Comparing Presidential Candidate Plans

Take a look at President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden’s policies side by side to help you decide which candidate most aligns with your beliefs.

The information below was compiled from NPR,, candidates’ websites, CBS News, United Nations Climate Change, Planned Parenthood and



Biden: Biden’s healthcare plan builds upon the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. He plans to create a public option healthcare plan that would be available to all Americans. According to NPR, this option will be offered without premiums to Americans who live in states that don’t have access to Medicaid benefits that they would qualify for in other states. The plan also would ensure that no household is putting more than 8.5% of their income into health insurance plans as opposed to the current 9.86%. In addition, Biden says that this plan will lower the cost of prescriptions.   

With this plan everyone is eligible, “Whether you’re covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your own, or going without coverage altogether,” said Biden.   

Trump: Since before Trump’s first term as president he has said that he is against the Affordable Care Act and that’s something still on the docket as he campaigns for his second term. As he has said many times through the years he wants to, “repeal and replace Obamacare.” Although to date he hasn’t made any second term healthcare plans public, he has emphasized the importance of lowering insurance premiums, prescription drug costs and provide coverage that doesn’t exclude people with preexisting conditions.   



Biden: Biden’s is advocating to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for students with family incomes under $125,000. In addition to this, he wants to make community college and training programs tuition-free for two years of attendance. Biden also wants to extend the 2017 College for All Act proposal to include private historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions. Regarding student loan debt Biden plans to forgive student borrowers who graduate from public universities and private historically Black colleges and universities and make less than $125,000.   

Trump: During his time in office Trump has put together a list of higher education reform principles. The ten principles are: reorient the accreditation process to focus on student outcomes, increase innovation in the education marketplace, better align education to the needs of today’s workforce, increase institutional accountability, accelerate program completion, support historically black colleges and universities, encourage responsible borrowing, simplify student aid, support returning citizens and give prospective students more meaningful and useful information about schools and programs. One way he hopes to accomplish this is by expanding Pell Grant eligibility to include high-quality short-term programs that can provide students with the proper credentials in different fields. Another way is by having Congress extend loan forgiveness to all students.   

“It is therefore the policy of the Trump Administration to increase access to affordable, flexible, and innovative postsecondary education and skills to meet interests and lifelong learning needs of every American,” Trump’s proposal said.   



Biden: A large part of Biden’s immigration plan centers around reversing policies already in place. This includes removing prolonged detentions and family separations as well as ensuring that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are held accountable for their actions. One of the key points of Biden’s plan is creating a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 million individuals who have been living undocumented in the United States. One aspect of this is making the naturalization process more accessible for green card holders.   

“Biden will aggressively advocate for legislation that creates a clear roadmap to legal status and citizenship for unauthorized immigrants who register, are up-to-date on their taxes, and have passed a background check,” the Biden immigration plan said.   

Trump: Throughout Trump’s presidency immigration has been a key talking point. Trump has described his proposal as, “Pro American, pro immigrant and pro worker.” One aspect of this plan is to fully secure the border. Another is removing the loopholes in the system that have allowed for human smuggling and other illegal and dangerous behavior. Trump’s plan is to focus on modernizing the legal immigration process by making it more merit based. He wants to increase the number of immigrants coming for a specific job or skill as well as give priority to immediate family of U.S. citizens and immigrants.   

“Illegal immigration hurts everyone. A random, unfair entry process hurts everyone. Underfunded law enforcement hurts everyone. Fixing these things will make life better for our citizens while increasing the odds dramatically that new immigrants are put in the best position possible to succeed,” Trump’s 2019 immigration plan said.   



Biden: Biden is pro-choice and has explained that although he personally is against abortion he doesn’t want to “impose his religious beliefs on other people.” His plan is to pass legislation through the Senate that makes the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision a law. In addition to this he also plans to mandate that states can’t refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other providers. Another key component to his plan is repealing the Hyde Amendment which bans federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest and endangerment to the patient’s life.   

