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Running for:

US President

This is the third presidential campaign for Biden, who also ran in 1988 and 2008. Although vice presidents often go on to seek the presidency (George H.W. Bush and Al Gore, for example), Biden declined to run in 2016, due in part to the death of his son in 2015.

Declined to complete our 2020 Presidential Primary Survey

Position on Issues

Other, 2015

"The idea that we won't do everything to grow the renewables so critical to the future of this country is absolutely absurd. Our grandchildren will look back and ask what we were debating about. The stakes are too high for shortsighted politics and short term decisions."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"Building on his efforts in the Recovery Act, Biden will set a target of reducing the carbon footprint of the U.S. building stock 50% by 2035, creating incentives for deep retrofits that combine appliance electrification, efficiency, and on-site clean power generation. He will work to identify barriers to help offset the upfront cost of building upgrades and put in place a national program to target a package of affordable energy efficiency retrofits in American homes. He will direct the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to make housing for low-income communities more efficient. He will direct the U.S. Department of Energy to redouble efforts to accelerate new efficiency standards for household appliances and equipment. And, he will repair and accelerate the building code process and create a new funding mechanism for states and cities to adopt strict building codes and train builders and inspectors."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"More than halve payments on undergraduate federal student loans by simplifying and increasing the generosity of today's income-based repayment program. Under the Biden plan, individuals making $25,000 or less per year will not owe any payments on their undergraduate federal student loans and also won't accrue any interest on those loans. Everyone else will pay 5% of their discretionary income (income minus taxes and essential spending like housing and food) over $25,000 toward their loans. This plan will save millions of Americans thousands of dollars a year. After 20 years, the remainder of the loans for people who have responsibly made payments through the program will be 100% forgiven. Individuals with new and existing loans will all be automatically enrolled in the income-based repayment program, with the opportunity to opt out if they wish. In addition to relieving some of the burden of student debt, this will enable graduates to pursue careers in public service and other fields without high levels of compensation. Biden will also change the tax code so that debt forgiven through the income-based repayment plan won't be taxed. Americans shouldn't have to take out a loan to pay their taxes when they finally are free from their student loans."

Other, 2019

Biden has harshly criticized the Trump adminstration's immigration policy, including the attempt to tie the DREAM Act (granting citizenship to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children) to border wall funding. However, in 2006 Biden supported a border fence, and said, "I voted unlike most Democrats - and some of you won't like it - I voted for 700 miles of fence. People are driving across that border with tons, tons - hear me - tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin. And it's all coming up through corrupt Mexico."

Candidate's Twitter Feed, 2017

"Climate change is an existential threat to our future-staying in #ParisAgreement is the best way to protect our children & global leadership"

Candidate's Website, 2019

"Restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The Obama-Biden administration fought Republican attacks on funding for Planned Parenthood again and again. As president, Biden will reissue guidance specifying that states cannot refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other providers that refer for abortions or provide related information and reverse the Trump Administration's rule preventing Planned Parenthood and certain other family planning programs from obtaining Title X funds."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"Our nation's infrastructure is literally crumbling. It is unacceptable that one in five miles of our highways are in 'poor condition,' that tens of millions of Americans lack access to high-speed broadband, and that our public schools have repeatedly earned a D+ grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers. We are the world's richest nation, but rank just 10th in the overall quality of our infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum.

"During his 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump said he'd change that. He has been promising an infrastructure plan since his earliest days in office and keeps holding 'Infrastructure Weeks' - but has failed to actually deliver results. Instead, Trump has focused on privatizing construction projects to benefit his wealthy friends, leaving communities across the country suffering and our nation falling behind.

Biden will revitalize America's infrastructure and make us more competitive with the rest of the world, while also creating and sustaining quality, middle-class jobs at home. Every one of Biden's investments in infrastructure will further the following three goals:

Create good, union jobs that expand the middle class. ...

Build resilient infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ...

Revitalize communities in every corner of the country so that no one is left behind."

