Dem Candidates' ‘Day One’ Presidential Plans: Combat Climate Change; Fight Fuel, Firearms, ‘The System’

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | May 8, 2019 | 9:54 AM EDT

Sen. Bernie Sanders (Getty Images/Andrew Burton)

Vying for their party’s presidential nomination, several Democrat candidates have revealed what they would do in the very first day as president.

For Day One in the Oval Office, the stated plans of five candidates - Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) - range from thwarting fossil fuel production and to taking on “the system.”

Sen. Cory Booker:

Sen. Booker says that, “on Day One in office,” he’ll begin issuing executive orders to “crack down” on the manufacture, sale and purchase of firearms in the U.S., as part of his comprehensive, long-term gun control agenda:

“Starting on Day One in office, I’ll take executive action to crack down on gun manufacturers & dealers, close dangerous loopholes, & invest in communities impacted by the epidemic of gun violence. We need to take real measures to protect our country & support survivors.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders:

On his first day as president, Democratic Socialist Sen. Sanders says he’ll begin fighting “powerful interests” in the Nation’s Capital:

“This campaign is asking for your help to win the primary and defeat Trump, but it is also asking for something more. I will need your help the day after the inauguration to take on the powerful interests in Washington. I will need you in the fight for justice in America.”

Sen. Kamala Harris:

Like Sanders, Sen. Harris says she’ll begin taking on “the system” the minute she walks into the Oval Office:

“The system is in need of reform—so let’s have people on the inside prepared to use their power to open doors and prepared to implement the agenda to make the system more fair and just. #NAACPDetroit

“That is what I have done from the first day I walked into the San Francisco DA’s office, from the first day I walked into the California AG's office, from the first day I walked into the U.S. Senate, and that is what I will do the first day I walk into the Oval Office.”

On Sunday, Sen. Harris explained that one of the ways she’d take on the system is by repealing current tax law “on Day One.” Speaking at NAACP fundraiser in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday, Harris was captured on video saying:

“On Day One, we gonna repeal that tax bill that benefited the top one percent and the biggest corporations in this country.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren:

Sen. Warren says that, “on the first day of a Warren administration,” she’ll cut off all new fossil fuel leases and drilling offshore and on public lands:

“Any efforts to address climate change must include our public lands. That’s why on the first day of a Warren administration, I will sign a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands.”

Beto O’Rourke:

O’Rourke’s “day-one agenda” also includes issuing executive orders to combat climate change. O’Rourke says he will immediately take measures like re-entering the Paris Climate Accord, taking on the oil and natural gas industries, and beginning to “rapidly phase-out hydrofluorocarbons”:

Start Cutting Pollution on Day One and Taking Executive Actions to Lead on Climate

Beto’s four-part framework starts with a forceful day-one agenda because he knows that delay is tantamount to denial — to misunderstanding the severity and scale of this growing crisis. We will cut pollution on day one, improving the quality of our air, our water, and our public health right away. At the same time, we will create jobs, support communities, and strengthen our economy — not just to compete, but to lead the world in addressing this crisis.

As President, Beto will use his executive authority not only to reverse the problematic decisions made by the current administration, but also to go beyond the climate actions under previous presidents:

  • Re-enter the Paris Agreement and lead the negotiations for an even more ambitious global plan for 2030 and beyond;
  • Reduce methane leakage from existing sources in the oil and natural gas industry for the first time and rapidly phase-out hydrofluorocarbons, the super-polluting greenhouse gas that is up to 9,000 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide


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