Key Issues of 2020 Election

Katie Hamilton, R3 Edior-In-Cheif

Gun Control 

  • Trump has shown support for “red flag” gun laws, which allows the police or family members to petition a state court for the temporary withdrawal of a gun owned by a potentially threatening person.
  • Biden plans to renew the federal assault weapons ban and create a voluntary assault weapons buy-back program. 
  • Both candidates support the ban of bump stocks, rapid-fire rifle attachments.

Health Care

  • Although Trump does not support the Affordable Care Act, he plans to replace it with a new plan which has not been announced. He does not support lowering the Medicare eligibility age. He also does not support allowing undocumented immigrants access to public insurance programs. Trump passed the federal Right to Try Act in 2018, which permits eligible patients to access investigational drugs. 
  • Biden supports the Affordable Care Act. He also wants to make citizens eligible for Medicare at age 60, rather than 65. Biden supports allowing undocumented immigrants access to public insurance programs but says they should not receive any subsidies. It is unclear whether Biden supports right-to-try legislation.
  • Both candidates want to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Climate Change

  • Climate change is not a priority of Trump’s as he is skeptical of its existence. The Trump administration has rolled back many of the regulations put in place under the Obama administration, pulled out of the Paris Agreement and expanded fossil fuel extraction.  
  • Biden’s goal is to rid the power industry of carbon pollution by 2035 and eventually work towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. His plan includes a $2 trillion investment, over four years, in various green areas. Biden also supports rejoining the Paris Agreement, which is a global effort to control global warming and help participating countries manage climate change. Neither candidate supports a ban on fracking; however, Biden said he supports an end to drilling on public land. 

COVID-19 Response

  • Trump is opposed to a national mask requirement in public.
  • Biden said he would do what is within his power to create a national mask requirement in public. 
  • Both candidates want to increase access to testing and both support the opening of schools amidst the pandemic, if possible and safe.

Foreign Policy 

  • While Trump would like to remain part of NATO, he has concerns about the unequal funding the US is putting towards the organization compared to other member countries. Trump supports an increase in the Department of Defense’s budget. Trump authorized the relocation of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump is not opposed to speaking directly with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, even without prior concessions. Trump supports the current limits on US-Cuba relations. 
  • Biden would like to remain a member of NATO. Biden wants to prioritize his focus on how money is invested in the Department of Defense, rather than how much money is invested. Biden did not agree with the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, but he does not plan to reverse the decision. Unlike Trump, Biden does not support direct communication with Kim Jong Un, without prior concessions. 
  • Both candidates support withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and want aid peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Both candidates also support the Israel-United Arab Emirates peace deal, which will establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Criminal Justice

  • Trump supports lowering mandatory minimum prison sentences. He supports the death penalty  and he wants to retain cash bail. Trump does not support the legalization of recreational marijuana. 
  • Biden wants to eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentences. Biden does not support the death penalty and he wants to get rid of cash bail. Biden does not support the legalization of recreational marijuana, however, he does support the decriminalization of recreational marijuana.
  • Neither candidate supports the concept of ‘defunding’ the police. 


  • Trump continues to support the 2017 GOP tax cut. Trump does not support an increase in capital gains taxes, nor does he support an increase in the corporate tax rate.
  • Biden does not support the 2017 GOP tax cut. Biden does support increasing capital gains taxes and he does support increasing the corporate tax rate.
  • Both candidates support the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement in 2018. Both candidates support ‘Made in America’ policies, which try to promote domestic manufacturing.