Candidate's Website, 2019

  • "Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Federal law prevents hunters from hunting migratory game birds with more than three shells in their shotgun. That means our federal law does more to protect ducks than children. It's wrong. Joe Biden will enact legislation to once again ban assault weapons. This time, the bans will be designed based on lessons learned from the 1994 bans. For example, the ban on assault weapons will be designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don't limit the weapon's lethality. While working to pass this legislation, Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons.
  • "Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. Currently, the National Firearms Act requires individuals possessing machine-guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles to undergo a background check and register those weapons with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Due to these requirements, such weapons are rarely used in crimes. As president, Biden will pursue legislation to regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.
  • "Buy back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities. Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets. This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act."

Other, 2017

"'The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression,' Biden told reporters, standing alongside Poroshenko, in remarks which did not include reference to Trump by name.

"'The Crimea-related sanctions against Russia must remain in place until Russia returns full control to the people of Ukraine.'"

Candidate's Website, 2019

"Providing two years of community college or other high-quality training program without debt for any hard-working individual looking to learn and improve their skills to keep up with the changing nature of work. In 2015, President Obama and Vice President Biden proposed to make two years of community college tuition-free for hard-working students. Since then, Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden have championed progress toward this goal, and hundreds of state and local College Promise programs have expanded access to free two-year or four-year college educations. As president, Biden will build on this progress by enacting legislation to ensure that every hard-working individual, including those attending school part-time and DREAMers (young adults who came to U.S. as children), can go to community college for up to two years without having to pay tuition. Individuals will also be able to use these funds to pursue training programs that have a track record of participants completing their programs and securing good jobs. Importantly, this initiative will not just be for recent high school graduates; it will also be available to adults who never had the chance to pursue additional education beyond high school or who need to learn new skills. And, students who do want a bachelor's degree could then transfer to a four-year school, including to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions that play vital roles in their communities. This plan will be a federal-state partnership, with the federal government covering 75% of the cost and states contributing the remaining obligation. The federal government will cover up to 95% of the cost for Indian Tribes operating community colleges serving low-income students."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"President Trump has repeatedly failed our veterans and ignored this sacred obligation. From the outrage of deporting undocumented veterans without checking their record of military service, to allowing his wealthy Mar-a-Lago friends to drive veterans policy, to pursuing policies designed to privatize and dismantle the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Trump neither understands nor respects the idea of 'duty, honor, country' that inspires our brave military members to serve and imbues our veterans with pride. ...

During the Obama-Biden Administration, we improved access to health care offerings for veterans in their communities, but there is still more work to do. Private sector points of care were designed to provide care to veterans when it was faster, closer, or offered superior services for a particular veteran's needs. We must ensure that health care purchased in the community actually improves access and convenience and does not compromise the health of our veterans. President Biden will establish the right balance of VA care and purchased care, region by region, based on veteran needs, existing VA capacity, and availability of market alternatives."

2019

Biden opposed a budget proposal that would have converted Medicaid to a block grant system."Did you see the budget that was introduced?" He said. "It cuts $845 billion. Almost a trillion-dollar cut in Medicare. And almost a quarter-billion [cut] ... in Medicaid."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"As president, Biden will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion, such as so-called TRAP laws, parental notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods, and ultrasound requirements."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"Economic inequality is pulling this country apart. We need stronger labor laws and a tax code that rewards a middle class that's been cut out of decades of economic growth-not just the wealthy, who have gotten too many tax breaks for too long.

  • "The first step is reversing President Trump's tax cuts for the super-wealthy and corporations.
  • "We need to eliminate special tax breaks that reward special interests.
  • "We need to get rid of the capital gains loophole for multi-millionaires. Warren Buffett said it best: he should not pay a lower tax rate than his secretary."

Other, 2007

At a 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College, Biden answered the following questions:

Q: "Would you raise the cap for Social Security tax above the current level of the first $97,500 worth of income?"

Biden: "The answer is yes. The truth is, you're either going to cut benefits or you're going to go ahead and raise taxes above the first $97,000."

Q: "Would you also, considering now life expectancy is 78, consider gradually raising the retirement age?"

Biden: "Well, we did that once, I supported that. That's what got it solvent to 2041. By simply raising the cap, you can solve the problem."

