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Positions Held by Republican Candidate Bush

By Ronald Brownstein
Los Angeles Times

Here is a look at President Bush's positions on the issues:

Abortion

* Supports a human life amendment to ban abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is endangered.

* Issued rules that severely limit the ability of medical personnel in federally funded family planning clinics to discuss abortion with patients.

AIDS

* Increased federal funding on AIDS-related activities to $2.5 billion from about $1.1 billion.

* Has been criticized by members of the National Commission on AIDS for not moving more aggressively to implement wide-ranging recommendations it issued last September, such as launching a comprehensive AIDS prevention program.

Civil Rights

* Supported and signed landmark law prohibiting discrimination against Americans with physical or mental disabilities.

Crime

* Opposes "Brady bill," which would require a waiting period for the purchase of handguns and increase penalties for crimes committed with a firearm.

* Banned imports of certain semiautomatic assault weapons in 1989 but opposes ban on producing such weapons domestically or on sales of such guns.

* Expanded use of military in efforts to interdict drugs and has nearly doubled spending on federal anti-drug efforts, such as treatment and education.

Deficit

* Has never submitted a balanced budget to Congress; has increased federal domestic spending by 7.3 percent annually, compared with 1 percent annually under President Reagan.

* In the latest budget, he proposes to reduce the deficit from $290 billion in 1992 to $182 billion by 1997. In his convention speech, Bush called for an across-the-board cut in income tax rates and a new mechanism that would allow Americans to divert up to 10 percent of their taxes toward deficit reduction; since then he has also proposed new tax cuts for small businesses.

Education

* Supports public school choice and federal assistance through vouchers for lower- and middle-income parents who want to send their children to private schools.

* Has promoted the establishment of a private non-profit corporation to encourage the development of innovative "model" schools in each congressional district around the nation and has urged Congress to provide $535 million over three years to help communities develop such schools.

Environment

* Signed extension of Clean Air Act, which Reagan had blocked, but critics say that under pressure from business interests, he has weakened or delayed regulations implementing the law.

* Barred drilling for oil off the coast of New England, southern Florida and most of California for 10 years.

* Opposes legislation to require domestic auto manufacturers to increase their average fuel efficiency from current 27.5 miles per gallon to 40 mpg by 2001.

* Opposed proposals at Earth Summit in Brazil to require industrialized nations to set binding targets for reductions in emission of carbon dioxide, the gas suspected of causing global warming. Also refused to sign treaty aimed at protecting wildlife and its habitat, saying certain provisions threatened patents of U.S. biotechnology companies.

Foreign Policy

* Led worldwide coalition of nations that through military means ended the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

* Has been criticized for U.S. policies that aided Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein in the years leading up to the invasion and for ending the war without Hussein being deposed.

* Negotiated agreement with Russia to cut both nations' nuclear arsenals by two-thirds over the next 11 years and eliminate all land-based missiles with multiple warheads. Earlier signed agreement binding all members of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact to limit conventional forces and arms in Europe.

* Convened unprecedented Middle East peace talks between Israel and Arab neighbors.

* Has supported keeping most-favored-nation trade status for China and vetoed legislation to require China to undertake reforms in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Gay Rights

* Supports current ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

Health Care

* Seeking market-driven reforms in health system rather than greater government intervention. Along those lines has proposed new tax benefits to help uninsured Americans buy health insurance but has not produced legislation to implement the plan.

Labor Policy

* Signed an increase in the minimum wage from $3.35 to $4.25 in 1989 after vetoing proposed increase to $4.55.

* Twice vetoed legislation requiring many businesses to grant unpaid leaves to workers for the birth of a child or a family illness; initially said such issues should be resolved by labor-management bargaining but last month proposed new tax credits to encourage small companies to grant such leaves.

Social Security, Medicare

* Has exempted Social Security from his proposed cap on entitlement spending; proposes increasing fees for Medicare recipients earning more than $100,000 annually. Also has suggested that further unspecified cost controls in Medicare could yield substantial additional savings.

Tax Policy

* Signed a five-year, $146.3 billion tax increase as part of 1990 budget deal, abandoning his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge of the 1988 campaign.

* Supports broad-based cut in capital gains taxes, with reduction from current 28 percent to 15.4 percent for assets held for three years or more.

* Would make permanent the research and development tax credit.

* Vetoed tax bill this spring containing many of those provisions, as well as a $42.4 billion middle-class tax cut, because it increased taxes on upper-income families by $64 billion.

Trade

* Negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada; proposes to extend free trade zones through Central and South America and into portions of Asia and Eastern Europe.