretary of HHS will pick at least one Head Start Center in each state based on the qualifications and experience of the Head Start Center
 3. Each Head Start Center identified by the Secretary as a Center of Excellence will use their funds to expand their programs to serve more children, disseminate their best practices to other Head Start agencies (similar to a charter school dissemination grant), and improve coordination of early childhood education in their city or state.
 4. How will the funding be distributed? The Secretary will provide at least $200,000 per year to each Center of Excellence, depending on availability of funding.  The Secretary has discretion to increase awards if more funds become available.

Building on the principles advanced in the “Centers of Excellence”, that highlight highly effective practice, we must work with states, Head Start parent councils, high quality early care and education providers, and other stakeholders to ensure that state and federal pre-K programs are well coordinated.

Any successful reform effort requires clearly defined goals and objectives. Where ever federal funds are used in providing early childhood education programs, these programs must include certain fundamental elements that are basic to successfully preparing young children to enter school ready to learn:

Measurable Standards

Standards for quality should be centered on the child and outcome-based. Every federally supported program (including Head Start) must include meaningful, measurable standards designed to determine that students are ready for school by measuring their school readiness skills. We should also encourage and enable states to better align Head Start with their own pre-K programs.

Quality Instruction

A primary objective is to ensure that every instructor in an early learning or care program has strong preparation with an emphasis on performance and outcomes as measured by student development. To attract quality instructors, efforts must be made to bring income parity to qualified instructors in these programs and their counterpart’s elementary school system. As President, Senator McCain will promote the replication of professional development programs with a proven record of preparing our children for kindergarten and encourage more research to determine what skills and training make the most difference for young children. As President, John McCain will require all federally supported preschool programs to offer a comprehensive approach to learning that covers all significant areas of school readiness, notably literacy/language development, as well as math readiness and key motor and social skills.

Healthy Children

Because healthy children learn better, partnership grants and targeted federal funding can be used to encourage and facilitate early screening programs for hearing, vision and immunizations for preschool age children to ensure that all children are able to reach their full potential. As President, John McCain will ensure that there are no federal prohibitions against preschool programs offering basic healthcare screenings to children (with parental consent) in their care. This may include developing partnerships with rural and community health clinics, teaching hospitals and other public health institutions to lend their expertise to ensuring that poor health and easily diagnosed conditions are detected and addressed before they undermine a child’s ability to learn and reach his or her potential.

Parental Education and Involvement

Parental involvement is critical to the success of any pre-K program. Current federal programs will be focused on educating parents on the basics of preparing their children for a productive educational experience. These programs will place an emphasis on reading and numbers skills, as well as nutrition and general health. Reinforcing to parents the fundamental importance of reading to their children as a primary way of expanding their vocabulary and preparing their young minds to learn will be emphasized at every level.

John McCain's Plan for Strengthening America's Schools

Today, John McCain Outlined His Vision For Strengthening Education To Ensure Opportunity For Every American. John McCain's education policy removes needless bureaucracy, empowers parents, teachers and principals and ensures that every child has the opportunity to gain from a quality education.

John McCain's Education Principles:

John McCain Will Enact Meaningful Reform In Education. Now is the time to demand real, new reform earned through discipline, grinding work, tough choices and leadership. John McCain has dedicated his career in public service to the hard and sometimes unpopular work of achieving meaningful reform.

The Education System Must Provide For Equality Of Choice. Too many of our children are trapped by geography and by economics in failing schools.

We Must Empower Parents. Involved and empowered parents and excellent teachers are the two greatest determining factors in a child's education. If we are to succeed, we must empower committed parents with critical knowledge about their child's performance, and empower them with real and meaningful choices to act upon that knowledge.

We Must Empower Teachers. If America is to truly reform public education and make good on the promise of individual freedom and independence through knowledge, we must ensure that every child has the opportunity to be inspired and motivated to achieve their potential by a strong classroom leader.

John McCain's Education Policy:

John McCain Will Build On The Lessons Of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). There should be an emphasis on standards and accountability. However, our goal cannot be group averages. Instead, our focus should be to inspire every child to strive to reach his or her potential. While NCLB has been invaluable in providing a clear picture of which schools and students are struggling, it is only the beginning of education reform.

John McCain Will Provide Effective Education Leadership. John McCain is committed to high standards and accountability, but he is also committed to providing the resources needed to succeed. He believes we should invest in people, parents and reward achievement.

John McCain Will Work To Ensure That Our Children Have Quality Teachers. The single biggest challenge in turning around a failing school is getting quality teachers into that school. To overcome this challenge, John McCain will:

Encourage Alternative Certification Methods That Open The Door For Highly Motivated Teachers To Enter The Field. John McCain will devote five percent of Title II funding to states to recruit teachers who graduate in the top 25 percent of their class or who participate in an alternative teacher recruitment program such as Teach for America, the New York City Teaching Fellowship Program, the New Teacher Project, or excellent university initiatives.

Provide Bonuses For Teachers Who Locate In Underperforming Schools And Demonstrate Strong Leadership As Measured By Student Improvement. John McCain will devote 60 percent of Title II funding for incentive bonuses for high performing teachers to locate in the most challenging educational settings, for teachers to teach subjects like math and science, and for teachers who demonstrate student improvement. Payments will be made directly to teachers. Funds should also be devoted to provide performance bonuses to teachers who raise student achievement and enhance the school-wide learning environment. Principals may also consider other issues in addition to test scores such as peer evaluations, student subgroup improvements, or being removed from the state's “in need of improvement” list.

Provide Funding For Needed Professional Teacher Development. Where federal funds are involved, teacher development money should be used to enhance the ability of teachers to perform in today's technology driven environment. We need to provide teachers with high quality professional development opportunities with a primary focus on instructional strategies that address the academic needs of their students. The first 35 percent of Title II funding would be directed to the school level so principals and teachers could focus these resources on the specific needs of their schools.

John McCain Believes We Must Empower School Principals With Greater Control Over Spending. Funding cannot be effectively apportioned in Washington, but it shouldn't be a state-level official or district bureaucrat either. The money must be controlled by the leader we hold accountable: the school principal with a single criterion to raise student achievement.

John McCain Will Make Real The Promise Of NCLB By Giving Parents Greater Choice. Choice is the best way to protect children against a failing bureaucracy. But parents must have more control over the money.

John McCain Will Expand The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. In our nation's capital, we have seen the dramatic benefits of giving parents control of money and choices. The Opportunity Scholarship program serves more than 1,900 students from families with an average income of $23,000 a year. More than 7,000 more families have applied for that program. The budget for the Opportunity Scholarships is currently $13 million. John McCain believes that this extremely successful program should expand to at least $20 million benefiting nearly a thousand more families.

John McCain Will Ensure Children Struggling To Meet State Standards Will Have Immediate Access To High Quality Tutoring Programs. Local school districts can certify education service providers but providers can also bypass the local bureaucracy and receive direct federal certification. Education service providers can then market directly to parents. Title I money will be directed straight to the provider.

John McCain Supports Expanding Virtual Learning By Reforming The “Enhancing Education Through Technology Program.” John McCain will target $500 million in current federal funds to build new virtual schools and support the development of online course offerings for students. These courses may be for regular coursework, for enhancement, or for dual enrollment into college.

John McCain Will Allocate $250 Million Through A Competitive Grant Program To Support States That Commit To Expanding Online Education Opportunities. States can use these funds to build virtual math and science academies to help expand the availability of AP Math, Science, and Computer Sciences courses, online tutoring support for students in traditional schools, and foreign language courses.

John McCain Will Offer $250 Million For Digital Passport Scholarships To Help Students Pay For Online Tutors Or Enroll In Virtual Schools. Low-income students will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 to enroll in an online course, SAT/ACT prep course, credit recovery or tutoring services offered by a virtual provider. Providers could range from other public schools, virtual charter schools, home school parents utilizing virtual schooling resources or district or state sponsored virtual schools. The Department of Education would competitively award the funds to a national scholarship administrator who would manage the student applications, monitoring, and evaluation of providers.

John McCain's Higher Education Policy

Prepare for the 21st Century in Higher Education America is facing increased competition from overseas like never before. Higher education is as much a part of that competition as the job sector, and we must rise to the challenge and modernize our universities so that they retain their status as producers of the most skilled workforce in the world. The answer is not to impose more regulations on institutions, but to encourage the government to support innovative approaches to education, removing regulatory barriers that prevent us from moving forward with new ideas.

Improve Information for Parents

Institutions report on hundreds of factors to the U.S. government every year, but the government does nothing with the information. Making this information available to families in a clear and concise manner will help more students make more informed choices about higher education.

Simplify Higher Education Tax Benefits

The existing tax benefits are too complicated, and many eligible families don’t claim them. By simplifying the existing benefits, I can ensure that a greater number of families have a lower tax burden when they are helping to send their children to college.

Simplify Federal Financial Aid

Too many programs and a complicated application process deter many eligible students from seeking student aid. The number of programs also makes it more difficult for financial aid officers to help students navigate the process. Consolidating programs will help simplify the administration of these programs, and help more students have a better understanding of their eligibility for aid.

Improve Research by Eliminating Earmarks

Earmarking is destroying the integrity of federally funded research. Billions of dollars are spent on pork barrel projects every year; significant amounts come from research budgets. Eliminating earmarks would immediately and significantly improve the federal government’s support for university research.

Fix the Student Lending Programs

We have seen significant turmoil in student lending. John McCain has proposed an expansion of the lender-of-last resort capability of the federal student loan system and will demand the highest standard of integrity for participating private lenders. Effective reforms and leveraging the private sector will ensure the necessary funding of higher education aspirations, and create a simpler and more effective program in the process.

Protecting Second Amendment Rights

  • I know how to use guns; but I don't own one. (Nov 2007)
  • Prosecute criminals, not citizens for gun ownership. (Sep 2007)
  • Don't hold gun manufacturers liable for crimes. (Sep 2007)
  • Opposes restrictions on assault weapons and ammunition types. (Sep 2007)
  • Calls for GOP “tolerance” of closing gun show loopholes. (May 2002)
  • Ban cheap guns; require safety locks; for gun show checks. (Aug 1999)
  • Supports ban on certain assault weapons. (Aug 1999)
  • Voted against Brady Bill & assault weapon ban. (Aug 1999)
  • Guns are a problem, but so are violent web sites & videos. (Aug 1999)
  • Punish criminals who abuse 2nd Amendment rights. (May 1999)
  • Youth Violence Prevention Act restricts guns for kids. (May 1999)
  • Repeal existing gun restrictions; penalize criminal use. (Jul 1998)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted YES on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence. (Mar 2004)
  • Voted NO on background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on more penalties for gun & drug violations. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks. (Jul 1998)
  • Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC. (Mar 2007)
  • Allow firearms in National Parks. (Feb 2008)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/Gun_Control.htm

John McCain believes that the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, individual Constitutional right that we have a sacred duty to protect. We have a responsibility to ensure that criminals who violate the law are prosecuted to the fullest, rather than restricting the rights of law abiding citizens. Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime. Law abiding citizens should not be asked to give up their rights because of criminals - criminals who ignore gun control laws anyway.

Gun Manufacturer Liability

John McCain opposes backdoor attempts to restrict Second Amendment rights by holding gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed by third parties using a firearm, and has voted to protect gun manufacturers from such inappropriate liability aimed at bankrupting the entire gun industry.

Assault Weapons

John McCain opposes restrictions on so-called “assault rifles” and voted consistently against such bans. Most recently he opposed an amendment to extend a ban on 19 specific firearms, and others with similar characteristics.

Importation of High Capacity Magazines

John McCain opposes bans on the importation of certain types of ammunition magazines and has voted against such limitations.

Gun Locks

John McCain believes that every firearms owner has a responsibility to learn how to safely use and store the firearm they have chosen, whether for target shooting, hunting, or personal protection. He has supported legislation requiring gun manufacturers to include gun safety devices such as trigger locks in product packaging.

Banning Ammunition

John McCain believes that banning ammunition is just another way to undermine Second Amendment rights. He voted against an amendment that would have banned many of the most commonly used hunting cartridges on the spurious grounds that they were “armor-piercing.”

DC Personal Protection

As part of John McCain's defense of Second Amendment rights, he cosponsored legislation to lift a ban on the law abiding citizens of the District of Columbia from exercising their Constitutional right to bear arms.

Criminal Background Checks

John McCain supports instant criminal background checks to help prohibit criminals from buying firearms and has voted to ensure they are conducted thoroughly, efficiently, and without infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens.

Background Checks at Gun Shows

At a time when some were trying to shut down gun shows in the name of fighting crime, John McCain tried to preserve gun shows by standardizing sales procedures. Federal law requires licensed firearm sellers at gun shows to do an instant criminal background check on purchasers while private firearm sellers at gun shows do not have to conduct such a check. John McCain introduced legislation that would require an instant criminal background check for all sales at gun shows and believes that such checks must be conducted quickly to ensure that unnecessary delays do not effectively block transactions.

The Firearm Purchase Waiting Period

John McCain has opposed “waiting periods” for law abiding citizen's purchase of firearms.

The Confiscation of Firearms After an Emergency

John McCain opposes the confiscation of firearms from private citizens, particularly during times of crisis or emergency. He voted in favor of an amendment sponsored by Senator David Vitter prohibiting such confiscation.

Stiffer Penalties for Criminals Who Use a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime

John McCain believes in strict, mandatory penalties for criminals who use a firearm in the commission of a crime or illegally possess a firearm. Enforcing the current laws on the books is the best way to deter crime.

The Courts

Strict Constructionist Philosophy

“Our freedom is curtailed no less by an act of arbitrary judicial power as it is by an act of an arbitrary executive, or legislative, or state power. For that reason, a judge's decisions must rest on more than his subjective conviction that he is right, or his eagerness to address a perceived social ill.”

-John McCain Remarks to The Federalist Society November 16, 2006

John McCain believes that one of the greatest threats to our liberty and the Constitutional framework that safeguards our freedoms are willful judges who usurp the role of the people and their representatives and legislate from the bench. As President, John McCain will nominate judges who understand that their role is to faithfully apply the law as written, not impose their opinions through judicial fiat.

We are a free people. This means that the rules we have agreed to live by are those made by the people themselves, not a small elite that claims to be wiser than everybody else. Our laws are legitimate precisely because they reflect decisions solemnly made by the people - in the case of Constitutional law, through the process of ratification and periodic amendment; in the case of statutory law, through their elected representatives in the legislative process. When applying the law, the role of judges is not to impose their own view as to the best policy choices for society but to faithfully and accurately determine the policy choices already made by the people and embodied in the law. The judicial role is necessarily limited and one that requires restraint and humility. As he said to the Federalist Society at the 2006 Convention, ”[Judges] should be people who are humbled by their role in our system, not emboldened by it. Our freedom is curtailed no less by an act of arbitrary judicial power as it is by an act of arbitrary executive, or legislative, or state power.”