Trump: Trump is pro-life and opposes all abortion except in situations of rape, incest or endangerment of the patient.  Following a 2016 pledge to appoint pro-life judges he has appointed over 150 pro-life federal judges.  He has also excluded clinics from title X (family planning) funding where they use abortion as a form of family planning.   



Biden: Biden’s tax plan involves raising taxes on those making over $400,000 a year and giving the middle-class tax cuts. His plan outlines raising corporate income tax rates from 21% to 28% and creating a minimum tax on corporations that make $100 million and higher. He also plans to expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. He’s increasing it from a maximum of $3,000 in expenses to $8,000 and increasing the maximum reimbursement rate from 35% to 50%.   

Trump: Trump has said that if he is elected for a second term, he will cut taxes to, “boost take-home pay and keep jobs in America.” Throughout his campaign he is focusing on made in America tax credits. This credit is designed to provide tax relief and boasts 10 million new jobs in 10 months as well as 1 million new small businesses.   


COVID response   

Biden: Biden’s plan focuses on increasing the amount of COVID-19 testing availability as well as making testing free and instant. The plan also calls to create addition personal protective equipment like masks and face shields. He wants to ramp up contact tracing of the virus by hiring at least 100,000 contact tracers. Another facet of this plan is working with state governors to create and enforce a mask mandate. He intends to put $25 billion into vaccine research but hasn’t given a time by which a vaccine must be ready.   

Trump: Trump’s plan focuses a lot on, “Operation Warp Speed.” This operation is for vaccine development and distribution with the goal of distributing 100 million doses of a vaccine in 2020. Another key point of his plan is making Regeneron’s antibody cocktail and other types of coronavirus drug therapies free to all Americans. In addition to this he intends to focus on making critical medications and supplies readily available for hospitals and health care workers. His overarching goal with this plan is to return to normal by 2021.   


Climate Change   

Biden: Biden believes that climate change is a threat and because of that he has a detailed plan of ways to help combat it. His plan involves rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement focuses on the global response to climate change and each country sets their own standards and goals for reducing carbon emissions. Another aspect of this plan involves transitioning the United States to a 100% clean energy economy by 2035. He will be requiring public companies to disclose climate risk as well as greenhouse gas emissions for their work. He has additionally indicated that he won’t ban fracking, but he will ban new fracking on federal land.   

Trump: During the presidential debate this Thursday Trump explained that he wants clean air, clean water, and a good economy. Although his campaign website doesn’t currently have a published climate change plan, looking back on the past four years can give some insight. He signed the Save Our Seas Act of 2018 which reauthorized the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program to receive $10 million a year to clean our oceans.  He also signed The Great American Outdoors Act which uses money from offshore oil and gas drilling to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He put $38 billion towards the EPAs “clean water infrastructure” project. He also began withdrawing the country from the Paris Agreement. In addition to this he expanded offshore oil and gas drilling as well as eased air and water pollution penalties on companies.   


Gun Control   

Biden: Biden views gun violence as an epidemic. Because of this his gun control plan focuses on regulating gun possession to ensure that guns don’t end up in the wrong hands. Biden intends to ban all assault weapons as well as regulate possession of existing assault weapons. In order to do this, he plans to offer a buyback program for assault weapons so that people who currently own assault weapons can sell them to the government, or they can register them under the National Firearms Act. According to Biden’s campaign website an estimated 1 in 5 guns is sold without a background check being done, Biden’s plan requires a universal background check for all gun sales.   

Trump: Trump has said that he is a strong supporter of the second amendment which gives the right to bear arms. His plan involves better enforcing laws so that violent criminals are prosecuted. Trump has also said that the American mental health system is broken. He further explained that in many mass shootings there were red flags and underlying mental health problems that he believes should be addressed. Trump has also made it clear that he opposes gun and magazine bans and is a huge proponent of having a national right to carry.   

“The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away,” Trump’s campaign website said.