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Trump vs. Biden: Where They Stand on the Issues

Trump vs. Biden: Where They Stand on the Issues

Posted on 10/27/20 By Brittany K. King

More than 50 million people have already voted in this year’s election, and experts predict a voter turnout rate greater than 62% — more than any presidential election in the last 50 years.

Election Day is less than one week away, so we compiled a comprehensive list of where both Donald Trump and Joe Biden stand on important issues.

If you are not yet registered to vote, check to see if your state allows for same-day voter registration.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Stay tuned for post-election programs from Lorman and updates covering time-sensitive topics before the end of the year. 

  Jump to:
  Economy and Trade
  Health Care
  Criminal Justice
  Voting and Government
  Foreign Policy
  Climate and Environment
  Gun Control
  LGBTQ+ Rights
  Coronavirus Response



Economy and Trade


Trump has said he's considering backing a $15 federal minimum wage. However, he states that salary growth during his presidency should satisfy concerns over fair pay. 

The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2009. 

Source: Bloomberg, 6/20/20 Source: U.S. Department of Labor



Source: The White House, 1/29/20

Source: Washington Post



Trump's executive order would provide eviction moratorium for renters through the end of 2020. 

Biden states he will provide immediate relief for tenants facing eviction. 

Source: Donald J. Trump for President Source: Biden for President



Trump has committed to providing paid parental leave for working parents in his FY2020 budget. He has not yet pushed the issue. 

Biden has stated his support for "universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.”

Source: The White House Source: Biden for President



Biden previously helped craft the original Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

*However, he states parts of the deal would need to be renegotiated for him to support it now.

Source: Politico, 1/23/19 Source: Washington Post, 8/1/19



Trump's tariffs on goods from China aim to encourage consumers to buy American goods by making imported ones more expensive. Three rounds of tariffs were imposed in 2018 and a fourth in September of 2019. 

*Biden previously stated he would remove Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports. An aide later clarified Biden would "reevaluate the tariffs upon taking office." 

Source: BBC, 1/16/20 Source: Reuters, 9/8/20



Trump called for a "lost wages assistance program" to provide Americans an additional $300 per week. Americans previously received an extra $600 in unemployment under the Cares Act, which expired at the end of July. 

Biden promised to "extend COVID crisis unemployment insurance" but did not specify if he will reinstate the extra $600 given under the Cares Act. 

Source: The Guardian, 8/11/20
Source: Donald J. Trump for President
Source: Biden for President 



Trump has said he will "strongly protect Medicaid and Social Security." The President previously stated he's open to Social Security cuts. 

Biden's current plan calls for a "true minimum benefit" for those who have worked 30 years. The plan would provide them with "a benefit of at least 125% of the poverty level." 

Source: Trump Campaign Rally in Minden, NV, 9/12/20
Source: Los Angeles Times, 1/23/20

Source: CNN, 8/19/20



Source: Investopedia, 1/20/20 Source: CNBC, 6/4/19



Source: Washington Post Source: Tax Foundation, 10/22/20



President Trump lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. 

Biden supports raising the federal corporate income tax rate above its current level, between 21% and 35%.

Source: Congressional Research Service Source: Tax Foundation, 10/22/20



Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 doubled the federal estate tax exemption for estate, gift, and generations skipping taxes. In 2019, the federal estate tax exemption amount was $11.4 million per person. 

Biden has stated he would "return the estate tax to 2009 levels." The estate tax exemption amount in 2009 was $3.5 million. 

Source: Washington Post, 1/28/20 Source: Reuters, 10/9/20
Source: Tax Foundation



Biden plans to reform the program, stating "We cannot close the racial wealth gap if we allow billionaires to exploit Opportunity Zones tax breaks to pad their wealth."

Source: Washington Post, 2/21/19
Source: Donald J. Trump for President
Source: Biden for President


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Health Care


Trump's administration seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He has proposed an alternative called America First Health Care. 

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, during Biden's tenure as vice president. 

Source: The New York Times, 6/26/20
Source: Donald J. Trump for President
Source: Biden for President



Trump frequently pledges to protect Americans with preexisting conditions. Protections for preexisting conditions are currently part of the Affordable Care Act. 

However, one of Trump's ACA alternatives for short-term health insurance does not have to cover preexisting conditions.  

Other GOP bills have offered protection for preexisting conditions, but were seen as less than what the law already provides. 

Source: AP News, 9/28/20
Source: The White House
Source: Biden for President



Biden has proposed to allow Americans between the ages of 60 and 64 the option of buying into Medicare. 

Source: Donald J. Trump for President Source: npr, 4/11/20



President Trump signed right-to-try legislation in 2018, stating "People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home."

Biden's campaign has not clarified his stance on right-to-try legislation.

Both Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have lost immediate family members to cancer. Many suspect his presidency will prioritize funding and support for cancer research. 

Source: The White House, 5/30/18 Source: Forbes, 8/11/20



Trump signed executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices in July 2020. 