2019

"The fact of the matter is that, in fact, when people cross the border illegally, it is illegal to do it unless they're seeking asylum. People should have to get in line. That's the problem. And the only reason this particular part of the law is being abused is because of Donald Trump. We should defeat Donald Trump and end this practice."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"The Biden Plan will put the program on a path to long-term solvency by asking Americans with especially high wages to pay the same taxes on those earnings that middle-class families pay."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"Decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions. Biden believes no one should be in jail because of cannabis use. As president, he will decriminalize cannabis use and automatically expunge prior convictions. And, he will support the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, leave decisions regarding legalization for recreational use up to the states, and reschedule cannabis as a schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts."

Other, 2013

When asked by Rolling Stone about implementing a carbon tax in 2013, Biden said, "You should be attacking the carbon emissions, period, and whether it's cap-and-trade or carbon tax or whatever, that's the realm in which we should be playing. ... The truth is, right now, ... we know [a carbon tax] will go nowhere. Look, one of the things we are doing, and the president is asking me to kind of get ahead of here, is that we have a real chance, both in this hemisphere and with China, to enter into joint ventures on renewable energy and on cleaner-burning natural gas."

Other, 2019

"Asked about the Republican president's decision to raise tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese good, Biden said 'that the only people paying the price are farmers and working people right now.'

"Biden spoke soon after China's finance ministry announced that in response to the president's moves -- it was raising tariffs on a wide swath of American goods and products from 10 percent up to 20-25 percent. The latest action by Beijing will hike tariffs on some $60 billion in American goods.

"'The president has done nothing but increase the tariffs, the debt, and the trade deficit. The way we have to proceed is we have to have our allies with us. It's not just us. We have to keep the world together,' Biden emphasized as he argued that both organized labor and U.S. allies should 'at the table' in negotiations with Beijing."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"Social Security is one of our nation's great public policy successes, in large part due to the fact that participation in the program is shared across almost all workers. Efforts to privatize the program - such as an approach suggested under the Bush Administration - will undermine the program's solvency, while putting at risk individuals' income in retirement. Similarly, proposals to make the program 'means-tested' - so that only low-income retirees workers receive benefits - jeopardizes the program's universal nature and key role as the bedrock of American retirement. Ultimately, the success of Social Security is largely due to the fact that almost all Americans can rely on the program to make their retirement more secure."

Candidate's Website, 2019

Biden's plan for health insurance reform includes a public option alongside private insurance."If your insurance company isn't doing right by you, you should have another, better choice. Whether you're covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your own, or going without coverage altogether, the Biden Plan will give you the choice to purchase a public health insurance option like Medicare. As in Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers. It also will better coordinate among all of a patient's doctors to improve the efficacy and quality of their care, and cover primary care without any co-payments. And it will bring relief to small businesses struggling to afford coverage for their employees."

Other, 2014

"You have 256,000 people right here in Nevada that would be able to have ... 19 weeks of groceries and three months of rent paid, just by raising the minimum wage. It's good for business, good for the economy, good for people."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"We should defend and build upon the Affordable Care Act to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"Social Security is one of our nation's great public policy successes, in large part due to the fact that participation in the program is shared across almost all workers. Efforts to privatize the program - such as an approach suggested under the Bush Administration - will undermine the program's solvency, while putting at risk individuals' income in retirement. Similarly, proposals to make the program 'means-tested' - so that only low-income retirees workers receive benefits - jeopardizes the program's universal nature and key role as the bedrock of American retirement. Ultimately, the success of Social Security is largely due to the fact that almost all Americans can rely on the program to make their retirement more secure."

Candidate's Website, 2019

"If your insurance company isn't doing right by you, you should have another, better choice. Whether you're covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your own, or going without coverage altogether, the Biden Plan will give you the choice to purchase a public health insurance option like Medicare. As in Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers. It also will better coordinate among all of a patient's doctors to improve the efficacy and quality of their care, and cover primary care without any co-payments. And it will bring relief to small businesses struggling to afford coverage for their employees."

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