This is not a new position for John McCain. He has long held it. It is reflected in his consistent opposition to the agenda of liberal judicial activists who have usurped the role of state legislatures in such matters as dealing with abortion and the definition of marriage. It is reflected in his longstanding opposition to liberal opinions that have adopted a stance of active hostility toward religion, rather than neutrality. It is reflected in his firm support for the personal rights secured in the Second Amendment.

There are two areas of special concern that relate to the careful “balance of power” struck in our Constitutional structure - a balance essential to preserving our liberties. The first of these is the principle of Federalism. John McCain's judicial appointees will understand that the Federal government was intended to have limited scope, and that federal courts must respect the proper role of local and state governments. The second principle is Separation of Powers. His judicial appointees will understand that it is not their role to usurp the rightful functions and powers of the co-equal political branches. He will look for candidates who respect the lawmaking powers of Congress, and the powers of the President.

John McCain believes that shaping the judiciary through the appointment power is one of the most important and solemn responsibilities a President has, and certainly one that has a profound and lasting impact. When he was running for President in 1999, he promised that, in appointing judges, he would not only insist on persons who were faithful to the Constitution, but persons who had a record that demonstrated that fidelity. A President should have confidence in the judicial philosophy of those he is appointing to the bench. That is why he strongly supported John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court and that is why he would seek men and women like them as his judicial appointees.

John McCain's Vision For The Federal Judiciary

Today, In North Carolina, John McCain Outlined His Judicial Philosophy And Vision. The proper role of the judiciary has become one of the defining issues of this presidential election. It will fall to the next president to nominate hundreds of qualified men and women to the federal courts, and the impact of these choices will reach far into the future. As President, John McCain will look for accomplished men and women with a proven record of excellence in the law and a proven commitment to judicial restraint to serve on the federal bench.

John McCain's Judicial Philosophy:

John McCain Believes The Presidency Must Serve The Constitution, And Protect The People And Their Liberties. For the chief executive or any constitutional officer, the duties and boundaries of the Constitution are not just helpful suggestions. The clear powers defined by the Constitution, and the clear limits of power have not lost any of their relevance with time.

John McCain Will Bring Care, Thought And Deliberation When Selecting His Judicial Nominees. In return, he expects the Senate to do its part, and confine itself to the duty of confirming qualified men and women for the courts. With his nominees, he will not seek the confidence of the American people until he is certain of his own nominee's ability, wisdom, and demonstrated fidelity to the Constitution.

John McCain Will Look For Accomplished Men And Women With A Proven Record Of Excellence In The Law And A Proven Commitment To Judicial Restraint. John McCain's judicial nominees will be men and women of experience, wisdom and humility who do their work with impartiality and honor. They will have an alert conscience but be immune to flattery and fashionable theory. They will be faithful in all things to the Constitution and understand there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power and federal power.

Judicial Nominees Will Be In The Cast Of Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito And The Late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. These are jurists of the highest caliber who know the difference between their own minds and the law.

John McCain Believes The Federal Courts Are Charged With Applying The Constitution And The Laws Of Our Country To Each Case At Hand.

He Is Committed To Restoring The Standards And Spirit That Give The Judicial Branch Its Place Of Honor In Our Government. Every federal court should command respect, and be a refuge from abuses of power. We must have confidence again that no rule applies except the rule of law, and that no interest is served except the interest of justice.

In The Senate, John McCain Took Seriously His Responsibilities In The Judicial Confirmation Process. When President Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg to serve on the Supreme Court, he joined all but a few Republicans in voting for their confirmation. These nominees were qualified, and it would have been petty, partisan and disingenuous to insist otherwise. They represented the considered judgment of the President of the United States. John McCain respects the roles and responsibilities of each branch of government, and, above all, the verdicts of elections and judgment of the people.

In His Judicial Philosophy, John McCain Has Deep Differences With Senators Clinton And Obama:

Senators Clinton And Obama Have A Very Different Vision From John McCain For The Role Of The Judiciary. While both lawyers, they do not seem to mind when fundamental questions of social policy are preemptively decided by judges instead of by the people and their elected representatives. They have raised no objections to the unfair treatment of judicial nominees.

For Both Senators Clinton And Obama, Not Even Chief Justice John Roberts Was Good Enough. When Judge Roberts was nominated, Senator Obama especially went right along with the partisan crowd, and was among just 22 senators to vote against this highly qualified nominee. According to Senator Obama's standards, a nominee who was brilliant, fair-minded, learned in the law, and who today is respected by all as the Chief Justice of the United States did not measure up. Neither did Justice Samuel Alito.

Judicial Activism Is Weakening Our Judicial Branch:

In Recent Years, We Have Seen The Common And Systematic Abuse Of Federal Courts By The People We Entrust With Judicial Power. For decades now, some federal judges have taken it upon themselves to pronounce and rule on matters never intended for the courts. Federal judges today issue rulings and opinions on policy questions that should be decided democratically. There is little regard for the authority of the President, Congress, and states. There is even less interest in the people's will.

Judicial Activism Has Spread Confusion In Our Vital National Debates And Leaves Resentment Instead Of Resolution. Activist lawyers and activist judges seek to be spared the inconvenience of campaigns, elections and legislative votes. They do not seek to win debates on the merits of their argument, but by court order. Even in courtrooms, they apply a double standard when some federal judges operate by fiat, shrug off generations of legal wisdom and precedent while expecting their own opinions to go unquestioned. Only their favorite precedents are to be considered “settled law,” and everything else is fair game.

Judicial Activism Has Turned Senate Confirmation Hearings Into a Gauntlet of Abuse Where No Tatic Of Abuse Or Delay Is Out Of Bounds. Over the years, advice and consent has given way to caricature, code words, 20 minute questions and two-minute answers, disagreements redefined as disqualifications, and the least infraction of approved doctrine pounced upon by senators, their staffs, and allies in the media. There is suspicion that a nominee will dare be faithful to the framers' clear intentions and the actual meaning of the Constitution.

Today, Lower Court Nominees Are Lucky To Receive A Confirmation Hearing At All. At this moment, there are 31 nominations pending. Because there are so many cases with no judges to hear them, a “judicial emergency” has been declared for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that serves North Carolina. A third of the entire Fourth Circuit is vacant. Yet still in the Senate, months and even years go by while judicial nominees wait for a vote.

Homeland Security

  • FactCheck: Pushed for immediate withdrawal from Somalia. (Oct 2008)
  • FactCheck: Voted against Lebanon deployment, but post-hoc. (Oct 2008)
  • Credit Bush, troops, & luck, for not another 9/11. (Sep 2008)
  • I hate war; it's terrible beyond imagination. (Sep 2008)
  • Clinton & Bush missed opportunities to get bin Laden. (Sep 2008)
  • Disagrees with Bush often; but credits no attacks since 9/11. (Aug 2008)
  • Applying habeas to Guantanamo let 30 terrorists attack US. (Jun 2008)
  • GovWatch: Only 13 Gitmo recidivists & none attacked US. (Jun 2008)
  • Improve human intelligence to get Osama bin Laden. (Jan 2008)
  • Surveillance of overseas communications is ok. (Dec 2007)
  • Ok to hold even US citizens as enemy combatants. (Dec 2007)
  • Consult lawyers on war decisions; no half-cocked war basis. (Oct 2007)
  • Ran the largest squadron in the US Navy. (Oct 2007)
  • After 9/11, ask Americans to join military or AmeriCorps. (Oct 2007)
  • Let loose smart, tough spies to catch Bin Laden. (Oct 2007)
  • His Military Commissions Act ended up denying habeas corpus. (Oct 2007)
  • 1973: Spokesperson for Operation Homecoming. (Oct 2007)
  • 1977:Appointed as Navy liaison to Congress. (Oct 2007)
  • I've spent my life leading on national security issues. (Sep 2007)
  • Radical Islamic extremism is a hydra-headed challenge. (Aug 2007)
  • I support the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war. (Jan 2006)
  • We must provide our children a strong, better country. (Aug 2004)
  • A lack of complacency shouldn't provoke a lack of confidence. (Aug 2004)
  • We don't have as much to fear as we had in the past. (Apr 2004)
  • Those who gave their lives deserve to be remembered. (Apr 2004)
  • First reaction to Sept 11: “This is war”. (May 2002)
  • Argued for base closings even in the wake of 9/11. (May 2002)
  • Channel fear into productive missions and activities. (May 2002)
  • “Rogue state rollback” avoids use of US troops. (Mar 2000)
  • Accepts gays in military under current policy. (Jan 2000)
  • Military’s political leaders need military backgrounds. (Jan 2000)
  • Women have proven themselves in combat-no restrictions. (Dec 1999)
  • Bombing useless targets in Vietnam destroyed US morale. (Nov 1999)
  • Pres. needs experience more than briefing books. (Sep 1999)
  • Discard ABM Treaty and develop a missile defense. (Apr 1999)
  • Use force, with US control, only for vital interests. (Apr 1999)
  • Make all defense contracts fixed-cost; costs out of control. (Sep 2008)
  • Cited 245 pork projects, or $3.5M waste in defense bill. (Oct 2007)
  • Clean up waste in defense acquisition. (May 2007)
  • Eliminate defense pork, but increase most other defense. (Nov 2004)
  • Terminate C-130, B-2, and Seawolf; use funds to modernize. (Dec 1999)
  • Politicians keep unneeded bases open for political purposes. (Dec 1999)
  • Keep health care promises to aging veterans. (Nov 1999)
  • $6.4B of military spending waste is a disgrace. (Oct 1999)
  • Raise military pay to avoid military draft. (Aug 1999)
  • Military personnel on food stamps is a national disgrace. (Aug 1999)
  • Europeans should spend more on defense, within NATO. (Apr 1999)
  • Bush administration's waterboarding was torture. (Aug 2008)
  • Hiding torture is wrong, and harms US credibility abroad. (Dec 2007)
  • Waterboarding is torture; we're not going to torture people. (Nov 2007)
  • Waterboarding is torture; & as A.G., Mukasey will declare it. (Nov 2007)
  • Torture supported only by people without military experience. (Sep 2007)
  • Torture is ineffective as interrogation & for world opinion. (May 2007)
  • Close Guantanamo Bay prison; announce no-torture policy. (Apr 2007)
  • Torture has never worked throughout history. (Apr 2007)
  • Experience has taught me: the US military must not fail. (Sep 2008)
  • Inappropriate to lie to public; tell Americans what we face. (Sep 2008)
  • Vietnam generation still haunted by specter of Vietnam. (Oct 2007)
  • Casualty of Vietnam was loss of America's faith in herself. (Oct 2007)
  • Worked with John Kerry on Vietnam POWs. (Oct 2007)
  • Immutable principle of war: luck is unreliable. (Aug 2007)
  • Vietnam not wrong, but how it was fought and led was. (Sep 2002)
  • Disagrees with Perot: No more POWs in Vietnam. (Feb 2000)
  • Vietnam was a worthy cause despite losing. (Nov 1999)
  • Keep “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy - it works. (Jan 2000)
  • Voted NO on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months. (Jul 2007)
  • Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted NO on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision. (Dec 2005)
  • Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted NO on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted NO on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on allowing another round of military base closures. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on cutting nuclear weapons below START levels. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on deploying National Missile Defense ASAP. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on military pay raise of 4.8%. (Feb 1999)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting same-sex basic training. (Jun 1998)
  • Voted NO on favoring 36 vetoed military projects. (Oct 1997)
  • Voted YES on banning chemical weapons. (Apr 1997)
  • Voted YES on considering deploying NMD, and amending ABM Treaty. (Jun 1996)
  • Voted NO on 1996 Defense Appropriations. (Sep 1995)
  • Federalize aviation security. (Nov 2001)
  • Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Sponsored bill giving higher priority to rail security. (Jul 2005)
  • Sponsored bill banning torture of terrorists in US custody. (Jul 2005)
  • Innovate intelligence-gathering for future hard targets. (Mar 2005)
  • Assessments of al Qaida in Afghanistan in 2001 were accurate. (Mar 2005)
  • CIA needs more focus on counterterrorism. (Mar 2005)
  • So-called Legal Issues are myths; not real CIA hindrances. (Mar 2005)
  • Intelligence community shares information poorly. (Mar 2005)
  • CIA should work more with scientists to understand WMDs. (Mar 2005)
  • Sponsored bill for Iraq budget to be part of defense budget. (Jun 2006)
  • Improve educational assistance for veterans. (Apr 2008)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/

Senator John McCain believes that the highest priority for any President is protecting the lives of American citizens, defending their personal freedom, and securing our land and resources. John McCain has the experience to insure that this priority is put into practice by the hundreds of thousands of dedicated men and women who serve their country in homeland security positions every day. John McCain knows what commitment to country means, and he will lead by example when it comes to making sure that this country’s homeland is protected.

In response to the intelligence sharing and national security failures that contributed to the catastrophe of 9/11, John McCain co-authored and championed legislation to strengthen our nation’s homeland security, create the 9/11 Commission and to implement its recommendations. Following the release of the Commission’s Report in July 2004, John McCain and Senator Joe Lieberman introduced legislation to implement the Commission’s recommendations. John McCain’s reaction to the Commission’s findings in 2004 remains his overarching homeland security position: “One lesson from the Commission’s report is that no one set of strategies is sufficient to prevent future terrorist attacks. The United States must use all of the instruments at our disposal to counter the short and long-term threats posed by international terrorism.” (John McCain, Senate Floor statement, 9/7/04)

Some of the critical 9/11 Commission recommendations have been implemented, with John McCain’s support. We have created the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which is a center for joint operational planning and joint intelligence. We’ve created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which is charged with managing the national intelligence program and overseeing the agencies that contribute to it. We have implemented and reauthorized the PATRIOT ACT, which has provided our homeland security officials with the authority necessary to effectively investigate and seek to prevent future attacks.

However, our government has failed to implement other aspects of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. One glaring example of this is Congress’ failure to heed the call to significantly streamline Congressional oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Still today, approximately 80 committees and subcommittees within the two houses of Congress have oversight functions over DHS. Such inefficient oversight unduly distracts the professionals within the department from doing their jobs of protecting America, since they are required to respond to voluminous and often repetitive requests for testimony and briefings. The 9/11 Commission urged Congress to “create a single, principal point of oversight and review for homeland security.” This recommendation, along with the other 9/11 Commission recommendations, must become a reality.

Threats against our country may come from well-funded, well-organized and radical terrorists. Our homeland security plans must also consider threats posed by major accidents, or nature itself. In each instance, John McCain’s strategy is to prevent those incidents we can, prepare for and respond to disasters of all kinds, and improve the recovery process for disaster victims.

