Sen. John McCain spoke during the Multi-National Force Iraq Reenlistment, naturalization and Independence Day ceremony at Camp Victory, Iraq in July 2007.

Sen. John McCain spoke during the Multi-National Force Iraq Reenlistment, naturalization and Independence Day ceremony at Camp Victory, Iraq in July 2007. Photo by Courtesy U.S. Army

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Gender Wage Gap

• Obama co-introduced the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, allowing women to file gender wage discrimination claims.
• Supports the Paycheck Fairness Act, requiring employers to demonstrate wage gaps are due to factors other than gender.

• Skipped the vote for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, saying he would have voted against it.
• Opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Violence Against Women

• Co-sponsored the 2006 Violence Against Women Act (written by Biden), providing $1.6 billion to enhance investigation and prosecution of violence against women.
• Supports strengthening domestic-violence laws.

• Palin supported legislation to charge women for rape kits as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.
• McCain supported anti-violence legislation for Native Americans.

Reproductive Rights

• Supports preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade.
• Obama co-sponsored Prevention First Act, increasing funding for family planning and comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education and end insurance discrimination against contraception.

• Supports overturning Roe v. Wade.
• Supports abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
• McCain has voted "no" to comprehensive sex education, emergency contraception, the right to choose, international family-planning funding, and legislation to require insurance companies to cover prescription contraception.

Special Needs Funding

• Supports fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
• Supports fully funding Combating Autism Act of 2006.
• Will appoint a federal Autism Spectrum Disorder coordinator to oversee federal funding under the act.

• Voted against funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
• McCain co-sponsored the Combating Autism Act of 2006, while supporting freezing funds to pay for it.
• Palin, the mother of a Down syndrome infant, is an advocate for special-needs children. Ridiculed fruit-fly research although it is used to seek a cure for autism.

Veterans Health Care/Benefits

• Voted in favor of FY '07 and '08 budget increases.
• Supports fully funding the VA, extending veteran's benefits, expanding numbers of claims workers to cut through red tape, recruit more mental health professionals and establish standards of care for traumatic brain injury.
• Supports providing new veterans with the same level of benefits given to veterans of World War II.
• Co-sponsors of the '08 Fair Education Bill, which increases tuition payments, scholarship matching, living allowances and provides a book stipend.

• Voted in favor of FY '07 and '08 budget increases.
• Absent from the Senate for all three votes on the '08 Fair Education Bill.


• Will require lending institutions taking advantage of the bailout to put a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures for many homeowners.
• Allow federal government to lend money to state governments facing shortfalls due to high job loss and revenue decreases.
• Supports increasing minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011.

• Will authorize the federal government to buy bad mortgages at face value.
• Will convert failing mortgages to FHA-insured loans.


• Supports charter schools and merit pay for teachers.
• Wants to improve teacher training.
• Challenged No Child Left Behind as underfunded and too focused on testing.
• Supports "Zero to Five" plan, which focuses on early care and education for infants.
• Proposes pre-funding for federal grants for college education and increases in Head Start.

• Supports vouchers for private and religious schools and merit pay for teachers. Opposes teacher's unions.
• Supports expanding Head Start.
• .Supports fully funding No Child Left Behind.
• Has not vowed to commit more federal resources to early child programs or college grants.

Health Care

• Allows you to keep existing health insurance.
• Will require companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
• Will fund $65 billion federal high-risk pool for high-risk or chronic-ill citizens rejected by insurance companies.
• Offer tax credit to small businesses that cover meaningful share of employees' premiums.
• Wants to repeal ban on government-negotiated drug prices for Medicare.

• Allows you to keep existing health insurance, but will tax health insurance for the first time.
• Wants to reduce Medicare drug costs by allowing greater use of generics.
• Will fund $7 billion high-risk pool paid for through new taxes on employer-based insurance plans.
• Will not require coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Personal Taxes

• Allow penalty-free early withdrawals of up to $10,000 from IRAs and 401(k) retirement accounts.
• Temporarily eliminate taxes on unemployment benefits and federal requirement that seniors withdraw from their retirement accounts after the age of 70.
• Retain Bush tax cuts for all except those making over $200,000 or $250,000 for couples and businesses.

• Reduce capital gains tax from 15 to 7.5 percent.
• Will suspend rules demanding seniors withdraw from retirement accounts.
• Will retain Bush tax cuts for everybody.


• Will mandate a nationwide Manhattan Project for making alternative energy by focusing on wind, solar, coal, nuclear plants and limited offshore drilling.
• Retain gas tax and tariff on ethanol imports to protect American ethanol industry.
• Will tax oil profits and eliminate tax loopholes for the oil industry.

• Emphasizes drilling as a cure-all for the nation's energy needs (which won't come online for a decade.
• Will also heavily invest in nuclear and coal plants, with some attention to solar and wind energy.
• Will lower corporate taxes, which will favorably affect the oil industry.
• Will eliminate the tariff on imported ethanol.

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