"This is such a profoundly difficult question and what I have said and what I continue to believe is that the states have proven themselves incapable of carrying out fair trials that give any defendant all the rights that a defendant should have, all the support that the defendant's lawyer should have. And I've said, I would breathe a sigh of relief if either the Supreme Court or the states themselves began to eliminate the death penalty. Where I end up is this, and maybe it's a distinction that's hard to support, but, at this point, given the challenges we face from terrorist activities, primarily in our country that end up under federal jurisdiction, for very limited purposes, I think it [the death penalty] can still be held in reserve for those. And the kind of crimes I'm thinking of are the bombing in Oklahoma City, where an American terrorist blew up the government building, killing, as I recall, 158 Americans, including a number of children who were in the preschool program. The plotters and the people who carried out the attacks on 9/11. But a very limited use of it in cases where there has [sic] been horrific mass killings. That's really the exception that I still am struggling with and would only be in the federal system."
Source: Ricky Jackson, "Exonerated Death Row Inmate: Clinton Wrong on Death Penalty," cnn.com, Mar. 14, 2016
Pro Should the United States Abide by Its Treaties with Native American Tribes?
"Hillary Clinton believes the United States has a sacred trust with Native Americans. She is committed to strengthening and building on the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Indian tribes, and believes the United States should fulfill its treaty obligations and trust responsibilities to Tribal Nations. She believes we need to break down all the barriers that hold Native Americans back and build ladders of opportunity for all Native American people. That includes removing obstacles that contribute to addiction, high unemployment and poverty rates on many reservations. At the core of Clinton's agenda is a simple idea: every child in America should be able to live up to his or her God-given potential."
Source: 2016 Hillary for America, "Growing Together: Hillary Clinton's Vision for Building a Brighter Future for Native Americans," hillaryclinton.com (accessed July 12, 2016)
Con Should Private Prisons Be Allowed in the United States?
"Ending the privatization of prisons. Hillary believes we should move away from contracting out this core responsibility of the federal government to private corporations. We must not create private industry incentives that may contribute—or have the appearance of contributing—to over-incarceration. The campaign does not accept contributions from federally registered lobbyists or PACs for private prison companies and will donate any such direct contributions to charity."
Source: 2016 Hillary for America, "Criminal Justice Reform," hillaryclinton.com (accessed Aug. 30, 2016)
Should Law Enforcement Be Allowed to Use Racial Profiling?
"As president, Hillary will invest in law enforcement training programs on issues such as implicit bias, use of force, and de-escalation. She will also create national guidelines for use of force, provide federal matching funds to make body cameras available to every police department in America, and support legislation to ban racial profiling by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials."
Source: Hillary for America, "Racial Justice," hillaryclinton.com (accessed May 16, 2016)
Pro Should Supreme Court Justice Scalia's Replacement Be Chosen by President Obama?
"My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Justice Scalia as they mourn his sudden passing. I did not hold Justice Scalia's views, but he was a dedicated public servant who brought energy and passion to the bench.
The Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail who are calling for Justice Scalia's seat to remain vacant dishonor our Constitution. The Senate has a constitutional responsibility here that it cannot abdicate for partisan political reasons."
Source: Hillary Clinton, Twitter post, twitter.com, Feb. 13, 2016
Con Should the United States Continue the War on Drugs?
"[Lester Holt: D]espite an estimated trillion dollars spent, many say the war on drugs has failed. So what would you do?
[Hillary] Clinton: Everywhere I go to campaign, I'm meeting families who are affected by the drug problem that mostly is opioids and heroin now, and lives are being lost and children are being orphaned. And I've met a lot of grandparents who are now taking care of grandchildren.
So I have tried to come out with a comprehensive approach that, number one, does tell the states that we will work with you from the federal government putting more money, about a billion dollars a year, to help states have a different approach to dealing with this epidemic…
We have to move away from treating the use of drugs as a crime and instead, move it to where it belongs, as a health issue. And we need to divert more people from the criminal justice system into drug courts, into treatment, and recovery."
Source:New York Times, "Transcript of the Democratic Presidential Debate," nytimes.com, Jan 17, 2016
Not Clearly Pro or Con Does Lowering the Corporate Income Tax Rate Create Jobs?
"One of the best ways to drive jobs and improve our nation's competitiveness is to invest in infrastructure and scientific research. Hillary has called for a national infrastructure bank that would leverage public and private funds to invest in projects across the country. She will call for reform that closes corporate tax loopholes and drives investment here, in the U.S."
Source: Hillary for America, "A Plan to Raise American Incomes," hillaryclinton.com (accessed Nov. 5, 2015)
"[A] priority must be reforming our tax code... First, hard-working families need and deserve tax relief and simplification. Second, those at the top have to pay their fair share. That's why I support the Buffet Rule, which makes sure millionaires do not pay lower rates than their secretaries. I have called for closing the carried interest loophole, that lets wealthy financiers pay an artificially low rate.
And let's agree that hugely successful companies that benefit from everything that America has to offer, should not be able to game the system and avoid paying their fair share, especially while companies who can't afford high-priced lawyers and lobbyists end up paying more."
Source:Wall Street Journal, "Hillary Clinton Transcript: Building the 'Growth and Fairness Economy,'" wsj.com, July 13, 2015
"Hillary will cut taxes for hard-working families to increase their take-home pay as they face rising costs from child care, health care, and sending their kids to college...