To meet this challenge, John McCain will bring into his Administration strong management at the federal level experienced in combating terrorist risks and in disaster response and recovery; he will rely on existing relationships, and insist on forging stronger partnerships, with state and local officials; and he will work with the private sector and an informed citizenry to safeguard our security. Public-private partnerships are an essential part of the entire homeland security effort – from planning to implementation and operations.

International Cooperation

  • Preventing terrorism begins abroad, where the majority of those who would harm us are planning, training and raising resources. Working with our allies, a McCain Administration will find and disrupt terrorist organizations and their financing and ensure that weapons of mass destruction do not fall into terrorists’ hands. The successful effort to break up the terrorist plot to bomb flights from London to the U.S. illustrates the essential nature of our international cooperation in meeting this challenge.

Effective Intelligence Gathering

  • John McCain will enhance our intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities. From the onset of the debate through is ultimate adoption, John McCain strongly supported modernizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide in statute clear guidance for future actions that may need to be taken. Unlike Barack Obama, John McCain never believed that we should punish telecommunications companies that acted in good faith in response to requests for assistance from the nation’s senior national security advisors.
  • Of course, gathering reliable intelligence is only the first step in investigating and preventing terrorist plots. John McCain has called for comprehensive reform of our intelligence gathering efforts. John McCain will insure that intelligence is used effectively to protect the American people.

Cooperation Between Federal and Local Authorities

  • Just as importantly, a McCain Administration will work to share information the federal government has in a timely way with state and local law enforcement authorities, who must be treated as equal partners with the federal government in this effort. John McCain will continue to push for federal funding to be allocated to state, local and tribal governments on a risk assessment basis, providing those areas with the highest risk the greatest allocations, so that they can be prepared to address these risks. These funds will not be provided to state, local and tribal governments without accountability, however. John McCain will insure that allocations to state and local authorities are based upon a risk assessment of those areas that face greatest risk and demonstrate both a need and a plan for utilizing the funds to address the risks. In large cities, local authorities will be required to share their information with federal authorities, justifying the large federal subsidies they now receive. Two-way information sharing between national and state and local governments is essential to detect potential threats and prevent future attacks.

Responsibly Securing Our Borders

  • For John McCain, a secure border is an essential element of our homeland security and, as President, he will finish the job of securing our land borders, ports and airports. He knows our border must be secure and that while progress is being made, the federal government still has not lived up to its responsibility to make it fully secure. As president, John McCain will secure the border by delivering the adequate funding to those agencies charged with protecting our borders so that we have the most state-of-the-art technology and the sufficient personnel to meet the challenges we face. John McCain will also require that border-state governors certify that the border is secure. As part of this commitment, John McCain co-sponsored “The Border Security First Act of 2007”, an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill and Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The measure provided $3 billion to fund:
  • Establishing operational control over the entire US border;
  • Providing funding to construct 700 miles of fencing;
  • Hiring and training more border patrol agents;
  • Providing funding to procure Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), ground sensors, and vehicle barriers;
  • Increasing the ability to detain immigrants for overstaying their visas and committing other crimes;
  • Assisting states and localities that undergo training to assist the Federal government in enforcing immigration law; and
  • Improving employment eligibility verification.
  • A McCain Administration will strengthen the process of screening both individuals and cargo before they enter our ports and airports. We need to know who and what is entering our country and where they are destined. This task must be accomplished by utilizing the appropriate mix of dedicated manpower, state-of-the-art technology, reliable information analysis, and sturdy physical barriers. For cargo, a comprehensive, layered and risk based supply chain security strategy is needed. That includes not only deployment of sophisticated detection equipment at our ports and points of entry, but cooperation with foreign authorities at ports of origin and transshipment. For people, the importance of effective screening was demonstrated in the cases of Raed Mansour al-Banna, who was stopped from entering the country by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Chicago O’Hare airport. After he was denied entry into the U.S., he served as a suicide bomber for Al Qaeda in Iraq, killing 132 innocent Iraqis. Another example is the case of Ahmed Ressam, who was stopped by Customs agents trying to enter the country with explosives to team up with other Al Qaeda operatives to bomb Los Angeles International airport.
  • A McCain Administration will continue to work with our neighbors Mexico and Canada on shared approaches to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling, and at the same time facilitate the free flow of commerce across our borders.

Protecting America’s Technology

  • Another important aspect of border security is to insure that sophisticated technology and weaponry do not get into the hands of terrorist organizations or rogue states. The U.S. must pursue stepped up counter proliferation efforts.
  • Paramount in this area is the need to obtain the international consensus for strict sanctions that would prevent Iran from obtaining the material and know-how necessary for developing nuclear weapons. We know that Iran is seeking nuclear energy development technology and expertise from whatever foreign source is willing to supply it to them. We must work collectively with our foreign allies to make sure that Iran is not able to accomplish the transformation of that nuclear energy technology into weapons of mass destruction that could be used against us or our allies.

Catastrophic Event Preparedness and Response

  • No matter what the source of a disaster, our level of preparedness will determine the strength of our response and the speed of our recovery. When Americans confront a catastrophe, they need basic competence from government at all levels. John McCain will ensure that government response efforts operate immediately and effectively, and that we never repeat the failures of the Hurricane Katrina response.
  • At the federal level, a McCain Administration will ensure that there is a unified plan and the necessary assistance to help states and localities deal with disaster. In addition to ensuring that people have safe shelter and medical attention, we must get into these communities quickly with recovery resource teams from all relevant agencies, and make sure they have the flexibility to expedite assistance and cut through bureaucratic processes that can delay help.
  • John McCain will appoint strong leaders, experienced in disaster management at FEMA, and other federal agencies responsible in this area. He will also make sure that – starting at the Cabinet level—all members of his Administration understand the importance of disaster management and are held accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities in this area.
  • John McCain believes that recovery efforts should leverage private sector expertise. America has many of the best run businesses in the world, yet we fail to take full advantage of their know-how and can-do spirit when catastrophe strikes – as the disastrous response to Katrina showed. For example, UPS, FedEx, and Wal-Mart can tell in real time where a package is anywhere in the world, but FEMA, despite its $3 billion-plus budget at the time, couldn’t track many of its assets during its Katrina response, needlessly delaying help to our citizens. Government-run Emergency Operations Centers across the nation should include a Business Operations Center, so that the private sector also surges into the disaster zone with manpower, equipment and material. And federal law should provide sufficient liability protections to encourage companies to act as a ‘force multiplier’ for the government during disaster response and recovery efforts.

Supporting First Responders

  • John McCain has championed the causes of police, firefighters and other emergency response personnel and has fought since February 1997 to provide them with wireless spectrum and funding to provide for interoperable communications between emergency responders and officials in their own city or county and with surrounding cities and counties.
  • “With all the technology innovations of recent years, how is it that first responders, those we depend on when disaster strikes, are still unable to adequately communicate with each other during an emergency, while we are able to watch the crisis unfold on our television sets? It's because public officials have yet to get serious about developing and funding a safety communications system for all local, state and federal first responders. This reality became all too clear during the bungled response to Katrina. The federal government needs to develop a comprehensive, interoperable emergency communications plan and set equipment standards, fund the purchase of emergency and interoperable communications equipment, and provide additional radio spectrum that will allow first responders to communicate over long distances using the same radio frequencies and equipment.”
  • John McCain has long supported an expansion of the available radio spectrum to enable more reliable and immediate communication capacity. “The federal government has made strides in developing a comprehensive, interoperable emergency communications plan, establishing equipment standards, funding the purchase of emergency and interoperable communications equipment, and belatedly making additional radio spectrum available. But none of this is enough. We must do more. The network, which would be created by licensing an additional 30 MHz of radio spectrum in the upper 700 MHz band to a Public Safety Broadband Trust, would provide first responders seamless nationwide roaming capability and allow for the real time transmission of data. It is now time to think big and bold and solve the interoperability crisis once and for all. We are at a watershed moment where we can provide more of the 700 MHz spectrum to solve our national public safety communications crisis and greatly enhance our emergency preparedness. If we do not act now, this valuable spectrum will be auctioned off and this opportunity will be lost forever,” (John McCain, Press Release On Plan To Provide First Responders With A National Interoperable Broadband Network, 1/31/2007).

Protecting Critical Infrastructure

  • John McCain will provide an effective framework for protecting the numerous areas of the country’s critical infrastructure, including water and food systems, the chemical and defense industries, informa­tion technology, energy (nuclear, gas and oil, electrical and dams), trans­portation (air, highways, rail, ports, and waterways), agriculture, health systems and emergency services, telecommunications, banking and finance, postal and shipping entities, and national monuments and icons.
  • John McCain believes the following infrastructure systems require urgent consideration.

Protecting Water Sources and Storage Systems

  • The nation’s water supply and storage systems remain extremely vulnerable to tampering and contamination, and must be secured immediately. John McCain will work to ensure that all States and municipalities that are responsible for water supply or storage function adequately secure those systems in a manner that eliminates any risk of devastating contamination.

Chemical Plants

  • Chemical plants present attractive terrorist targets, particularly those located in close proximity to large cities. John McCain will insure that chemical facilities develop Security Vulnerability Assessments and adopt Site Security Plans that identify and address security vulnerabilities.

Cyber Security

  • Much of our national security and economy are dependent on reliable and secure cyberspace and cyber assets. A McCain Administration will give priority attention to protecting critical information infrastructure and enhancing cyber security, with full support for the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (U.S.-CERT) and the National Cyber Response Coordination Group, both of which exist to coordinate all federal agencies and law enforcement groups responsible for effectively responding to a nationwide cyber security threat.

Fixing Our Self-Created Energy Vulnerability – John McCain’s Lexington Project

  • Each year our country becomes increasingly dependent on foreign sources of energy to fuel our cars and run our economy. We are making ourselves and our nation’s prosperity increasingly vulnerable to terrorist attacks on our energy supply lines. This dependency on foreign oil is quickly becoming the most urgent national security crisis that we face. As President, John McCain will break with the energy policies, not just of the current Administration, but the administrations that preceded it, and lead a great national campaign to achieve energy security for America. At the time of Arab oil embargo in the 1970s, we imported roughly a third of our oil. Now we import two thirds. At that time, every day, we produced more than nine million barrels of oil domestically. Now America produces five million barrels a day. By relying upon oil from the Middle East, we not only provide wealth to the sponsors of terror – we provide high-value targets to the terrorists themselves. Across the world are pipelines, refineries, transit routes, and terminals for the oil we rely on – and Al Qaeda terrorists know where they are. Osama bin Laden has been quite explicit in directing terrorists to attack the oil facilities on which so much of America's economy depends. They have come close more than once. And we are one successful attack away from an economic crisis of monumental proportions.
  • During this campaign, John McCain has focused on the energy crisis we face and offered solutions to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, increase domestic oil and gas production, additional zero-emission nuclear energy plants, development of clean coal technology, and development of additional alternative energy sources. In this presidential campaign, only John McCain has an energy strategy to remedy this increasing and intolerable vulnerability of our nation. For more information on John McCain’s “Lexington Project.”

Protecting Public Transportation

  • John McCain believes that while we have made strides in promoting transportation security, more must be done. John McCain will continue to fight to strengthen the safety and security of our nation's transportation system, including its rail network.

Support the Military Commissions Act (MCA)

  • John McCain supported the adoption of the MCA in 2006, which was a good-faith effort by Congress to meet the Supreme Court's direction to establish a process to bring detained Al Qaeda terrorists to trial.
  • Unlike Senator Obama who voted against the MCA and favors giving Al Qaeda terrorists direct access to U.S. civilian courts to contest their detention through habeas corpus rights, John McCain recognizes that we cannot treat dangerous terrorists captured on the battlefield as we would common criminals. John McCain is more concerned with protecting the American people from future terrorist attacks, by killing or bringing to justice those who commit them, than he is with giving terrorists rights that would allow a judge to set them free before they are tried.

Crime-Fighting Strategy

  • Judges have limited scope under the Constitution. (Nov 2006)
  • More death penalty; stricter sentencing. (Jan 2000)
  • More community policing; enough hate crime laws. (Jan 2000)
  • Prosecute youths as adults, but separately; explore sources. (Jan 2000)
  • Urges hearings on how FBI can deter Hate Crimes. (Aug 1999)
  • 1st Amend. not a shield for hate groups. (Aug 1999)
  • Pro-death penalty; more prisons; increased penalties. (Jul 1998)
  • Voted YES on limiting death penalty appeals. (Apr 1996)
  • Voted YES on limiting product liability punitive damage awards. (Mar 1996)
  • Voted NO on restricting class-action lawsuits. (Dec 1995)
  • Voted YES on repealing federal speed limits. (Jun 1995)
  • Voted YES on mandatory prison terms for crimes involving firearms. (May 1994)
  • Voted YES on rejecting racial statistics in death penalty appeals. (May 1994)
  • Rated 29% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes. (Dec 2000)
  • Establish an FBI registry of sexual offendors. (Oct 1996)
  • Mexico should extradite drug dealers to the US. (Mar 2007)
  • Administration is AWOL on the war on drugs. (Mar 2000)
  • Public/private partnerships for drug treatment. (Jan 2000)
  • Prevention & education apply to alcohol as well as marijuana. (Oct 1999)
  • We’re losing drug war - just say no. (Oct 1999)
  • $1B for detection equipment for more border interdiction. (Mar 1999)
  • Mexico: balancing act between free trade & stopping drugs. (Mar 1999)
  • Restrict methadone treatment programs. (Feb 1999)
  • Stricter penalties; stricter enforcement. (Jul 1998)
  • Voted YES on spending international development funds on drug control. (Jul 1996)
  • Sponsored bill on drug testing for major league sports. (May 2005)
  • Sponsored bill for grants to Indian tribes to fight meth. (Dec 2006)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/

John McCain's Plan For Keeping Communities Across America Safe From Crime. Keeping our communities safe from crime begins with supporting state and local law enforcement.

John McCain Recognizes That The Men And Women Of Our Law Enforcement Community Serve On The Front Lines Of America's Struggle Against Crime. The federal government has the responsibility to support state and local law enforcement by handling those responsibilities that federal law enforcement is uniquely qualified to address, by providing the tools and technology that law enforcement need to be effective in the 21st century, and through consistency in the law by appointing federal judges who will follow the Constitution.

Keeping Our Communities Safe

The Federal Government Should Provide State And Local Law Enforcement With The Support That It Is Uniquely Able To Provide:

John McCain Recognizes That Certain Crimes Are Uniquely Suited To Investigation By Federal Authorities Due To Their Sophistication And International–Multi-State Components. These include terrorism, public corruption and the investigation of multi-state and international criminal organizations. Federal law enforcement supports state and local law enforcement by taking responsibility for the investigation of these federal crimes, but recognizes that state and local law enforcement must be equipped to be our first line of defense during an attack on our homeland.

