Vice President Joseph 'Joe' Robinette Biden, Jr.'s Political Positions

Biographical

Full Name: Joseph 'Joe' Robinette Biden, Jr.
Current Office: Vice President, Democratic
First Elected: 11/04/2008
Last Elected: 11/06/2012
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Jill; 4 Children: Beau, Hunter, Ashley, Naomi (deceased)
Birth Date: 11/20/1942
Birth Place: Scranton, PA
Home City: Wilmington, DE
Religion: Roman Catholic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Joe Biden, Jr. refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. S 403. 109th Congress. Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. Joe Biden voted NO on 25 July 2006. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Women's Issues. 15 March 2011. “Senator Biden supports the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade that protects a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. Senator Biden has consistently supported Title X - the nations' family planning program - that provides information, services, support, and research for family planning.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. NBC 'Meet the Press.' 7 September 2008. “MR. BROKAW: You believe that life begins at conception, and you've also voted for abortion rights. SEN. BIDEN: Well, I voted against curtailing the right, criminalizing abortion. I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it's a moment of conception. [...] How am I going out and tell you if you -- or anyone else -- that you must insist upon my view that is based on a matter of faith? And that's the reason I haven't. [...] This is a matter between a person's God, if they believe in God, their doctor, and themselves and what is always -- and what we're going to be spending our time doing is making sure that we reduce, considerably, the amount of abortions that take place by providing the care, the assistance, and the encouragement for people to be able to carry to term and to raise their children.” (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. 15 March 2011. “Vice President Biden supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2008.” (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. 15 March 2011. “Vice President Biden supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2007-2008.” (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2007. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 28 july 2011. “Vice President Biden supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 75 percent in 2007” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. C-SPAN 'Road to the White House' – Transcript. 3 September 2006. “MR. SCULLY: Do you ever find a conflict between your Catholicism and your political beliefs? SEN. BIDEN: I do. I do; not often, but I do. And I think the most difficult one is the obvious one, abortion. Personally, privately, I have difficulty with the idea of thinking it's, quote, a 'choice.' The history of the nature of that debate in our church has not morphed but has changed over a thousand years. It always is viewed by the church as something that is wrong, but there's been gradations whether it was wrong, you know, from venial to mortal sin, as we Catholics say, in the versions of it. But today, probably since Pius IX, it's been pretty clear that it's automatic, moment of conception, by the '20s. So that, to me, is a very difficult vote. But I find it hard to insist on matters of faith, to impose that version of my view of when the moment of human life begins on society when there's as many decent, honorable people of faith who have a different view as to when that moment is. But that's the most difficult.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. S Amdt 3927. 107th Congress. Military Abortion Amendment. Joe Biden voted YES on 21 June 2002. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. S Amdt 2321. 106th Congress. Expressing Support for Roe v. Wade Decision. Joe Biden voted YES on 21 October 1999. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. S 636. 103rd Congress. Abortion Clinic Access Bill. Joe Biden voted YES on 12 May 1994. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. HR 2642. 110th Congress. Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe Biden voted YES on 19 June 2008. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Statement by Vice President Biden On the Bipartisan Debt Talks. 23 June 2011. “As the President and I have made clear from the beginning, the only way to make sure we begin to live within our means is by coming together behind a balanced approach that finds real savings across the budget -- including domestic spending, defense spending, mandatory spending, and loopholes in the tax code. We all need to make sacrifices, and that includes the most fortunate among us.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Des Moines Register Presidential Debate - Democrats. 13 December 2007. "Just by eliminating the war, eliminating the $200 billion in tax cuts that aren't needed for -- goes to the top one percent, if you add it all up, and by cutting somewhere in the order of $20 billion a year out of the military for special programs, from star wars, to a new atomic weapon, to the F-22, to the Nimitz-Class Destroyer, you can save $350 billion. That would allow me to do everything I want to do -- my priorities on education, health care and the environment -- and still bring down the deficit by $150 billion." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. New York Times - What We Must Do for Iraq Now. 21 November 2010. "While the day will come when Iraq's vast natural wealth can fully finance its security and investment needs, and when its civilian institutions no longer require such intensive support, it has not yet arrived. Iraq has increased its own spending in these areas, and with sustained American engagement, it will emerge from generations of trauma to become a stable and self-reliant nation. That is why, even at this difficult economic time, we are asking Congress to fulfill our budget requests to support America's continued engagement, including our broader diplomatic presence, a modernization plan for the Iraqi security forces and financing for a police development program. The drawdown of American troops will save $15 billion in the coming fiscal year -- we seek to direct less than one-third of that amount to provide needed assistance to Iraq's security forces and to our State Department's civilian-led efforts." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. NBC 'Meet the Press' - Transcript. 19 December 2010. "Well, look, in this budget that was -- is being debated for -- to keep the government running for the next month and year, there is a freeze in discretionary spending. Also, there is an increase in spending for our troops that are in the middle of a war. Those two things we think are essential." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Tax Limitation Committee. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. 21 June 2011. "In 2008 National Tax Limitation Committee gave Vice President Biden a grade of F in its special report." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Weekly Address: "We Have to Increase the Pace". 5 November 2011. “We think everybody should pay their fair share, so that's why we put a small surtax on the first dollar after a person has already made $1 million. That seems fair to us, and it pays for the bill. It's a small price to pay to put hundreds of thousands of people back to work.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the Vice President at the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project Forum. 20 April 2010. "Think back to the last time the nation's economy was poised for expansion in the early 2000s. Consider the choices that we made then and their ultimate consequences. Tough economic inequity already was highly elevated, yet we made it a lot worse by massive, unpaid-for tax cuts primarily for the wealthy." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the President and the Vice President at DNC "Moving America Forward" Rally in Cleveland, Ohio. 31 October 2010. "We've got to go after this trillion-dollar deficit that I inherited when I took office --- but we're going to do it in a responsible way. Not by cutting education by 20 percent. Not by burdening our children or our seniors or our veterans or middle-class families. We won't do it by borrowing another $700 billion to give tax cuts to folks who don't need them. We'll do it by asking for shared sacrifice of all Americans. That's the choice in this election. That's the America that we believe in." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Secure Retirement. 13 June 2011. "Joe Biden would bring Democrats and Republicans together to agree on options for keeping Social Security solvent including raising the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax so that the most wealthy shoulder their fair share ($97,500 is the maximum for 2007)." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. All-American Presidential Forum: Democratic - PBS - Transcipt. 28 June 2007. "I would eliminate the tax cut for the wealthy. They didn't ask for it, as someone earlier said. They don't need it. They're as patriotic as anyone else if you ask them. We've asked nothing of them. The second point is, understand what happened this last election in 2000. The first time in our history since we had the federal income tax, there was a fundamental shift of the burden from people who were wage earners away from people who were investors. For the first time in our history, we are in a position where those who are the wage earners are paying a bigger chunk than they should. It's got to shift back and the basis for them doing that is they really believe the wealthy know better. They think we don't know how. Average folks don't know how to make the economy work. It's all about their ideology. It's got to fundamentally change. You have to tax investment and you've got to give a break to wage earners." (votesmart.org)
