RNC panel adopts Trump-backed platform with no entitlement cuts, softer abortion stance

The Republican Party’s platform committee on Monday adopted a plank drafted by aides to Donald Trump, whose new language softens the GOP’s prior stances on marriage and abortion while rattling off a series of utopian economic promises.

Among those are vows to “end inflation,” make the U.S. a “manufacturing superpower” and deliver “large tax cuts for workers.”

At the same time, the document echoes Trump’s promise to not cut “one penny” from Social Security and Medicare, the expensive but popular government-benefits and health-care programs.

The 16-page platform was approved by the Republican National Committee’s panel in an 84-18 vote, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.

It’s a fraction of the size of the platform the RNC used during the 2016 and 2020 election cycles. The new platform further cements an ongoing push to reshape the GOP in Trump’s populist, nationalist image, while playing down some issues that the party once held at its core.

The Trump campaign in a press release Monday afternoon touted the new document as “President Donald J. Trump’s 2024 Republican Party Platform.”

The platform now begins with language mirroring a Trump campaign press release, including the presumptive nominee’s “Make America Great Again” and “America First” slogans.

The preamble, envisioning a Republican-controlled Congress and White House in 2025, lists 20 “promises that we will accomplish very quickly.”

The first two: Seal the U.S. southern border, and “carry out the largest deportation operation in American history.”

The platform also promises to “prevent World War Three,” cut regulations that were designed to encourage electric vehicle adoption, end the “weaponization of government” and “keep men out of women’s sports.”

The newly compressed party platform offers far fewer policy details than its predecessor, and at times reads more like a list of preferred outcomes than a statement of beliefs or legislative goals.

“Republicans will end the global chaos and restore Peace through Strength, reducing geopolitical risks and lowering commodity prices,” the platform asserts at one point.

On abortion, the changes are stark. The old platform took a hard-line stance against abortion, calling for a “human life amendment to the Constitution” in a lengthy passage that used the word “abortion” dozens of times.

The Trump-backed platform uses the word just once, in a brief paragraph that expresses support for allowing states to pass their own abortion laws while vowing to oppose “Late Term Abortion.”

The shift in focus comes as Democratic President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign homes in on abortion as a pivotal issue for the November election.

The 2022 Supreme Court ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade — a vote backed by all three Trump-appointed justices — was followed by strong electoral showings for Democrats.

The Republican presidential candidate has publicly taken credit for handing the issue to state legislatures, some of which have quickly worked to restrict abortion access.

In recent months, however, Trump has falsely claimed that legal scholars unanimously supported overturning Roe, which had been the law of the land nearly 50 years.

The newly adopted platform also backs off the party’s prior assertion that “Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society.”

The new platform instead states, “Republicans will promote a Culture that values the Sanctity of Marriage,” adding, “We will end policies that punish families.”

The GOP also departs from its old platform on Social Security and Medicare.

The 2016 and 2020 platforms noted, “Medicare’s long-term debt is in the trillions, and it is funded by a workforce that is shrinking relative to the size of future beneficiaries. … When a vital program is so clearly headed for a train wreck, it’s time to put it on a more secure track.”

It proposed a handful of reforms, including setting “a more realistic age for eligibility in light of today’s longer life span.”

The new platform erases any discussion about the challenges of keeping the programs solvent.

“Republicans will tackle Inflation, unleash American Energy, restore Economic Growth, and secure our Borders to preserve Social Security and Medicare funding for the next Generation and beyond,” it reads.

“We will ensure these programs remain solvent long into the future by reversing harmful Democrat policies and unleashing a new Economic Boom.”

That stance echoes Trump, who has opposed entitlement reform and attacked his political opponents who have considered any changes to the two programs.

The platform was adopted one week before the GOP is set to formally select Trump as its presidential nominee.

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