the most ambitious crossover of the 2020 campaign
The Biden-Sanders Unity Task force, a team of supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) campaigns, issued recommendations for the Democratic Party platform in a 110-page document Wednesday. Here are six of their most notable recommendations on the topics of climate change, criminal justice reform, the economy, education, health care, and immigration.
1. Carbon-free electricity generation by 2035. The climate change committee led by former Secretary of State John Kerry and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) recommends "Democrats commit to eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035."
2. Decriminalizing marijuana. The criminal justice task force stops short of recommending federal legalization of recreational marijuana, but leaves that decision up to individual states. "All past criminal convictions for cannabis use should be automatically expunged," the committee continues.
3. Black unemployment and homeownership. The economy committee, headed by potential Biden running mate Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), recommends a broad re-evaluation of how slavery and Jim Crow segregation "continues to impact the economic prospects of Black Americans today." That includes a focus on the "extreme gap in household wealth" between white people and people of color.
4. Student loan relief. Democrats would pause payments and interest accrual on federal student loans when a person is making less than $25,000 a year. "After 20 years, remaining federal student loan debt should be automatically forgiven," the education committee recommends.
5. A COVID-19 health insurance plan. "A platinum-level, federally administered health insurance option with low fees and no deductibles" should be available on the marketplace until the pandemic ends and unemployment significantly falls, the health care committee said.
6. Protect TPS and DED immigrants from deportation. "Law-abiding" recipients of Temporary Protective Status and Deferred Enforced Departure — programs President Trump has sought to shrink — should not be "sent back to countries where they cannot live safely," the immigration committee suggests.