  • National Taxpayers Union. 2007. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. 21 June 2011. "In 2007 National Taxpayers Union gave Vice President Biden a grade of F." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Health Care. 9 June 2011. "Safeguarding Medicare and Medicaid: Senator Biden has consistently fought efforts to undermine these important programs for our nation's seniors and low-income citizens, and has worked to enhance their effectiveness through: Ensuring an adequate supply of physicians by opposing arbitrary caps on reimbursements and reforming the provider payment system. [...] Allowing disabled patients in Medicaid to receive care in the least restrictive setting possible and to direct their own treatment plan. Supporting increased federal Medicaid funding when states are faced with a fiscal crisis." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Health Care. 9 June 2011. "Joe Biden would cover all kids by: […] Extending coverage to at least age 21 (as states can choose to do in Medicaid) […] Expanding Medicaid eligibility for some parents of low-income children." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Statement from Vice President Biden on Government Accountability Office's Report on Recovery Act Implementation. 3 March 2010. "I'm pleased to hear that the Government Accountability Office has found what we have been hearing from people across the country: overall Recovery Act programs and projects are working effectively to create jobs and drive economic growth. As GAO notes, Recovery Act investments have been critical for preventing massive budget cuts to programs like education and Medicaid, and because we're delivering on-time -- and in many cases under-budget -- on Recovery Act projects, we've been able to get maximum bang for the employment buck on our infrastructure investments. [...] Approximately $130 billion in Recovery Act funds have now gone to states to provide budget relief in areas like Medicaid and education to help keep people employed and assist those most in need." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the President and the Vice President to the National Governors Association. 28 February 2011. "I also share your concern about Medicaid costs. I know this has been a topic of significant conversation over the last couple of days. We know that over half of all Medicaid costs come from just 5 percent of enrollees, many of whom are what's called dual eligibles -- seniors in Medicare as well as in Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act helps address this by changing the incentives for providers so that they start adopting best practices that will work to reduce cost while improving quality. But we understand the pressure you're under. We understand that we've got to do more. So today -- and I mentioned this to Christine last night -- I'm asking you to name a bipartisan group of governors to work with Secretary Sebelius on ways to lower costs and improve the quality of care for these Americans. And if you can come up with more ways to reduce Medicaid costs while still providing quality care to those who need it I will support those proposals as well." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by President-Elect Barack Obama; Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden; Governor James Douglas (D-VT); and Governor Edward Rendell (D-PA); to the National Governors Association. 2 December 2008. "And lastly, we're going to ask you to help us help keep the safety net intact. As the economy worsens, of course, more and more people come to us for safety net coverage -- things like Medicaid. As the economy worsens, the amount of people who are eligible and who want Medicaid relief increases exponentially. That's a program where there's already federal and state sharing of the economic burdens, and we may ask for some help in those areas. But we are here with the understanding that we have to be not only participants but the lead in dealing with the financial problems that are besetting our states." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks By The Vice President To The National Association Of Insurance Commissioners. 22 September 2009. "If we do nothing, in 10 years one in every $5 Americans earn will be spent on health care; in 30 years, one out of every $3 will be spent on health care if we do not bend the cost curve. Spending by the federal government on Medicare and Medicaid alone will be 15 percent of GDP by 2040 -- it's now about 5 percent. Right now about 46 percent of health care is government funded through Medicare and Medicaid. [...] The insurance commissioners know I'm not joking. You know I'm not kidding. People don't understand -- 46 cents out of every dollar for health care is paid for by the federal government now -- taxpayers. And if we do nothing, health care costs to the federal budget, which are now 20 percent of the budget, are going to swallow the entire budget. We'll eventually spend more on Medicare and Medicaid than all other government programs combined. So when the President says we have to bend that cost curve, that's what he's talking about. I got criticized for saying we have to do something -- like businesses, you got to spend money to make money. If we don't change the system, there is no reasonable prospect we can get our fiscal house in order. The President is right. We can't get our fiscal house in order without bending the cost curve back so that instead of spending close to 15 percent of the GDP on Medicare and Medicaid, we're spending closer to the current levels of 5 or 6 percent. We just can't. It's literally that simple. It's irrefutable." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. S AMDT 2365. 109th Congress. Medical Assistance and Prescription Drug Amendment. Senator Biden voted YES on 3 November 2005. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Seniors. 9 June 2011. "Senator Biden fought for years to expand the Medicare program to cover prescription drugs with a plan that would provide valuable coverage, be easy to use, and be affordable to most seniors. The present plan is complicated and has not done enough to keep drug costs down. Senator Biden is working to improve the plan by: Having the federal government directly negotiate for better drug prices from the pharmaceutical companies, as it does for other federal health programs. This should lower costs to consumers. Closing the gap in benefits - often called the "doughnut hole" - that occurs once a retiree hits $2,400 in coverage. Stabilizing Medicare Reimbursement Formulas: Senator Biden wants to stabilize the way Medicare determines reimbursement rates for physicians and other providers. As such, the Senator wants the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to study and report to Congress on replacing the use of the sustainable growth rate as a factor in determining the update for such payments with a factor that more fully accounts for changes in the unit costs of providing physicians' services. Ensuring Equitable Cost Sharing of Mental Health Services: Senator Biden supports treating mental health services the same as other health services and increasing the amount the government pays from 50 percent to 80 for outpatient psychiatric services under the Medicare program. " (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Health Care. 9 June 2011. "Joe Biden will allow people between 55 and 64 to buy in to the Medicare program. Like the FEHBP buy-in proposal, the federal government will provide a subsidy for low-income individuals in this age group to afford to purchase early coverage in the Medicare program. While the federal government would invest money now to allow uninsured individuals between 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare, this proposal could save money for the Medicare program in the long run. By the time people become eligible for Medicare at age 65, many are already dealing with numerous chronic health conditions. Providing an earlier window to participate in Medicare can allow treatment of chronic diseases to start at an earlier age that can save Medicare costs in the long run. Only 59.3 percent of uninsured near-elderly manage to be able to see a doctor, compared to 87.7 percent and 84.2 percent of privately and publicly insured near-elderly respectively. Giving the uninsured near-elderly the opportunity to enroll in Medicare at an earlier age can improve the number of people able to see a doctor and treat any medical conditions they have that would be more expensive to treat if they had to wait until they were 65 to enroll." