By Hannah Graham, Managing Editor

Are you ready to feel the "Bern"? Or perhaps get to the bottom of "Emailgate"?

Well, millennials the time has arrived. The first Democratic primary debate kicks off today at 8:30 pm Eastern on CNN and CNN.com and will feature democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Lincoln Chafee, Martin O'Malley, and Jim Web. That being said, get to know the debaters and where they stand on the issues that matter most to us. 

Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State

Abortion:

Strongly agrees that it is a woman’s unrestricted right. Favors ensuring access to and funding for contraception.  Strongly favors “No” on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life.  Favors focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception. Favors sponsored bill for emergency contraception for rape victims and bill providing contraceptives for low income women.  Favors keeping abortion safe, legal, and rare.

Climate Change:

Strongly favors prioritizing green energy. Strongly supportsdomestic policies and international agreements to reduce carbon emissions. Strongly favorsestablishing greenhouse gas tradeable allowances. Strongly favors yes on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025. She wants to have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of her first term. 

Student Loans: 

Wants to reconfigure loan structures and provide free community college. She wants to do this through:

- Requiring states to increase their investment in higher education, subsidized by grants from the federal government. 

· Providing federal grants to colleges and universities that improve graduation rates, and those that help support low-income and first-generation students to graduate. Colleges and universities would be required to show how they would increase their graduation rates;

· Requiring public colleges and universities to set tuition rates at a level that students can afford without taking on student loan debt to cover the costs of tuition. 

· Instituting income-based plans as the default repayment plan, and limiting the profit that the federal government makes from student loans. Student debt will be forgiven after 20 years.

LGBT rights:

She supports marriage equality and same sex marriage. Supports fight for federal non-discrimination legislation to protect LGBT American in the workplace.

#Blacklivesmatter:

Favors that the U.S. needs to confront “systemic racism” in its law enforcement efforts. Favors the elimination of the confederate flag. Opposes stricter criminal sentencing. Favors stricter criminal sentencing for hate crimes and other intolerance.

Jobs:

She wants to fix the job market by:

· Create an infrastructure bank that would “finance world-class airports, railways, roads, bridges and ports” across the states.

· Build broadband network with greater diversity of providers

· Pass comprehensive immigration reform. Bringing the millions of undocumented immigrants into the legitimate economy.

· Invest in cleaner renewable energy and fund research and development creating millions of jobs

· Provide tax relief to small businesses, creating 60% new jobs in country

Immigration:

Strongly favors immigration reform. Favors comprehensive reform to get 12 million out of shadows. Deporting all illegal immigrant is unrealistic. Strongly favors introducing a path to earn citizenship in the first 100 days. Opposes more border patrolling on both Mexican and Canadian borders. ‘No’ on declaring English as the official language of the US government.

Healthcare:

Strongly agrees with expanding ObamaCare.  Wants to establish “report cards” on HMO quality of care. Opposes letting states make bulk Rx purchases, and otherinnovations. Strongly favors lowering costs and improving quality and cover everybody. She will continue to defend the affordable Care Act. She plans to lower out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles. 

 

Bernie Sanders

Vermont U.S. Senator

Bernie_Sanders_1786280.jpg

Abortion: 

Strongly agrees that abortion is a woman’s unrestricted right.  Strongly favors banning anti-abortion limitations on abortion services. Favors emergency contraception for rape victims at all hospitals.  Favors ensuring access to and funding for contraception. Strongly favors to protect the reproductive rights of women.

Climate change: 

Strongly disagrees that EPA regulations are too restrictive.  Strongly agrees with prioritizing green energy. Favors designating sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness. Strongly favors establishing greenhouse gas tradeable allowances. Favors No on authorizing construction of new oil refineries. Favors preserving Alaska’s ANWR instead if telling it. Strongly fevers transforming to sustainable system & away from fossil fuels. Strongly fervors Yes on tax incentives for energy production and conservation.

Student Loans: 

His goal is for free tuition at every public college and university.  He wants to accomplish this through:

· Providing $47 billion per year to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees. 

· Restoring the student loan interest rate formula to the formula used until 2006, cutting student loan interest rates nearly in half, and allowing graduates to refinance their federal loans at current interest rates

· Expanding work study, with a focus largely on schools with high percentages of low-income students

· Simplifying the application process for student aid

LGBT Rights:

  Believes that the LGBTQ community deserve equal rights in schools, workplace, and military. Strongly favors same-sex marriage.  Favors the abolishment of all discriminatory laws pertaining to sexuality. Strongly favors LGBTQ value are family values. Favors allowing same sex couples to adopt children.

