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The Romney Agenda: A Vision for Conservative Change

In the Year After Announcing his Candidacy, Governor Romney has Laid Out a Bold Agenda to Fulfill his Vision for Bringing Conservative Change to Washington.


Contact: Kevin Madden, 857-288-6390;


MEDIA ADVISORY, Feb. 4 /Standard Newswire/ -- In February 2007, Governor Romney traveled to Dearborn, Michigan, and announced his candidacy for President of the United States with a call for conservative change in Washington. In the year since then, Governor Romney has laid out a bold agenda that will bring change to our nation's capital. As Governor Romney has campaigned across the country, his vision has been voted on and endorsed by Republicans and conservatives.


Photo: "Innovation and transformation have been at the heart of America's success from the very beginning. And if there ever was a time when innovation and transformation were needed in government, it is now." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Making America Safer:


"America must never engage and negotiate with Jihadists who want to destroy us, destroy our friends, and destroy our way of life!" – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Strengthen Our Military. Across America, there are thousands of families with members in the Armed Forces, Reserves and National Guard who need more support from Washington. To make America safer, Governor Romney will:


  • Add at Least 100,000 More Troops to our Armed Forces.


  • Commit at Least 4% of our Gross Domestic Product to Defense. This will help provide the resources needed for equipment, modernization, training and care for our wounded soldiers.


  • Ensure Funds are Used to Support our Forces By Eliminating Waste and Washington Pork. Governor Romney will bring together a team of private-sector and defense experts to carry out a stem-to-stern review of military purchasing.


  • Establish a Special Partnership Force (SPF) to Harness All Elements of our National Power in Contested Areas to Defeat Jihadists. The SPF will integrate all elements of national power under a new force with leadership drawn from our Army Special Forces trained to work with civilian governments and intelligence personnel to form a new capability to help defeat the Jihadists.


  • Create a Permanent Rapid Innovation Force to Ensure our Troops in Harm's Way Have the Equipment and Technology They Need. The Rapid Innovation Force will rapidly deploy the equipment and innovative solutions our troops need for their success and protection.


Governor Romney Will Strengthen Our Alliances Around The World. America's strength is amplified when it is combined with the strength of other nations. We need to expand alliances such as NATO and efforts among the world's leading nations to face the new threat of radical Jihad and increase our homeland security. To make America safer, Governor Romney will:


  • Launch a New Type of Marshall Plan Unifying Non-Military Sources of Power to Support Moderate Muslims. As President, Governor Romney will call together our Middle East allies and the major nations of the developed world to establish a Partnership for Prosperity and Progress. This Partnership will assemble the resources of all developed nations to assure that threatened Islamic states have public schools, micro-credit and banking, the rule of law, human rights, basic health care, and competitive economic policies.


  • Build a Global Network Against Terror and Transnational Threats to Link Intelligence from Around the World. The Global Network will link intelligence and law enforcement capabilities around the world to share data about border crossings, biometric indicators, passport fraud, nuclear and biological threats, criminal patterns, human trafficking and drug trafficking.


Governor Romney Will Strengthen our Intelligence Community. Today, protecting the homeland must begin far from home. Intelligence and law enforcement efforts able to address threats before they reach our shores must be a priority for U.S. and international action. To make America safer, Governor Romney will:


  • Strengthen our Intelligence Community by Eliminating Bureaucracy and Moving Resources to the Field. We need to eliminate duplicative efforts, revitalize recruitment and prioritize efforts in the field, expanding human intelligence.


  • Maintain the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act has given our men and women in the law enforcement and intelligence communities the tools they need to defend America.


  • Listen When Terrorists Call into the United States. Our most basic civil liberty is the right to be kept alive and Governor Romney will use every tool at our disposal to keep America safe.


Keeping the Promise to our Veterans:


"[W]e must honor and care for the veterans who risked their lives, and for the families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Improve Care for Our Veterans and Enhance Aid for Our Military Families. Washington is failing our veterans. Governor Romney believes we must do more to support our men and women in uniform, their families and those who have returned home after serving their country. To enhance care for our veterans and military families, Governor Romney will:


  • Ensure that the Value of the Montgomery G.I. Bill Keeps Pace with Rising Educational Expenses. Governor Romney will call for a regular outside review of Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits to ensure that our veterans, active duty military, and their eligible spouses and dependents have the resources they need to pursue the opportunities they deserve.