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Fox News Sunday - Transcript. 23 November 2003. "SNOW: Medicare, are you going to vote yes or no? BIDEN: I think I'm going to vote no, Tony, because although it's a close call, as Speaker Hastert said, I think he used the phrase that we're going to modernize Medicare. That translates into less government commitment to Medicare. That worries me. Secondly, in my state, low-income seniors are going to be dropped off the rolls, not put on the rolls. And thirdly, I'm worried, very worried that the money we use to subsidize private plans is going to cause people in my state who are on-retirees who are on employee plans, that they're going to be dropped." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Biden and Carper Vote Bill to Protect Medicare Benefits. 9 July 2008. "Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper (both D-Del.) issued the following statement after voting late today for the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6331) which passed the Senate by a vote of 69-30: 'Today we supported a bipartisan bill that improves health care services for more than 137,000 Delaware residents enrolled in Medicare and our military heroes who rely on TRICARE, ensuring their access to care is not disrupted. This legislation provides $4 billion in Medicare improvements by enhancing preventive and mental health benefits, improving programs for lower-income beneficiaries, extending provisions for rural providers and reversing a 10.6 percent cut in payments to physicians so seniors can see their doctors when they need to. We also voted for this bill because it ensures that the roughly 32,000 military men and women in Delaware who are covered by TRICARE-which ties its reimbursement rates to the Medicare program-will continue to have access to the quality health care services they deserve.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Des Moines Register Presidential Debate - Democrats. 13 December 2007. "Entitlements will be a problem if we don't act. But the solutions are within our capacity. Social Security is an entitlement program. By lifting the cap in Social Security, it'll be solvent as long as any young person in this auditorium, no matter how young they are, number one. Number two, Hillary touched the points about Medicare. Medicare, in fact, it's cost. It's not new benefits, it's cost. And the whole idea there is that the combination of the $10 billion we're overpaying HMOs a year, the combination of prescription drug costs being able to be negotiated by the federal government for Medicare, and the combination of modernizing the system so you deal with chronic disease and others which it's estimated we could save over $100 billion a year in Medicare -- in Medicare, if we'd made all these modernizations and changes. So it is within our capability to do it. The question is, you got to act. And this is all about action. And I think they're totally within our capacity to do both of those things." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by The President In Discussion of the Deficit at Bipartisan Meeting on Health Care Reform. 25 February 2010. "And Mr. President, we can argue, which we will, about whether or not the way you and I want to go after dealing with the long-term debt, whether commissions make sense, whether or not we're ever going to deal with -- this is a big entitlement, this is a big entitlement. It's a big entitlement. Medicare -- it exists. We've got to figure out how to keep it from bankrupting the country without denying seniors what they're entitled to in a nation like ours: decent health care that provides for their needs." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. HR 6331. 110th Congress. Medicare Bill. Joe Biden voted YES on 15 July 2008. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Des Moines Register Presidential Debate - Democrats. 13 December 2007. "WASHBURN: [...] We're going to start with a discussion about the financial situation facing our country, the single biggest issue Iowans of both parties said they wanted you to talk more about. Would it be a priority of your administration to balance the federal budget every year? If yes, how? If no, why not? SEN. JOE BIDEN (DE) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's pretty straightforward. And it's not a -- you don't have to make a choice of balancing the budget and/or leading with the priorities that most of us feel strongly about, from health care, to education, to the environment. And I'll just put it in real stark terms: It's about priorities -- I apologize for my cold. It's about priorities. Just by eliminating the war, eliminating the $200 billion in tax cuts that aren't needed for -- goes to the top one percent, if you add it all up, and by cutting somewhere in the order of $20 billion a year out of the military for special programs, from star wars, to a new atomic weapon, to the F-22, to the Nimitz-Class Destroyer, you can save $350 billion. That would allow me to do everything I want to do -- my priorities on education, health care and the environment -- and still bring down the deficit by $150 billion. It would cost less than half -- so, the Republicans are trying to sucker us into this, 'You either have to balance the budget and do nothing to make people's lives better, or you're going to balloon the deficit.' They have ballooned the deficit with their bad priorities." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. S J Res 1. 105th Congress. Balanced Budget amendment. Joe Biden voted YES on 4 March 1997. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. White House Launches Campaign to Cut Waste: Vice President to Take on Making Government More Accountable. 13 June 2011. "For too long the federal government has allowed billions of taxpayer dollars to be wasted on inefficiencies. Over the last two years, we have been slashing waste across government and today we are putting Washington on notice: the President and I are committed to changing the way government works and we are stepping up the hunt for misspent dollars." (votesmart.org)
  • National Taxpayers Union. 2007. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. 21 June 2011. "In 2007 National Taxpayers Union gave Vice President Biden a grade of F." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Delivering the Accountable Government that Taxpayers Deserve. 14 July 2011. "Right now in Washington, there is a big debate about how to cut spending and rein in deficits while we continue to create jobs and build the platform we need to succeed in the future. The American people have high standards for how their tax dollars are spent, and the government has to find ways to eliminate expenses that are either wasteful or non-essential." (votesmart.org)
