US & Canada

Where Hillary Clinton stands on key issues

Hillary Clinton Image copyright AP

Since launching her presidential campaign in April, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has set out a handful of specific policy positions. Here's a summary of what she has revealed.


Image copyright AP
Image caption Mrs Clinton opposes continued mass incarceration across the US

Prisons and justice

In an April speech at Columbia University in New York City, Mrs Clinton spoke about issues with the US justice system. She said it is time to end the era of mass incarceration.

"My heart breaks for these young men and their families", said Mrs Clinton, referring to black men killed in officer-involved shootings across the US since last year. The US needs "a true national debate about how to reduce our prison population while keeping our communities safe."

Campaign finance

Mrs Clinton has called for campaign finance repeatedly on the campaign trail, despite controversy over money sourcing in her own Clinton Foundation and her immense fundraising.

"We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccounted money out of it, once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment," said Mrs Clinton at a speech in Iowa in April.

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Image caption Mrs Clinton supports raising the minimum wage for US workers

Minimum wage

Mrs Clinton has aligned herself with campaigns for higher minimum wage in the US.

"Fight for $15", a US group pushing for higher minimum wage, got a big boost when Mrs Clinton expressed her support, calling in during one of its events this month.

"No man or woman who works hard to feed America's families should have to be on food stamps to feed your own families", she said. "It is wrong that so many people stand against you thinking that they can steal your wages with no consequences."


Analysis - Anthony Zurcher, BBC News

Drop by drop, piece by piece, the policy proposals that will form the backbone of Hillary Clinton's campaign are coming to light.

Speculation that the former secretary of state would play to the political middle thanks to her lack of significant competition in the Democratic primaries seems to have been unfounded.

Although there's still a lot of fleshing out to do, her political manifesto so far - on topics like immigration, sentencing reform and higher education - offers plenty of red meat to her party's progressive base.

The labelling of Mrs Clinton as a political centrist in the mould of her husband, Bill Clinton, has always been a bit off.

While her sometimes assertive foreign policy positions and close relationship with deep-pocketed Wall Street supporters may give that impression, she has a long track record of outspoken liberal advocacy on issues like children's and women's rights, healthcare and social welfare.

The challenge for Mrs Clinton will be highlighting these views to motivate a Democratic base that turned out in record numbers for Barack Obama while framing them in way that remains appealing to whatever swing voters still remain in the sharply polarised US electorate.


Immigration reform

Mrs Clinton said in May she wants to pass comprehensive immigration reform "once and for all". Fixing the immigration system is both a family and economic issue, she said.

"[Comprehensive immigration reform] will strengthen families, strengthen our economy and strengthen our country. That's why we can't wait any longer… for a path to full and equal citizenship."

If Congress refuses to act, Mrs Clinton said she would do everything possible under the law to fight for people at risk of deportation from the US.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Mrs Clinton backs President Barack Obama's free community college plan

Free community college

In Iowa during her first official campaign stop, Mrs Clinton said community college should be free, agreeing with President Barack Obama's plan.

She has expressed her opposition to for-profit colleges that "fraud" students and agrees with loan forgiveness in those cases.

Mrs Clinton has also been working on student loan reform, which she is expected to talk about at her campaign event on Saturday in New York City.

Voting rights

This month, Mrs Clinton called for expanding voting rights in America and lambasted what she called Republican efforts to restrict them. She said she wants universal, automatic voter registration for every American when they turn 18.

Mrs Clinton has also urged for Congress to restore key sections of the Voting Rights Act, a US law the Supreme Court partially invalidated.

"We should be doing everything we can to get our young people more engaged in democracy, not less," said Mrs Clinton.

Drugs problems

In May, Mrs Clinton's advisers had talks with substance abuse experts in Iowa and New Hampshire, showing her desire to create unspecific solutions to a growing drug epidemic in the US.

"I am convinced that the mental health issue - because I consider substance abuse part of mental health issues - is going to be a big part of my campaign because increasingly it's a big issue people raise with me," Mrs Clinton said at an April event in New Hampshire.

She said there is a "hidden epidemic" of drug use striking small towns.