  • Ensure Military Dependents Get Access to In-State Tuition at Public Colleges and Universities. Governor Romney will call on every state to extend in-state tuition benefits to military dependents whose parents are stationed there and, furthermore, to permit the continuation of the in-state tuition rate even if their parents are reassigned and forced to leave the state.


Growing the Economy and Creating Jobs:


"Look, America faces unprecedented challenges. ... We face new competition from Asia unlike anything we have known before." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Maintain America's Competitiveness In The Global Economy. Governor Romney will work to ensure that America's economy, businesses and workers have the tools they need to compete in this global economy. To grow the economy and keep our jobs, Governor Romney will:


  • Launch a "Reagan Zone of Economic Freedom" Among Nations Committed to High Standards and Enforcement: Governor Romney will seek to bring together nations committed to open markets and playing by the rules in the largest ever Free Trade Area, and go beyond traditional trade to promote high standards in areas critical to U.S. competitiveness.


  • Conclude Existing Negotiations, Like the Doha Round, to Benefit America. The Doha Round and free trade agreements can be huge opportunities for America.


  • Expand Enforcement and New Frontiers of U.S. Competitiveness. Governor Romney's vision for expanding trade includes stronger enforcement efforts, multilateral efforts to stop currency manipulation, action against intellectual property rights theft, negotiations to open markets for services, and building food, safety and other standards to protect Americans.


  • Give the President Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to Open Markets for America.


  • Create Worker Empowerment and Training Accounts. These self-managed accounts will give workers the opportunity to take control of their own futures by getting the training and education they need to succeed in the new economy.


  • Streamline and Enhance Access to Worker Training and Educational Programs. Governor Romney will initiate an audit of all existing worker training and educational programs to ensure that workers are being helped most efficiently.


  • Provide Employers with Regulatory Relief. As President, Governor Romney will eliminate cumbersome and unnecessary regulations and bureaucracies that hinder economic growth.


  • Strengthen our Education System. As President, Governor Romney will emphasize math and science education, while promoting innovative approaches such as charter schools and public-private partnerships.


  • Invest in Building and Repairing the Nation's Transportation Infrastructure.


Cutting Taxes on All Americans:


"How is the American family made stronger? ... With taxes that are lower." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Lower Taxes on the American People. Lower taxes are the key to ensuring continued economic growth and job creation. However, our economy is threatened by looming tax hikes. To reduce taxes, Governor Romney will:


Make the Bush Tax Cuts Permanent. Making the Bush tax cuts permanent is the first step to ensuring that Americans are able to keep more of their hard-earned money.


Roll Back Tax Rates for All Americans. As President, Governor Romney will cut marginal tax rates across the board, allowing all Americans to save more money.


  • Make Middle Class Savings Tax Free. Governor Romney's plan will allow middle class Americans to save tax free by changing the tax rate on interest, capital gains and dividends to absolutely 0%.


  • Kill the Death Tax. It is unfair to tax Americans three times: once when they earn their money; second when they invest it and receive income from those investments; and third when they die.


  • Lower the Corporate Tax Rate. The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. We cannot afford to have a tax rate that is out of alignment with the other major economies of the world.


  • Oppose Any Increase in Social Security Taxes. We can strengthen Social Security without resorting to higher Social Security taxes that will impact all Americans. Governor Romney will oppose any proposed increase in Social Security taxes.


  • Prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) from Hurting More American Families. At the very least, Congress must pass a patch to the AMT that will prevent this tax from affecting more and more families in America.


Ending the Spending Binge in Washington:


"I believe that we are overtaxed and government is overfed. Washington is spending too much money." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will End Washington's Spending Binge. Americans are concerned about the overspending in Washington. Like the millions of families and businesses across the country, government should also live within a budget. To end Washington's spending binge, Governor Romney will:


  • Veto Appropriations Bills that Exceed Spending Targets. He will veto any non-defense appropriations bill that grows spending at a rate greater than inflation minus one percent (CPI-1%). This will save $300 billion over 10 years.