  • Citizens Against Government Waste. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. "Vice President Biden supported the interests of the Citizens Against Government Waste 0 percent in 2008." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the President and the Vice President to the National Governors Association. 28 February 2011.“ […] I believe that everybody should be prepared to give up something in order to solve our budget challenges, and I think most public servants agree with that. Democrats and Republicans agree with that. In fact, many public employees in your respective states have already agreed to cuts. [...] So, yes, we need a conversation about pensions and Medicare and Medicaid and other promises that we've made as a nation. And those will be tough conversations, but necessary conservations. As we make these decisions about our budget going forward, though, I believe that everyone should be at the table and that the concept of shared sacrifice should prevail. If all the pain is borne by only one group -- whether it's workers, or seniors, or the poor -- while the wealthiest among us get to keep or get more tax breaks, we're not doing the right thing. I think that's something that Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Op-Ed: Assessing the Recovery Act: 'The Best is Yet to Come.' 17 February 2010. "First, we think the Recovery Act is working because of the progress we've made in slowing job loss. In the three months before the act took effect, America lost 750,000 jobs a month. In the last three months, we've lost about 35,000 jobs a month. That's progress -- not good enough, not where we need to be, but progress. And most economists agree that that progress is thanks in a very large part to the Recovery Act." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. CBS 'Face the Nation' - Transcript. 25 January 2009. "The only good news is the president has acted swiftly. He's put together an economic stimulus package that we believe and outsiders believe will create 3 (million) to 4 million new jobs and set a new framework for the economy to develop on and a foundation." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. HR 5140. 110th Congress. Economic Stimulus Plan. Joe Biden voted YES on 7 February 2008. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. HR 1424. 111th Congress. Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments. To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes. Joe Biden voted Yes on 1 October 2008. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Club for Growth. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2008, The Club for Growth gave Vice President Biden a rating of 0 percent.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the Vice President at the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project Forum. 20 April 2010. “Even before we took office, the President, myself and our economic team planned to use part of what we even knew then was a need for a Recovery Act to make investments that would both create good jobs today while planning the seeds of great industries for tomorrow with clean energy being at the heart of those investments. [...] And one of the first things we did, as I've referenced earlier, was pass the Recovery Act, which created or preserved millions of jobs while boosting GDP in ways that also helped generate needed revenue. And even as we did that, we also began to put in place the mechanisms to take hold once the economy was back on the track to turn our fiscal ship around. It wasn't like all of a sudden we realized, well, now that we did this stimulus we better now go look at what we do about deficits. We did it simultaneously.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks By The Vice President On The 200 Days Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act. 3 September 2009. “The Recovery Act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy, and changing the conversation about the economy in this country. Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we're talking about the end of a recession -- eight months after taking office. […] Our economy is so complex and so wounded that reinvigorating one segment alone -- or using one tool alone -- would never -- would never do all that needed to be done. The Recovery Act is not a single silver bullet. I think of it as silver buckshot, as opposed to a single bullet. In 200 days, the President's Recovery and Reinvestment Act isn't just working toward something -- excuse me, isn't just working, it's working towards something; it's working toward a more resilient, more transformative economy.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. PBS 'NewsHour' – Transcript. 27 January 2011. “Infrastructure creates jobs. Now, I know our Republican friends talk about it's another spending program and let free enterprise do it. Name me a company that's going to build an interchange to allow them to get in and out of their corporate headquarters. Name me a company that's building highways or railroad beds in order to have their products be able to get to market. Name me a country that's -- a company that's able to invest what is needed in order to -- expanding broadband across the United States of America, so that we can increase economic activity and independence. So, the fact of the matter, infrastructure creates jobs. And the only outfits that can do it are the government. And so it has a dual effect of enhancing our ability to grow, but also immediately putting people to work. And the president's proposed it. We will see how -- you know, that old thing. You know, it's the president's to propose and the Congress' to dispose. But hopefully, they will see the wisdom in something we offered.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. MSNBC 'Meet the Press' – Transcript. 14 February 2010. “MR. GREGORY: Mr. Vice President, you have to concede, that figure that you use so often, economists say there is no way to accurately measure the impact of the stimulus on jobs saved or, or job creation. That is a number that cannot be verified. VICE PRES. BIDEN: Well, I do not agree with that. I know economists will tell you that. We use the same, we use the same econometric models economists have been using for the last 25 years to measure growth and to measure loss. That--you cannot say with absolute certainty what the job loss is either. It's based on an estimate of who files and how and when. Look, David, there is no reasonable economist that I know of, no econometric model that suggests that we have not created a minimum of 1.6 million to 2.4 million jobs. Even The Wall Street Journal last quarter acknowledged that the significant reason for the growth in the third quarter was because of the investments of the recovery package. They went on to say, but that's not good because once the recovery money is not there things are going to change. That--so you can't have it both ways. […] The fact that you stimulate the economy and it actually grows, no one doubts that the recovery package played a major part in that.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Statement by Vice President Biden on Congressional Budget Office Report on Recovery Act Employment Impact. 1 December 2009. “This new report from the Congressional Budget Office is further evidence of what private forecasters and government economists have been saying: the Recovery Act is already responsible for more than 1 million jobs nationwide. From independent economists to Congress's own nonpartisan research body, the experts have spoken and the debate is no longer whether the Recovery Act is creating and saving jobs, but how we provide even more opportunities to drive growth and support American workers. This early progress less than halfway through the program is encouraging, but we're just getting started. In the coming months, we'll break ground on thousands of infrastructure projects, launch multi-billion dollar broadband and high speed rail initiatives and make critical investments in our nation's schools and businesses through the Recovery Act that will help put America back to work and lay a foundation for long-term economic growth.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. HR 2. 108th Congress. Jobs and Economic Growth bill. Joe Biden voted NO on 23 May 2003. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. HR 4520. Jumpstart Our Business Strength. Joe Biden voted NO on 11 October 2004. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Club for Growth. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 1 August 2011. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2008, The Club for Growth gave Vice President Biden a rating of 0 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. CBS 'Face The Nation' – Transcript. 14 January 2010. “We were hemorrhaging seven hundred and forty thousand jobs back in January, now it's down to a trickle. We're still losing jobs. And we'll be creating jobs on a monthly basis beginning this Spring, bring some hope to the American people that we're on the right path. And we're getting, you know, a new commitment to invest in creating jobs by investing in small businesses and tax credits so they hire people, etcetera.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the President and Vice President at the Opening Session of the Jobs and Economic Growth Forum. 3 December 2009. “At today's job summit, we're all hearing -- we'll be hearing about ideas -- ideas that can do even more than we've done so far. Some of you will urge us to invest more in infrastructure -- roads, bridges, water projects. We've seen this investment succeed in creating jobs in the Recovery Act. [...] Others of you today are going to argue that we should invest in green jobs, retrofitting, weatherizing, making homes and offices more energy efficient. [...] And still others of you will talk about the need for more incentives for small businesses and our other ideas to help business through tax incentives. And again, similar investments in the Recovery Act are showing some real promise. So we should see if there's more we can do in those areas.