Former Vice-President of the US, Joe Biden, is the Democratic Party’s candidate for the November 2020 presidential election against incumbent President Donald Trump, along with Kamala Harris as his running mate. Passionate about and committed to asserting and defending America’s role “as a leader on the global stage”, Biden was that country’s 47th Vice-President and deputy to President Barack Obama.
Biden, 77, was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1942. In 1972, at the age 29, he became one of the youngest people ever elected to the US Senate. He went on to serve as a six-term senator from Delaware.
Even before it had become a mainstream issue, Biden had been one of the first to call for action to address climate change and protect the environment, introducing the Global Climate Protection Act. Later, as the head of the Foreign Relations Committee, he organised several hearings on climate change and rallied support on a number of non-binding resolutions on the issue, in an attempt to build momentum for action to address climate change. Biden proposed a plan that would spend $1.7 trillion to set the United States on track to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. His proposal embraced elements of the ambitious Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure. It seeks to go “well beyond” Obama’s climate goals. As part of the proposal, Biden is calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and a ban on new oil and gas permits on public lands.
Health care remains a top priority for Biden. As the coronavirus crisis unfolded, he formulated recommendations rooted in advice from health care and economics experts. Those suggestions include making coronavirus tests broadly accessible, and free. He said there should be no out-of-pocket cost for patients to receive an eventual vaccine. He has also been sharply critical of President Trump’s response to the pandemic, accusing him of reacting too slowly. Biden supports adding a public health care Act, but opposes ‘Medicare for all’, the sweeping single-payer measure advocated by some progressives in his own party, including Senator Bernie Sanders. In July 2019, Biden unveiled a health care plan that would greatly expand Obamacare’s subsidies to make the available private insurance policies more affordable.
On the economic front, boosting the middle class is one of the main pillars of Biden’s campaign. He often says that the country needs to build an economy that “rewards work, not just wealth”. Biden wants to repeal the tax cuts enacted by the Trump administration and is pushing for eliminating non-compete agreements for workers and expanding access to affordable education, including free community college.
As part of his foreign policy, Biden has asserted that his administration, should he be elected, will stand with New Delhi in confronting the threats it faces, and called for strengthening the "bond" between India and the US. He has also promised to reform the H-1B visa system and work towards eliminating the country-quota system for Green Cards. The Biden Campaign has emphasised it will increase the number of visas offered for permanent, work-based immigration linked to macroeconomic conditions and exempt from any cap on recent graduates of PhD programmes in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.
Biden, who has been in public life for around half a century, is banking on his experience, seeking to cast himself as a steady, seasoned hand to drive America to greater heights. As the election day nears, Biden is focused on winning the enthusiastic support of Democrats who earlier supported other party probables candidates and were lukewarm to his candidacy, and his campaign is seeking to engage independent voters and moderate Republicans. If elected, Biden would be the oldest president in the history of the United States.