An Interactive Guide on the Presidential Candidates’ Policies

An+Interactive+Guide+on+the+Presidential+Candidates%E2%80%99+Policies

Miranda Rueda , Staff Reporter

The Election is almost a week away which means many seniors at BHS are getting ready to go vote. Whether you’re mailing in your ballot, doing early voting, or planning on going to vote on election day, it’s important to research who you are voting for. This is an interactive guide that links you to government websites, campaign websites, and timelines that help explain the presidential candidates policies on three issues: climate change, higher education, and gun control. While only three issues are addressed in this article, there are numerous other issues that you can research. The ballots have more than just the presidential candidates listed, so make sure you do your own research on your state and local elections. 

ISSUE #1: Climate Change 

Trump

While climate change may not be one of the issues the Trump campaign hyper focuses on, the administration and president have made major policy changes regarding the issue. One of the first things the administration did was remove the term ‘climate change’ off of various government agencies’ websites and replaced the term with ‘updated language.’ This fueled major discourse among Trump critics especially after the President withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, a U.N. environmental resolution. Trump’s reasoning behind the choice had to do with economic policies. According to the President, the Paris Agreement put unfair economic burdens on American companies and workers. The Trump Administration runs on economic policies, so they do what they believe is best for the U.S. economy. Many of the climate policies that have come from the White House prioritize the economy, so it focuses more on oil and gas regulations. Another change made by the administration was the removal of the Clean Power Plan, an Obama era policy.  It was replaced with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, a policy that the administration believes promotes energy diversity. 

Biden

Biden is in support of all the Obama-Biden era climate change policies, including the Clean Power Plan and Paris Agreement. However, the Biden-Harris campaign has laid out their climate change plan on their official website. According to Biden, he promises to sign multiple executive orders on his first day to combat climate change. A Biden Administration would push for the Green New Deal, a highly contested piece of legislation. Biden would like to set multiple clean energy goals over the next few decades for the overall goal of having a 100% clean energy economy by 2050. His climate plan would invest $1.7 trillion over the next ten years, and create middle-class clean energy jobs. Biden also plans to make the U.S. rejoin the Paris Agreement and promises to integrate climate change into foreign policy. 

ISSUE #2: Higher Education

Trump

President Trump has repeatedly said that he will not make public universities free. Trump’s ideas revolve around student debt prevention and easier ways to payback loans. The Administration proposes methods to accelerate program completion in order for students to graduate faster with less debt. Another proposal is to simplify student aid through offering different payment methods that cap monthly payments at 12.5% of the borrower’s income and encourage responsible borrowing. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Trump Administration and congress passed the CARES Act. The CARES Act temporarily paused student loan payments, including interest, for sixty day and it was later extended until December 31, 2020.

Biden

Under a Biden Administration, there would be a large investment in community colleges. Biden proposes making two year degrees or technical certificates free at community colleges. From there, students can transfer over to four year institutions including HBCUs. There will be a $50 billion dollar investment to workforce training and some of the policy incentives from the Obama-Biden Administration will be reintroduced. As for tuition from public universities, Biden had adopted Bernie Sanders’ proposals of making all public universities free for students’ families that make under $125,000. Click here to learn more.

 

ISSUE #3: Gun Control

Trump

After the 2018 school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students and parents mobilized for the March for Our Lives movement. This movement put pressure on the Trump Administration to put forth more gun legislation to prevent mass shootings. As early as 2013, Trump has said he is in support of background checks for gun purchases and even told Parkland survivors that the Administration will be “strong on background checks.” A few weeks after the Parkland shooting, President Trump proposed raising the age limit for assault rifle purchases from 18 to 21, but later redacted that statement and said he’ll leave it up to the states. Gun control proposals from the administration include: adopting ERPOs, arming gun adept teachers with special training, and even releasing a safety report that suggested schools arm themselves. One of the most successful policies that came from the Trump administration was the banning of bump stocks. For an in-depth timeline of Trump’s gun reform, click here. 

Biden

Like Trump, Biden also had to face the difficult task of coming up with gun reform policy after the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. As Vice President, he helped create gun reform policies to prevent gun violence. Some of the actions the Obama-Biden administration proposed were universal background checks for all gun purchases, mandatory mental health screenings, and narrowing the gun show loophole. As for what a Biden-Harris Administration has to offer regarding gun reform, they promise to reinstate Obama era gun policies that were removed by the Trump Administration. They also propose a government run gun buyback program where possessors of assault weapons can sell their gun to the government or register them under the National Firearms Act. Biden would also propose bans on assault weapon sales, high-capacity magazines, gun related loopholes, and the online sales of firearms. For an in-depth look on Biden’s gun policies, click here.