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Vice President Biden Announces Plan to Put One Million Advanced Technology Vehicles on the Road by 2015. 26 January 2011. “The President's Budget proposes to make the United States the world's leader in manufacturing and deploying next-generation vehicle technologies through three new initiatives, expanding funding for vehicle technologies by almost 90 percent to nearly $590 million and enhancing existing tax incentives.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. HR 1424. 111th Congress. Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments. To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes. Joe Biden voted YES on 1 October 2008. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Remarks of Vice President-Elect Joe Biden National Governors Association Meeting. 2 December 2008. "On infrastructure specifically, we have a huge opportunity. China invests 7-9 percent of its GDP in infrastructure projects. We invest just 1 percent. There's a reason they have a mag-lev train that can go over 200 miles per hour. I may have a bit of a pro-rail bias, but think of the jobs we could create -- in both construction and innovation -- if we made similarly bold investments here. We should fast-track funding for the thousands of ready-to-go projects across the country that can quickly put people back to work and lay the foundation for long-term growth. In the longer term, we are calling for the creation of a new National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank that will help us make the investments we need to build a 21st century transportation system -- while creating jobs and taking the politics out of infrastructure spending. And it has the added benefit of making American business more competitive in the world." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Vice President Biden Announces Recovery Act Investments in Broadband Projects to Bring Jobs, Economic Opportunity to Communities Nationwide. 18 August 2010. "Today's investment in broadband technology will create jobs across the country and expand opportunities for millions of Americans and American companies. In addition to bringing 21st century infrastructure to underserved communities and rural areas, these investments will begin to harness the power of broadband to improve education, health care, and public safety. The awards are another great example of how the Recovery Act is creating jobs upfront, while also building a foundation for sustainable job creation and global competitiveness." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Vice President Biden Announces States Meet Deadline to Put 100 Percent of Recovery Act Highway Dollars to Work. 1 March 2010. "Construction projects across the country are already creating jobs and upgrading our nation's infrastructure, but we're just getting started. Because these projects were funded on-time and, in many cases, under-budget, we're going to be able to put even more people to work improving our highways just as the spring construction season kicks into high-gear." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Vice President Biden Updates President Obama on Recovery Act Year-End Progress. 8 October 2009. "We're putting Recovery dollars to work faster than expected, while still maintaining unprecedented standards for how the money is spent. As we enter the final quarter of 2009, we're going to build on that progress with investments in new technology and infrastructure that create good jobs and keep us on a path toward economic growth." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks By Senator Joe Biden (D-De), Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee, at a 'Change We Need' Rally Introductory Remarks By: Senator Claire Mccaskill (D-Mo); Jill Biden, Wife of Senator Biden. 3 November 2008. "We'll have an energy policy that frees us from foreign oil, creates an environment -- we'll invest in rebuilding America, our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our infrastructure, broadband for all America! Creating 39,000 new jobs right here in Missouri!" (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Campaign Rally With Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), Democratic Nominee for Vice President. 3 November 2008. "We need to rebuild America. We need an infrastructure: our bridges, our roads, our water systems. […] Ladies and gentlemen, if we do that we can create 76,000 new high-paying jobs right here in the State of Ohio." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Op-Ed: Assessing the Recovery Act: 'The Best is Yet to Come.' 17 February 2010. “Third, we know that the Recovery Act is working because we can see the results all around us. Thousands of road projects are not only creating jobs -- they are making for faster, safer transportation. Superfund sites are being cleaned up and commuter rail tracks are being repaired. Work is underway on water, weatherization and construction projects -- creating jobs now, and making critical improvements in our nation's infrastructure for the future.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Obama Administration Announces $500 Million for Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. 25 May 2011. “The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge will reward states that create comprehensive plans to transform early learning systems with better coordination, clearer learning standards, and meaningful workforce development. Secretary Duncan and Secretary Sebelius also challenged the broader innovation community--leading researchers, high-tech entrepreneurs, foundations, non-profits and others--to engage with the early learning community and to close the school readiness gap. States applying for challenge grants will be encouraged to increase access to quality early learning programs for low income and disadvantaged children, design integrated and transparent systems that align their early care and education programs, bolster training and support for the early learning workforce, create robust evaluation systems to document and share effective practices and successful programs, and help parents make informed decisions about care for their children." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Vice President Biden Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Race to the Top Awards in Delaware. 21 March 2011. "For less than one percent of what America spends on education each year, we were able to help jump-start some of the farthest reaching education reforms in history. All across the country, Race to the Top is inspiring the same kind of change we're seeing here in Delaware." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Education. 3 October 2011. "A long-time proponent of education reform, Senator Biden wants to see the No Child Left Behind law improved by giving schools greater flexibility in evaluating student performance and by fully funding education. President Bush has under funded the program by $85 billion." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Biden Discusses Plan To Improve Student Performance. 19 December 2007. "Sen. Biden called for an overhaul of No Child Left Behind and comprehensive education reform including: universal preschool, more time spent on learning, putting a well-paid effective teacher in every classroom, expanding service opportunities for middle and high school students and providing a minimum of two years of higher education for every student." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Climate Change. 16 March 2011. “There is scientific consensus that our climate is warming and human activity is driving it. Global warming not only has serious consequences for our environment, it poses a serious national security threat. We not only need to act at home to cap greenhouse gas emissions, we also need to work towards a global solution.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Climate Security Act of 2008 - Motion to Proceed. 2 June 2008. “Mr. President, this is a historic moment. For the first time we have before the Senate legislation to slow, stop, and reverse greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. When such a plan is finally passed, signed and enacted, we will look back on this day as the beginning. Let us commit ourselves to that goal. And let us begin this historic process today by allowing the Senate to take up the Climate Security Act. ” (votesmart.org)