Hillary supports ending the 'carried interest' loophole, enacting the 'Buffett Rule' that ensures no millionaire pays a lower effective tax rate than their secretary, and closing tax loopholes and expenditures that benefit the wealthiest taxpayers to pay for her plan to make college affordable and refinance student debt."
Source: Hillary for America, "A Plan to Raise American Incomes," hillaryclinton.com accessed Nov. 5, 2015)
[Editor's Note: Hillary Clinton characterized the flat tax as "harmful" in a post on her campaign website, titled "Republican Tax Plans Fight for the Highest Earners" (accessed Nov. 5, 2015), in which she stated: "Ben Carson supports a harmful flat tax."]
"I fully respect my colleagues who have said 'let's reinstate Glass-Steagall.' And if I thought that alone would prevent the potential next crisis, I'd raise my hand and join, but that's not my assessment... Some of the major actors who caused the '08 crash were not big banks, they would have never been covered by Glass-Steagall...
What I want to do is to crack down on the banks by assessing a risk fee and forcing them to have to comply with Dodd-Frank and tougher regulations. And I am absolutely in favor of breaking them up if they become a risk to the economy. But the potential next threat to our economy that has to really be reined in is what's called the shadow banking world, the hedge funds, the money market funds. Glass-Steagall wouldn't do anything about it, if it were reinstated tomorrow."
Source: CSPAN, "Hillary Clinton on Glass-Steagall," cspan.org, Oct. 20, 2015
"Now, I will also defend Social Security and Medicare from the efforts of the Republicans to privatize both of them. When I was in the Senate, George Bush came up with a privatization plan. Some of you might remember that. It would have been a disaster. And we defeated it. As your president, I will defend it. I will not let anybody think that they can privatize it. But we're going to have to make sure that we shore it up so that it is there not just for those who are currently recipients but for generations to come."
Source: Hillary for America, "Social Security and Medicare: We Must Preserve, Protect, and Strengthen These Lifelines," hillaryclinton.com, Oct. 28, 2015
Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement Good for America?
"I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] agreement, but I'm worried. I'm worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. We've lost American jobs to the manipulation that the countries, in particularly in Asia, have engaged in. I'm worried that the pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients and consumers -- fewer.
I think that there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but for me, it really comes down to those three points that I made...
What I know about it, as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it."
Source:PBS NewsHour, "Complete Transcript of Hillary Clinton Interview," pbs.com, Oct. 7, 2015
During the Oct. 13, 2015 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton said of her formerly pro statement, "I did say, when I was secretary of state, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard. It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn't meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, 'this will help raise your wages.' And I concluded I could not."]
Not Clearly Pro or Con Is the Growth of Charter Schools Good for Education in America?
"Well, I have for many years now, about 30 years, supported the idea of charter schools. But not as a substitute for the public schools. But as a supplement for the public schools. And what I have, what I have worked on through my work with the Children's Defense Fund and my work on education in Arkansas and through my time as First Lady and Senator is to continue to say that charter schools can have a purpose but, you know, there are good charter schools and there are bad charter schools, just like there are good public schools and there are bad public schools. The original idea behind the charter schools, Roland [Martin, interviewer], was to learn what works and apply them in the public schools. And here's a couple of problems: most charter schools, I don't want to say every one, but most charter schools, they don't take the hardest to teach kids or, if they do, they don't keep them. And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation because they do, thankfully, take everybody and then they don't get the resources or the help and support that they need in order to take care of every child's education. So I want parents to be able to exercise choice within the public school system. Not outside of it but within it, because I am still a firm believer that the public school system is one of the real pillars of our democracy. And it is a path for opportunity. But I am also fully aware that there are a lot of substandard public schools. But part of the reason for that policymakers and local politicians will not fund schools in poor areas that take care of poor children to the level that they need to be."
Source: C-Span, "Hillary Clinton Town Hall Meeting in Orangeburg, South Carolina," c-span.org, Nov. 7, 2015
Not Clearly Pro or Con Are the Common Core Standards Good for Education in America?
"When I think about the really unfortunate argument that's been going on around Common Core, it's very painful, because the Common Core started off as a bi-partisan effort — it was actually nonpartisan. It wasn't politicized, it was to try to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, that there wouldn't be two tiers of education. Everybody would be looking at what was to be learned and doing their best to try to achieve that. Now I think part of the reason why Iowa may be more understanding of this is you've had the Iowa Core for years, you've had a system, plus the Iowa Assessment tests. I think I'm right in saying I took those when I was in elementary school, right — the Iowa tests. So Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time, and you see the value of it. You understand why that helps you organize your whole education system. And a lot of states, unfortunately, haven't had that, and so don't understand the value of a core in this sense a common core that then — yes of course you can, y'know, figure out the best way, in your community to try to reach."
Source: Valerie Strauss, "What Hillary Clinton Said about the Common Core State Standards," washingtonpost.com, Apr. 20, 2015
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should K-12 Teachers Get Tenure?
"A lot of what has happened and honestly it really pains me, a lot of people have been blaming and scape-goating teachers because they don't want to put the money into the schools system that deserve the support that comes from the government doing its job... You know, teachers do so much good, they are often working under most difficult circumstances. So anything that could be changed, I want them to look at it. I will be a good partner to make sure that whatever I can do as president, I will do to support the teachers of our country."
Source:New York Times, "Transcript of the Democratic Presidential Debate in Flint, Mich.," nytimes.com, Mar. 6, 2016
Pro Should Any Public Colleges or Universities Be Tuition-Free?