#BlackLivesMatter: 

Wants a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter. He wants to demilitarize the police forces so they don’t look and act like invading armies. Favors investing in community policing. Only when we get officers into communities, working within neighborhoods before trouble arises. Strongly favors the need of police forces that reflect the diversity of the communities. Favors the establishing of a new model police training program at the federal level. Favor that officers should be required to wear a body camera and the establishment of new rules on the allowable use of force.

Job Creation: 

Strongly agrees that there should be higher taxes on the wealthy and use the proceeds to fund education and job training. Strongly agrees that stimulus is better than market-led recovery. He plans on doing this by:

· Raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.

· Establishing a currency manipulation fee on China and other countries

· Establish a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street speculators. Thus encouraging the financial sector to invest in the job-creating productive economy.

· Repeal all of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax breaks for the top two percent

Immigration Reform: 

 He agrees there should be a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. Strongly favors ‘No’ on building a fence along the Mexican border. Strongly favors ‘No’ on declaring English as the official language of the US government. Opposes more immigrant visas for skilled workers. Favors comprehensive immigration reform.

Healthcare: 

Strongly agrees to expand ObamaCare.  Favors MEDS plan: cover senior Rx under Medicare.  Strongly favors moving towardsa single payer system. Strongly favors ‘No’ on denying nonemergencytreatment for lack of Medicare co-pay. Favors‘Yes’ on allowing re-importation of prescription drugs. Favors ‘Yes’ on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  Favor ‘Yes’ on regulating tobacco as a drug.

 

Jim Webb

Former U.S. Senator of Virginia

Abortion:

Strongly agrees that abortion is a woman’s unrestricted right.  Favors ‘No’ on restriUN cting funding for population control policies. Strongly supports Roe v. Wade and abortion rights.  Favors ‘Yes” on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.  Favors ‘No’ on barring HHs grants to organizations that perform abortions.

Climate Change:

Wants to make tax deduction permanent for conservation easements.  Voted ‘No’ on prohibiting eminent domain for use asparks or grazing land. He agrees with prioritizing green energy.  Says, “No” on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Voted’No’ on factoring global warming into federal project planning. Strongly favors supporting alternative sources instead of drilling ANWR. Favors ‘Yes’ on tax incentives for energy production and conservation.

Student Loans: 

Voted against 2012 bill to keep student loan interests rates from doubling. He has not given much insight on his plan. We will have to stay tuned for the debate.

LGBT rights: 

Favors same-sex marriage. Believes that it ensures the government no longer discriminates yet clearly defines the separation of church and state.  Favors prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

#BlackLivesMatter:

Favors initiating sweeping reform of criminal justice and incarceration system.. Focusing on the high prison rates for minorities .Favors ’No’ on reinstating$1.15 billion funding for the COPS Program. He wants to reduce recidivism by giving offenders a second chance.  Opposesconfederate flag being used as a symbol forracism.  Opposes the elimination of the confederate flag because of its real historical reference.

Jobs:

Favors anti-outsourcing of American jobs. Strongly favors increasing tax rate for people earning over $1 million.  Strongly favors raising the minimum wage. Favors simplifying the tax code, reducing the corporate tax rate to promote domestic job growth.

Immigration:

 Favors allowing illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Favors securing the border first; then deal with other aspects.   Voted ‘No’ on comprehensive immigration reform. Wants to make tamper-proof ID card; stricter enforcement against employers. Voted ‘Yes’ on declaring English as the official language of the US government.

Healthcare: 

Strongly agrees with expanding ObamaCare.  Strongly favorsnot letting drug companies write Rx drug plan.  Favors focusing on health access, not on corporate profits. Favors yes on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D.  Favors on regulating tobacco as a drug.

 

Martin O'Malley

Former Governor of Maryland

Abortion:  

Believes it is a woman’s unrestricted right. Favors that abortions should be legal, without government restriction. Supports federal abortion funding.

Climate Change:

Strongly agrees that the government should regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  Agrees with prioritizing green energy.  Wants to create a Flush Tax: fund green upgrade to wastewater treatment plants.  Believes climate change is a realand “natural threat.”

Student Loans:

He has the goal togive all studentsaccess to quality, debt-free education at all public colleges and universities and increase college completion rates by 25%. He plans to reach these goals by:

· Providing immediate relief to federal student loan borrowers by allowing them to refinance and tie their student loans repayments to their income.