John McCain Will Strengthen Our Laws Against Predators. John McCain is a strong proponent of aggressively pursuing Internet predators, for fully implementing the Adam Walsh Act including lifetime registration for child sexual offenders, and funding the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces (ICACs) that employ many sheriffs' deputies across the nation to track purveyors of child pornography.

During His Over 20 Years In Congress, John McCain Has Made The Protection Of Our Children A Priority. Most recently, John McCain introduced legislation to require convicted sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and instant message identifiers with the National Sex Offender Registry, and legislation endorsed by the National Sheriffs' Association to increase penalties on commercial Internet web sites that fail to notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when child pornography is found.

John McCain Will Appoint Judges Who Follow The Constitution Rather Than Those Who Engage In Judicial Activism. In doing so, John McCain will provide law enforcement with the certainty and confidence required to make critical decisions knowing that their actions will be judged fairly by the courts in the context of recognized precedent and accepted principles of law.

John McCain Has Fought To Provide First Responders With A National Interoperable Communications System By Proposing The SAVE LIVES Act, Which Would More Than Double The Spectrum Allocated For Public Safety Officials. This need became evident on September 11, 2001 and again during Hurricane Katrina when first responders were unable to convey vital information to each other and to those they sought to protect. John McCain's SAVE LIVES Act would address this critical problem by increasing the amount of spectrum for radio and data communications for first responders and providing additional funding for interoperable communications equipment. The federal government is uniquely able to support the ability of Federal, state and local law enforcement officers in communicating during a national emergency. John McCain will ensure that the Federal Communications Commission allocates spectrum to support state and local interoperability as well as a national public safety interoperable broadband network.

John McCain Has A Long Record Of Supporting Anti-Crime Legislation. He has supported legislation to increase penalties for repeat felons who commit crimes with a firearm, or commit violent crimes on behalf of a criminal gang. He supported improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. And he sought to increase the fines criminals must pay into the Federal Crime Victims Fund and to bar all criminals from profiting from their crimes.

The Practice Of Earmarking Grant Funding For State And Local Law Enforcement Must End And These Funds Must Be Awarded Based Upon Merit And Need:

John McCain Supports Reforming The Process For Funding State And Local Law Enforcement. John McCain supports federal funding for state and local law enforcement; however, rampant earmarking of federal funding to state and local law enforcement has reduced funding to many worthy law enforcement authorities and local jurisdictions. John McCain will restore credibility to these grant programs by ensuring funding is based on need and provided to the most worthy jurisdictions based on a peer-review of grant applications.

The Federal Government Must Solicit, Evaluate, And Fund Innovative Policies, Technology, And Programs Which Help Law Enforcement Protect Us In The 21st Century:

John McCain Is Committed To Identifying And Supporting Additional Technological Advances That Will Improve The Effectiveness Of State And Local Law Enforcement And Save Lives. John McCain will support and encourage development of technology designed to strengthen our national defense against cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism.

John McCain Will Ensure Sufficient Resources Are Allocated Toward Developing Uniform Technical Standards And The Compatibility Of Public Technology And Safety Networks Used Across Jurisdictions. Under a McCain Administration, the Department of Homeland Security's SAFECOM office will be sufficiently funded, authorized and equipped to bring together local, state and federal first responders to ensure our front line of defense in our nation's homeland security have a say in the technical standards developed by the federal government. SAFECOM will also be responsible for working with all local, state and federal agencies to implement a national interoperable communications strategy for all first responders.

Fostering Prisoner Reintroduction And Assistance Programs Is Essential To Reducing Recidivism:

John McCain Supported The Second Chance Act Which Authorized Up To $360 Million For Reentry Services In 2009 And 2010. Last year, approximately 750,000 inmates were released from custody and returned to our communities, and typically one-half will return to incarceration. The Second Chance Act funds programs, many of them faith-based, which prepare prisoners for the transition from prison to society by providing job training, counseling, mentors, counseling, and more. Some programs report reducing recidivism rates by 50 percent. These programs could save American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. On average, the annual cost of incarcerating a prisoner exceeds $20,000 – a number that increased six-fold between 1982 and 2002. John McCain believes we should support having parents with children in the home rather than in prison, former prisoners working and paying taxes, and citizens contributing rather than taking from the community.

The Federal Government Should Shoulder The Responsibility For Detaining, Prosecuting And Deporting Illegal Aliens Who Commit Crimes And Secure The Border To Prevent Their Reentry:

John McCain Will Expand The Criminal Alien Program To Require That The Federal Government Assume A Greater Portion Of The Costs Of Detaining And Deporting Criminal Aliens. The Criminal Alien Program identifies criminal aliens serving sentences in American jails prior to their release, and takes the legal steps necessary to document their status and secure deportation at the time of release, preventing the release of these criminal aliens back onto American streets. John McCain will expand this program to provide state and local officials with access to the information to identify criminal aliens in state or local custody prior to their release. John McCain believes that state and local governments should not be saddled with the cost of fixing a problem created by the federal government's failure to secure the border, specifically, states and local governments should not be left with the burden of dealing with the high costs and extensive regulation associated with deportation proceedings.

John McCain's Administration Will Facilitate Training And Seek Cross-Designation Of State And Local Prosecutors To Handle The Legal Proceedings Required To Expedite Deportation. Proceedings are often delayed due to lack of information or resources. These proposals for access to information and cross-designation will help to fill that gap.

John McCain Will Continue To Support State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Funding To State And Locals To Defray The Cost Local Governments Incur For Imprisonment Of Criminal Aliens. John McCain supports SCAAP funding because it is the duty of the federal government to secure our borders and prevent illegal immigrants from entering the US. When the federal government fails to do so, it must bear a portion of the cost of imprisoning those illegal aliens who commit crimes. Currently, state and local governments are reimbursed for about 25 percent of their costs.

John McCain Will Require That Federal Prosecutors Seek The Highest Priority For Criminal Aliens In Immigration Proceedings. Currently, the courts do not give priority to criminal aliens in deportation proceedings.

Natural Heritage

John McCain is proud of his longstanding commitment to conserving America's natural resources and promoting environmental stewardship. John McCain knows we face immense environmental challenges that will impact the quality of life we leave our children and future generations. A McCain White House will reflect the guiding principles of Theodore Roosevelt, America's foremost conservation president.

Heritage

Our nation's conservation movement began over a century ago as westward expansion encouraged clearcutting logging practices, unsustainable grazing policies, and the overhunting of game and fish populations. Visionaries such as Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, and Ding Darling rallied Americans behind unprecedented efforts to save our wild landscapes, important watersheds and migratory bird corridors. Their labors led Americans to embrace principles of multiple-use public lands management and natural resource conservation based upon sound science. This heritage must be understood and reignited in Americans to meet the challenges we face.

National Treasures

Our national parks, national seashores, wildlife refuges and national monuments embody America's commitment to preserving our most precious natural treasures. Unfortunately, Congress' failure to devote the proper resources towards operations and maintenance has caused many park units to fall into disrepair. As we reconnect with our outdoor heritage we must focus on maintaining these areas. From the Grand Canyon to Gettysburg, to the Indiana Dunes and the Everglades, we must preserve the cultural significance and natural beauty of our most wild and historic places. These irreplaceable landscapes deserve our renewed attention.

Wildlife and Fisheries

Every year, more than 45 million Americans venture to our forests, marshes, mountains, lakes and streams to pursue the traditions of hunting and fishing. Our sportsmen are citizen stewards of these sensitive areas and play a vital role in maintaining the abundance of wildlife found on our public lands. Indeed the sportsmen community is perhaps our strongest advocate for programs that encourage habitat protection and wildlife conservation. A vibrant hunting and angler community is essential to supporting our state and federal game and fish agencies.

Additionally, we should promote collaborative public-private partnership initiatives such as the North America Waterfowl Management Plan, which build upon the common objectives of various stakeholder groups including hunters and conservation advocates. We must also reverse the declining access to quality hunting and angling opportunities vital to the sportsmen tradition. The long term success of wildlife and fisheries populations is dependant upon a knowledgeable society invested in the efforts to provide for wildlife access and habitat protection.

Wetlands

America's “no net loss” wetlands policy is not being achieved. Rapid urbanization and poor water resource management continues to claim a considerable acreage of our delicate wetlands. Therefore, we must develop water resource policies that will protect these important natural assets for the benefit of all. This means employing long-term science-based strategies that properly manage strained freshwater resources, like the Great Lakes watershed, and promote polices that will preserve sensitive areas like the Everglades and the Louisiana coastal marshes.

Open Space

Economic development is essential to a strong American economy but urban sprawl shouldn't be allowed to expand unabated at the expense of our remarkable wild and scenic public lands. Instead we should promote responsible growth and encourage state and local officials to implement open space initiatives and establish green corridors within our communities. This will require strengthening federal tools like Land and Water Conservation Fund that emphasizes recreation and the protection of wildlife areas.

Climate Change and Energy Independence

Climate change is the single greatest environmental challenge of our time. The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington. Not only does our dependence on foreign oil bring about sizable national security risks but the preponderance of scientific evidence points to the warming of our climate from the burning of fossil fuels. We can no longer deny our responsibility to lead the world in reducing our carbon emissions.

John McCain has announced The Lexington Project, a comprehensive energy and climate strategy to provide America with secure sources of energy, ensure our continued prosperity, and address global climate change. This plan includes the elements necessary to achieve these objectives by: producing more power, pushing technology to help free our transportation sector from its use of foreign oil, cleaning up our air, addressing climate change, and ensuring that Americans have dependable energy sources.

This strategy recognizes that we must reexamine our national energy policy and enact reforms that allow the market to do more to open new paths of invention and ingenuity. And we must do this in a way that gives American businesses new incentives to develop clean and renewable energy technologies. The most direct way to achieve this is through a cap-and-trade system that sets clear limits on all greenhouse gases, while also allowing the sale of rights to excess emissions.

We have an opportunity for American agriculture to be a major player in the pursuit of energy independence through the development of bio diesel and cellulosic energy. In moving forward, we must integrate environmental policies that maintain quality wildlife habitat near and downstream of farmland. The past quarter century shown that environmental stewardship programs like the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetland Reserve Program have helped reduce wetland loss, improve water quality and minimize soil erosion. As we build our new energy economy, these programs should be recognized as good agriculture practices central to sustaining healthy ecosystems.

Rural America

John McCain recognizes that agriculture is one of America's greatest strategic assets. All Americans benefit from the safest and most efficient food production and distribution system in the world. Throughout our history, American farmers, ranchers, timbermen, and commercial fishermen have formed part of the bedrock of our prosperity.

The benefits of American leadership in agriculture extend well beyond our borders - America's contribution to meeting the food, fiber, feed and energy needs of a growing world population through efficient production and technology innovation are critical to our national security and world peace.

The continuing success of American agriculture and the health of America's rural heartland require leadership that understands that productivity and innovation are created by the effort, ingenuity and investment of individual Americans. Our nation's security depends on the health of American agriculture. As President, John McCain will address the key issues facing agriculture and rural America:

  • Establishing a comprehensive energy strategy
  • Controlling taxation and regulation
  • Judicial restraint and preserving property rights
  • Providing a sustainable, market-driven risk management system for farmers
  • Promoting agricultural markets and reducing trade barriers
  • Improving incentives to invest in technology and rural infrastructure
  • Encouraging common-sense conservation and food safety measures
  • Securing America's borders and implementing a fair and practical immigration policy
  • Recognizing the role of agriculture in national security
  • Strengthen America's economic competitiveness by eliminating wasteful government spending

Energy Security

There is no single guaranteed path to America's energy security. We cannot afford to ignore any option that moves us toward this urgent goal. Our challenge today is to encourage investment in all available options for energy security. We must avoid distorting the food, feed and energy markets by focusing on specific solutions or technologies, recognizing that complex energy production and distribution systems require a critical mass before they become economically efficient. We must recognize the importance of the bio-fuel technologies available to us today, regardless of whether they become long-term solutions or serve as a transition toward continued innovation and investment in tomorrow's energy solutions. America should look to its government to provide a tax and regulatory framework that fosters a predictable environment and encourages long-term investment in energy technology, production and distribution networks as we rely on private investment to overcome the challenges of developing new energy solutions.

Our nation's future security and prosperity depends on the next President making the hard choices that will break our nation's strategic dependence on foreign sources of energy and will ensure our economic prosperity by meeting tomorrow's demands for a clean portfolio. John McCain has made the necessary choices - producing more power, pushing technology to help free our transportation sector from its use of foreign oil, cleaning up our air and addressing climate change, and ensuring that Americans have dependable energy sources. John McCain firmly believes in and will lead the effort to develop advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels to promote energy independence.

John McCain's proposal to address America's energy security includes:

  • Expanding domestic oil and natural gas exploration and production
  • Taking action now to break our dependency on foreign oil by reforming our transportation sector
  • Investing in clean, alternative sources of energy
  • Protecting our environment and addressing climate change - a sound energy strategy must include a solid environmental foundation
  • Promoting energy efficiency
  • Addressing speculative pricing of oil

John McCain believes alcohol-based fuels hold great promise as both an alternative to gasoline and as a means of expanding consumers' choices. Some choices such as ethanol are on the market right now. The second generation of alcohol-based fuels like cellulosic ethanol, which won't compete with food crops, are showing great potential.

John McCain supports flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) and believes they should play a greater role in our transportation sector. In just three years, Brazil went from new cars sales that were about 5 percent FFVs to over 70 percent of new vehicles that were FFVs. American automakers have committed to make 50 percent of their cars FFVs by 2012. John McCain calls on automakers to make a more rapid and complete switch to FFVs.

Read more about the Lexington Project and John McCain's commitment to lead American to energy independence.

Read what John McCain has said about the urgency of addressing America's energy security. “Alcohol fuels made from corn, sugar, switch grass and many other sources, fuel cells, biodiesel derived from waste products, natural gas, and other technologies are all promising and available alternatives to oil. I won't support subsidizing every alternative or tariffs that restrict the healthy competition that stimulates innovation and lower costs. But I'll encourage the development of infrastructure and market growth necessary for these products to compete, and let consumers choose the winners. I've never known an American entrepreneur worthy of the name who wouldn't rather compete for sales than subsidies.” John McCain, April 24, 2007

Taxation and Regulation

John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan that will create millions of good American jobs, ensure our nation's energy security, get the government's budget and spending practices in order, and bring relief to American consumers. Small businesses are critical to job growth, especially in rural America. John McCain is committed to supporting family businesses with:

Reducing the estate tax rate to 15 percent and permitting a generous $10 million exemption to enable farmers and ranchers to pass along their heritage to the next generation.