"Students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state under the New College Compact. Pell Grants are not included in the calculation of no-debt-tuition, so Pell recipients will be able to use their grants fully for living expenses. Students at community college will receive free tuition."
Source: 2016 Hillary for America, "College," hillaryclinton.com (accessed May 10, 2016)
[Editor's Note: On July 6, 2016, Clinton's campaign updated her position on tuition-free college in an article by Kat Kane titled, "How Much Would Hillary Clinton's Debt-Free College Plan Save You (Even If You've Already Graduated)?," available at hillaryclinton.com: "Under her plan, every student will have the opportunity to graduate from an in-state four-year public college or university without taking on any student debt. Families with incomes up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities, which covers more than 80 percent of families. The plan will be phased in over five years, but families earning $85,000 or less will immediately be able to attend an in-state college or university without paying any tuition."]
Con Was the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision Good for America?
"Decided by the US Supreme Court in 2010, by a 5-4 margin, the Citizens United case helped unleash hundreds of millions of dollars of secret, unaccountable money into US elections that is drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans and distorting our democracy. To undo the harm of Citizens United and other wrongheaded campaign finance court decisions, Clinton will... appoint Supreme Court justices who understand that the Constitution protects citizens' right to participate fully in the democratic process, and that decisions like Citizens United, which upended campaign finance law, and Shelby County, which gutted the Voting Rights Act, are not good for America."
Source: "Hillary Clinton's Proposals to Restore Integrity to American Elections," hillaryclinton.com (accessed Sep. 30, 2015)
Pro Should Felons Who Have Completed Their Sentences (Incarceration, Probation, and Parole) Be Allowed to Vote?
"Many people in the community, because of where they live, because maybe they did make a mistake and they don't get their voting rights back, which I totally disagree with… I think if you've done your time, so to speak, and you've made your commitment to go forward you should be able to vote and you should be able to be judged on the same basis. You ought to get a second chance."
Source: David Weigel, "But She's Been There for Years," www.bloomberg.com, May 19, 2015
Con Should Voters Be Required to Show Photo Identification in Order to Vote?
"What is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other. Because since the Supreme Court eviscerated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, many of the states that previously faced special scrutiny because of a history of racial discrimination have proposed and passed new laws that make it harder than ever to vote...
Here in Texas, former Governor Rick Perry signed a law [Senate Bill 14, requiring voters to show photo identification] that a federal court said was actually written with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters. He applauded when the Voting Rights Act was gutted... Today Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting... I believe every citizen has the right to vote, and I believe we should do everything we can to make it easier for every citizen to vote."
Source: CSPAN, "Hillary Clinton on Voting Rights," cspan.org, June 4, 2015
[Editor's Note: Texas Senate Bill 14 was signed into law on May 27, 2011, but not enacted until June 23, 2013, when the US Supreme Court struck down the section of the Voting Rights Actof 1965 that had blocked the Texas law.]
Pro Should US Election Campaigns Be Publicly Financed?
"Outsized political influence by wealthy corporations and individuals has discouraged everyday Americans from participating in the political process. In the 2014 election, the top 100 campaign donors alone spent nearly as much as all 4.75 million small donors combined. Meanwhile, 2014 also marked the first time in almost a quarter century that the total number of donors reported to have given to political campaigns decreased from the prior midterm election.
The current system creates disincentives for voters to feel like their participation matters and for candidates to focus more of their attention on regular voters. It also sets up barriers to ordinary people with extraordinary ideas seeking elective office and serving their country, especially women and people of color. Clinton believes we need a system that empowers all citizens to fully participate and have their voices heard. She will… [e]stablish a small donor matching system for presidential and congressional candidates that will incentivize small donors to participate in elections and candidates to spend more time engaging a broad, representative cross-section of constituents, and will include: Matching funds for small donations... [and] Lower contribution limits."
Source: Hillary for America, "Hillary Clinton's Proposals to Restore Integrity to American Elections," hillaryclinton.com (accessed Jan. 21, 2016)
"[T]he United States will promote the use of shale gas [the gas accessed by fracking]. Now I know that in some places it is controversial. But natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today, and a number of countries in the Americas may have shale gas resources. If developed, shale gas could make an important contribution to our region’s energy supply, just as it does now for the United States. And the geologists at the U.S. Geological Survey are ready to work with partners to explore this potential. And we want to do it in a way that is as environmentally respectful as possible."
Source: Hillary Clinton, "Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial Remarks," state.gov, Apr. 15, 2010
[Editor's Note: Hillary Clinton qualified her views with additional comments regarding her support of fracking during the Mar. 6, 2016 Democratic debate in Flint, MI: "You know, I don't support it [fracking] when any locality or any state is against it, number one. I don't support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don't support it — number three — unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using.
So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place. And I think that's the best approach, because right now, there [are] places where fracking is going on that are not sufficiently regulated.
So first, we've got to regulate everything that is currently underway, and we have to have a system in place that prevents further fracking unless conditions like the ones that I just mentioned are met."]
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the United States Build Additional Nuclear Power Plants?
"I'm agnostic about nuclear power... until we figure out what we're going to do with the waste and the cost, it's very hard to see nuclear as a part of our future. But that's where American technology comes in. Let's figure out what we're going to do about the waste and the cost if we think nuclear should be a part of the solution."
