Campaign

Steyer releases African American policy ahead of South Carolina primary

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer unveiled his African American policy agenda Thursday, just days ahead of the South Carolina primary when Democrats will face their first challenge in a state with a significant black voting population. 

Steyer's agenda outlines his plans to push for equal voting rights, reparations for slavery, access to maternal and reproductive health care as well as criminal justice reform

The billionaire businessman, like several of his Democratic rivals, backs a plan to support a commission to study and develop reparations. However, his policy falls short of proposing a reparations system to launch and operate. 

Steyer's plan also pledged to end voter suppression by fighting against voter ID laws and reinstating voting rights for formerly incarcerated individuals. 

He's also proposing a plan to ensure representation of African Americans in government, including his call for a 12-year term limit on House and Senate seats. Steyer also calls for an end to partisan gerrymandering and reforming the electoral college. 

"One vote should be the law of the land," Steyer's campaign said in the released agenda. 

Steyer argues the congressional term limits would also allow lawmakers to pass gun control reform measures, another issue he touches on in the policy document. In addition, the candidate is calling for universal background checks, a national gun ownership license, a ban on assault weapons and the passage of the Violence Against Women Act. 

The release of the policy comes as Steyer chases success in South Carolina, a state the billionaire candidate's campaign has focused much of its efforts on. Although Steyer has lagged behind his rivals in early voting states, his push in South Carolina could give him an edge in Saturday's primary. 

Steyer and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) are the only remaining candidates who competed in the early states to not win any delegates after the first three nominating contests. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is leading the field after wins in Nevada and New Hampshire, followed by former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) 

Recent polls have shown Steyer near the top of the field in South Carolina, whereas national polls and polls of other states show him trailing near the bottom of the pack. 

Biden has also staked much of his campaign on projected success in South Carolina. Biden, a candidate yet to win any of the early states, has said he's confident he'll defeat his opponents Saturday. 

"I'm going to win South Carolina," Biden said in a Tuesday interview with CBS News, after making the same claim on the debate stage earlier that night. 

He added that it's "enough" to win by just 1 point, but said he thinks he'll "win by a lot more than that."

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