A Stronger, Fairer Economy: The Biden-Sanders Unity Platform


Democrats stand ready to take immediate, decisive action to pull the economy out of President Trump’s recession by investing in infrastructure, care work, clean energy, and small businesses to put tens of millions of Americans to work in good-paying jobs, shoring up state and local budgets to save jobs and protect public health in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and enacting fundamental reforms to address systemic racism and entrenched income and wealth inequality.

Responding to COVID-19 and President Trump’s Recession.

Solving the COVID-19 public health crisis is the surest way to get the economy back on track. We will immediately enact robust paid sick leave protections that cover all workers, including contractors, gig workers, domestic workers, and the self-employed. Democrats will also take immediate action to issue an OSHA infectious disease workplace safety standard.

We will reform the current unemployment insurance system to enable more workers to remain attached to their jobs, including by promoting payroll support and work-sharing programs with generous rates of wage replacement and requirements that employers maintain workers’ benefit programs. We will expand the system to cover more workers, including independent contractors, gig, part-time, and tipped workers, and raise wage replacement rates.

Democrats will extend significant aid to state and local governments, conditioned on their maintaining and expanding public-sector employment. Democrats support making immediate grants and loans to help small businesses make payroll, pay rent and other costs, and keep their doors open when possible. To ensure that federal dollars support keeping workers on payroll, we will impose rigorous oversight on big corporations seeking assistance.

Democrats will increase federal support for broadband infrastructure, and offer low-income Americans subsidies for accessing high-speed Internet. And Democrats will restore the FCC’s authority to take enforcement action against broadband providers who violate net neutrality.

Protecting Workers and Families and Creating Millions of Jobs Across America.

We must support working families by rebuilding the middle class, making sure that everyone can thrive, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, age, or ZIP code.

Raising Wages and Promoting Workers’ Rights.

Democrats will fight to raise wages for working people and improve job quality and security, including by raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. We will repeal so-called “right to work” laws.Taxpayer dollars should never flow to employers who steal workers’ wages, violate labor laws, or engage in union busting. We will strengthen public-sector employee labor rights.

We need to be more proactive in rooting out discrimination in our employment system. We will increase EEOC authority and funding to investigate civil rights violations and violations of the rights of people with disabilities.

Enacting Robust Work-Family Policies.  

We will fight to ensure that all employers provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers and family units.

We will work to reform the tax code to be more progressive and equitable. Corporate tax rates, reduced sharply by the 2017 Republican tax cut, must be raised. Estate taxes should also be raised back to the historical norm. Our reforms will provide immediate relief for working families, including more generous, refundable tax credits, and easier access to tax provisions that help working families build wealth.

Democrats will increase funding for food assistance, including SNAP, WIC, and school meals. We will remove barriers that keep the formerly incarcerated from accessing food assistance.

Investing in the Engines of Job Creation.

Democrats will launch a clean energy revolution through historic investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, and clean and advanced manufacturing. We will repair our highways, roads, bridges, ports, and airports, and launch our country’s second great railroad revolution by investing in high-speed rail. We will make sure that every community has access to clean, reliable, and safe drinking water and wastewater systems. We will modernize our schools and end the digital divide.

Democrats will expand support for American manufacturing, including on-shoring critical supply chains, ending policies that incentivize offshoring, and investing in innovation hubs.

We will provide substantially higher levels of support for programs and institutions that boost economic development in America’s most impoverished communities.

We will support proven workforce development programs such as registered apprenticeships and community college training partnerships. We will direct significant funding to state and local governments to retain and hire more teachers, public health professionals, nurses, home care workers, social workers, and other critical positions. Democrats reject any efforts to privatize public-sector jobs.

We will significantly boost funding for state small business grant and lending initiatives. We will increase access to credit for small businesses in low-income and rural areas. Democrats will make it easier for beginning farmers, ranchers, and foresters to start and grow their operations by expanding USDA loan programs. We will enforce labor and environmental protections for farmworkers.

Putting Homeownership in Reach and Guaranteeing Safe, Healthy, Energy-Efficient, and Affordable Housing for Every American.

Democrats will supercharge investment in the Housing Trust Fund to expand the number of affordable housing units on the market, reduce home prices, and create jobs. We commit to providing Section 8 housing support for every eligible family. We will make energy efficiency upgrades for millions of low-income households.

Democrats will enact a new Homeowner and Renter Bill of Rights to protect families from abusive lenders and landlords, and provide legal support to fight wrongful evictions. Democrats will vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, and give local elected officials tools and resources to combat gentrification, penalize predatory lending practices, and maintain homeownership.

Democrats support a housing-first approach to ending homelessness in America. We will act swiftly to end homelessness among veterans. We will ensure that all returning citizens have access to transitional housing upon reentry from jail or prison.

Ensuring Equitable Access to Banking and Financial Services.

Democrats will support Congressional efforts to guarantee affordable, trustworthy banking services for low- and middle-income families. Democrats will also expand access to credit by creating a public credit-reporting agency to provide a non-discriminatory alternative to private agencies, and require its use by federal lending programs. And we will reinvigorate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ensure that banks and lenders cannot prey on consumers.

Closing the Racial Wealth Gap.

We will equalize established pathways for building wealth, while exploring innovative approaches to closing gaps, including providing seed capital.

Building A Fair System of International Trade.

Democrats will negotiate in our trade deals strong and binding standards for labor, human rights, and the environment. We will take action against countries that manipulate their currencies to gain unfair advantages.

Tackling Runaway Corporate Concentration.

We will direct federal regulators to review mergers and acquisitions that have taken place since President Trump took office, as well as future mergers, to assess whether any have increased market concentration, raised consumer prices, demonstrably harmed workers, increased racial inequality, or reduced competition, and assign appropriate remedies.

Guaranteeing a Secure and Dignified Retirement.

Democrats will enact policies to make Social Security more progressive, including increasing minimum benefit payments and protecting surviving spouses from benefit cuts. Democrats support reforms that account for the challenges facing unpaid caregivers. Democrats will reject every effort to cut, privatize, or weaken Social Security. We will put Social Security on a path to solvency and strengthen it in perpetuity.

We will also make it easier to save for retirement beyond core Social Security programs by protecting pensions, eliminating penalties for retirement benefits that unfairly punish public-sector workers, and relaxing contribution restrictions for unpaid caregivers.

Read the full plan here.
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