[Editor's Note: In a 2016 Fact Sheet, "Hillary Clinton's Vision for Renewable Power," the Clinton campaign stated: "As part of the Clean Energy Challenge, Clinton will ensure that every part of the federal government is working in concert to help Americans build a clean energy future. This includes... Increas[ing] public investment in clean energy R&D, including in storage technology, designed materials, advanced nuclear, and carbon capture and sequestration. Expand[ing] successful innovation initiatives, like ARPA-e, and cut those that fail to deliver results."]
Pro Is China an Economic or Military Threat to the United States?
"[W]e also have to be fully vigilant, China's military is growing very quickly, they're establishing military installations that again threaten countries we have treaties with, like the Philippines because they are building on contested property... They're also trying to hack into everything that doesn't move in America. Stealing commercial secrets... from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information, all looking for an advantage."
Source: Amanda Becker, "Hillary Clinton Accuses China of Hacking U.S. Computers," www.reuters.com, July 4, 2015
Should the United States Maintain Its Embargo against Cuba?
"We have arrived at a decisive moment. The Cuban people have waited long enough for progress to come. Even many Republicans on Capitol Hill are starting to recognize the urgency of moving forward. It’s time for their [Cuba's] leaders to either get on board or get out of the way.
The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all. We should replace it with a smarter approach that empowers the Cuban private sector, Cuban civil society, and the Cuban-American community to spur progress and keep pressure on the regime.
Today I am calling on Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to step up and answer the pleas of the Cuban people. By large majorities, they want a closer relationship with America. They want to buy our goods, read our books, surf our web, and learn from our people. They want to bring their country into the 21st century. That is the road toward democracy and dignity. We should walk it together."
Source: Alex Leary, "Hillary Clinton in Miami: 'The Cuba Embargo Needs to Go, Once and for All,'" www.tampabay.com, July 31, 2015
Pro Is the Nuclear Arms Deal with Iran Good for America?
"Now there is a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Is it perfect? Well of course not. No agreement like this ever is. But is it a strong agreement? Yes it is. And we absolutely should not turn it down...
It accomplishes the major goals we set out to achieve. It blocks every pathway for Iran to get a bomb. It gives us better tools for verification and inspection and to compel rigorous compliance...
Our experts tell us that even with delayed access to some places, this deal does the job."
Source: Brookings Institution, "Hillary Clinton Addresses the Iran Nuclear Deal," brookings.edu, Sep. 9, 2015
Pro Should There Be an Independent Palestinian State?
"Yes, I do believe it's possible [two-state solution] and I believe it’s the only resolution that will work... And we have to look for a way to persuade both sides to do more to demonstrate unequivocally their commitment to a two-state solution. And there are steps that both sides can and should make that I would be promoting... There is no alternative and I will continue to work for that because I believe it is the best outcome for both Israelis and Palestinians in the region."
Source:Washington Post, "Clinton on Israel: Two-State Solution 'Best Outcome,'" washingtonpost.com, July 23, 2015
"We can have common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable while respecting responsible gun owners... The stakes are too high, the costs are too dear, and I am not and will not be afraid to keep fighting for common sense reforms, and along with you, achieve those on behalf of all who have been lost because of this senseless gun violence in this country."
Source: Igor Bobic, "Hillary Clinton Calls for 'Common Sense' Gun Reforms in Wake of Charleston Shooting," huffingtonpost.com, June 20, 2015
[Editor's Note: During the first Democratic candidates debate on Oct. 13, 2015, Hillary Clinton made the following statement:
"I think that we have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long and it's time the entire country stood up against the NRA. The majority of our country supports background checks, and even the majority of gun owners do."]
"[Donald Trump] said also, that on his first day in office, he'd mandate that every school in America allow guns in classrooms. Every school, he said. That idea isn't just way out there, it's dangerous. Thirty-three thousand people die from guns every year. Nearly three thousand children and teenagers among them. Parents, teachers, and schools should have the right to keep guns out of classrooms. Just like Donald Trump does at many of his hotels, by the way."
Source: Monica Alba, "Hillary Clinton Slams Trump on Guns, Says 'I Will Not Pander to the Gun Lobby,'" nbcnews.com, May 22, 2016
"I believe we need to protect access to safe and legal abortion, not just in principle but in practice. Any right that requires you to take extraordinary measures to access it is no right at all. Not when patients and providers have to endure harassment and intimidation just to walk in to a health center. Not when, not when making an appointment means taking time off from work, finding child care and driving halfway across your state. Not when providers are required by state law to recite misleading information to women in order to shame and scare them. And not as long as we have laws on the book like the Hyde Amendment, making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights."
Source: C-Span, “Hillary Clinton Calls for Ending Hyde Amendment, www.c-span.org, Jan. 10, 2016
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should Any Vaccines Be Required for Children?
"The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let's protect all our kids."
Source: Hillary Clinton, Twitter post, twitter.com, Feb. 2, 2015
[Editor's Note: In 1993, Hillary Clinton, then First Lady, helped to launch the Childhood Immunization Initiative and the Vaccines for Children program, both aimed at providing low-cost or free vaccines to children. Hillary Clinton worked at The Clinton Foundation from 2013-2015, specifically focusing on the Too Small to Fail initiative, which promotes childhood vaccination among other advocacy efforts. While Clinton is clearly pro-vaccine, we were unable to determine from her statements whether she believes vaccination should be mandatory for children.]
"I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to affirm what the authors of the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] clearly intended and wrote into law: that health insurance should be affordable and available in every state across the country...
