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Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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United States

United States of America — Democratic PartyCandidate for President

Photo of Joseph R. Biden

Joseph R. Biden

Senator, Vice President, Presidential Candidate
1,613,854 votes (27.9%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • I will boost working families by building on Obamacare with a public option, cracking down on employers who try to bust unions, and tripling funding for low-income schools and making education beyond high school affordable.
  • I will address urgent challenges by passing comprehensive immigration reform, passing criminal justice reform, and investing $1.7 trillion to achieve net-zero emissions, making us the world’s clean energy leader and creating 10 million jobs.
  • I will restore the soul of our nation by passing the Equality Act and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, restoring the Voting Rights Act, and fighting for a constitutional amendment to rid federal elections of private funding.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Senator, Vice President, Presidential Candidate
Vice President of the United States, United States of America — Elected position (2009–2017)
U.S. Senator, United States Senate — Elected position (1973–2009)
County Councilmember, New Castle County Council — Elected position (1970–1972)

Education

Syracuse University College of Law Juris Doctor (J.D.), Law (1968)
University of Delaware Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), History and Science (1965)

Who supports this candidate?

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid, and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Joseph R. Biden:

As vice president, I oversaw the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the largest public works project since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System. Through ARRA, we invested more than $48 billion in transportation. President Obama and I also won passage of the first long-term surface transportation funding bill in a decade—the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act—which included $48 billion in transit funding.

As president, I will call for $1.3 trillion over ten years to invest in better transit systems, roads, waterways, ports, highways, public schools, public health institutions, lightning-fast broadband, airports, and more. My administration 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. I will propose $50 billion over the first year to kickstart the process of repairing our existing roads, highways, and bridges, and will work with Congress to increase federal funding for key safety initiatives like the Highway Safety Improvement Program and ensure new revenues are secured to stabilize the Highway Trust Fund. Every cent of my $1.3 trillion investment in our nation’s infrastructure will be paid for by making sure the super-wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. Specifically, this investment will be offset by revenue raised through reversing the excesses of the current administration's tax cuts for corporations; reducing incentives for tax havens, evasion, and outsourcing; ensuring corporations pay their fair share; closing other loopholes in our tax code that reward wealth, not work; and ending subsidies for fossil fuels.

Every federal dollar spent on rebuilding our infrastructure during the Biden Administration will be used to prevent, reduce, and withstand the impacts of this climate crisis. I will invest in expanded public transit systems, giving more Americans an affordable, efficient way to get around without their cars. I will help state and local governments plan for the widespread adoption of electric cars, and will coordinate and invest in the construction of a national electric-vehicle charging network to power them. I will also push to build a national high-speed rail network; to accelerate the development of low-carbon aviation and shipping technology; and to fortify our infrastructure to withstand the effects of climate change. And, I will give homeowners and businesses new incentives to retrofit their buildings to reduce their carbon footprints. I will work with state and local governments and the private sector to modernize our nation’s electric grid, making it smarter, more resilient, and ready to meet the changing needs of a net-zero greenhouse-gas-emissions economy.

I will create a competitive grant program to help leaders rethink and redesign regional transportation systems, to get commuters where they are going safer, faster, and more efficiently. I will promote universal design and accessibility in order to ensure people with disabilities have access to transportation. And I will dedicate $10 billion over 10 years for transit projects that serve high-poverty areas with limited transportation options to lower the cost and time for commutation for low-income workers.

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages to secure affordable health care?
Answer from Joseph R. Biden:

The reason President Obama and I fought so hard for the Affordable Care Act was to make sure that the peace of mind provided by health insurance is a right for all, not a privilege. As president, I will fight to defend and build upon the Affordable Care Act to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care. My plan takes a number of steps to build on Obamacare, including allowing Americans who are uninsured or who don’t like their coverage to choose a Medicare-like public option. I will ensure people making below 138% of the federal poverty level get covered with no premiums. I’ll automatically enroll these individuals when they interact with certain institutions (such as public schools) or other programs for low-income populations (such as SNAP). My plan also increases premium tax credits so more people will have lower premiums and lower deductibles. I will help middle class families by eliminating the 400% income cap on tax credit eligibility and lowering the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86% of income to 8.5%. This means that no family buying insurance on the individual marketplace, regardless of income, will have to spend more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance.