  • Give the President the Line-Item Veto Power Again. Restoring this power to the President would allow us to make tremendous strides in eliminating earmarks and cutting inefficient programs.


  • Lead an Effort to Review and Reevaluate All Federal Spending Programs. Governor Romney's administration will undertake an exhaustive review of each individual federal program to eliminate and consolidate programs that are no longer useful or are bureaucratic and unwieldy.


  • Give the Executive Branch the Authority to Spend Up to 25% Less Than Congress Appropriates. The amount of money Congress tells the President to spend should be a spending ceiling, not a final price tag.


  • Call on Congress to Re-Impose a Three-Fifths (60%) Supermajority Requirement to Raise Taxes. Making it even harder to attempt to increase taxes will help impose the fiscal discipline we need to stop overspending.


Cutting the Size of Government:


"We must transform our government - to become a government that is smaller and less bureaucratic, one with fewer regulations and more freedom for our people." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Cut The Size Of Government. Government in Washington has become duplicative, burdensome and inefficient. Our government is broken and can only be changed with someone from outside of Washington free of any special interest. To make government simpler and smaller, Governor Romney will:


  • Lead an Effort to Review and Reevaluate All Federal Spending Programs. Governor Romney's administration will undertake an exhaustive review of each individual federal program to eliminate and consolidate programs that are no longer useful or are bureaucratic and unwieldy.


Reforming our Immigration System to Secure the Borders:


"I believe that homeland security begins with securing our borders." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Enforce our Laws and Reform our Immigration System. America's immigration system is broken, but for too long all our leaders in Washington have done is talk about ending illegal immigration. Governor Romney believes we must enforce and reform our immigration laws so that we can end illegal immigration. To end illegal immigration, Governor Romney will:


  • Secure the Border. Governor Romney will follow through on the Congressional commitment to build a physical and technological fence along the southern border, and secure other points of entry throughout the country.


  • Implement a Mandatory and Enforceable Employment Verification System. Governor Romney will issue a biometrically-enabled and tamper-proof card to non-citizens and create a national database so employers can easily verify the legal status of non-citizens in this country.


  • Hold Employers Accountable. Governor Romney will make it easier for employers to verify legal status and work authorization of non-citizens through a federal database. Employers will be held accountable if they hire illegal immigrants with stiffer fines and penalties.


  • Reject Amnesty. Governor Romney opposes amnesty or any special path to citizenship for those here illegally.


  • End the Magnet of "Sanctuary Cities." Governor Romney will cut back federal funding to cities that are "sanctuaries" for illegal immigrants.


  • Oppose any Special Benefits for Illegal Immigrants. Governor Romney opposes giving driver's licenses or in-state tuition to those here illegally. He believes states should not provide those types of incentives. As President, he will cut back federal funding to states that do so.


  • Promote State and Local Partnerships with Federal Immigration Officials. More state and local authorities should work with the federal government to enforce immigration laws.


  • Improve Interior Enforcement. Governor Romney will provide additional resources to enforce existing immigration laws throughout the nation.


  • Teach English in our Schools. Governor Romney believes we must teach English in our classrooms because to be successful you have to speak the language of America.


  • End Chain Migration. Governor Romney believes we should end the policy of chain migration that says if a child is born here to illegal immigrants then, by right, the entire family is brought in based upon that child's citizenship.


  • Encourage Legal Immigration. Governor Romney will streamline the visa system to recruit and retain skilled workers in high demand by U.S. companies. He will also welcome the best and the brightest from around the world to our universities.


Becoming Independent of Foreign Oil:


"Look, America faces unprecedented challenges. ... We are using too much oil." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Work to Make America Energy Independent. Energy costs that put pressure on household finances are a major concern for families. Yet, for too long, Washington insiders have talked about making America energy independent. To end our dependence on foreign oil, Governor Romney will:


  • Make Energy Independence a Top Administration Priority. Because energy independence is crucial to our economy and national security, Governor Romney will make it a top administration priority to become energy independent.