Source: Washington Post, 7/24/20 Source: Washington Post



Trump promises to "block illegal immigrants from becoming eligible for taxpayer-funded welfare, healthcare, and free college tuition" if elected to a second term. 

In a 2019 CNN interview, Biden stated "I think undocumented people need to have a means by which they can be covered when they’re sick."

Source: Donald J. Trump for President, 8/23/20 Source: The Hill, 7/5/19


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Criminal Justice


Trump signed an executive order calling for police reform by improving training, tracking police officers with multiple instances of misconduct, and for departments to ban the use of chokeholds, unless an officer feels their life is endangered. 

Biden has proposed a $300-million investment in policing. He stated at the opening night of the Democratic National Convention: "Most cops are good, but the fact is, the bad ones need to be identified and prosecuted."

Source: npr, 6/16/20 Source: Reuters, 8/6/20
Source: The New York Times, 8/19/20



*Biden has not agreed to end qualified immunity, but believes it ‘needs to be reined in’.

Source: Donald Trump meets with the National Association of Police Organizations, 7/31/20         Source: MSNBC, 8/26/20



Trump's First Step Act aims to give prisoners a second chance through rehabilitative programs, fair sentencing, and smart confinement.

*Biden supports eliminating mandatory minimums. 

Source: The White House, 4/1/19 Source: Biden for President



Trump has stated "In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state." 

*Biden supports decriminalizing recreational marijuana use and legalizing medical use federally. 

Source: Washington Post, 10/29/15 Source: Biden for President



The Trump administration has carried out six executions in 2020. Prior to this, the last federal execution took place in 2003. 

Biden promises to work to pass legislation that will eliminate the death penalty at the federal level. 

Source: Reuters, 9/22/20 Source: Biden for President



Source: Washington Post, 8/13/20 Source: Washington Post



Source: Donald. J. Trump for President Source: Biden for President


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Voting and Government


Biden has not ruled out the idea of increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court. He claimed his position is dependent on the Republicans response to confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett. 

Source: The New York Times, 9/25/20 Source: CNBC, 10/15/20



*Trump opposes automatically sending ballots to voters through the mail. He supports voting absentee with a specific reason. 

Source: AP News, 9/30/20 Source: Harpers Bazaar, 9/29/20



Source: USA Today, 8/17/19 Source: CBS News, 7/25/14



Source: CNN, 8/22/16 Source: The Sacramento Bee, 9/12/19



Source: Washington Post, 5/5/20 Source: WTOP News, 1/17/15



*Biden believes Puerto Ricans should decide their statehood.

Biden says he will "work with representatives who support each of the status options in Puerto Rico to engage in a fair and binding process to determine their own status."

Source: Washington Post, 9/24/18 Source: Biden for President



Trump has previously stated he wants to "kill the filibuster." His campaign has not clarified his current stance.

Biden has long opposed eliminating the filibuster, but has recently demonstrated openness to ending the practice, stating "it's going to depend on how obstreperous they become."

Source: Politico, 6/26/18 Source: Politico, 7/14/20



Source: Donald J. Trump for President Source: govinfo 



Source: Washington Post Source: Washington Post


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Foreign Policy


*Trump has previously spoken about withdrawing from NATO. However, the president's NATO ambassador recently stated "I think that he has turned a corner" in response to questions about the U.S. withdrawing from the pact. 

Source: Washington Post, 9/10/20 Source: The New York Times, 9/3/20



Source: The Guardian, 10/8/20 Source: Biden for President



President Trump signed witness to the Israel-UAE Peace Deal in September.

Biden later stated "I welcome the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain taking steps to normalize ties with Israel. It is good to see others in the Middle East recognizing Israel and even welcoming it as a partner."

Source: Council on Foreign Relations, 8/17/2020 Source: The Hill, 9/15/20



Trump announced his intentions to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2017, stating "[the embassy move to Jerusalem is] a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement."

Biden's official stance on the move remains unclear. He stated the embassy "should not have been moved" but also said he would not move it back to Tel Aviv if elected. 

Source: The White House, 5/14/18 Source: Aljazeera, 4/29/20



*Biden will support the deal if Iran returns to compliance, stating "If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations."

Source: The New York Times, 5/8/18 Source: CNN, 9/13/20



Source: Council on Foreign Relations, 2/26/18 Source: Washington Post, 7/21/20



Source: The New York Times, 4/16/19 Source: Washington Post, 5/1/19



Source: CBS News, 4/17/18 Source: Politico, 10/22/20



Source: Reuters, 6/16/17 Source: NBC New York, 9/3/20



Trump signed a $738 billion defense spending bill in 2019, officially created the sixth branch of the Armed Services, Space Force. 

Biden's campaign has not clarified his stance on Space Force or his overall space policy plans if elected. 

Source: npr, 12/21/19 Source: Quartz, 7/2/20



Biden has not made strict promises to cut the defense budget, but has not planned to increase it. 

