Voter’s Guide to the 2020 Election Candidate Positions
With less than three weeks left until election day, the question of who will become the next president of the United States continues to become a more contentious and pressing one with each passing day. Faced with a choice between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, perhaps some of the most controversial presidential nominees in recent history, many key voters have yet to decide whom they will vote for in the 2020 election. Here is where these candidates stand on some of the most important issues to voters.
TOPIC: PANDEMIC RESPONSE
TRUMP: Restricted most foreign travel at the beginning of the pandemic, and has since focused on developing a vaccine for the Coronavirus as fast as possible. He has mostly left the overall responses to the disease up to the states. Withdrew the U.S. as a contributor to the World Health Organization over what he calls recklessness, inaction, and pandering to the Chinese government.
BIDEN: Has called for a complete and thorough federal response to the virus, including measures such as more testing, medical equipment for workers, and funding for research on a vaccine. He would have the U.S rejoin as a contributor to the World Health Organization, and reinstate the U.S. health/security organization for pandemic preparedness. He has sharply criticized the president for often criticizing the medical, health, and safety guidelines put forth by the CDC and others.
TOPIC: HEALTH CARE
TRUMP: Wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with one operating on ‘free market principles,’ allowing consumers and states to buy across state lines. He argues that this will lead to insurers being forced to “compete for their customers with lower costs and higher quality service.” (whitehouse.gov)
BIDEN: Biden “opposes every effort to get rid of [the Affordable Care Act]- from both Republicans and Democrats.” He has argued for keeping and building on the ACA, by creating a public health insurance option, expanding coverage, and increasing tax credits. He also aims to curb run-away drug price inflation through new regulations. (joebiden.com)
TOPIC: INTERNATIONAL POLICY
TRUMP Pushes for an “America First” policy as the guiding principle for foreign policy, this has influenced everything from NAFTA, to the trade war with China to the Iran nuclear deal in what he calls the journey to retake America’s position as a global leader while still putting Americans ahead of foreign interests.
BIDEN Has criticized Trump’s policies, saying that they have damaged and strained relations with traditional U.S. allies and discrediting our reputation as the defacto world leader. Would place a renewed emphasis on diplomacy as the means of accomplishing American goals abroad
TOPIC: CLIMATE CHANGE
TRUMP: Disagrees with the general scientific consensus on the reality of climate change, arguing that it is a natural, not human caused occurrence, and that any regulations attempting to control the supposed effects will harm U.S. businesses and limit economic growth, in addition to being pointless. (yahoo.news.com), (whitehouse.gov)
BIDEN: Biden agrees with the scientific consensus, and has called it an “urgent crisis”, with his plan for climate change calling for an investment of $2 trillion over four years with a focus on creation of jobs through energy, infrastructure, eradication of carbon pollution from the energy sector by 2035, and a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Also supports rejoining the Paris Climate Accords. (joebiden.com)
TOPIC: ABORTION RIGHTS
TRUMP: Supports making it harder to get an abortion through measures such as defunding Planned Parenthood, overturning federal protections, and has expressed support for a “near total ban” on abortion He has promised to appoint judges who will “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade, and aims to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ginsburg’s death prior to the election. (bbc.com)
BIDEN: Has said he will ‘codify Roe v. Wade into federal law’, restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other reproductive care providers for other health care services, and repeal the Hyde Amendment, which blocks use of taxpayer money for abortions aside from cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother, saying it has prevented those with low income receiving government aid from having access to abortion services. Would withdraw Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee if he wins the election. (axios.com)
TOPIC: RACIAL JUSTICE
TRUMP: Has repeatedly expressed support for law enforcement over the last several months and opposed calls made by protestors for drastic reform, restructuring, or introduction of new measures. Has attacked the destruction wreaked by riots as a natural symptom and consequence of the “radical left.” Denies that racism is a systemic problem in America, instead saying that groups such as BLM and Antifa are the problematic ones.(scholastic.com)
BIDEN: Has said we need to acknowledge and make amends with Americas history of racism. Biden has made addressing racial equity a central pillar of his “Build Back Better” plan, with a focus on using hundreds of billions in federal funds to “support entrepreneurs of color, ensure access to affordable housing, [and] create the $30 billion Small Business Opportunity Fund. He has also called for criminal justice and policing reform. Has promised to reinstate DACA, and create a path to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. (latimes.com)
TOPIC: EDUCATION / STUDENT DEBT
TRUMP: Argues for promotion of school choice, allowing parents to school choice. He would also create a commission for “Patriotic Education”, to combat what he has said are anti-American curriculums. (whitehouse.gov)
BIDEN: Supports ensuring access to high-quality, public education for all, from preschool to college, through measures to eliminate funding gaps between districts serving predominantly white students and those serving students of color. He also supports government funding to promote diversification of schools, and free tuition for Latino, Black, and Native American families making less than $125,000 a year. (wsj.com)
TRUMP: Supports construction of a border wall along the Mexican border, and the prompt removal of illegal immigrants. He argues for a shift to merit based immigration, and an end to chain-migration and visa lotteries to “protect American workers and….help new citizens assimilate and flourish.” (whitehouse.gov)
BIDEN: Plan consists of two main points: dismantling Trump era policies and reenacting Obama era ones, and further proposes a system in which all classes of immigrants would have access not only to government resources and programs, but also to a road to citizenship. (americanactionforum.org)
TRUMP: Would continue with the current line of tax cuts and reform, which he has argued have revived the economy, brought and created a wealth of new jobs, and through expansion of options for on-the-job training and education.
BIDEN: Supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and argues for a pro-growth, progressive tax code on the highest earners to protect and bolster up the American middle class. Would maintain current tax rate for all making under $400,000 a year.