  • Low individual tax rates
  • Access to capital from low tax rates on dividends and capital gains
  • Limiting the unnecessary intervention of government regulations that severely alter or limit the ability of the family farm to produce efficiently
  • Improved investment and research incentives to ensure that farmers and ranchers have access to the most modern technology
  • Bringing the budget to balance, reducing federal borrowing, and controlling spending to reduce the burden on the economy
  • Providing a responsible safety net for farmers when they're confronted with natural disasters and inadvertent government policies that adversely affect markets and the farmer's ability to produce

Property Rights and the Role of the Judiciary

John McCain believes that one of the greatest threats to our liberty and the Constitutional framework that safeguards our freedoms are judges who usurp the role of the people and their elected representatives and legislate from the bench. As President, John McCain will nominate judges who understand that their role is to faithfully apply the law as written, not impose their opinions through judicial fiat. Read more about John McCain's judicial philosophy.

John McCain believes that the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, individual Constitutional right that we have a sacred duty to protect. We have a responsibility to ensure that criminals who violate the law are prosecuted to the fullest, rather than restricting the rights of law abiding citizens. Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime. Law abiding citizens should not be asked to give up their rights because of criminals - criminals who ignore gun control laws anyway.

Sustainable, Market-Driven Risk Management for America's Farmers

America needs a risk management program for agriculture that reflects the realities of the global marketplace for food, fuel and fiber in the 21st century. When farmers suffer from a natural disaster such as droughts or floods, we should assist them - this is a commitment we have made to our farmers and John McCain will honor it.

John McCain is firmly committed to bringing the agriculture community together to develop a sustainable market-driven system of risk management. Rapidly rising input costs and fluctuating commodity prices threaten the financial stability of American agriculture. The 21st century global agriculture market is too complex for America's farmers to rely on an outmoded system of pre-determined countercyclical payments that assumes narrow trading bands for these input costs and commodity prices. A market-based system of risk management will furthermore eliminate the influence of special interests on America's agricultural policy.

John McCain will focus agriculture policy on meeting the food, fiber, feed and energy needs of America and the world. As President, John McCain will approach America's agriculture policy with the goal of ensuring our farm, ranch, timber and commercial fishing industries are competitive in the global marketplace. Consistent with his longstanding position, John McCain opposes subsidies, which distort markets, artificially raise prices for consumers, and interfere with America's ability to negotiate with our international trading partners to the detriment of the entire agriculture community. John McCain understands the power of American leadership in helping other countries solve their poverty problems through agricultural development. By maintaining America's long tradition of developing and sharing agricultural technology, American farmers can continue to have trading partners that buy high value US products.

Investing in Technology, Innovation & Infrastructure

John McCain believes that rural America can best be served by a comprehensive development strategy to increase economic opportunities which will include lower taxes, strong markets, a vibrant economy, high-tech connectivity, protection from natural disasters, better choice and availability of health insurance, better quality education and retirement security. John McCain's commitment to technology and innovation will support prosperity and the quality of life in rural America:

John McCain supports a 21st Century green revolution. Optimizing the use of land, water and other resources requires a robust scientific research agenda. As President, John McCain will direct the USDA to carry out comprehensive research to help develop more stress-resistant, higher yielding crops to increase production per acre. This will not only be critical to addressing our worldwide food needs, but also necessary to combat global warming. John McCain will also promote conservation programs that encourage maximum environmental stewardship, vital to assisting farmers in the improvement of America's soil, water, air and wildlife habitat.

John McCain believes that American farmers and ranchers can continue to integrate environmental policies that maintain quality wildlife habitat near and downstream of farmland. The past quarter century has shown that environmental stewardship programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetland Reserve Program have helped reduce wetland loss, improve water quality, and minimize soil erosion. As America builds a new energy economy which includes bio-diesel, cellulosic energy and other agricultural energy sources, common-sense conservation programs should be incorporated into the good agriculture practices central to sustaining healthy ecosystems.

John McCain believes that the 65 million Americans who live in America's rural heartland deserve 21st century services, jobs, education and healthcare. John McCain realizes that advances in agriculture, information technology, and business opportunities will allow rural Americans to create their own economic opportunities that are the key to expanding economic prosperity throughout rural America. John McCain supports improving the flow of private capital, broadening the availability of technology, supporting the rapid evolution of biofuels technology into a sustainable industry and strengthening the infrastructure necessary to deliver the economic output of rural America to the global market.

John McCain will move the United States toward electricity grid and metering improvements to save energy. John McCain will work to allow a serious investment in upgrading our national grid to meet the demands of the 21st century. Rural America can play a leading role in generating energy from bio-fuel, bio-mass, geothermal, solar and wind sources, but in order for this energy to reach consumers nationwide, we must improve and advance our grid system. John McCain believes that America must reduce the barriers to developing energy generation facilities and transmitting the energy necessary to meet the goal of national energy security.

John McCain supports risk capital for investment in American innovation. Innovation requires risk capital to turn bold ideas into reality. A ready supply of capital willing to invest in innovative ventures has been a hallmark of America. To maintain our innovative edge, our next President must promote conditions that encourage private investment. John McCain knows the stakes - and he knows what it will take for America to remain competitive. Federal tax and fiscal policy must create and protect the incentives to innovate.

John McCain will encourage innovation by keeping capital gains taxes low. Cutting edge ventures fail more than they succeed and it takes daring to invest in unproven ideas. High capital gains taxes dampen incentives to create something new. It discourages the effort, to the detriment of society, if the government confiscates too large a share of the profits for those who succeed.

John McCain will lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent to retain investment in American technologies. Currently, the United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, and it is the American worker who suffers the consequences. When corporations put their money and investment into countries with lower tax rates, those companies invest less in American facilities, new hires, worker training, and employee compensation. A 2006 study by the Congressional Budget Office found that 70 percent of the corporate tax burden falls on the American workers. John McCain will help our nation compete more aggressively against the likes of China, South Korea, Singapore and Ireland by bringing taxes to a competitive level that encourages entrepreneurs to reinvest their earnings in American workers. John McCain will allow first-year expensing of new equipment and technology. To provide an immediate boost to capital expenditures and reward investments in cutting edge technologies, John McCain would allow companies to expense the costs of new equipment or technology in the first year. The additional investment stimulated by such expensing will drive economic growth.

John McCain will pursue high-speed Internet access for all Americans. John McCain has long believed that all Americans should have access to high-speed Internet services and receive the economic opportunities derived from technology. Access to high-speed Internet services facilitates interstate commerce, drives innovation, promotes educational achievements, allows access to health services, and literally has the potential to change lives. As president, John McCain would continue to encourage private investment to facilitate the build-out of infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet connectivity all over America. However, where private industry does not answer the call because of market failures or other obstacles, John McCain believes that people acting through their local governments should be able to invest in their own future by building out infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet services. For this reason, Senator McCain introduced the “Community Broadband Bill,” which would allow local governments to offer such services, particularly when private industry fails to do so.

John McCain has proposed a “People Connect Program,” which will reward companies that offer high-speed Internet access to underserved, low-income customers by allowing those companies to write off the cost of that services. John McCain will also work to enable communities to build information infrastructure when private companies will not by offering government-backed loans or by issuing bonds with low interest rates.

John McCain has fought special interests in Washington to force the federal government to auction inefficiently-used wireless spectrum to companies that will instead use the spectrum to provide high-speed Internet service options to millions of Americans, especially in rural areas. As president, John McCain would continue to encourage research and development in technologies that could bring affordable alternatives to all Americans.

John McCain would seek to accurately identify un-served or under-served areas where the market is not working and provide companies willing to build the infrastructure to serve these areas with high speed internet services incentives to do so. He also supports private/public partnerships to devise creative solutions and help rural area and towns and cities in their efforts to build-out broadband infrastructure through government-backed loans or low-interest bonds.

Open Markets for American Agriculture

John McCain believes that globalization is an opportunity for American agriculture. Ninety-five percent of the world's customers lie outside our borders, and we need to be at the table when the rules for access to those markets are written. To do so, America should continue to engage in multilateral, regional and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers to trade, level the global playing field and vigorously defend the rights of American agriculture within global trading rules. John McCain will stand up for producers by holding America's trading partners accountable under existing and future trade agreements.

John McCain believes America should continue to be a leader in agriculture technology. Technology is the key to meeting the food, fiber, feed and fuel needs of a growing world population. American leadership in bio-technology holds the promise of continuing to improve yields, reducing reliance on petroleum-based inputs, and improving the long-term sustainability of agricultural production. John McCain's economic policies will promote a reliable investment environment, encouraging continuing investment in agricultural technology. John McCain will push for the abolition of trade barriers which are not based on sound science to ensure that American farmers and ranchers who invest in technology and innovation can participate fairly in the global marketplace.

John McCain will work to strengthen the economy, stabilize the dollar and balance the budget by the end of his first term. The near-term path to balance is built on reasonable economic growth, comprehensive spending controls, and bi-partisanship in budget efforts. Read more about John McCain's fiscal discipline and bringing the budget to balance by 2013

John McCain supports fully funding food and nutrition programs and carrying out a robust Emergency Food Assistance Program. He supports indexing food stamps to reflect the current cost of living and he would fill shortfalls in the Emergency Food Assistance Program. John McCain also supports providing marketing tools for the fruit and vegetable industry focused on promoting healthier American diets.

Securing Borders and Immigration Reform

John McCain will implement temporary worker programs that will reflect the labor needs of the United States in both the high-tech and low-skilled sectors while protecting the employment opportunities for US workers. John McCain will reform the H-2A visa program to provide a non-bureaucratic, adaptable, useable program that is reflective of market needs and protects both the immigrant and US workers. John McCain will implement a secure, accurate, and reliable electronic employment verification system to ensure that individuals are screened for work eligibility in a real-time fashion and provide responses to employer inquiries in a prompt and timely manner to provide both the employer and employee security in their hiring decisions. Read more about John McCain's plans to secure America's borders and fix our immigration system. “We must prove we have the resources to secure our borders and use them, while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States. When we have achieved our border security goal, we must enact and implement the other parts of practical, fair and necessary immigration policy. We have economic and humanitarian responsibilities as well, and they require no less dedication from us in meeting them.” -John McCain, April 14, 2008

National Security

A strong agricultural sector is fundamental to American national security. American leadership in agricultural technology and innovation can help address the growing food, fiber, feed and fuel needs of the world, reducing the hunger and poverty where terrorism finds its roots. Agriculture's contribution to reducing America's reliance on foreign oil will help reduce the flow of money that now enriches some of our worst enemies.

John McCain believes America must focus on protecting its agriculture production, processing, and distribution systems from contamination and terrorist attack. We must be vigilant against disruptions and attacks on our agricultural production system and ready to respond quickly to ensure the trust of the American people in the safety of our food. John McCain believes Americans should be able to trust in the safety and reliability of their food, regardless of its origin. In the aftermath of 9/11, John McCain fought for the creation of an independent 9/11 Commission to identify how to best address the terrorist threat and decrease our domestic vulnerability. He fought for the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. As President, John McCain will take it as his most sacred responsibility to keep America free, safe, and strong - an abiding beacon of freedom and hope to the world.

Abortion: Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life

  • I've never imposed a litmus test on Supreme Court nominees. (Oct 2008)
  • Obama voted no on partial-birth ban & born-alive treatment. (Oct 2008)
  • Pro-life and an advocate for the Rights of Man everywhere. (Feb 2008)
  • GovWatch: 1999: Don't force women to have illegal operations. (Feb 2008)
  • Abortion issue shows what kind of country we are. (Aug 2007)
  • Concerned if women undergo illegal dangerous operations. (May 2007)
  • Supports federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. (May 2007)
  • Prosecute abortion doctors, not women who get them. (Jan 2000)
  • “Family Conference” if daughter wanted an abortion. (Jan 2000)
  • Abortion OK if raped; and no testing for rape. (Jan 2000)
  • Supports fetal tissue research; against over-intensity. (Jan 2000)
  • Overturn Roe v. Wade, but keep incest & rape exceptions. (Jan 2000)
  • Support adoption & foster care; work together on abortion. (Oct 1999)
  • Wants Roe vs. Wade made irrelevant, but would not repeal it. (Aug 1999)
  • Opposes partial-birth abortions & public financing. (Aug 1999)
  • Nominate justices based on experience, and values. (Jun 1999)
  • Restrict abortions; no partial-birth; no public funding. (Jul 1998)
  • Supports repealing Roe v. Wade. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
  • Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
  • Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
  • Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
  • Voted YES on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on banning human cloning. (Feb 1998)
  • Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
  • Rated 75% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)
  • Prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortion. (Jan 2008)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/

Overturning Roe v. Wade

John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.

Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.

However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion - the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby. The pro-life movement has done tremendous work in building and reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society by strengthening faith-based, community, and neighborhood organizations that provide critical services to pregnant mothers in need. This work must continue and government must find new ways to empower and strengthen these armies of compassion. These important groups can help build the consensus necessary to end abortion at the state level. As John McCain has publicly noted, “At its core, abortion is a human tragedy. To effect meaningful change, we must engage the debate at a human level.”

Promoting Adoption

In 1993, John McCain and his wife, Cindy, adopted a little girl from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh. She has been a blessing to the McCain family and helped make adoption advocacy a personal issue for the Senator.

The McCain family experience is not unique; millions of families have had their lives transformed by the adoption of a child. As president, motivated by his personal experience, John McCain will seek ways to promote adoption as a first option for women struggling with a crisis pregnancy. In the past, he cosponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination against families with adopted children, to provide adoption education, and to permit tax deductions for qualified adoption expenses, as well as to remove barriers to interracial and inter-ethnic adoptions.

Protecting Marriage

As president, John McCain would nominate judges who understand that the role of the Court is not to subvert the rights of the people by legislating from the bench. Critical to Constitutional balance is ensuring that, where state and local governments do act to preserve the traditional family, the Courts must not overstep their authority and thwart the Constitutional right of the people to decide this question.

The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation.

As with most issues vital to the preservation and health of civil society, the basic responsibility for preserving and strengthening the family should reside at the level of government closest to the people. In their wisdom, the Founding Fathers reserved for the States the authority and responsibility to protect and strengthen the vital institutions of our civil society. They did so to ensure that the voices of America's families could not be ignored by an indifferent national government or suffocated through filibusters and clever legislative maneuvering in Congress.

Addressing the Moral Concerns of Advanced Technology

Stem cell research offers tremendous hope for those suffering from a variety of deadly diseases - hope for both cures and life-extending treatments. However, the compassion to relieve suffering and to cure deadly disease cannot erode moral and ethical principles.

For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes. To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of “fetal farming,” making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law.