  • Environment America. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 1 August 2011. "Vice President Biden supported the interests of the Environment America 100 percent in 2008." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by Vice President Joseph Biden at the First Meeting of The Middle Class Task Force. 27 February 2009. “When we finally take action to cap emissions to fight global-warming pollution, as the president has called for, energy efficiency will make it cheaper and the benefit will only grow.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Energy & Climate Security. 16 March 2011. “Joe Biden would reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 by imposing a cap and trade system.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. S Admt 1566. 110th Congress. Offshore Drilling in Virginia. Senator Biden voted NO on 14 June 2007. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. The News Journal - Biden Rips Bush on Energy. 15 July 2008. "I think this is a last-ditch effort to go out and rape the offshore continental shelf, so that they own it and are able to use it as leverage in the future, because they know if they don't get it in the last couple of months of this administration, they're not going to get it.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by The President and The Vice President at Meeting with Governors on Energy Policy. 3 February 2010. "I want to be clear that my administration is following a non-ideological approach to this issue. We believe in a strategy of more production, more efficiency, and more incentives for clean energy. We're willing to make some tough decisions on issues like offshore drilling, so long as we protect coastlines and communities." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. HR 6. 108th Congress. Energy Omnibus Bill. Joe Biden voted NO on 31 July 2003. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. S 3711. 109th Congress. Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006. Senator Biden voted NO on 1 August 2006. (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. HR 2642. 110th Congress. Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe Biden voted YES on 19 June 2008. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at the Veterans of Foreign Wars 111th National Convention. 23 August 2010. “Afghanistan poses unique and daunting challenges, including a local population scarred by more than three decades of war and plagued by illiteracy, crushing poverty, and corrupt governance. [...] But after too many years of neglect, we now have a clearly defined strategy, backed by the resources needed to implement it - and we are making measurable progress focused on the overarching goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so that it no longer threatens America and our allies. In order to do this, we must deny Al Qaeda a safe haven. We must reverse the Taliban's momentum. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can begin to assume primary responsibility for their country's future.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by Vice President Biden to the European Parliament. 6 May 2010. “Across the troubled landscape of Afghanistan and Pakistan, we are working together to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban fighters and to train an Afghan army and police force, so that their government can eventually protect its own people and not be a threat to its neighbors. In order to build Afghanistan's governing capacity, the United States, the European Union, and its member nations are deploying significant financial resources and civilian resources as well. While sustaining these important missions has not always been popular, you all know as I do it is required. As leaders, we have an obligation to make the case to our populations that it is necessary for our collective security. Although believe me, as a politician who has stood for office for the last 38 years, I understand it is not easy. I assure you, it is no more popular in my country than it is in any one of yours.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by Vice President Biden and President Karzai of Afghanistan After Meeting. 11 January 2011. “We have moved into a new phase -- a new phase -- in Afghanistan; a transition to a full Afghan lead that begins this year and will conclude in 2014, as we prepare a framework for our future bilateral relations. This is President Obama's vision for the future. It's a vision expressed by our allies at the Lisbon Conference. And I believe, based on our conversation today, it clearly reflects the vision of President Karzai. The United States, if the Afghan people want it, are prepared, and we are not leaving in 2014. Hopefully we will have totally turned over the ability of the -- to the Afghan security forces to maintain the security in the country, but we will -- we are not leaving, if you don't want us to leave. And we plan on continuing to work with you, and it's in the mutual self-interest of both our nations.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. MSNBC "Meet the Press" – Transcript. 14 February 2010. “MR. GREGORY: You, you mentioned Afghanistan. There is a large offensive under way by American and allied forces now in southern Afghanistan. What will be achieved through that? VICE PRES. BIDEN: Well, the hope is what will be achieved is we'll get further cooperation from the people in the region, the Pashtun tribes who will see more accommodation coming out of the Taliban, who--most of whom are Pashtun, realizing that they cannot realize their expectations through intimidation and force. And we will be in a position where the Iraqi forces that are leading this effort are more seasoned and more capable and more able to handle their own security interests over time.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at the House Democratic Issues Conference. 6 February 2009. "The United States will continue to work for a stable Afghanistan, so it's not a haven for terrorists. And we expect, we expect, to share that commitment, with the governments and the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as with our allies and partners, because the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is not just our problem. It's the world's problem. We've got to make Afghanistan the world's responsibility, not just the United States.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: The War in Afghanistan. 14 June 2011. "Senator Biden believes that if we need a strategic surge anywhere, it's in Afghanistan the central front in our war against Al Qaeda. The surge we need would not involve a great number of troops, but would require the right blend of military, diplomatic, intelligence and financial resources. Senator Biden believes that the misguided and mismanaged war in Iraq has drawn precious assets away from the vitally-important war in Afghanistan, and thereby made all Americans less safe." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Senator Biden on President Bush's New Terrorism Strategy. 5 September 2006. "The Administration's most profound strategic mistake was not finishing the job in Afghanistan - which everyone agreed was the central front in the war on terror - and rushing to war in Iraq, which was not." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Remarks by Vice President Biden at the Pentagon 9/11 10th Anniversary Commemoration. 11 September 2011. “Over a decade at war, they pioneered new tactics, mastered new languages, developed and employed advanced new technologies. They took on responsibilities once reserved only for those with considerably more seniority --- responsibilities that extended beyond the base or the battlefield to the politics of Afghanistan, to the politics of Iraq, to the economies of those countries, and to the development tasks that ultimately will lay the groundwork for us to leave behind stable countries that will not threaten us. And along with the intelligence community and the law enforcement community, they relentlessly took the fight to al Qaeda and its affiliates. They were prepared to follow bin Laden to the hell's gate if necessary. And they got him.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the President and the Vice President to the Troops at Fort Campbell, KY. 6 May 2011. “Across Afghanistan, we've broken the Taliban's momentum. In key regions, we've seized the momentum, pushing them out of their strongholds. We're building the capacity of Afghans, partnering with communities and police and security forces, which are growing stronger. And most of all, we're making progress in our major goal, our central goal in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that is disrupting and dismantling -- and we are going to ultimately defeat al Qaeda. [...] We have cut off their head and we will ultimately defeat them.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: The War in Afghanistan. 