Democratic nominee Joe Biden has been involved in political careers for over 40 years. Before becoming the 47th vice president of the United States, he served as a Delaware senator for 36 years. After taking a four year break from political office, he is now the democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election. Here’s a look back on the long political history of Biden and different issues he has fought for.
The 2020 election is actually Biden’s third time running for president. He ran once in 1987 and again in 2008. He was not able to gain enough support to gain traction in the 2008 election, but after dropping out, President Barack Obama offered Biden to be his running mate.
In his 36 years as a Delaware senate, Biden voted in favor of many policies that he was criticized for. Some examples would be in 1996, Biden was one of 32 Senate Democrats to vote for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, which in turn caused a lot of outrage and pain from the LGBTQ+ community.
Another being his favor for the passing of the 1994 Crime Bill. This bill, though having strong bi-partisan support, has been criticized by many, stating that the bill was the reason many people of color were incarcerated.
Biden has taken steps to make amends with those hurt by his policies. In 2012, as vice president, he stepped out in favor of same-sex marriage. He has since been only in favor of the LGBTQ+ community. He has also spoken out several times about the crime bill.
“There’s another part of my long record that’s being grossly misrepresented: the 1994 crime bill,” Biden said in a South Carolina speech.
In his time as vice president, there were four main areas Biden took a role in foreign policy, middle class economics, fighting against violence against women and Cancer Moonshot. With having served as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama had Biden advise him in making all foreign policy decisions.
With Obama and Biden taking office in the midst of an economic recession, Biden was put in charge of implementing and overseeing the $840 billion stimulus package in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
He was in the senate when the Violence Against Women Act in 1994,and that has been an issue he has fought closely for. Before the bill was signed, domestic abusers could cross state lines to avoid prosecution for beating their spouses, as law enforcement was not required to listen to orders of protection filed in other states. Police officers were also generally discouraged from intervening in domestic violence cases.
He also was put in charge of the Cancer Moonshot, a taskforce of scientists planning to make steps in preventing and treating cancer. The taskforce aimed to make a decade's worth of progress in five years.
The presidential election is Nov. 3. Michigan residents can find voting information at Michigan.gov/vote.