As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos.

Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines.

Protecting Children from Internet Pornography

John McCain believes the Internet offers tremendous promise in terms of freedom of expression, information sharing, and the spread of knowledge and commerce. It represents the greatest innovation of the modern era in terms of the democratization of free speech and access to information. From human rights groups in China to bloggers here in the United States, the Internet has opened a global dialogue that has propelled the world into an exciting new century of connectivity and communication.

However, there is a darker side to the Internet. Along with the access and anonymity of the Internet have come those who would use it to peddle child pornography and other sexually explicit material and to prey upon children.

John McCain has been a leader in pushing legislation through Congress that requires all schools and libraries receiving federal subsidies for Internet connectivity to utilize technology to restrict access to sexually explicit material by children using such computers. While the first line of defense for children will always be strong and involved parents, when they send their child to school or drop their child off at the library, parents have the right to feel safe that someone is going to be looking out for their children.

Protecting Children from Online Predators

America's most precious asset is its children. The innocence of childhood provides hope for the future and refreshes and restores the ideals of this great country. However, there are those who prey upon this innocence and the Internet offers these predators unprecedented, often anonymous, access to children. John McCain has taken a hard line against pedophiles that would use the Internet to prey upon children by proposing the first-of-its-kind national online registry for persons who have been convicted of sex crimes against children. Senator McCain's legislation requires that sex offenders register all online accounts in a national database that can be used by law enforcement to investigate crimes against children. If these predators fail to register they would be sent to prison for ten years. The legislation also makes use of the Internet an “aggravating factor” in sex crimes against children, adding an additional ten years to any conviction. It is the responsibility of government to do all that can be done to protect children from predators who lurk on the Internet.

The Greatest Honor is to Serve the Cause of Human Dignity

There is no greater nobility than to sacrifice for a great cause and no cause greater than protection of human dignity. Decency, human compassion, self-sacrifice and the defense of innocent life are at the core of John McCain's value system and will be the guiding principles of a McCain Presidency.

“To sacrifice for a cause greater than yourself, and to sacrifice your life to the eminence of that cause, is the noblest activity of all.”

John McCain is the son and grandson of military officers. He served as a Navy pilot, honored to live in the company of heroes as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and is a beloved husband and father. Senator McCain has enjoyed the quiet blessings found in serving others.

Climate Change

John McCain will establish a market-based system to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mobilize innovative technologies, and strengthen the economy. He will work with our international partners to secure our energy future, to create opportunities for American industry, and to leave a better future for our children.

John McCain's Principles for Climate Policy

  • Climate Policy Should Be Built On Scientifically-Sound, Mandatory Emission Reduction Targets And Timetables.
  • Climate Policy Should Utilize A Market-Based Cap And Trade System.
  • Climate Policy Must Include Mechanisms To Minimize Costs And Work Effectively With Other Markets.
  • Climate Policy Must Spur The Development And Deployment Of Advanced Technology.
  • Climate Policy Must Facilitate International Efforts To Solve The Problem.

John McCain's Cap and Trade Policy

John McCain Proposes A Cap-And-Trade System That Would Set Limits On Greenhouse Gas Emissions While Encouraging The Development Of Low-Cost Compliance Options. A climate cap-and-trade mechanism would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and allow entities to buy and sell rights to emit, similar to the successful acid rain trading program of the early 1990s. The key feature of this mechanism is that it allows the market to decide and encourage the lowest-cost compliance options.

How Does A Cap-And-Trade System Work?

A cap-and-trade system harnesses human ingenuity in the pursuit of alternatives to carbon-based fuels. Market participants are allotted total permits equal to the cap on greenhouse gas emissions. If they can invent, improve, or acquire a way to reduce their emissions, they can sell their extra permits for cash. The profit motive will coordinate the efforts of venture capitalists, corporate planners, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists on the common motive of reducing emissions.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets And Timetables

2012: Return Emissions To 2005 Levels (18 Percent Above 1990 Levels)

2020: Return Emissions To 1990 Levels (15 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

2030: 22 Percent Below 1990 Levels (34 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

2050: 60 Percent Below 1990 Levels (66 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

The Cap And Trade System Would Allow For The Gradual Reduction Of Emissions.

The cap and trade system would encompass electric power, transportation fuels, commercial business, and industrial business – sectors responsible for just below 90 percent of all emissions. Small businesses would be exempt. Initially, participants would be allowed to either make their own GHG reductions or purchase “offsets” – financial instruments representing a reduction, avoidance, or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions practiced by other activities, such as agriculture – to cover 100 percent of their required reductions. Offsets would only be available through a program dedicated to ensure that all offset GHG emission reductions are real, measured and verifiable. The fraction of GHG emission reductions permitted via offsets would decline over time.

Innovating, Developing and Deploying Technologies

To Support The Cap And Trade System, John McCain Will Promote The Innovation, Development And Deployment Of Advanced Technologies. John McCain will reform federal government research funding and infrastructure to support the cap and trade emissions reduction goals and emphasize the commercialization of low-carbon technologies. Under John McCain's plan:

Emissions Permits Will Eventually Be Auctioned To Support The Development Of Advanced Technologies. A portion of the process of these auctions will be used to support a diversified portfolio of research and commercialization challenges, ranging from carbon capture and sequestration, to nuclear power, to battery development. Funds will also be used to provide financial backing for a Green Innovation Financing and Transfer (GIFT) to facilitate commercialization.

John McCain Will Streamline The Process For Deploying New Technologies And Requiring More Accountability From Government Programs To Meet Commercialization Goals And Deadlines.

John McCain Will Ensure Rapid Technology Introduction, Quickly Shifting Research From The Laboratory To The Marketplace.

John McCain Will Employ The Inherent Incentives Provided By A Cap-And-Trade System Along With Government-Led Competitions As Incentives For New Technology Deployment.

John McCain Will Foster Rapid and Clean Economic Growth

John McCain Believes An Effective And Sustainable Climate Policy Must Also Support Rapid Economic Growth. John McCain will use a portion of auction proceeds to reduce impacts on low-income American families. The McCain plan will accomplish this in part by incorporating measures to mitigate any economic cost of meeting emission targets, including:

  • Trading Emission Permits To Find The Lowest-Cost Source Of Emission Reductions.
  • Permitting “Banking” And “Borrowing” Of Permits So That Emission Reductions May Be Accelerated Or Deferred To More Economically Efficient Periods.
  • Permitting Unlimited Initial Offsets From Both Domestic And International Sources.
  • Effectively Integrating U.S. Trading With Other International Markets, Thereby Providing Access To Low-Cost Permit Sources.
  • Establishing A Strategic Carbon Reserve As A National Source Of Permits During Periods Of Economic Duress.
  • Early Allocation Of Some Emission Permits On Sound Principles. This will provide significant amount of allowances for auctioning to provide funding for transition assistance for consumers and industry. It will also directly allocate sufficient permits to enable the activities of a Climate Change Credit Corporation, the public-private agency that will oversee the cap and trade program, provide credit to entities for reductions made before 2012, and ease transition for industry with competitiveness concerns and fewer efficiency technology options.

A commission will also be convened to provide recommendations on the percentage of allowances to be provided for free and the percentage of allowances to be auctioned, and develop a schedule for transition from allocated to maximum auctioned allowances. Cap-and-trade system will also work to maximize the amount of allowances that are auctioned off by 2050.

John McCain Will Provide Leadership for Effective International Efforts

John McCain Believes That There Must Be A Global Solution To Global Climate Change. John McCain will engage the international community in a coordinated effort by:

Actively Engaging To Lead United Nations Negotiations.

Permitting America To Lead In Innovation, Capture The Market On Low-Carbon Energy Production, And Export To Developing Countries – Including Government Incentives And Partnerships For Sales Of Clean Tech To Developing Countries.

Provide Incentives For Rapid Participation By India And China, While Negotiating An Agreement With Each.

John McCain Will Develop a Climate Change Adaptation Plan

John McCain Believes A Comprehensive Approach To Addressing Climate Change Includes Adaptation As Well As Mitigation. He believes:

  • An Adaptation Plan Should Be Based Upon National And Regional Scientific Assessments Of The Impacts Of Climate Change.
  • An Adaptation Plan Should Focus On Implementation At The Local Level Which Is Where Impacts Will Manifest Themselves.
  • A Comprehensive Plan Will Address The Full Range Of Issues: Infrastructure, Ecosystems, Resource Planning, And Emergency Preparation.

Lobbying and Ethics Reform

Seal the Pork Barrel

Among the most glaring abuses in Washington is the willful setting aside of taxpayer dollars for the pet projects of special interests, often through last minute additions to appropriations bills. Pork barrel spending is an insult to taxpayers, a waste of public resources, and an abdication of our leaders' responsibility to be good and honorable stewards of the public treasury, for the benefit of all Americans, not just a few.

Too often it appears that elected leaders use the treasury as a campaign kitty, channeling taxpayer dollars for pet projects to preserve incumbency rather than to meet national needs. John McCain has been a tireless warrior against wasteful spending, and one of the few leaders who has the guts to challenge abusive Congressional earmarks and the pork barrel politics that grip Washington. John McCain understands that, fundamentally, wasteful spending is an issue of ethics.

As he pointed out recently as part of his longstanding, principled, and often lonely vigil against pork barrel earmarks in Congress: “Earmarked dollars have doubled just since 2000, and more than tripled in the last 10 years. This explosion in earmarks led one lobbyist to deride the appropriations committees as favor factories. The time for us to fix this broken process is long overdue.” As President, John McCain would shine the disinfecting light of public scrutiny on those who abuse the public purse, use the power of the presidency to restore fiscal responsibility, and exercise the veto pen to enforce it.

Stop the Revolving Door and Restore Ethics

America deserves and demands a government that serves the country, not itself. Most people believe that elected leaders are more interested in the perks and privileges of office than in public service, and that too often the special interest lobbyists with the fattest wallets and best access carry the day when issues of public policy are being decided.

John McCain has fought the good fight against the practices that alienate the public from their elected leaders. He has fought for public disclosure of those who lobby lawmakers for a living, and to prohibit them from providing gifts to elected officials.

He has fought for greater transparency regarding the official activities of lobbyists, disclosure of those who arrange for lawmakers' travel, and require members to pay full charter rates when using corporate aircraft.

He has fought the “revolving door” by which lawmakers and other influential officials leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided.

He has fought for an independent ethics office in Congress to help restore the public's faith in the integrity of the legislative branch.

Democracy is Not for Sale

The American people have been alienated from the process of self-government by the overwhelming appearance of their elected leaders having sold-out to the big-moneyed special interests who help finance political campaigns.

As John McCain has said, “Americans believe that political representation is measured on a sliding scale. The more you give the more effectively you can petition your government.” It is no coincidence that the most influential lobbyists with the greatest access in the nation's Capitol are also the most prolific political fundraisers, and that incumbents attract money in far greater volumes than most challengers.

Most Americans understand that competitive elections in a free country require money. Since campaigns require spending funds to communicate with voters, they know we can never take money completely out of politics, nor should we. Americans have a right to support the candidates and the parties they endorse, including financially if they so choose.

But what most Americans worry about profoundly is corporations or individuals with huge checks seeking the undue influence on lawmakers that such largesse is intended to purchase. That is why John McCain has fought to enforce long-standing prohibitions on corporate and union contributions to federal political parties, for sensible donation limits, disclosure of how candidates and campaigns are funded, and the diligent enforcement of these common sense rules that promote maximum public participation in the political process and limit opportunities for corruption.

John McCain understands that in America the people are sovereign, and deserve a political process worthy of the sacrifices that have been made by so many to keep us free and proud. As President, John McCain will see to it that the institutions of self-government are respected pillars of democracy, not commodities to be bought, bartered, or abused.

America's Space Program

“Let us now embark upon this great journey into the stars to find whatever may await us.” -John McCain

John McCain: For the past 50 years, space activities have contributed greatly to US scientific discovery, national security, economic development, and national innovation, pride and power (the ultimate example of which was the U.S. victory over the Soviets in the race to the moon). Spurred on by the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik, the world's first satellite, and the concern that the U.S was falling behind in science and technology, U.S. policymakers enacted several policy actions to firmly establish the U.S. dominance in science and technology. Among them were the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the national Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), increased research funding, and a reformulation of the nation's science and technology education system.

Today, more than 50 years after Sputnik, the US faces a very different world. The end of the Cold War and the space race has greatly reduced the profile of space exploration as a point of national pride and an emblem of U.S. power and thus created some degree of “mission-rut” for NASA. At the same time, the scientific community views the use of space as an important observation platform for advancing science by increasing our understanding of the solar system and the universe. In addition, our recent comprehension of the Earth's changing climate is based on data that we have received from our weather and Earth observation satellites. Much of our communications infrastructure is dependent upon space based assets that are essential to the quality of our everyday lives and the economy.

China, Russia, India, Japan and Europe are all active players in space exploration. Both Japan and China launched robotic lunar orbiters in 2007. India is planning to launch a lunar orbiter later this year. The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking into a moon-lander, but is more focused on Mars. China also is actively pursuing a manned space program and, in 2003, became only the third country after the USSR and the US to demonstrate the capability to send man to space. China is developing plans for a manned lunar mission in the next decade and the establishment of a lunar base after 2020.

Activity within the commercial sector continues to increase beyond the traditional role of launching satellites. In 2007, the X-Prize Foundation announced a prize of $30 million in a global competition to build the first robotic rover capable of landing on the Moon. Several companies are planning to develop and build spacecraft for space tourism.

Senator McCain understands the importance of investments in key industries such as space to the future of our national security, environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness, and national pride as a technological leader. Although the general view in the research community is that human exploration is not an efficient way to increase scientific discoveries given the expense and logistical limitations, the role of manned space flight goes well beyond the issue of scientific discovery and is reflection of national power and pride.

History provides some guide to this. In 1971, when the Nixon Administration was looking at canceling the Apollo program and not approving the development of the Space Shuttle - then Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Casper Weinberger stated that such a policy: “would be confirming in some respects a belief that I fear is gaining credence at home and abroad: That our best years are behind us, that we are turning inward, reducing our defense commitments, and voluntarily starting to give up our super-power status and our desire to maintain world superiority.” Three and a half decades later this seems equally valid, if not more so given the increased number of countries that are making significant investments in space.

John McCain has been involved in a number of efforts to improve America's scientific prowess within the space arena. As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senator McCain played a major role in legislation to provide funding for space exploration (manned and unmanned), space science, Earth science, and aeronautics research. He also sponsored legislation to support the up and coming commercial space industry, and led the Senate's efforts to implement improvements to NASA after the Columbia accident. Senator McCain has also spearheaded efforts to control costs at NASA and promote a space exploration agenda based on sound management, safe practices, and fiscal responsibility.