The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect, but the evidence is clear: it's working. Sixteen million Americans have gained coverage. Millions of young people are able to stay on their parents' plans. Insurance companies can no longer discriminate against people with preexisting conditions or charge women higher rates just because of their gender.
Republicans should stop trying to tear down the law and start working across party lines to build on these successes.
I've fought for the promise of quality, affordable health care for every American for decades. And I'm not going to stop now. Anyone seeking to lead our country should stand up and support this decision."
Source: Colin Campbell, "'Yes!': Hillary Clinton Cheers Supreme Court after Obamacare Ruling,” businessinsider.com, June 25, 2015
Con Should Parental Consent Be Required for Pregnant Minors to Have Abortions?
"While we all hope that young women will involve their parents in these decisions, mandating parental consent has the serious potential to do more harm than good. In fact, during congressional testimony, Dr. Warren Seigel, an expert in adolescent medicine, stated that legislation mandating parental involvement 'represents bad medicine and places politics before the health of our youth.'"
Source: Congressional Record transcript, Child Custody Protection Act, congress.gov, July 25, 2006
Pro Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?
"Q: What's your attitude toward Oregon's assisted suicide law?
A [Hillary Clinton]: I believe it's within the province of the states to make that decision. I commend Oregon on this count, as well, because whether I agree with it or not or think it's a good idea or not, the fact that Oregon is breaking new ground and providing valuable information as to what does and doesn't work when it comes to end-of-life questions, I think, is very beneficial...
I have a great deal of sympathy for people who are in difficult end-of-life situations. I've gone to friends who have been in great pain and suffering at the end of their lives. I've never been personally confronted with it but I know it's a terribly difficult decision that should never be forced upon anyone. So with appropriate safeguards and informed decision-making, I think it's an appropriate right to have."
Source: Interview with the Register Guard newspaper, as quoted by talkleft.com, "Hillary and Obama on Assisted Suicide and Medical Marijuana," talkleft.com, Apr. 6, 2008
Pro Should Planned Parenthood Receive Federal Funding?
"Republicans like Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are calling to defund Planned Parenthood, the country's leading provider of reproductive health care... If this feels like a full-on assault on women's health, that's because it is. When politicians talk about defunding Planned Parenthood, they're talking about blocking millions of women, men, and young people from live-saving preventive care: cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control...
I'm proud to stand with Planned Parenthood, I'll never stop fighting to protect the ability and right of every woman in this country to make her own health decisions."
Source: Hillary Clinton, Twitter post, twitter.com/HillaryClinton, Aug. 3, 2015
Con Should the Federal Government Use Raids to Enforce Immigration Laws?
"Our immigration enforcement efforts should be humane and conducted in accordance with due process, and that is why I believe we must stop the raids happening in immigrant communities... We have laws and we must be guided by those laws, but we shouldn't have armed federal officers showing up at peoples' homes, taking women and children out of their beds in the middle of the night… [The raids] have sown fear and division in immigrant communities across the country. People are afraid to go to work. They are afraid to send their kids to school. They are afraid to go to the hospital, or even the grocery store."
Source: Dan Merica, "Clinton Calls for Ending DHS Raids against Central American Families," www.wapt.com, Jan. 11, 2016
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the United States Continue to Build the Fence/Wall along the US-Mexico Border?
"[Hillary] Clinton: There may be places where a physical barrier is appropriate. I think when both of us [Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama] voted for this, we were voting for the possibility that where it was appropriate and made sense, it would be considered... So I would have a review. I would listen to the people who live along the border, who understand what it is we need to be doing to protect our country...
[John] King: Does that mean that you think your vote was wrong, or the implementation of it was wrong?...
Clinton: But, you know, John, there is -- there's a lot we've learned about technology and smart fencing. You know, there is technology that can be used instead of a physical barrier. It requires us having enough personnel along the border so that people can be supervising a certain limited amount of space and will be able to be responsive in the event of people attempting to cross illegally. I think that the way that the Bush administration is going about this, filing eminent domain actions against landowners and municipalities, makes no sense.
So what I have said is, yes, there are places when after a careful review, again listening to the people who live along the border, there may be limited places where it would work. But let's deploy more technology and personnel, instead of the physical barrier.
I frankly think that will work better and it will give us an opportunity to secure our borders without interfering with family relations, business relations, recreation and so much else that makes living along the border, you know, wonderful."
Source: "The CNN Democratic Presidential Debate in Texas," cnn.com, Feb. 21, 2008
Pro Should Undocumented Immigrants in the United States Be Allowed to Become Legal Residents?
"The American people support comprehensive immigration reform--not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it strengthens families, our economy, and our country. Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship, treats every person with dignity, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy."
Source: "America Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a Pathway to Citizenship," hillaryclinton.com (accessed Sep. 25, 2015)
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should Sanctuary Cities Continue to Receive Federal Funding for Law Enforcement?
"[Brianna] KEILAR: Last week an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times killed a 32-year-old woman, Kate Steinle, in San Francisco, a sanctuary city where local law enforcement does not enforce federal immigration laws.
When you last ran for president you supported sanctuary cities.
In light of this terrible incident, does that change anything about your view on this?
CLINTON: Well, what should be done is any city should listen to the Department of Homeland Security, which as I understand it, urged them to deport this man again after he got out of prison another time. Here's a case where we've deported, we've deported, we've deported. He ends back up in our country and I think the city made a mistake. The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported.