My health care plan is the quickest, most effective way to achieve universal health care at 1/30th the cost of Medicare for All, without eliminating individuals’ ability to keep private insurance if they want to and without increasing taxes on the middle class. I will also protect and strengthen Medicare by keeping it as a separate and distinct program and ensure there is no disruption to the current Medicare system.

In addition, I will lower both prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket costs for workers, including by repealing the outrageous exception allowing drug corporations to avoid negotiating with Medicare over drug prices and by limiting launch prices for drugs that face no competition and are being abusively priced by manufacturers. My plan also calls for stopping “surprise billing,” tackling market concentration across our health care system, and partnering with the health care workforce -- all of which will lower the cost of care.

I will expand access to contraception and protect the constitutional right to an abortion. I also support repealing the Hyde Amendment, restoring funding for Planned Parenthood, and reducing our unacceptably high maternal mortality rate, which especially impacts people of color. I will defend the rights of all people – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity – to have access to quality, affordable health care free from discrimination, and will advocate for full enforcement of mental health parity laws and expanded funding for mental health services.

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the President.
Answer from Joseph R. Biden:

The next president will need to take urgent action to end the current administration’s draconian policies, grounded in fear and racism rather than fact, work to heal the wounds inflicted on immigrant communities, and restore America’s moral leadership.

I will commit significant political capital to finally deliver legislative immigration reform to ensure that the U.S. remains open and welcoming to people from every part of the world–and to bring hardworking people who have enriched our communities and our country, in some cases for decades, out of the shadows. This is not just of concern to Latino communities, this touches families of every heritage and background. There are approximately 1.7 million undocumented immigrants from Asia in the U.S., as well as hundreds of thousands from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. I will immediately send legislation to Congress to modernize our immigration system, with a priority on keeping families together by providing a roadmap to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants; growing our economy and expanding economic opportunity across the country by improving and increasing opportunities for legal immigration; and preserve the longstanding directive of our immigration system to reunite families and enhance our diversity.

I will aggressively advocate for legislation that creates a clear roadmap to legal status and citizenship for unauthorized immigrants who register, are up to date on their taxes, and have passed a background check. I will also immediately remove the uncertainty for DREAMers by reinstating the DACA program and explore all legal options to protect their families from inhumane separation while working to pass legislative reform. Furthermore, I will protect Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders from being returned to countries that are unsafe. TPS/DED holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time and built lives in the U.S. will also be offered a path to citizenship through legislative immigration reform.

Additionally, I will end the current administration's detrimental asylum policies, starting with the Migrant Protection Protocols, and restore our asylum laws so that they do what they should be designed to do–protect people fleeing persecution and who cannot return home safely. I will end prolonged detention and the use of for-profit detention centers. I will also invest $4 billion over 4 years to address the poverty, corruption, and insecurity pushing people to flee their homes in Central America in the first place, paid for with the money we will save by reinvesting in case management programs rather than locking up asylum-seekers.

Additionally, to restore our ability to rally the world, uphold our cherished democratic values, and firmly reject this administration's nativist rhetoric and actions, I will set the annual global refugee admissions cap to 125,000 to start, and seek to raise it over time commensurate with our responsibility, our values, and the unprecedented global need.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $194,156,976

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Google
$446,190
2
Employees of Morgan & Morgan
$375,121
3
Employees of United States Department of Defense
$246,947
4
Employees of Microsoft
$226,188
5
Employees of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
$190,056

More information about contributions

By State:

California 18.64%
New York 11.92%
Florida 6.46%
Massachusetts 5.08%
Other 57.90%
18.64%11.92%57.90%

By Size:

Large contributions (64.36%)
Small contributions (35.64%)
64.36%35.64%

By Type:

From organizations (0.31%)
From individuals (99.69%)
99.69%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

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