Current U.S. space operations policy commits the U.S. to completing the International Space Station (ISS) by 2010 and then terminating the Space Shuttle flights, with the completion of the ISS. The NASA vision for space exploration calls for sending a robotic lunar lander to the Moon in 2008/2009 time period to begin searching for potential base sites and for development and deployment of a new manned space craft for lunar missions. The current policy also calls for new vehicles (referred to as the Orion crew vehicle and the Ares launch vehicle) to be ready for Earth orbit by 2015 and lunar landing by 2020 with an eventual mission to Mars.

As President, John McCain will:

  • Ensure that space exploration is top priority and that the U.S. remains a leader;
  • Commit to funding the NASA Constellation program to ensure it has the resources it needs to begin a new era of human space exploration.
  • Review and explore all options to ensure U.S. access to space by minimizing the gap between the termination of the Space Shuttle and the availability of its replacement vehicle;
  • Ensure the national space workforce is maintained and fully utilized; Complete construction of the ISS National Laboratory;
  • Seek to maximize the research capability and commercialization possibilities of the ISS National Laboratory;
  • Maintain infrastructure investments in Earth-monitoring satellites and support systems;
  • Seek to maintain the nation's space infrastructure;
  • Prevent wasteful earmarks from diverting precious resources from critical scientific research;
  • and Ensure adequate investments in aeronautics research.

Renewing America's Civic Purpose

John McCain will create a Service to America initiative to strengthen the teaching and understanding of American history, culture and core ideas, and to inspire Americans to serve causes greater than their own self interest. Civic participation by citizens over a lifetime, working in neighborhoods and communities, and service of all kinds - military and civilian; full-time or part-time; and national or international - can renew America's civic purpose and heal our fractured patriotism.

John McCain: A History of Supporting Service to Our Nation

  • Senator McCain was an original cosponsor with Senator Bayh of Indiana of the bipartisan National Call to Service Act (18-18-18 plan) that established a National Service Plan with incentives to enlist in the armed forces. Participants must meet all eligibility requirements for military service and may choose one of the following incentives: $5,000, payable after completing 18 months of active duty; and 18 months of reserve service; repayment of student loans up to $18,000; educational allowance at the Montgomery GI Bill monthly rate for one year; or educational allowance of one-half of the GI Bill monthly rate for three years. The bill also expanded volunteer opportunities in civilian organizations, including AmeriCorps. Senator McCain reintroduced the civilian components with Senators Bayh, Kennedy, and Mikulski in 2003, after the military service component became law in 2002.
  • Senator McCain sponsored the Troops-to-Teachers Improvement Act which strengthened and extended the Troops-to-Teachers Program encouraging retired military personnel to become teachers, particularly in schools located in disadvantaged or rural areas facing a shortage of teachers.

John McCain Issues A New Call to Service

  • Bolster volunteerism with an energetic and comprehensive national service initiative designed to increase opportunities for people willing to serve their communities and their country.
  • Ensure coordination of all service efforts across the federal government and make certain that all these service programs are effective and on equal footing.
  • Convene “Volunteerism Summits” so people can share with others the best ideas and most effective programs currently underway in their own communities.
  • Increase focus of our volunteers on urgent situations such as the high school dropout crisis and job retraining.
  • Boost opportunities for service overseas to increase understanding and communication among diverse cultures.
  • Create opportunities for families to spend service opportunities together at home and abroad.Increase service opportunities for the disabled community.
  • Coordinate a network of private sector “venture capital” funds matched with government grants to support job retraining or vocational training efforts in high schools and targeted communities where job loss persists.
  • Allow faith-based organizations to improve their volunteerism numbers by allowing them to hire consistent with the views of the respective organization without risking federal funding.

Utilize the Wisdom and Experience of our Retirees and Veterans

  • With Boomers entering the retirement ranks, provide more opportunities to senior Americans by expanding SeniorCorps with a focus on mentoring at risk students, assisting community-based homeland security programs, and overseas teaching of American history to bridge cultural divides.
  • Develop opportunities for returning veterans to reintegrate immediately through a civilian service opportunity and continue to serve their country upon returning home.

A Call to Service is a Call to Educate

  • Engage more college students in community service through the Federal Work-Study program; current law requires only seven percent of recipients to perform community service.
  • Engage Americans in disaster preparedness and response by providing education and training resources for effective community-based efforts.
  • Use AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps volunteers as tutors and mentors to address the high school dropout crisis in America.
  • Create a realistic teaching certification requirement for outstanding individuals with years of service and work so they have the opportunity to tutor or teach without jumping through unreasonable bureaucratic hoops.
  • Strengthen the teaching of American history and civics education through volunteers in our communities and schools who are able to tutor and teach with a teaching certificate equivalency.

John McCain is an original Cosponsor of the Hatch-Kennedy Service Bill

Service Learning

  • Authorizes new grant program to make direct competitive grants to eligible partnerships to carry out service-learning programs with disengaged youth in secondary schools and authorizes the Corporation for National Service to designate up to 20 institutions each year as “Campuses of Service.”
  • While the grants authorized under this section come directly from the Corporation to the recipients, state service commissions and departments of education are listed as eligible applicants, allowing state agencies to compete alongside school district partnerships.

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Establishes a “Commission on Cross-Sector Solutions to America's Problems,” Community Solutions Funds and Innovation Fellowships.

Service Corps

Directs the Corporation to establish five new accounts to fund grant programs:

  • Education Corps
  • Community Health Access Corps
  • Clean Energy Corps
  • Opportunity Corps
  • Reserve Corps

Civic Health Index

  • The Corporation will establish a “Civic Health Index” and will provide data on the progress and effectiveness of various civic programs and initiatives.

Serve America and Encore Fellowships

  • Serve America Fellowships are administered almost entirely at the state level, allowing the states to continue to be laboratories of innovation for volunteer service programs. Eligible organizations also include faith-based organizations.
  • Encore Fellowships provide another incentive to Baby Boomers to utilize their experience in the volunteer sector. Reports indicate that the transferrable education award is a significant incentive for potential participants.

Volunteer Generation Fund

  • Directs the Corporation to award competitive 3-5 year grants to support the recruitment, management, and training of volunteers to carry out activities benefitting low-income individuals.VGF will increase the capacity of smaller groups, including churches and faith-based organizations, to engage more Americans in helping their communities.

International Programs

  • Volunteers for Prosperity. The bill will improve upon and expand the existing Volunteers for Prosperity Program, providing opportunities for international volunteer service.
  • Peace Corps. The bill will expand the Peace Corps, allowing for the improvement of its long-standing mission to provide service in developing countries.

Technology

John McCain has a broad and cohesive vision for the future of American innovation. His policies will provide broad pools of capital, low taxes and incentives for research in America, a commitment to a skilled and educated workforce, and a dedication to opening markets around the globe. He’s committed to streamlining burdensome regulations and effectively protecting American intellectual property in the United States and around the globe.

Transformative information and communications technologies permeate every aspect of our daily lives. In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the ways Americans communicate with family, friends, and business partners; shop and connect with global markets; educate themselves; become more engaged politically; and consume and even create entertainment. America has led the world into this technology revolution because we have allowed innovation to take root, grow, and prosper. Nurturing technology and innovation is essential for solving the critical problems facing our country: developing alternative fuels, addressing climate change, stopping the spiraling expense of health care, and better educating our children.

John McCain is uniquely qualified to lead our nation during this technological revolution. He is the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The Committee plays a major role in the development of technology policy, specifically any legislation affecting communications services, the Internet, cable television and other technologies. Under John McCain’s guiding hand, Congress developed a wireless spectrum policy that spurred the rapid rise of mobile phones and Wi-Fi technology that enables Americans to surf the web while sitting at a coffee shop, airport lounge, or public park.

To maintain American leadership in the world, John McCain believes we must nurture the conditions under which entrepreneurs can prosper and the American people can reap the rewards.

As President, John McCain would:

  • Encourage investment in innovation
  • Develop a skilled work force
  • Champion open and fair trade
  • Reform intellectual property protection
  • Keep the Internet and entrepreneurs free of unnecessary regulation
  • Ensure a fully connected citizenry

John McCain Will Encourage Investment in Innovation

John McCain Supports Risk Capital For Investment In American Innovation. Innovation requires risk capital to turn bold ideas into reality. A ready supply of capital willing to invest in innovative ventures has been a hallmark of America. To maintain our innovative edge, our next President must promote conditions favorable to investment. John McCain knows the stakes – and he knows what it will take for America to remain competitive. Federal tax and fiscal policy must create and protect the incentives to innovate.

John McCain Will Not Tax Innovation By Keeping Capital Gains Taxes Low. Cutting edge ventures fail more than they succeed and it takes daring to invest in unproven ideas. High capital gains taxes dampen incentives to create something new. Many will undoubtedly lose money trying to build clean energy technologies. It discourages the effort, to the detriment of society, if the government confiscates too large a share of the profits for those who succeed.

John McCain Will Reform And Make Permanent The R&D Tax Credit. Basic research and development is the lifeblood of an innovative economy and is essential to keeping America competitive. A top priority needs to be putting private capital to work in research and development. As President, John McCain will establish a permanent Research and Development (R&D) tax credit equal to 10 percent of wages spent on R&D. Offering a tax credit for R&D wages will encourage the creation of innovation-driven jobs in the United States.

John McCain Will Lower the Corporate Tax Rate To 25 Percent To Retain Investment In U.S. Technologies. Currently, the United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, and it is the American worker who suffers the consequences. When corporations put their money and investment into countries with lower tax rates, those companies invest less in American facilities, new hires, worker training, and employee compensation. A 2006 study by the Congressional Budget Office found that 70 percent of the corporate tax burden falls on the American workers. John McCain will help our nation compete more aggressively against the likes of China, South Korea, Singapore, and Ireland by bringing taxes to a competitive level that encourages entrepreneurs to reinvest their earnings in American workers.

John McCain Will Allow First-Year Expensing Of New Equipment And Technology. To provide an immediate boost to capital expenditures and reward investments in cutting edge technologies, John McCain would allow companies to expense the costs of new equipment or technology in the first year. The additional investment stimulated by such expensing will drive economic growth.

John McCain Will Ensure Technology And Innovation Is Not Hampered By Taxes On Internet Users. Ten years ago, Senator McCain led the bipartisan fight for legislation to keep the Internet free of taxation. From its inception, John McCain has seen the Internet as an engine of growth for the next generation of American innovation. Burdening that engine of growth with heavy taxes only harms American competitiveness in this vital sector.

John McCain Opposes Higher Taxes On Wireless Services. John McCain has opposed new state and local discriminatory taxes and fees on wireless services, which are relied upon by over 250 million Americans. Taxes account for over 20 percent of many mobile phone users’ bills. Such excessive taxation dampens innovation and hits vulnerable Americans.

John McCain Will Ensure the American Workforce is Skilled and Ready to Lead the Technological Revolution

America Must Educate Its Workforce For The Innovation Age. America’s ability to compete in the global market is dependent on the availability of a skilled workforce. Less than 20 percent of our undergraduate students obtained degrees in math or science, and the number of computer science majors has fallen by half over the last eight years. John McCain will fully fund the America Competes Act to help address these trends in education and training. Our nation’s education system should also help re-train displaced workers. Invigorating our community college system is a good place to start. John McCain has long supported grants for educational instruction in digital and wireless technologies, targeted to minorities and low-income students who may not otherwise be exposed to these fields.

Fill Critical Shortages Of Skilled Workers To Remain Competitive. American workers should always be the first choice for highly skilled technology jobs. However, there is a critical shortage of these workers and American competitiveness is suffering as a result. John McCain will expand the number of H-1B visas to allow our companies to keep top-notch talent – often trained in our graduate schools – in the United States. The Department of Labor should be allowed to set visa levels appropriate for market conditions. Hiring skilled foreign workers to fill critical shortages benefits not only innovative companies, but also our economy. For every foreign worker hired, corporations generally hire five to ten additional American workers.

John McCain Believes in a Global Marketplace and Will Champion Fair and Open World Trade

John McCain Has Been A Long And Ardent Supporter Of Fair And Open World Trade. Trade greatly benefits America and the American worker. The best protection for American workers is to ensure that they have access to the world’s customers, 95 percent of whom live outside the United States. This access is particularly important for workers in the information technology sector where the United States has so much to offer the rest of the world. Lower tariffs on American products benefit American companies and create American jobs. Moreover, the Internet allows a global marketplace to emerge as the Internet knows no boundaries. As President, John McCain will promote fair trade agreements to give America’s high tech workers the opportunity to compete and continue to win in the global marketplace.

Competition Has Been A Great Strength For America — Offering Opportunity, Low Prices, And Increased Choice For Our Citizens. Markets work best when there is robust competition. Competition means that any new devices invented cost less because there are more choices. This ensures more Americans can afford to be part of the digital economy.

John McCain Will Protect The Creative Industries From Piracy. The entertainment industry is both a vital sector of the domestic economy and among the largest U.S. exporters. While the Internet has provided tremendous opportunity for the creators of copyrighted works, including music and movies, to distribute their works around the world at low cost, it has also given rise to a global epidemic of piracy. John McCain supports efforts to crack down on piracy, both on the Internet and off.

John McCain Will Protect Inventors Intellectual Property

The patent system has been with us since the founding of our nation. Protecting intellectual property creates the incentives for invention and investment in commercial innovations. Yet too much protection can stifle the proliferation of important ideas and impair legitimate commerce in new products to the detriment of our entire economy.

John McCain Will Push For Greater Resources For The Patent Office. The increased workload at the United States Patent and Trademark Office threatens to undermine the quality of our patent examinations. New resources to hire and train quality examiners are needed to ensure timely, predictable and effective patent review.

John McCain Will Pursue Protection Of Intellectual Property Around The Globe. Intellectual property protection is increasingly an issue for U.S. innovators operating in the global economy. John McCain will seek international agreements and enforcement efforts that ensure fair rewards to intellectual property.

Provide Alternative Approaches To Resolving Patent Challenges. For many important technologies, the only effective way to challenge a patent in the United States is through litigation, but litigation on patents is much too expensive. The lack of an affordable, reliable means to ensure that the Government only grants valid patents has led to overly broad, frivolous lawsuits designed to force innovative companies into big settlements.

John McCain Has Fought to Keep the Internet Free From Government Regulation

The role of government in the Innovation Age should be focused on creating opportunities for all Americans and maintaining the vibrancy of the Internet economy. Given the enormous benefits we have seen from a lightly regulated Internet and software market, our government should refrain from imposing burdensome regulation. John McCain understands that unnecessary government intrusion can harm the innovative genius of the Internet. Government should have to prove regulation is needed, rather than have entrepreneurs prove it is not.

