Bernie Sanders Will Have More Input in Writing Democratic Party Platform

The Vermont Senator will have more say over the drafting the party positions.

May 23, 2016, 2:45 PM

— -- Bernie Sanders will have more say over the drafting of the Democratic Party platform than initially thought, even if he does -- as is expected -- lose his primary fight to Hillary Clinton.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) confirms that Sanders and Clinton have agreed with Democratic Party officials to a new allocation of members for the committee that writes the party's platform.

Sanders will name five members and Clinton will name six to the 15-member committee that writes the platform. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz will name the remaining four. The platform will be revealed at the party convention in Philadelphia in July.

This is a move aimed at being inclusive to Sanders supporters after his much stronger-than-expected primary campaign.

The news was first reported by the Washington Post.

The DNC rules state it is at the chair's discretion to pick the entire 15-member committee.

"This year, in an effort to make this the most representative and inclusive process in history, the DNC Chair elected to allocate 75% of the committee’s seats to the presidential campaigns, awarding the slots proportionally according to the current vote tally,” the DNC said in a statement to the media. In the same release, the party said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) -- a Clinton supporter -- would be the chair of the drafting committee.

Sanders has not been shy in discussing his opposition to Wasserman Schultz. Over the weekend he announced his support for her primary challenger, South Florida professor Tim Canova, and sent a fundraising solicitation on his behalf. Canova's campaign said it raised $250,000 for his campaign. Sanders also told CNN he would replace Wasserman Schultz as party chair if he made it to the White House.

The Sanders campaign released a statement saying, "We believe that we will have the representation on the platform drafting committee to create a Democratic platform that reflects the views of millions of our supporters who want the party to address the needs of working families in this country and not just Wall Street, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry and other powerful special interests.”

The Clinton campaign praised the move in a statement.

"We're pleased that the upcoming Democratic Convention will ensure supporters of Senator Sanders are well represented in the drafting of the party's platform," said Clinton's press secretary Brian Fallon. "The Democratic Party historically has been a big tent, representing a diverse coalition, and Hillary Clinton is committed to continue welcoming different perspectives and ideas."

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