|* Redeploy U.S. forces stationed abroad, utilizing existing soldiers more efficiently and lightening the burden on those currently in Iraq.
* Maintain efforts to make Iraq a strong democratic presence in the Middle East through elections and training of Iraqi military and police forces.
|* Rebuild foreign alliances “shredded” by Bush administration, internationalize occupation by persuading world powers and key Arab nations to join military and reconstruction efforts.
* Accelerate military and police recruitment, standardize police and military training regimens and encourage NATO members to open training centers in their home countries.
* Screen Iraqi police and military recruits more carefully for insurgents
|* Supports the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act
* Wants Congress to ask the states to ratify a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.
* Favors permitting states to define laws for same-sex couples, as long as they do not include marriage.
* Supports a “faith-based” initiative, which includes grants for faith-based and community organizations that provide marriage and parenting education, and other family support services.
* Allocated $350 million in 2004 for HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean and supports a five-year, $15 billion initiative to fight HIV/AIDS globally.
| Voted against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act
* Supports civil unions and partnerships, and supports same-sex couples receiving legal protections, such as health insurance and family medical leave.
* Opposes same-sex marriage
* Co-sponsored the Hate Crimes Prevention bill, which extended federal jurisdiction over violent hate crimes, including those motivated by sexual orientation.
* Testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee against former President Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays in the military.
|* Wants $500 million provided for Jobs for the 21st Century, which seeks to train high-skilled American workers in schools and community colleges.
* Bush has already signed two bills for tax cuts and says he will work to make the tax code “simpler” for taxpayers. He will work to encourage taxpayers to save and invest to help improve the economy’s ability to create jobs and raise wages.
* Through Association Health Plans, Bush says he will help small businesses by allowing them to group together to provide employees with more affordable health plans.
|* Would seek to cut the deficit in half by ending corporate welfare, repealing tax cuts for wealthy and increasing child tax credit. Would impose a cap to keep spending in check.
* Says he would cut taxes for businesses that create jobs at home instead of outsourcing them. He would also enforce trade agreements.
* In an effort to raise middle-class incomes, Kerry says he would cut taxes for 98 percent of Americans and 99 percent of businesses.
|* Change in Palestinian leadership
* End to all funding by Arab states for terrorism
* Israeli-imposed settlement freeze on territory in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
* Dismantling of unauthorized outposts
|* Working toward new and improved Palestinian leadership
* Supports the security fence, a concept conceived by the Israeli officials to reduce the number of terrorist attacks in the form of explosive-rigged vehicles or suicide bombers who enter Israeli territory.
* Supports Israel’s withdrawal plan from the Gaza Strip
* Supports the creation of a separate Palestinian state
|Other foreign policy issues|
|* Afghanistan: Bush authorized the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, commencing the war on terror. He has proposed more than $1 billion for reconstruction in Afghanistan.
* North Korea: In his 2002 State of the Union address, Bush included North Korea in the “axis of evil.” Bush has refused to conduct bilateral negotiations with Pyongyang. He prefers a multilateral approach to talks aimed at persuading North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program.
* Immigration: Bush supports a program to match foreign workers with American employers to take jobs U.S. citizens are unwilling to fill. He opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants who are long-term residents of the United States. The Department of Homeland Security created US-VISIT, requiring most visitors to the United States to submit fingerprint scans and photographs to immigration authorities.
|* Afghanistan: Supported a resolution to authorize the use of force to remove the Taliban and destroy al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. He has called for “long-term commitment” and an increase U.S. cooperation with its coalition partners and the United Nations.
* North Korea: “We should maintain the (multilateral) talks, but we must also be prepared to talk directly with North Korea … And we must be prepared to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that addresses the full range of issues of concern to us and our allies,” Kerry said in a June speech.
* Immigration: Favors accelerating the naturalization process. Endorses increased funding for border controls. He would allow taxpaying, undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for “a certain amount of time” to become citizens.
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