3 October 2011. “We've got to deny the Taliban and Al Qaeda their safe haven across the border in Pakistan. Six years after 9/11, it's outrageous that Osama bin Laden is still a free man. He's hiding out in the wild territory of the Pakistani tribal areas and his Taliban allies are using this as a base for attacks on Afghans and Americans. I have proposed a Plan for Pakistan, that aims in part to eliminate this safe haven and bring security to Afghanistan.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Biden Lays Out Steps to Ensure Safety and Security for all Delawareans. 28 July 2008. “Since coming to the Senate, Senator Biden has written some of the most innovative criminal justice proposals in recent history, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, also known as the Biden Crime Bill. The 1994 law put more than 100,000 additional police officers on the streets; assisted states in building prisons and boot camps to make punishing crime more cost-effective; helped fund 'drug courts' that combine intensive supervision, drug testing and treatment for non-violent first offenders; and supported existing juvenile crime prevention programs that are proven successes. The law also banned 19 of the deadliest assault weapons, and increased penalties for interstate gun trafficking. The Biden Crime Bill is widely credited with the dramatic drop in crime rates during the 1990s. To re-establish the Federal, State and local partnership that helped reduce crime to historic lows in the 1990s, Senator Biden introduced the 2007 Biden Crime Bill, the most comprehensive anti-crime legislation in over a decade.” (votesmart.org)
  • National Rifle Association. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “In 2008 National Rifle Association gave Vice President Biden a grade of F, in its scorecard for candidates seeking office in 2008.” (votesmart.org)
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 2003. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “Vice President Biden supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 95 percent from 1988-2003 (Senate) or 1991-2003 (House).” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Biden Unveils Most Comprehensive Anti-crime Legislation in Over a Decade. 25 October 2007. “The Biden Crime Bill provides for a straight-forward reauthorization of the assault weapons ban that became law in 1994 and it closes the so-called gun show loophole by requiring all gun show sales submit to federal background checks, just like any store-based firearm sale.” (votesmart.org)
  • Gun Owners of America. 2007. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “In 2007 Gun Owners of America gave Vice President Biden a grade of F.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. S Amdt 362. 105th Congress. Gun Show Sale Regulation Amendment. Joe Biden voted YES on 20 May 1999. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. S Amdt 1152. 103rd Congress. Prohibiting the Possession of Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons. Joe Biden voted YES on 17 November 1993. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Biden and his Beretta. 26 September 2008. "I guarantee you, Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don't buy that malarkey. Don't buy that malarkey. They're going to start peddling that to you. I've got two. If he tries to fool with my Beretta he's got a problem." (www.youtube.com)
  • Joe Biden. S 397. 109th Congress. Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill. Joe Biden voted NO on 29 July 2005. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. HR 1025. 103rd Congress. Brady Handgun Bill. Joe Biden voted YES on 20 November 1993. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the President and Vice President on Health Insurance Reform at the Department of the Interior. 23 March 2010. “For much too long, for much too long, Americans have been denied what every human being is entitled to -- decent, affordable health care. Starting with Teddy Roosevelt straight through to you, Mr. President, everyone else tried. They were great men, they gave it their best, but they came up short. But you succeeded, Mr. President, and we owe you for that.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the President and Vice President at Signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 27 February 2009. "Because we know that spiraling health care costs are crushing families and businesses alike, we're taking the most meaningful steps in years towards modernizing our health care system. It's an investment that will take the long overdue step of computerizing America's medical records to reduce the duplication and waste that costs billions of health care dollars, and medical errors that cost thousands of lives each year. Further, thanks to the actions we've taken, 7 million Americans who lost their health care along the way will continue to get the coverage they need, and roughly 20 million more Americans can breathe a little easier knowing that their health care won't be cut due to a state budget shortfall." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by Vice President Joseph Biden. 1 April 2009. "We know that health centers are the heart of these communities. They serve, as was mentioned by my colleague, 16 million patients across the country every year. And more than half of them -- more than half of them are in rural America, towns like Faison. And we know that health centers are, as I said, in the front lines of rebuilding a health care system most of us think is broken and needs some really serious repair. That's something the President and I are absolutely committed to, is reforming the health care system -- make it affordable and available to all Americans." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Remarks by the Vice President at the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project Forum. 20 April 2010. “True health care security, which I believe we accomplished by passing the health care reform that expands coverage and, equally as important, controls costs over the long haul, a level playing field for those who would pursue collective bargaining in the workplace.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Vice President Biden Talks About One Year of the Affordable Care Act. 24 March 2011. "On March 23, 2010, President Obama delivered on his commitment signing the health care bill into law giving the American people more freedom and control over their health care choices, improving the quality of the care that they receive and reducing cost all by building on the best of our private insurance system. Before we passed this health care reform we heard from legions of small business owners struggling to do the right thing, keep their employees on the payroll while also providing them with decent health insurance coverage. But it was difficult. Now that's changed. [...] Now look, this all has happened in just one year. It's only just beginning. It's only going to get better until the law is fully implemented in 2014." (youtu.be)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Remarks by The President In Discussion of the Deficit at Bipartisan Meeting on Health Care Reform. 25 February 2010. “[T]his debate about the philosophic differences echo the debate that probably took place in the mid-'30s on Social Security -- it was mandated. And it was mandated because everybody knew you couldn't get insurance unless everybody was in the pool. And they knew if only some people were in the pool, what would happen is a lot of people when they got old we would take care of them anyway and you'd have to pay for them. So it's kind of a -- it's not the same thing, I'm not making the exact, but it's the same philosophic debate that took place back in the '30s.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. S 2611. 109th Congress. Immigration Reform Bill. Joe Biden voted YES on 25 May 2006. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. CNN: New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate - Transcript. 3 June 2007. "BLITZER: Senator Biden, let me let you weigh in. You voted last year to support this immigration legislation, including the construction of an approximately 700-mile fence along the border between the United States and Mexico. Governor Richardson doesn't think there needs to be such a fence. Why is he wrong? BIDEN: Well, he's not wrong. There doesn't need to be a 700- mile fence. But there does need -- look, we ought to start -- we all love this phrase: Start talking truth to power. Fourteen million illegals: Now, you tell me how many buses, carloads, planes -- they're going to go out and round up all these people, spend hundreds of millions and billions of dollars to do it, with the whole world watching, while we send these folks back. Rather than get a background check on all of them, take out the criminals, get them back, and provide for a means by which we allowed earned citizenship over the next decade or so." (votesmart.org)