John McCain Will Preserve Consumer Freedoms. John McCain will focus on policies that leave consumers free to access the content they choose; free to use the applications and services they choose; free to attach devices they choose, if they do not harm the network; and free to chose among broadband service providers.

When Regulation Is Warranted, John McCain Acts. John McCain does not believe in prescriptive regulation like “net-neutrality,” but rather he believes that an open marketplace with a variety of consumer choices is the best deterrent against unfair practices. John McCain has always believed the government’s role must be rooted in protecting consumers. He championed laws that penalized fraudulent marketing practices, protected kids from harmful Internet content, secured consumer privacy, and sought to minimize spam. When businesses struggled to assess the legal role of electronic signatures, John McCain led legislative efforts to ensure that these Innovation Age signatures were legally sufficient so that e-commerce could thrive. His record reflects the careful balance between protecting the essential elements of the Internet and securing the Internet as a safe tool of commerce, education and entertainment for our citizens. Offering simple common sense solutions to real problems is at the core of the McCain’s innovation agenda.

John McCain Will Ensure America is a Connected Nation

America cannot afford to lag in providing its citizens access to 21st Century infrastructure. Our children cannot count on a good education without high-speed Internet access. Without access, our citizens risk being left out of the societal and cultural changes that are sweeping the planet on a wave of innovation. Solving the problems of health care, immigration, climate change, and energy dependence all require connecting our citizens to a world-class network.

John McCain Will Pursue High-Speed Internet Access For All Americans. John McCain has long believed that all Americans, no matter if rich or poor, rural or urban, old or young, should have access to high-speed Internet services and receive the economic opportunities derived from technology. Access to high-speed Internet services facilitates interstate commerce, drives innovation, promotes educational achievements, and literally has the potential to change lives. As President, John McCain would continue to encourage private investment to facilitate the build-out of infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet connectivity all over America. However, where private industry does not answer the call because of market failures or other obstacles, John McCain believes that people acting through their local governments should be able to invest in their own future by building out infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet services. For this reason, Senator McCain introduced the “Community Broadband Bill,” which would allow local governments to offer such services, particularly when private industry fails to do so.

John McCain has fought special interests in Washington to force the Federal government to auction inefficiently-used wireless spectrum to companies that will instead use the spectrum to provide high-speed Internet service options to millions of Americans, especially in rural areas. As President, John McCain would continue to encourage research and development in technologies that could bring affordable alternatives to Americans, especially in rural areas.

John McCain would seek to accurately identify un-served or under-served areas where the market is not working and provide companies willing to build the infrastructure to serve these areas with high speed internet services incentives to do so. He also supports private/public partnerships to devise creative solutions and help rural area and towns and cities in their efforts to build-out broadband infrastructure through government-backed loans or low-interest bonds.

John McCain will establish a “People Connect Program” that rewards companies that offer high-speed Internet access services to low income customers by allowing these companies offset their tax liability for the cost of this service.

Ubiquitous connectivity can allow employees to telecommute, or better yet, open up job possibilities to millions of Americans who wish to work from their home. As President, John McCain would pursue an agenda that includes encouragement of telecommuting in the federal government and private companies.

John McCain Would Place A Priority On Science And Technology Experience. As President, John McCain will be committed to bringing talented men and women of science into the federal government. He will strive to ensure that Administration appointees across the government have adequate experience and understanding of science, technology and innovation in order to better serve the American people.

John McCain Would Ensure That The Federal Government Led By Example. Government can advance Americans’ access to high speed Internet services by using it to better serve the people. Government services should be available online and government can better serve the American people by operating more efficiently through the use of technology, including videoconferencing and collaborative networks. For over a decade, John McCain has supported placing more government information online for the benefit of all of the American people. Since 2001, he has called for an Office of Electronic Government to set a strategic vision for implementation of electronic government

Government must also use these important tools to protect our nation. John McCain has led the fight for the creation of a nationwide public safety network that would support our local, state and federal first responders. As President, John McCain will ensure the network is being deployed by the end of his first term.

John McCain Would Support The Federal Government As An Innovator. John McCain as president would push for a renewed emphasis on innovation through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) where industry and government enter into public/private projects, sharing in the cost, benefiting from solving real problems, accelerating the application of technology in the government. This way the government is a leader of the technology revolution and not simply a beneficiary.

John McCain Would Make Sure that All Citizens Can Participate In The Technology Revolution. For his 26 years in Congress, John McCain has consistently stood up for those Americans who might lag behind this tide of innovation. For example, when Americans with disabilities found their paths to innovative technologies sometimes blocked, John McCain led the charge for closed captioning, hearing aid compatibility, and video description. He will bring these priorities to the Presidency.

Ensuring the Personal Security and Privacy of Americans in the Digital Age

“All Americans benefit enormously from the development of advanced technologies and the free flow of information on the Internet, whether for business, personal use, or social causes. The digital age has created economic growth, encouraged more robust speech and political participation, and served as a platform for education and advancement. But, the infinite social and economic opportunities created by digital age rely on the full participation of individual Americans. To fully realize these promises, we must all feel confident that today's technologies can be used safely, securely, and in a way that protects our privacy.” – John McCain

I. JOHN McCAIN ON PERSONAL SECURITY AND PRIVACY

John McCain has the core beliefs, experience, and record necessary to ensure the personal security and privacy of Americans in the digital age. He has dedicated his adult life to the protection of our Nation's security, and over the past decade in the U.S. Senate, John McCain has lead the effort to address challenges such as protecting our children online, our privacy and our sensitive personal information from theft, fraud and abuse.

John McCain believes that:

  Americans value personal security and privacy, and wish to protect ourselves and loved ones, especially our children, from all threats;
  The Internet and other, advanced technologies can deliver many benefits to society, but sometimes can also pose new threats; 
  Americans will fully embrace new technologies and utilize their potential only when they are confident that these new advances can be used safely and securely;
  Our government can and must help foster more secure technologies and the adoption of safe computing practices to help establish a culture of greater personal security;
  American industry must continue to lead the world in digital technology and innovation;
  Maintaining the agility and flexibility to provide appropriate protections for users of the Internet and other technologies must exist in an environment of effective self-regulation;
  The development of a culture of personal security will contribute to the economic and social well-being of our people. The free flow of information used responsibly and with accountability bring great benefits to us and generations to come;
  An effective combination of consumer education, technological innovation, and increased law enforcement are necessary to providing personal security for Americans in the digital age.

II. THE NEED FOR PERSONAL SECURITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Americans embrace innovation and the free flow of information that together have produced enormous economic and social progress.

America has been a leader in each and every economic revolution, embracing innovation and change. We have a long history of developing and employing new technologies, new business models, and new ways of communicating. The United States has led the world in seeking better ways to improve the lives of millions both at home and abroad. It is founded on entrepreneurial spirit, a willingness to meet challenges and change, and its ability to create wealth and opportunity through ingenuity and hard work.

Every day Americans benefit from the unprecedented development of advanced technologies and the free flow of information on the Internet and other shared networks. The digital age in which we live has created economic growth, encouraged more robust speech and political participation, and served as a platform for education and advancement.

The economic promise of the digital age will be fulfilled with the participation of every American, who must feel confident that we can take advantage of all that technology has to offer and do so safely. When the personal security and privacy of Americans are threatened, and not met by an appropriate preventive or remedial response, the public's confidence in technology and its economic and societal benefits will lie at risk.

Ensuring the personal security of Americans in digital age is vital to the continued growth and advancement of our economy and society.

Americans have become concerned increasingly about the misuse of the Internet and other technologies by predators and other criminals who seek to harm us and our children. There is rising concern with protecting financial, medical and other personal data from theft, other misuse and loss.

The federal government must display greater leadership to stop digital predators. It can do so by vigilantly enforcing laws designed to protect Americans’ personal security and privacy, promoting educational efforts among consumers and in our schools, providing incentives for continued investment by American industry in the development of more secure technologies, and encouraging personal responsibility in our society to recognize and defuse threats.

Businesses know that people must continue to feel safe and secure in their use of technology. Industry must be proactive to help protect individual Americans from the ever-present threats posed by advanced technology through security tools, effective self-regulation, and educational initiatives.

III. PRINCIPLES FOR PERSONAL SECURITY AND PRIVACY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

As President, John McCain will make ensuring the personal security of Americans a top priority of his administration.

John McCain believes that everyone has a role to play in establishing a culture of personal security that will help all Americans realize the promise of the digital age. No single group can accomplish this goal, but together we can ensure that our technologies can be used safely, securely and in a manner that protects our citizens and the civil liberties we so cherish. Major actors in this effort must include:

  Government -- Government must promote a culture of personal security through consumer education initiatives, incentives for the development of secure technologies, and stronger enforcement of laws to protect our citizens, particularly children.
  Industry -- American industry must continue to lead the world in the development of more secure technologies and responses to new threats. Among other things, industry must exert appropriate efforts to protect sensitive personal information and prevent unintentional loss or theft. Industry also must pursue effective self-regulation and continue informing and educating consumers about the collection and use of personal information. 
  Parents -- Parents must educate themselves on the tools available to them for protecting their children, and they should help educate their children concerning the dangers associated with advanced technologies.  
  Schools -- Schools must develop curricula for students that foster responsible, safe and secure uses of the Internet, and commit to a culture of security for all involved in the digital technology age.
  Children -- Children must learn to not only use new technological devices but also how to maintain their personal security and protect their privacy when using them.
   

IV. BUILDING ON A RECORD OF SUCCESS

John McCain is uniquely qualified to ensure that our Nation is secure from the threats posed by those who seek to perpetrate fraud, deception, and physical harm by violating our personal security and privacy.

As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, John McCain regularly and closely examined the latest technological threats to consumers and children through Committee hearings and investigations. John McCain’s years of leadership in this challenging environment are evidenced by his record of authoring and advancing – on a bipartisan basis – several significant new laws that have helped improve the personal security of our people.

The Record

John McCain has been a leader in the advancement of public policy in the U.S. Senate to improve the personal security of Americans in the digital age, and he will continue to advance such policies as President. His efforts include:

  1998 - McCain co-authored the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) governing the online collection of information about children younger than 13 years of age and giving parents greater control.  COPPA became law in 2000.  
  1999 - McCain authored the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requiring libraries and schools receiving federal funding to filter, from their computers with Internet access, pornography and other material considered harmful and inappropriate to minors.  CIPA was signed into law in 2000 and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2003.
  2000 - McCain authored the Consumer Internet Privacy Enhancement Act requiring Internet websites to post privacy policies regarding the collection and use of consumers' information.  The bill and subsequent hearings on online privacy spurred the top commercial websites to post consumer privacy policies. 
   
  2002 - McCain co-authored the Driver's License Fraud Prevention Act prohibiting the display of social security numbers on state-issued driver's licenses, motor vehicle registrations and other state identification cards.  This provision was included in the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, also co-authored by Senator McCain, which became law on December 17, 2004.
   
  2003 – McCain led in creating the FTC's “Do-Not-Call” telemarketing registry to allow consumers to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls.  And, when the law was challenged in court, McCain led the effort to ensure that it was upheld.
  2003 - McCain co-authored the CAN-SPAM Act to regulate the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail ("spam") to consumers and enable them to opt out of receiving such email.  CAN-SPAM was signed into law in 2003 and became effective in 2004.
  2004 - McCain co-authored the National Intelligence Reform Act, in which Congress adopted the majority of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, including reforms to protect the personal security of individuals, including the creation of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the designation of privacy and civil liberties officers in the federal government, and other consumer privacy protections such as the prohibition of social security numbers on state driver's licenses noted above.
  2005 - McCain co-authored the ID Theft Protection Act to set federal standards for business' protection of consumers' personal and financial data and notification to consumers in the event any data security breach creates a risk that they may become victims of identity theft.
  2005 - McCain co-authored the U.S. SAFE WEB Act to provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with the essential authority to combat fraud perpetrated on Americans from locations beyond our Nation’s borders.  The Act was signed into law in 2006.
  2007 - McCain authored the Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online (SAFE) Act to enhance reporting of online child pornography.
  2007 - McCain co-authored the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators (KIDS) Act to require convicted sex offenders to register their e-mail and instant message addresses with the National Sex Offender Registry. The Senate passed the Act unanimously in May 2008.

John McCain’s experience and knowledge gained in dealing with information security and privacy policy and law enforcement issues give him unique appreciation of the important role played by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in helping to protect our citizens from fraud and other crimes. He is a strong proponent of the FTC and fully supports its funding.

Civil Rights

  • Equal pay for equal work case was a trial lawyer's dream. (Oct 2008)
  • FactCheck: Pay discrimination still subject to time limits. (Oct 2008)
  • Supports CA Prop. 8: one-man-one-woman marriage. (Jul 2008)
  • Voted against MLK holiday in 1983; now calls that a mistake. (Apr 2008)
  • Don't ask, don't tell is working; don't tamper with it. (Jun 2007)
  • Confederate flag on top of capitol was wrong; in front is ok. (May 2007)
  • Leave gay marriage to the states. (Jan 2007)
  • John Lewis was as courageous as anyone could ever hope to be. (Apr 2004)
  • Fear did not restrain Dr. King to resist repression. (Apr 2004)
  • 1994: No Senate hiring discrimination by sexual orientation. (Jan 2004)
  • Support evangelism but don’t pander to evangelical leaders. (Feb 2000)
  • Inter-racial dating ban is idiotic and cruel. (Feb 2000)
  • Career-long history of supporting Indian causes. (Jan 2000)
  • Ten Commandments would bring virtue to our schools. (Jan 2000)
  • Confederate flag is a “symbol of heritage”. (Jan 2000)
  • Allow, but not mandate, school prayer. (Jan 2000)
  • Would be “comfortable” with a gay president. (Dec 1999)
  • Flying Confederate flag should be left to states. (Sep 1999)
  • 1st Amend. not a shield for hate groups. (Aug 1999)
  • Indian gambling OK; lottery is not. (Aug 1999)
  • Hollywood should voluntarily self-censor sex and violence. (Jul 1999)
  • Supports Amendment against flag-burning. (Apr 1999)
  • We don’t need laws against Spanish language & culture. (Mar 1999)
  • Affirmative action OK for specific programs, but no quotas. (Jul 1998)
  • Ban on same-sex marriage is unRepublican; leave it to states. (Nov 2006)
  • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
  • Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
  • Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women. (Mar 1998)
  • Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
  • Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)
  • Voted YES on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)
  • Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)
  • Require 90 day delay for compliance before ADA lawsuits. (May 2002)
  • Limit interstate class-action lawsuits to federal courts . (May 2002)
  • Rated 0% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
  • Rated 33% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 7% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)

Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/Civil_Rights.htm


McCain archive from September 2007

 
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