Democrats take a step left with new party platform

A new focus for Bernie Sanders

Democrats are considering approving what is almost certainly the most progressive platform in the party's history, though supporters of Bernie Sanders are still not satisfied with provisions on trade and other issues.

A draft of the platform, obtained by NBC News, was approved by a 15-member subcommittee and sent Friday to members of the full platform committee. The full committee will have a chance to make changes before sending it to the an up-or-down vote by the entire Democratic National Convention later this month in Philadelphia.

The draft includes many of the provisions sought by Sanders and his allies on the minimum wage, death penalty and more. But it lacks concessions they sought on climate, trade and healthcare.

SEE ALSO: Democrats Urged to Make Immigration a Priority in Platform

"This draft touches on the many pressing issues facing Americans and includes new language on economic inequality and the minimum wage, Wall Street reform, reproductive health, criminal justice reform, and voting rights, among many other topics," Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a memo to platform committee draft members.

The draft platform states Americans should earn $15 per hour and have a right to join a union, and it supports a so-called "model employer executive order" to raise standards for federal government contractors.

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Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during an event in Iowa Falls, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. With a week to go until the Iowa caucuses and the Democratic presidential race there in a virtual dead heat, Hillary Clinton and Sanders are mapping out divergent paths toward winning the first votes of the nomination process. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Washington, UNITED STATES: Newly-elected senators meet with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (R), D-NV, in Washington, DC 13 November 2006. From left are: Senator-elect James Webb, D-VA, Senator-elect Bernie Sanders, I-VT, Senator-elect Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, and Reid. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
US Congressman Elliot Engel (L) takes pictures next to US Senator Bernie Sanders after being dressed as Bouale leaders by public notaries of the Kouadioyaokro village, 150 km from Abidjan, 09 November 2008. US Senators Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders visit comes ahead of a July 2008 certification deadline to ensure cocoa heading to the United States -- the third largest importer of Ivorian cocoa -- has not been produced with child labour. AFP PHOTO/ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - APRIL 25: Potential Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (R) (I-VT) delivers remarks at the South Carolina Democratic Party state convention April 25, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sanders joined former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Sen. Lincoln Chafee in speaking to the convention. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in a 'Don't Trade Our Future' march organized by the group Campaign for America's Future April 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. The event was part of the Populism 2015 Conference which is conducting their conference with the theme 'Building a Movement for People and the Planet.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, greets supporters during a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Sanders said he had attracted 200,000 donors as of mid-June and his campaign had raised $8.3 million online through June 17, according to FEC filings by ActBlue, the fundraising platform that he and some other left-leaning candidates and causes use. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 6: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Cross Insurance Arena while campaigning in the Democratic presidential primary. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Supporters hold up signs at a campaign rally for Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Sanders said he had attracted 200,000 donors as of mid-June and his campaign had raised $8.3 million online through June 17, according to FEC filings by ActBlue, the fundraising platform that he and some other left-leaning candidates and causes use. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 6: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Cross Insurance Arena while campaigning in the Democratic presidential primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters after speaking in Portland. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 18: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to the crowd at the Phoenix Convention Center July 18, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Democratic presidential candidate spoke on his central issues of income inequality, job creation, controlling climate change, quality affordable education and getting big money out of politics, to more than 11,000 people attending. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)
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It calls for the complete abolishment of the death penalty, stating, "It has no place in the United States of America."

On Wall Street, the platform lays out a number of reforms proposed by Clinton, Sanders and other Democrats, and states the party "will not hesitate to use and expand existing authorities as well as empower regulators to downsize or break apart financial institutions," it states.

The platform adopts Elizabeth Warren's mantra that "personnel is policy" to promise, "We will nominate and appoint regulators and officials who are not beholden to the industries they regulate."

On social security, the draft platform calls for changing the cap on taxes so people contribute to the fund on income above $250,000.

SEE ALSO: Sanders on Israel, Peace and the Democratic Platform

The draft platform calls for making community college free and easing student loan burdens through a number of measures, like a Student Borrower Bill of Rights.

It calls for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the use of taxpayer funds for abortion, and states the party will "strongly and unequivocally support a woman's decision" on abortion.

It calls for giving the District of Columbia statehood, banning assault weapons and overturning Citizens United. Democrats vow to protect voting rights, "reaffirm our commitment to eliminate poverty," and reform the criminal justice system to make it easier for people to re-enter society after incarceration.

The platform also took a step towards Sanders on drug policy, saying states should be able to decriminalize marijuana if they chose to. Marijuana reformers, including Sanders, had hoped for more.

However, some of the stickiest issues remain unresolved -- at least as Sanders supporters see it.

On climate change, the Sanders wing tried to insert a ban on fracking and a tax on carbon. Neither made it. However, the draft platform makes a strong commitment to reducing carbon emissions and investing in renewable energy.

Sanders and Clinton sparred on health care this year, with Sanders calling for a single-payer system and Clinton favoring a more pragmatic approach to expand the Affordable Care Act.

The draft platform states, "we believe as Democrats that healthcare is a right," but it does not mention single-payer.

The most contentious issue in the platform fight was on trade and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), with Sanders allies insisting that opposition to the trade deal be included in the platform.

Both Clinton and Sanders oppose the TPP, but President Barack Obama supports it, so the draft platform opted for a compromise in the language. "[T]here are a diversity of views in the party," the draft states. "But all Democrats believe that any trade agreement must protect workers and the environment and not undermine access to critically-needed prescription drugs."

SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders Says He Will Vote For Hillary Clinton

Neil Sroka of Democracy for America, which supported Sanders in the primary, said the platform had "some good things in here that reflect the impact that Bernie Sanders has had on the race," but didn't believe the draft was complete.

"There is still a great deal that's missing from the platform that needs to be in there," he added. "At the end of the day the only reason why an anti-TPP plank would not end up in the platform is because some democrats are too afraid to offend their corporate paymasters."

It remains unclear, however, how much leverage Sanders and his supporters still have to make changes.

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