  • Numbers USA. 2011. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “As of February 25th, 2011, NumbersUSA - 2012 Presidential Hopefuls gave Gingrich a grade of D- based on what Gingrich says a President should do about immigration.” (votesmart.org)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “Vice President Biden supported the interests of the American Immigration Lawyers Association 50 percent in 2007-2008.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews – Transcript. 31 March 2006. “MATTHEWS: Can you scare an employer an in this country, whether he's an agriculture worker or a housewife, into not hiring an illegal because the punishment is so high that if you get caught, it's a huge embarrassment to your family and you may just get hit with a fine that will kill you? BIDEN: Absolutely you can. MATTHEWS: You can do that? BIDEN: And that's what she should do. Well, I think you should do that. MATTHEWS: Because you can't catch everybody. BIDEN: No. No, you can't. And the last part of this is that the Democratic position also recognizes you have got 11 million illegal aliens here. They have to have a way to earn their way into the deal. This isn't amnesty. They're required to take 11 years worth, they pay a fine, they have got to learn to speak English, they've got to pass test.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Biden Votes for Senate Passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. 25 May 2006. “I supported this bill because it was the best option available to deal with our growing immigration problem. This was the only bill that adequately addressed all three pieces: mandating tough border security; tightening our temporary guest worker program; and finding a humane and reasonable way to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States. [...] [T]he bill recognizes the fact that there are an estimated 11 million people here illegally -- 1.6 million of whom are children. Mass deportation is not a realistic answer. This bill sets out a rigorous path to earned legalization including requiring the individual to show continuous employment; undergoing security and criminal background checks; submitting to a medical exam; learning English and U.S. civics and, paying back taxes and penalty fees." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Sen. Biden Issues Statement on the Immigration Bill Roadblock. 7 June 2007. "Our immigration system is broken and we have an obligation to work on it until we fix it. The immigration bill isn't perfect, but it's an important step forward. To be honest, there are many things I don't like about it such as the temporary worker program and a green card system that overemphasizes wealth and devalues family ties. But we owe it to the people we serve to work through our differences and ultimately resolve this problem. That's why I voted to keep working on the bill - this issue is too important to just quit on." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Civil Rights. 1 January 2011. "Ending Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation: Joe Biden believes legal recognition should not be denied same-sex couples. He advocates for re-examining federal laws, to ensure our national laws are not unfair to same-sex couples, and that committed adults who are adopting are not discriminated against because of sexual orientation. He supports letting states determine how to recognize civil unions and define marriage." (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Civil Rights. 15 March 2011. “Joe Biden believes legal recognition should not be denied same-sex couples. He advocates for re-examining federal laws, to ensure our national laws are not unfair to same-sex couples, and that committed adults who are adopting are not discriminated against because of sexual orientation. He supports letting states determine how to recognize civil unions and define marriage.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. NBC "Meet the Press" - Transcript. 6 May 2012. "VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: 'Look-- I just think-- that-- the good news is that as more and more Americans become to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that's what people are finding out is what-- what all marriages, at their root, are about. Whe-- whether they're-- marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.' DAVID GREGORY: 'Is that what you believe now? Are you--' VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: 'That's what I believe.' DAVID GREGORY: 'And you're comfortable with same-sex marriage now?' VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: 'I-- I-- look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction-- beyond that.' (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. NBC Meet the Press - Transcript. 29 April 2007. "MR. RUSSERT: 'Let me bring you back to November of ?03. You were asked this question. "'Do you believe gay marriage is inevitable?' Biden: 'I'm not sure. I think probably it is.'" SEN. BIDEN: 'Well, I think it probably is because social mores change. But look, Tim, I don't think the government can dictate the definition of marriage to religious institutions. But government does have an obligation to guarantee that everybody has, every individual is free of discrimination. [?] I think government should not be able to dictate to religions the definition of marriage, but I think, on a civil side, government has the obligation to strip away every vestige of discrimination as to what individuals are able to do in terms of their personal conduct.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. The Vice-Presidential Debate - Transcript. 2 October 2008. "IFILL: 'Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?' BIDEN: 'Absolutely. Do I support granting same-sex benefits? Absolutely positively. Look, in an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple. [?] We do support making sure that committed couples in a same-sex marriage are guaranteed the same constitutional benefits as it relates to their property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do.' [?] IFILL: 'Let's try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?' BIDEN: 'No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Family Research Council. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “Vice President Biden supported the interests of the Family Research Council 0 percent in 2007-2008.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Fiscal Responsibility. 16 March 2011. “Joe Biden believes that we must protect Social Security and he has fought against irresponsible and risky attempts by Republicans to privatize Social Security.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Biden Campaign Reaffirms Commitment to Seniors. 20 September 2007. “From protecting pensions to strengthening social security and providing affordable health care, we must keep our promises to America's seniors. Americans who work hard all their lives should not live with the fear that their retirements are in jeopardy or that their economic security hangs in the balance. We owe it to our parents and grandparents, as well as ourselves and our children, to make sure that Americans can retire with dignity.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Issue Position: Secure Retirement. 16 March 2011 “Social Security is the foundation of retirement security for millions of Americans. For a typical worker retiring at age 65, Social Security replaces 40 percent of pre-retirement income. Joe Biden opposes privatization of Social Security. Social Security does not face an immediate crisis. With no changes, Social Security can pay full benefits through 2041. After that it can pay 74 percent of benefits. Joe Biden would bring Democrats and Republicans together to agree on options for keeping Social Security solvent including raising the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax so that the most wealthy shoulder their fair share ($97,500 is the maximum for 2007). This approach worked in1983 when a bipartisan group of senior leaders from both parties put politics aside to fix Social Security.” (votesmart.org)
  • Joe Biden. Des Moines Register Presidential Debate – Democrats. 13 December 2007. ”Entitlements will be a problem if we don't act. But the solutions are within our capacity. Social Security is an entitlement program. By lifting the cap in Social Security, it'll be solvent as long as any young person in this auditorium, no matter how young they are, number one.” (votesmart.org)

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Inferred Answer Inferred Position

Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

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Candidate refused to address this issue.

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