  • Expand Investment in Research, Development, and Demonstration Projects. This investment will encourage the commercialization of alternative energy.


  • Increase Domestic Production, Including Renewable Sources, Biodiesel, Solar and Wind. Governor Romney will pursue our domestic sources of energy, drawing from our broad and diverse base of options, including opening ANWR.


  • Increase our Focus on Energy Security. Governor Romney will shift federal priorities to emphasize issues of energy security, particularly at the Department of Energy.


  • Promote Nuclear Technology. Governor Romney will accelerate the construction of new nuclear power plants in order to ensure that nuclear power continues to be a part of a robust, cleaner and more reliable energy mix.


Expanding Access to Health Care that is Affordable and Portable:


"How is the American family made stronger? ... With healthcare that is affordable and portable." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney has Proposed a Conservative Blueprint to Make Health Care More Affordable and Accessible. Governor Romney has outlined a comprehensive solution to America's health care ills that expands access to affordable, portable, quality, private health insurance. For too long, too many have talked about reforming health care. To make health care more affordable, Governor Romney will:


  • Establish Federal Incentives to Deregulate and Reform State Health Insurance Markets So Market Forces Can Work.


  • Redirect Federal Spending on "Free Care" to Help The Low-Income Uninsured Purchase Private Insurance.


  • Institute Health Savings Account (HSA) Enhancements and the Full Deductibility of Qualified Medical Expenses.


  • Promote Innovation in Medicaid.


  • Implement Medical Liability Reform.


  • Bring Market Dynamics and Modern Technology to Health Care.


Preparing our Children for a New Generation of Challenges:


"How is the American family made stronger? ... With schools that succeed." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Strengthen Our Education System. As President, Governor Romney will emphasize math and science education, while promoting innovative approaches such as charter schools and public-private partnerships. To ensure our education system prepares our children for a new generation of challenges, Governor Romney will:


  • Promote School Choice. He believes that when parents and kids are free to choose their school, everyone benefits. That's because competition and choice in educational opportunities – whether it comes from private schools, charter schools, or home schooling – makes traditional public schools better and improves the quality of education for all of America's kids.


  • Propose a Federal Home Schooling Tax Credit. As of 2003, there were nearly 1.1 million home schooled students in the United States. Governor Romney believes that parents who want to home school their kids should be able to do so. To help them, he will provide a tax credit to help defray the educational expenses of parents who home school their kids.


  • Improve Upon and Enhance No Child Left Behind (NCLB). He believes that No Child Left Behind has played an important role in stressing the role of accountability and high standards in improving our schools. Governor Romney will improve NCLB by giving states that meet or exceed testing requirements additional flexibility in measuring student performance. He will also improve the law by focusing more attention on individual student progress, rather than the overall progress of schools.


  • Honor Teaching as the Profession it Truly is. Governor Romney believes that good teachers should be rewarded for their hard work and dedication to the important cause of educating our children. He will support performance-based pay and other initiatives that encourage our best teachers to teach in our highest-need schools.


  • Ensure our Kids Get the Education They Need to Excel in the Jobs of the New Economy. Governor Romney will focus our efforts in fields like math and science, while promoting innovative approaches such as charter schools and public-private partnerships. He will ensure that the workers of the future have the intellectual capital and skills they need to compete in the new global marketplace.


  • Believe our Education System Works Best When We Have More Local Control of our Schools. While there is a proper role for the federal government to play in education, it is not in telling parents, teachers, kids and local authorities what to teach or how to run their schools.


Having our Leaders Live by Higher Ethical Standards:


"How is the American family made stronger? ... [W]ith leaders who strive to demonstrate enduring values and morality." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Believes Officials in Washington Should Live Up to Higher Ethical Standards. Far too often, the American people have been forced to put up with the ethical problems of our nation's representatives in Washington. Those we elect should live up to a higher standard. To bring a higher standard to Washington, Governor Romney will:


  • Enact a New Ethics Law That Strips Those Who Violate the Public Trust of Their Government Pensions. Any elected official or federal official who violates the public's trust should be stripped of the taxpayer funded pensions.


