Where they stand on the issues

Posted: October 20, 2008

Here's where the two major presidential candidates stand on major urban issues:

Sen. Barack Obama:

* Big Picture: Plans to create a White House Office on Urban Policy to develop strategies for big cities and oversee federal funding to urban communities.

* Guns: Supports making permanent an assault-weapons ban, which expired several years ago. He would repeal the Tihart Amendment, which restricts federal authorities from sharing gun-trace information with local law enforcement.

* Police: Supports more funding for COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services), an initiative of President Clinton that provided federal grants for hiring police officers.

* Housing: Supports creating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop housing in mixed-income areas. He would also reverse cuts to the Community Development Block Grant program, which funds housing and neighborhood-revitalization projects.

* Jobs: Will invest $1 billion over five years in career-training programs. Wants to create a Green Job Corps for young people to get energy efficiency work experience. Pledges to make sure that ex-offenders have access to job programs and says he will create a prison-to-work incentive program.

* Infrastructure: Will create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank, which would recieve $60 billion over 10 years to support infrasturcture projects.

Sen. John McCain:

* Big Picture: McCain doesn't have an urban policy highlighted on his Web site. His campaign did not respond to a request for more detailed information on urban issues.

* Guns: Opposes restrictions on assault weapons. Supports instant background checks at gun shows.

* Police: Supports funding for state and local law enforcement, but wants to review earmark process for providing local funding. Would strengthen laws against Internet predators.

* Housing: Has proposed the American Homeownership Resurgence Plan, under which the government would buy up mortgages from people falling behind on payments and replace them with fixed-rate morgages.

* Jobs: Wants to cut the corporate tax rate to encourage business development. Would establish a commission to look at workplace flexibility, designed to help people achieve more home-work balance.

* Infrastructure: The McCain campaign did not respond to a request for details on how McCain would invest in infrastructure. *

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