Source: The New York Times, 2/10/20 Source: The Atlantic, 5/20/20


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Climate and the Environment


In a 2018 interview with CBS's 60 Minutes Trump said "I don’t know that [climate change is] man-made.” 

In response to Chris Wallace's question during the first presidential debate about whether or not human pollution contributes to global warming, Trump responded "I think a lot of things do, but I think to an extent, yes." 

Source: The New York Times, 10/15/18
Source: AP News, 9/30/20
Source: Biden for President



Source: The New York Times, 10/15/20 Source: Biden for President



Source: The White House, 6/1/17 Source: National Geographic, 10/19/20



*Biden stated he ban fracking on public land, proposing to "[ban] new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters." He did not state that he would end all new fracking anywhere or existing fracking on public lands and waters.

Source: Donald Trump Discusses Environmental Successes in Florida, 9/8/20

Source: Biden for President
Source: CNN, 10/23/20



Source: Washington Post, 8/17/20 Source: C-Span, 2/25/20



Biden's campaign has not clarified his stance on banning fossil fuel exports. 

Source: The White House, 7/29/20 Source: Washington Post


Source: Donald J. Trump for President Source: National Geographic, 10/19/20



*Biden is open to nuclear power, stating "We must look at all low- and zero-carbon technologies."

Source: The Verge, 2/10/20 Source: Biden for President


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Source: The White House, 6/20/18 Source: U.S. News, 10/23/20



Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Source: Biden for President



Source: npr, 10/16/20 Source: El Tecolote, 8/13/20



Trump plans to end sanctuary cities "to restore our neighborhoods and protect our families."

Biden plans to "aggressively limit" local law enforcement's cooperation with federal immigration authorities. 

Source: Donald J. Trump for President Source: Biden for President



Source: Washington Post, 10/1/20 Source: Biden Immigration Policy



*Trump paused visas for high-skill immigrants through 2020 due to the pandemic. 

*Biden wants to reform the current temporary visa system to "support expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country.”

Source: Washington Post, 6/22/20 Source: Biden for President


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Source: Washington Post, 10/3/17 Source: Harper's Bazaar, 10/6/20



Source: The New York Times, 2/22/19 Source: Reuters, 6/6/19



Source: Independent, 2/5/20 Source: Washington Post, 4/28/20


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*Biden supports free public college tuition for families making less than $125,000. 

Source: The Atlantic, 2/20/19 Source: Biden for President



The Trump administration has proposed budgets to increase affordable child care options for American families. 

Biden proposed a $325 billion child care plan that would create a federal-state partnership to provide universal prekindergarten for all 3-to-4-year-olds.

Source: CNBC, 2/11/20 Source: U.S. News, 9/28/20



Source: Washington Post, 7/23/20 Source: @JoeBiden on Twitter, 1/22/20



*Biden supports banning for-profit charter schools and calls for increased accountability on all charters. 

Source: Factbase, 7/14/20 Source: Education Next, 10/6/20



This year, Trump's Education Department created new rules on campus sexual assault which provides more rights to the accused. 

Source: Department of Education Source: The Hill, 5/6/20


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Gun Control


Source: The White House Source: Washington Post, 10/2/19



Source: Donald Trump Addresses Shootings in El Paso and Dayton, 8/5/19 Source: Biden for President



*Biden supports the requirement for gun owners to register their firearms, but only for assault weapons. 

Source: Washington Post, 11/1/19 Source: CNN, 10/2/19
Source: Biden for President



Trump previously spoke about background check legislation following the high number of mass shootings in the United States last year, but later abandoned releasing a proposal.

His campaign has not clarified his stance specifically on background checks for every gun purchase. 

Source:, 8/8/19 Source: Biden for President



Source: The New York Times, 12/18/18 Source: Reuters, 1/29/20


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LGBTQ+ Rights


Source: The New York Times, 6/12/20 Source: USA Today, 10/10/20



Source: Reuters, 6/14/19 Source: Fortune, 10/15/20



Trump has stated he's "fine" with same-sex marriage as the law of the land. However, his support of several anti-LGBTQ+ policies and nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has sent mixed messages to Americans. 

In 1996 Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. However, he supported marriage equality as vice president in 2012. 

Source: ABC News, 11/13/16
Source: The Guardian, 10/18/20
Source: The New York Times, 6/22/20


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Coronavirus Response


Trump opposes a national federal mask mandate, but has deferred the decision to enforce masks to state and local governments. 

Biden supports implementing a nationwide mask mandate. 

Source: Washington Post, 7/21/20 Source: Washington Post, 6/25/20


Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 10/21/20 Source: The Hill, 10/23/20


Source: npr, 10/16/20 Source: npr, 10/16/20


Source: The New York Times, 7/7/20 Source: BBC, 7/8/20


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Photos of Donald Trump and Joe Biden by Gage Skidmore


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