  • Prohibit Family Members of Cabinet and Senior Staff Members from Lobbying the Executive Branch. As President, one of Governor Romney's first acts will be to issue an Executive Order prohibiting the immediate family of a Cabinet or Senior Staff member from lobbying the Executive Branch.


Strengthening the American Family and Protecting our Traditional Values:


"I believe that the family is the foundation of America - and that it needs to be protected and strengthened. I believe in the sanctity of human life." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Has Outlined a Conservative Plan to Strengthen Families in America. There is much our nation can do to assist and validate parents in their vital role because families are the building blocks of America. Our future as a nation is determined not just by heads of state but also by heads of households. To strengthen families, Governor Romney will:


  • Convene a White House Summit on Strengthening Families. As President, Governor Romney will act to strengthen the family, particularly in the inner cities of America. This White House Summit will be a springboard to develop new initiatives to strengthen families.


  • Realign Government Incentives to Encourage Marriage, Not Penalize it. Today, a single mother with child care who marries the father of her child can lose as much as $6,000 a year in government benefits. Their combined incomes can disqualify them for Medicaid, housing vouchers, food stamps, and welfare. It is time to make fathers responsible for their child's health and care. Furthermore, we need to end the tax penalty on married couples.


  • Reinstate the Family Impact Statement. In an effort to keep government from doing things that hurt and weaken families in America, President Ronald Reagan issued an Executive Order establishing a requirement that new government policies and programs be subject to the Family Impact Statement. However, this Executive Order was rescinded by President Clinton. As President, Governor Romney will reinstate the Family Impact Statement and initiate an audit of all current programs and policies which may negatively impact families.


  • Champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to Protect Marriage as the Union of a Man and a Woman. In Massachusetts, Governor Romney fought to promote traditional marriage after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized same-sex marriage. Governor Romney believes marriage is primarily about the development and nurturing of children. Every child deserves a mother and a father. Governor Romney supports a federal amendment because it is the only way to truly protect marriage.


  • Be a Pro-Life President. As President, Governor Romney will promote pro-life polices. He will oppose taxpayer-funded abortion, partial-birth abortion, abortion in military clinics and funding of abortion in international aid programs. He will work to ban embryonic cloning. He will work to increase adoptions by making the adoption tax credit permanent and raising awareness about embryonic adoption, or snowflake babies.


  • Fight the Modern Plague of Internet Pornography, Especially as it Impacts our Youth. We must clean up the culture that surrounds our children. Computer pornography has given new meaning to the words "home invasion." As President, Governor Romney will work to ensure that every home computer has an easy to engage pornography filter so that parents can protect their children. Predators who use the Internet to sexually assault children will be subject to a new "One Strike, You're Ours" law of imposing long prison sentences followed by lifetime GPS tracking.


  • Take the Campaign Against Drugs to a New Level. We can do a better job educating our kids on the perils of drug use. Parents may be the best anti-drug there is. A study last month showed that young children who come from homes where families had dinner together five times a week or more were 1/6th as likely to have used drugs.


  • Defend America's Religious Heritage. As President, Governor Romney will ensure that his Attorney General defends the free exercise of religion. The United States is a nation under God and should remain that way.


Appointing Judges Who Follow the Law and the Constitution:


"I believe that people and their elected representatives should make the laws, not unelected judges." – Governor Romney (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks at Announcement, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07)


Governor Romney Will Nominate Judges Who Follow the Law and the Constitution.
Governor Romney believes that Presidents have a solemn obligation to appoint women and men for judicial service who respect the rule of law and who will be faithful to the law as enacted. As President, he will nominate judges who respect the separation of powers, are committed to judicial restraint, and have a genuine appreciation of the text, structure, and history of our Constitution. The judges he nominates will recognize that as Justice Scalia once said, the Court ought not take the field as some kind of "junior-varsity Congress."


  • Governor Romney: "And I Will Appoint Justices Like Roberts and Alito and Scalia? and Thomas." (Stephen Beale, "Romney Wants Conservative Judges," New Hampshire Union Leader, 7/26/07)