So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.
However, there are - like if it were a first-time traffic citation, if it were something minor, a misdemeanor, that's entirely different. This man had already been deported five times. And he should have been deported at the request of the federal government."
Source: CNN Press Room, "CNN Exclusive: Hillary Clinton's First National Interview of 2016 Race," cnn.com, July 7, 2015
Pro Should the United States Allow Syrian Refugees into the Country?
"We cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values and humanitarian obligations. Turning away orphans, applying a religious test, discriminating against Muslims, slamming the door on every single Syrian refugee—that's just not who we are. We are better than that.
Remember, many of these refugees are fleeing the same terrorists who threaten us. It would be a cruel irony indeed if ISIS can force families from their homes and then also prevent them from finding new ones...
America's open, free, tolerant society is described by some as a vulnerability in the struggle against terrorism. But I actually believe it's one of our greatest strengths. It reduces the appeal of radicalism and enhances the richness and resilience of our communities."
Source: Elizabeth Chan, “Hillary Clinton Just Showed Why Defeating ISIS and Welcoming Syrian Refugees Aren't Opposing Ideas,” hillaryclinton.com, Nov. 19, 2015
Pro Should the Federal Government Guarantee Paid Family and Medical Leave?
"Today, the United States is the only developed nation in the world with no guaranteed paid leave of any kind. In fact, only 13 percent of American workers have access to paid family leave—with the lowest paid workers up to four times less likely to have access than the highest paid…
Hillary has long believed it's past time for that to change. In an economy where both men and women typically hold down a paying job and women are breadwinners in two-thirds of families with children, paid family and medical leave is core to our economic growth and competitiveness. Paid leave helps families remain economically stable, benefits children’s early health and development by allowing parents to care for their newborn children, and reduces employee turnover. The availability of paid leave bolsters our economy by allowing more Americans to participate fully in the workforce and ensures that we don’t leave any talent on the sidelines.
As president, Hillary will:
Guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Under Hillary’s plan, workers—men and women—will be guaranteed up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member, such as an elderly, ailing parent or a spouse with cancer, and up to 12 weeks of medical leave to recover from a serious illness or injury of their own."
Source: 2016 Hillary for America, "Paid Family and Medical Leave," hillaryclinton.com (accessed Apr. 5, 2016)
Pro Do Labor Unions Provide an Overall Benefit to Their Workers in the United States?
"When unions are strong, America is strong… Labor unions helped build America's middle class, and organized labor remains critical to fulfilling America's basic bargain: If you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead."
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the Minimum Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?
"Empower communities to implement preventive programming for adolescents about drug use and addiction. Clinton believes that we need to do far more as a nation to educate our youth, as well as their families, teachers, coaches, mentors and friends to intervene early in order to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. School-based programs that are developmentally appropriate, and community-wide peer mentoring and leadership programs, can be highly effective means of delaying or preventing the first use of alcohol or drugs. Clinton will help state and local leaders put in place effective, evidence-based, and locally-tailored programs to meet their needs."
Source: 2016 Hillary for America, "Hillary Clinton's Initiative to Combat America's Deadly Epidemic of Drug and Alcohol Addiction," hillaryclinton.com, Sep. 2, 2015
"I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we're going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief. So, I think we're just at the beginning, but I agree completely with the idea that we have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana."
Source:Washington Post, "The CNN Democratic Debate Transcript, Annotated," washingtonpost.com, Oct. 13, 2015
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?
"[Juan Carlos] LOPEZ: When asked about legalizing recreational marijuana, you told her [Christiane Amanpour] let's wait and see how it plays out in Colorado and Washington. It's been more than a year since you've said that. Are you ready to take a position tonight?
CLINTON: No. I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today...
So, I think we're just at the beginning, but I agree completely with the idea that we have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana. Therefore, we need more states, cities, and the federal government to begin to address this so that we don't have this terrible result that Senator Sanders was talking about where we have a huge population in our prisons for nonviolent, low-level offenses that are primarily due to marijuana."
Source:Washington Post, "The CNN Democratic Debate Transcript, Annotated," washingtonpost.com, Oct. 13, 2015
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the United States and Russia Collaborate to Combat Terrorism?
"As president, Hillary will... [b]e firm but wise with our rivals. Countries like Russia and China often work against us. Hillary has gone toe-to-toe with Russian and China and many other different leaders around the world. She knows we have to be able to both stand our ground when we must, and find common ground when we can... Hillary has gone toe-to-toe with Putin before, and she'll do it again. She'll stand shoulder to shoulder with our European allies and push back and deter Russian aggression in Europe and beyond, and increase the costs to Putin for his actions."
Source: Hillary for America, "National Security," hillaryclinton.com (accessed Aug. 16, 2016)
Pro Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?
"The use of remotely piloted aircraft was fast becoming one of the more effective and controversial elements of the Obama Administration’s strategy against al Qaeda and like-minded terrorists in hard-to-reach areas... [I]t was widely known that dozens of senior terrorists had been taken off the battlefield, and we later learned that bin Laden himself worried about the heavy losses that drones were inflicting... I thought it was crucial that these strikes be a part of a larger smart power counterterrorism strategy that included diplomacy, law enforcement, sanctions, and other tools."
Con Should the United States Send Ground Troops to Fight ISIS?