· Freezing and reducing tuition fees at public colleges and universities while also increasing help for low and middle-income students

· Allowing all low and middle-income students enrolled in income-based repayment to have their monthly student loan repayments capped at 10% of their take-home pay

· Providing other measures to increase success in college, such as childcare for students with children and expanded college counseling.

LGBT Rights: 

Favors same-sex marriage. Favors the banning of discriminationbased on sexual preference, sexual orientation, orgender identity. 

#BlackLivesMatter:

Wants to ensure that justice is delivered for all Americans—regardless of race, class, or place.  He wants to achieve this by:

·  Establishing legislation to require law enforcement agencies to report data on all police-involved shootings, custodial deaths, discourtesy complaints, and use of excessive force.

· Put forward new national guidelines on the use of force and every state will need to review and amend their use of force laws.

· Expand community collaboration and civilian review of police departments

· All police officers will be required to weara body camera while on the job.

· Strengthen Federal Civil Rights Protection

· Favors to reform mandatory minimum sentencing

Jobs:  

He has cast a plan to boost funding for public school construction by nearly 20 percent to create jobs.  He strongly favors cutting taxes on the bottom 85% while raising taxes on top 15%. He believes that they should repeal personal property tax on small business.

Immigration:

His goal is to use bold, executive action to provide immediate relief to millions of New Americans waiting for comprehensive immigration reform. He plans to extend administrative relief to millions of new American familiesby providing deferred action to the greatest possible number of new Americans.  He favors granting broad waivers to the 3 or 10 year bar. He wasn't to conduct sustained naturalization outreach. Favors promoting smart, 21st-century border security.

Healthcare:

 Strongly agrees to expand ObamaCare. He wantsa 3.2% increase in funding for National Institutes of Health. Strongly favors adopting a national health reform legislation before the end of the year. He supports an all-payer system: state caps medical cost and hospital fees. He is a strong advocate of government-run healthcare.

 

Lincoln Chafee

Former Governor of Rhode Island

Abortion: 

Strongly agrees that’s abortion is a woman’s unrestricted right. He believes that a woman should make her own reproductive decisions. Favored the sponsored bill for emergency contraception for rape victims. Voted ‘Yes’ on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education and contraceptives.

Climate Change:

He is an advocate of President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan.” He believes there should be proper respect for our natural world and vulnerable species. Plans to set new standards for carbon emissions from power plants. Strongly favors establishing greenhouse gas tradeable allowances. He strongly favors supporting spending resources to stop global warming. He wants to reduce oil usage by 40% by 2025. He refuses to approve the Keystone pipeline.

Student Loans:

Chafee has yet to formally unveil his plans to address student debt and college affordability. His record as governor of Rhode Island indicates that he favors increased government investment in higher education as a way to tackle skyrocketing tuition and the growing student loan problem. We will just have to wait for him to reveal his plan.

LGBT Rights:

He strongly favor same-sex marriage. Chafee co-sponsored an amendment which expanded the definition of hate crime to include sexual orientation.

#BlackLivesMatter:

He believes that everyone should be treated equally and not on the color of their skin. Most is still unknown about his stance on the issue. The hate crime legislation he supported while in the Senate gave the community of the Charleston shooting federal funding to assist with the difficult time.

Jobs:

He plans to establish a fair tax structure that removes excessive loopholes and tax cuts for wealthy citizens and corporations. He plans to create this fairness by:
- initiating a new bracket with a marginal tax rate of approximately 45% on income over $750,000
- increasing the tax rate on preference income to 25% (from 20%) for those taxpayers with total income over $750,000.
- Increase the minimum wage to $15/hour

Immigration:

Chafee strongly agrees that there needs to be a  Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. He co-sponsored McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. He believes that there should be a comprehensive immigration reform without amnesty. Favors that in-state tuition should be available to undocumented immigrants. Chafee strongly favors 'No' on building a fence along the Mexican border. He strongly supports legalization path and guest worker programs.

Healthcare:

Chafee strongly agrees with expanding ObamaCare. He favors $350 billion for prescriptions for poor seniors. He supports more federal funding for health coverage. He strongly favors tax credits for those without employee health insurance. Voted 'No' on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit.

For more information on the candidates and there stand on the issues, visit the links below. Click for the complete Democratic primary debate schedule.  

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

Jim Webb

Martin O'Malley

Lincoln Chafee