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Sanders Loses Bid on TPP Language in Democratic Party Platform

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. heads to the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 26, 2016. Sanders supporters failed to include language opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in a draft of the

During a sometimes combative meeting of the Democratic Party's platform committee, Bernie Sanders came away with a win on health care but failed to have language included that opposed a multinational trade pact.

Supporters of presumptive party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama were able to beat back attempts to adopt language opposing the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact.

The language would have been a major victory for Vermont Senator Sanders, who is expected to endorse Democratic rival Clinton on Tuesday at an event in New Hampshire.

Labor leaders said after the vote the language made clear where they stand on TPP and that they oppose "bad trade deals."


But Sanders supporters on the panel voiced their displeasure with jeers and angry shouts.

"We did everything we could to win that vote," Sanders policy adviser Warren Gunnels said. "It was very disappointing."

The committee agreed to language in the draft proposal for party policy that said they would oppose "trade agreements that do not support good American jobs."

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, July 5, 2016.
FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, July 5, 2016.

Earlier Saturday, the Clinton campaign announced changes to its health care proposal that showed influence from Sanders.

They called for increasing mandatory health care funding under the Affordable Care Act by $40 billion over the next 10 years.

During the presidential nominating contests earlier this year, Sanders made combating health care costs a major part of his campaign

Step in right direction

After the announcement, he praised Clinton's proposal as a step in the right direction to "save lives and ease suffering."

After losing in the delegate count during the nominating contests, Sanders has pushed to have his progessive policies included in the party platform. So far, he has won several concessions, including an amendment calling for increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 over time, indexed to inflation, language a previous amendment lacked.

Clinton has been open to his efforts, and would benefit from an endorsement by her Democratic challenger. Many of his supporters have voiced reluctance to switch their vote to Clinton.

Material for this report came from AP and Reuters.