"Donald Trump has been all over the place on ISIS. He's talked about letting Syria become a free zone for ISIS. A major country in the Middle East that could launch attacks against us and others. He's talked about sending ground troops — American ground troops. Well, that is off the table as far as I am concerned."
Source: Katie Zezima, "Donald Trump Calls for 'Extreme Vetting' of People Looking to Come to the United States," washingtonpost.com, Aug. 15, 2016
Pro Should the United States Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp?
"I have been on record in favor of closing Guantanamo for a long time, since 2008. When I was Secretary of State, working closely with the President, I had a special envoy to find places that could take back some of the prisoners... I believe the President is right to try to close it. I think it is a continuing recruitment advertisement for terrorists...
There is no reason for us to continue to have Guantanamo."
Source: Stephen Collinson, "CNN Town Hall: Clinton, Sanders Make Pitch to Minority Voters," cnn.com, Feb. 23, 2016
"I did make a mistake [by voting for the Iraq war in 2002] and I admitted that I made a mistake. And in large measure that mistake really arose from the Bush administration's approach to what they thought they could accomplish in Iraq.
The very explicit appeal that President Bush made before announcing the invasion that getting the vote would be a strong piece of leverage in order to finish the [weapons of mass destruction] inspections… I gave them the vote, in large measure, because I thought that would give us the time and we would find out [about WMDs], short of invasion. Turned out not to be. And I really regret that that's the way President Bush proceeded."
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the US Military Budget Be Increased?
"I think we are overdue for a very thorough debate in our country about what we need, and how we are going to pay for it. Very often, leadership of the Defense Department wants to eliminate certain spending, or wants to change it, and they're stopped by the Congress."
Source: Reuters and Faith Ninivaggi, "Clinton Calls for Commission to Examine U.S. Military Spending," reuters.com, Sep. 17, 2015
Con Should the United States Have Mandatory National Service (Military or Civilian)?
"You know, from my perspective, the all-volunteer military has worked and we should not do anything that undermines it because it has provided a solid core of people who are willing to serve our country. The idea of having everybody register concerns me a little bit unless we have a better idea of where that's going to come out."
Source: Susan Jones, "Clinton: 'I Have a Hard Time Imagining the Kind of National Emergency' That Would Trigger Draft," cnsnews.com, Feb. 4, 2016
Con Should Interrogation Techniques That Some Consider Torture, Such as Waterboarding, Be a Legal Option?
"Today we can say again in a loud and clear voice, the United States should never condone or practice torture anywhere in the world...
America is at our best when our actions match our values...
Yes, the threat of terrorism is real and urgent, scores of children were just murdered in Pakistan, beheadings in the Middle East, a siege in Sydney, these tragedies not only break hearts but should steel our resolve and underscore that our values are what set us apart from our adversaries."
Source: Shushannah Walshe, “Hillary Clinton Speaks out against U.S. Use of Torture,” abcnews.go.com, Dec. 17, 2014
Con Should the Veterans Health Administration Be Privatized?
"Look, I was outraged by the stories that came out about the V.A. And I have been very clear about the necessity for doing whatever is required to move the V.A. into the 21st century, to provide the kind of treatment options that our veterans today desperately need and deserve. And that's what I will do as president. But I will not let the V.A. be privatized. And I do think there is an agenda out there, supported by my opponent, to do just that. I think that would be very disastrous for our military veterans."
Source: Ryan Teague Beckwith, "Read Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's Remarks at a Military Forum," time.com, Sep. 7, 2016
Pro Should Women Be Allowed to Serve in Military Combat Positions?
"I think it's important to open up all roles to women, but I also agree with Secretary Carter that you have to have standards and women and men have to meet those standards because we're talking literally life or death… I am a huge supporter of women being able to break whatever glass ceilings are holding them back… Physically, mentally, you have to be prepared and you have to be ready. And I think that, you're right, not every woman is going to want to do that [serve in combat roles] and some women what want to do it are not going to qualify but we just had a few women pass Ranger school, which is an enormously competitive, grueling experience. It was just less than a handful but they proved they could do it and, from everything I know, nobody cut any slack for them. They did it. And, in fact, after it was over, they interviewed some of the, you know, male competitors to go through Ranger school and these guys said, 'you know, after a while, I didn’t even notice. I mean, yeah, you’re right, she was a woman. She carried her weight. She pulled her own.' That’s what you want."
Source: NBC News, "Clinton on the Role of Women in Combat," nbcnews.com, Jan. 5, 2016
Pro Is the Black Lives Matter Movement Good for America?
"Black lives matter. Everyone in this country should stand firmly behind that. We need to acknowledge some hard truths about race and justice in this country, and one of those hard truths is that that racial inequality is not merely a symptom of economic inequality. Black people across America still experience racism every day. Since this campaign started, I've been talking about the work we must do to address the systemic inequities that persist in education, in economic opportunity, in our justice system. But we have to do more than talk - we have to take action. For example - we should make sure every police department in the US has body cameras. We should provide alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenders. We should invest in early childhood education for every child. We should fight for voting rights and universal voter registration. You will continue to hear me talking about these issues throughout this campaign and pushing for real solutions."
Source: Jen Hayden, "Hillary Clinton—'Black Lives Matter. Everyone in This Country Should Stand Firmly Behind That,'" dailykos.com, July 20, 2015
Pro Is the Criminal Justice System Unfair to Black People?
"Well, sadly it's reality, and it has been heartbreaking, and incredibly outraging to see the constant stories of young men like Walter Scott, as you said, who have been killed by police officers. There needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.
