Stay Informed: The 2020 Presidential Candidates on Key Issues



The 2020 Presidential election is just around the corner. You are (hopefully) registered to vote and planning on voting, but perhaps you have yet to make up your mind on whom to vote for. Fear not! Below, we have compiled the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates' stances on critical issues. All stances are taken from the candidates' campaign websites. If you're interested in learning more, links to those websites are provided at the end of this article.

Donald Trump (Republican Candidate)

Covid-19

Trump's campaign website states that he has signed four executive orders to support Americans during the pandemic. His government is working towards and investing in vaccines. He has enhanced funding for the VA to help homeless veterans affected by the pandemic.

Abortion

His campaign website says he will continue to support the Pro-life movement. Over the past 4 years, Trump has prevented tax-payers' money from funding Planned Parenthood. He has also reinstated a ban on funding foreign health providers that provide abortions services in other countries. He supports the right of health insurance companies to refuse to cover abortions on religious grounds.

Criminal Justice and Policing

Trump supports increasing police funding. In response to the BLM movement, he signed an executive order that banned chokehold except in cases where deadly force is legally permissible and created a national police misconduct database.

Social Security

Trump has promised to leave social security alone.

Minimum Wage

He does not support an increase in the federal minimum wage. Still, Trump claims that the national average wage has increased during his presidency.

Paid Leave

During his presidency, he has signed a law guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. His campaign website says nothing about paid leave for others.

Student Debt

Trump has made it so that low-income students can receive Pell Grants year-round, not just during the spring and fall semesters. His website says nothing about loan forgiveness or free college.

Environmental Issues

Trump repealed the Clean Power Plan enacted by Obama, as well as several other Obama-era programs. He has approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Foreign Policy and International Relations

Trump has Worked with South Korea and Japan to form closer military alliances. He recognized Jerusalem as the State capital of Israel and moved the U.S Embassy there. He enforced hefty tariffs on China to protect American goods and property. Sanctions have also been placed on Russia due to malicious cyber activities and other acts. Trump has put pressure on North Korea to discontinue its nuclear program. In the Middle East, Trump withdrew from UNESCO due to its "Anti-Israel bias." He has also arranged for support to be sent to minority groups facing persecution in the region. Trump supports sanctions on Maduro's regime in Venezuela and has rolled back Obama's deal with Cuba.

Gun Regulation

Trump believes in the right to bear arms and promises to defend the 2nd Amendment.

Healthcare

The Trump administration repealed the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) Individual mandate for healthcare coverage and signed a 6-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). He opposes Medicare for All and thinks that healthcare should be privately provided.

Immigration

Trump opposes illegal immigration and advocates for strong borders. He has spent money on strengthening and extending the Mexican border wall. He has also weakened DACA and has created a new department in the Department of Homeland Security focused on supporting victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Trump increased funding for Homeland Security and has hired more ICE agents. He supports a merit-based immigration plan. The Trump administration says the removal of illegal immigrants is a key priority.

Labor Interests and Policy

Trump's website has no statement on labor policy. He supports careful monitoring and oversight of Federal unions, as well as Janus v. AFSCME.

Trade

Supports trade regulations and tariffs to protect American jobs and workers. Left NAFTA and replaced it with a new trade agreement, the USMCA.

Joe Biden (Democratic Candidate)

Covid-19

Biden plans on ensuring access to free and reliable COVID-19 testing. He also says he will fix the PPE shortage problem, provide federal guidance to state and local governments, enact a nationwide mask mandate, and work on creating and distributing a vaccine.

Abortion

Biden's campaign website says that he will protect abortion access and prevent states from passing laws that would threaten abortion access, such as mandatory waiting periods and ultrasound requirements.

Criminal Justice and Policing

Biden would shift the focus towards crime prevention and increase federal funding for mental health treatment. He will address systemic policing issues and eliminate mandatory minimum sentences. He does not support defunding the police. Instead, he favors reforms, such as use of force standards, body cams, and diversity goals.

Social Security

Biden's campaign website states that he will prevent cuts and require upper-class Americans to pay the same rate as middle-class Americans. He will provide higher benefits for older Americans, protect widows and widowers from benefit cuts and eliminate penalties for teachers and public sector workers.

Minimum Wage

He supports a $15 national minimum wage.

Paid Leave

Biden says he will provide 12 weeks of paid leave for all workers facing severe health conditions.

Student Debt

He plans to forgive all federal undergraduate student debt from 2-and-4-year colleges and universities for those earning less than 125,000 annually, as well as implement several other steps to further provide debt relief.

Environmental Issues

Biden says he will implement a plan to achieve 100% clean energy and net-zero emissions by 2050. He also says he will sign legislation that invests in clean energy and provides incentives for companies to prioritize clean energy.

Foreign Policy and International Relations

Biden supports ending the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. He will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and implement necessary sanctions against China and any other country that threatens American manufacturing through unethical practices. He will also make a new START treaty between the U.S and Russia. Biden supports the denuclearization of North Korea and will work towards ending unconditional U.S support for Israel. He will also review U.S. funding for South American countries to ensure those governments use the money for good.

Gun Regulation

Biden will ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and create a buy-back program for the assault weapons that have already been sold. He supports requiring background checks for all gun sales. He also says he will make a task force to address mass shootings, gun-related suicides, extremism, and other public health-related gun issues.

Healthcare

Biden will uphold the Affordable Care Act and implement policies that build on it to provide coverage for more Americans. He also supports lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60. He does not support Medicare for All. Biden promises to create price caps on overpriced prescription drugs, allow Americans to buy drugs from other countries, and increase the supply of generics.

Immigration

Biden supports ending Trump's asylum policy, preventing the separation of parents from their children at the U.S. Southern Border, and increasing humanitarian resources for immigrants. He also plans on ending the National Emergency that Trump declared. He supports the protection of Dreamers and their families, and, as Vice President, he created and expanded DACA. He emphasizes working with Canada and Mexico to prevent illegal immigration.

Labor Interests and Policy

Biden supports middle-class interests and says that he will ensure that all laborers are treated well and receive fair pay and benefits. He will establish the right to unionization and collective bargaining for all public-sector employees. Biden supports worker's right to strike and will expand legal protections for those who do.

Trade

Biden will enact trade sanctions on China and other countries that seek to undermine American manufacturing. He also supports carbon tariffs on foreign countries that fail to meet environmental standards.

Campaign Websites:

Biden: https://joebiden.com

Trump: https://www.donaldjtrump.com

Voting in local and national elections is one of the key opportunities to make your voice heard in the United States. Voting is not a guaranteed right in many countries, and previous generations fought and lost their lives for your right to choose who to follow. The 2020 presidential election in particular will be a momentous event with results that will affect each and every person in our country. No matter what your beliefs are, it is important to exercise your right to vote.


For more information on the voting process, please visit Vote.org

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