Meet the Candidates: Joe Biden

Meet the Candidates: Joe Biden

Welcome to ‘Meet the Candidates’! Every week until the New York primary we will post all the information you need to know about the Democratic candidates. This week, learn about former Vice President Joe Biden


Poll Ranking

In the most recent Washington Post/NBC News national poll (2/19/2020), Biden was polling at 17%, which puts him in 2nd place among democratic candidates, only behind Bernie Sanders.

Political Views

  • Climate Change
    • During the Obama Presidency, President Obama and Vice President Biden helped coordinate the Paris Agreement. He was also one of the first people to introduce a climate change bill to the U.S. Senate; The Global Climate Protection Act of 1986. His most recent plan aims to ensure that the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Healthcare
    • Biden does not support Medicare for all. His plan for healthcare builds on ObamaCare and adds a public option for those who want it. ObamaCare originally included a public option, but it did not make it into the final bill.
    • On June 5th, 2019, Joe Biden said that he still supported the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding/the use of medicare for abortions. After intense criticism, he reversed his position on June 6th and now supports the Hyde Amendment.
  • Criminal Justice Reform
    • Joe Biden was a key player in the War on Drugs and both supported and drafted legislation that resulted in mass incarceration and harsh penalties for crime. However, Biden has changed his position and has released a comprehensive criminal justice reform plan. The plan includes eliminating mandatory minimums, abolishing the death penalty, dismantling private prisons, eliminating cash bail, decriminilaing (but not making legal) marijuana, and more. It would also include a grant program to incentivize states to reduce incarceration and redirect those savings towards education, mental health and addiction treatment, and other social services.
  • Immigration
    • Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. experienced high levels of deportations. However, the DACA program was also part of the Obama-Biden immigration policy. Biden’s current plan does not decriminalize illegal border crossing or abolishing ICE. However, his plan does include allow more refugees in the country and increasing staff in immigration courts. He has also promised to end the Trump Administration’s policies of separating families and large-scale immigration raids.
  • Gun Control
    • Joe Biden supports universal background checks as well as a national firearm registry for assault weapons. He also supports repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prevents gun manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products. In 1994, he passed a 10-year ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. This plan was not renewed under the Bush administration, but Biden supports bringing it back.

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