And, that requires a very clear agenda for retraining police officers, looking at ways to end racial profiling, finding more ways to really bring the disparities that stalk our country into high relief.
One out of three African American men may well end up going to prison. That's the statistic. I want people hear to think what we would be doing if it was one out of three white men, and very often, the black men are arrested, convicted and incarcerated for offenses that do not lead to the same results for white men.
So, we have a very serious problem that we can no longer ignore."
Source: Team Fix, "The 4th Democratic Debate Transcript, Annotated: Who Said What and What It Meant," washingtonpost.com, Jan. 17, 2016
Pro Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?
"Climate change is one of the most serious challenges we face. It's real, it's driven by human activity, and it's happening right now. We need to use every tool we have to combat climate change and accelerate the transition to a clean energy future. We can't wait any longer—and we definitely can't wait for Congress to pass new legislation. That's why I've set bold national goals for fighting climate change. And on my very first day in office, I'll get to work achieving them."
Source: Hillary Clinton, "What Is Hillary Clinton's Plan to Tackle Climate Change?," quora.com, May 18, 2016
Pro Should Genetically Modified (GMO) Foods Have Mandatory Labeling?
"I am very much in favor of what Secretary Vilsack is trying to do. What he's trying to do as the Secretary of Agriculture for our country is to get a [GMO] labeling program started...
If you followed what went on in the last week in Congress, very powerful agriculture forces were trying to pass a law, get it into the Omnibus, to prohibit states from passing laws requiring labeling. Now that did not pass. So that was a good, that was a good development for Secretary Vilsack because what he's trying to do is get states and advocates and agriculture interests all at the same table to say, 'Look, there's a right to know.' You should be able to have the information that you can make your judgement about.
Now, I will add this. Because I think this is fair to add. There's also a right to have the best science. You know, what is the science that is really at work here because there are a lot of advocates who fight hunger in Africa who are desperate for GMO seeds. Because they are drought-resistant. And they don't know how else they're going to get enough yield to feed people."
Source: The Institute for Responsible Technology, "Hillary Clinton's Stance on GMOs, Fairfield IA, 12/22/15," YouTube.com, Dec. 24, 2015
Should the United States Authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline to Import Tar Sand Oil from Canada?
I want the American people to know where I stand. That's why I am making it clear:
I am opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
We shouldn't be building a pipeline dedicated to moving North America's dirtiest fuel through our communities -- we should be focused on what it will take to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. For too long, the Keystone XL pipeline has been a distraction from the real challenges facing our energy sector -- and the job-creating investments that we should be making to meet them. Building a clean, secure, and affordable North American energy future is bigger than Keystone XL or any other single project. That's what I will focus on as president.
Source: "Why I Oppose Keystone XL," medium.com, Sep. 23, 2015
Pro Should the United States Transition Away from Fossil Fuels and Towards Renewable Energy?
"I don't think I've changed my view on what we need to do to go from where we are, where the world is heavily dependent on coal and oil, but principally coal, to where we need to be, which is clean renewable energy, and one of the bridge fuels is natural gas. And so for both economic and environmental and strategic reasons, it was American policy to try to help countries get out from under the constant use of coal, building coal plants all the time, also to get out from under, especially if they were in Europe, the pressure from Russia, which has been incredibly intense. So we did say natural gas is a bridge. We want to cross that bridge as quickly as possible, because in order to deal with climate change, we have got to move as rapidly as we can. That's why I've set big goals. I want to see us deploy a half a billion more solar panels by the end of my first term and enough clean energy to provide electricity to every home in America within 10 years."
Source: Team Fix, "The Brooklyn Democratic Debate Transcript, Annotated," washingtonpost.com, Apr. 14, 2016
Pro Was the US Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage a Good Decision?
"Along with millions of Americans, I am celebrating today's landmark victory for marriage equality, and the generations of advocates and activists who fought to make it possible...
This ruling is an affirmation of the commitment of couples across the country who love one another. It reflects the will of the vast and growing multitude of Americans who believe that LGBT couples deserve to be recognized under the law and treated equally in the eyes of society. And it represents our country at its best: inclusive, open, and striving towards true equality."
Source: "Statement from Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality," hillaryclinton.com, June 26, 2015
Con Should Religious Liberty Give People the Right to Deny Goods and Services for Gay Marriage?
"Sad this new Indiana law [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] can happen in America today. We shouldn't discriminate against ppl bc of who they love."
Source: Hillary Clinton, Twitter post, twitter.com, Mar. 26, 2015
[Editor's Note: Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law on Mar. 26, 2015, allows individuals and companies to claim a "substantial burden" to their exercise of religion as a defense in court. This allows a business owner to deny services to gay people if the business owner's religion objects to homosexuality or gay marriage.]
Pro Should Transgender People Be Allowed to Use the Bathroom of Their Choice?
"LGBT people should be protected from discrimination under the law—period" [Clinton included a link to a Mar. 23, 2016 Advocate article opposing North Carolina House Bill 2, the law that prevents transgendered people from using the bathroom of their choice.]
Source: Hillary Clinton, Twitter Post, twitter.com, Mar. 24, 2016
[Editor's Note: North Carolina House Bill 2 (HB2) was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Mar. 23, 2016. The law requires individuals to use public bathrooms that align with the gender on their birth certificate. HB2 listed race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex, and handicap as classes protected from workplace or accommodation discrimination, but it did not include sexual orientation or gender identity.]