Political positions of Joe Biden


Political positions of Joe Biden

Joe Biden is the senior senator from the U.S. state of Delaware. He has served in the Senate since 1973 and made his second run for president in 2008 election as a Democrat. Biden was announced as presidential nominee Barack Obama's running mate on August 23, 2008.

The following are the political positions of Joe Biden on an assortment of issues.

Domestic issues

Crime

Joe Biden has been given a 71% approval rating from Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) indicating a pro-rehab record on crime. He voted in support of funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. He voted for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which greatly increased the number of federal crimes punishable by the death penalty and abolished education grants for prisoners. Biden also voted against limiting death penalty appeals. [http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Joe_Biden_Crime.htm] He voted for expanding the definition of hate crimes and imposing heavier punishments. Biden supports a Federal Bureau of Investigation registry for sex offenders. [cite web|url=http://glassbooth.org/explore/index/joe-biden/2/crime-and-punishment/3/ |title=Joe Biden on Crime and Punishment |accessdate=2008-08-25]

Education

Biden received a 91% voting record from the National Education Association (NEA) showing a pro-teacher union voting record. He supports abstinence education, is against student vouchers and affirms the Constitutional right to voluntary prayer in school. [cite web
url = http://www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA/sec14510.html
title = Improving America's Schools Act of 1994, SEC. 14510
accessdate = 2008-08-23
publisher = US Department of Education
] He voted in favor of Educational Savings Accounts. In regard to the No Child Left Behind Act Biden stated,quote|Classrooms are too big; we need smaller classrooms, period.A lot of teachers are going to be retiring. We need a program where we attract the best and brightest students coming out of our colleges to be teachers, and pay them. [cite web
url = http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Joe_Biden_Education.htm
title = Joe Biden on Education
accessdate = 2008-08-25
publisher = On the Issues
]
He voted in favor of the Act in 2001, but has subsequently called that vote "a mistake." [cite news
title = Part I: CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate transcript
url = http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/23/debate.transcript/index.html
work = CNN Election Center 2008
publisher = CNN
date = July 24, 2007
accessdate = 2007-07-26
] He feels that the program is underfunding the education system.

Environment

He co-sponsored the "Sense of the Senate" resolution calling on the United States to be a part of the United Nations climate negotiations and the "Boxer-Sanders Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act", the most stringent climate bill in the United States Senate. [ Grist Jan 3, 2008 retrieved May 4, 2008 http://www.grist.org/feature/2007/08/29/biden_factsheet/ ] He voted "Yes" on a $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas and "No" for drilling in ANWR on national security grounds and defunding renewable and solar energy. [ On the Issues retrieved May 4, 2008 http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Joe_Biden.htm#Energy_+_Oil ]

Biden believes action must be taken on global warming. He supports the creation of a new treaty on climate change that would require emissions reductions from developing countries such as Brazil, India, China, and Mexico. He has also stated his support for investment in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the creation of a "cap and trade" system. Biden supports the promotion of renewable energy, including biodiesel fuels but not ethanol.

Gun issues

Biden was given an "F" by the National Rifle Association (NRA) showing an anti-gun ownership voting record. [cite web|url=http://www.nrapvf.org/News/Article.aspx?ID=229|title=Unleashed: 20/20 hindsight|date=2007-01-11|accessdate=2008-08-25|publisher=National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund] He supports reinstating the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and voted against prohibition of lawsuits against gun manufacturers. He has voted to ban semi-automatic firearms and to end the "gun show loophole", stating that no one should be able to walk into a gun show and buy a gun more easily than they could at a normal store.

Health

Biden was given a 100% approval rating from the American Public Health Association (APHA). He supports funding for health care to allow all people access.

Homeland security

After the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, a domestic terrorist bomb attack that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Biden drafted anti-terrorist legislation, which was ultimately defeated. He later claimed publicly on several occasions that the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 — which eased restrictions on the Executive branch in the surveillance and detention of those suspected of terrorism or facilitating it — was essentially a duplicate of the anti-terrorist legislation he had drafted years earlier. [cite web | url = http://www.tnr.com/columnists/story.html | title = Rhetorical Question | author = Michael Crowley | publisher = The New Republic | date = 2001-10-22 | accessdate = 2008-08-25] Biden, naturally, supported the PATRIOT Act but voted to limit wiretapping on the bill. He supports implementing the 9/11 Commission's recommendations to fight terrorists but voted to preserve habeas corpus rights to the alleged terror suspects serving in Guantanamo Bay. In the 1990s he voted in favor of 36 vetoed military projects and supports efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation. He was given a 60% approval rating from the American Civil Liberties Union reflecting a mixed voting record on civil rights issues. During a debate on November 15, 2007 Biden clarified the effect of the PATRIOT Act and his continued support for it and his opposition to racial profiling. [cite web|url=http://www.cfr.org/publication/14820/democratic_debate_transcript_las_vegas_nevada.html?breadcrumb=%2Fbios%2F1451%2Fjoseph_r_biden_jr |title=Democratic Debate Transcript, Las Vegas, Nevada - Council on Foreign Relations|accessdate=2008-08-25]

Immigration

Biden supported the 2007 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. He supports guest-worker visas, and the building of a wall along the border as a deterrent to drug trafficking. He voted to provide Social Security to illegal immigrants and supports a path to citizenship.

Internet privacy and file sharing

CNET.com gave Biden a 37.5 in its Technology Issues Voter's Guide. [cite web|url=http://news.cnet.com/2009-1040-6130830.html?hhTest=1|title=Technology voter guide 2006 - Mapping Congress' voting records | CNET News.com] They referred to Biden as "Pro-RIAA" and "Pro-FBI" in his file sharing and privacy stances. Biden sponsored a bill that would make it a felony to record internet radio, [cite web|url=http://news.cnet.com/Senators-aim-to-restrict-Net,-satellite-radio-recording/2100-1028_3-6149915.html?hhTest=1|title=Senators aim to restrict Net, satellite radio recording - CNET News.com] and signed a letter that urged the United States Department of Justice to prosecute file sharers. [cite web|url=http://www.politechbot.com/docs/congress.p2p.letter.081002.pdf|title=http://www.politechbot.com/docs/congress.p2p.letter.081002.pdf|format=PDF] Biden also sponsored two bills, the [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:s.00266: Comprehensive Counter Terrorism Act] and the [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:s.00618: Violent Crime Control Act] , both of which contained language effectively banning encryption. [cite web|url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/cnet/20080824/tc_cnet/83011357831002416338 |title=Joe Bidens pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record - Yahoo! News |accessdate=2008-08-25] Phil Zimmerman, creator of PGP, has said it was Biden's legislation (SB 266) that "led me to publish PGP electronically for free that year, shortly before the measure was defeated after vigorous protest by civil libertarians and industry groups." [cite web|url=http://www.philzimmermann.com/EN/essays/index.html |title=Phil Zimmermann on PGP |accessdate=2008-08-25]

Economic issues

Agriculture

"Senator Biden supported the Farm Bill and believes that it is a responsible compromise. It is not perfect, but it was the product of lengthy negotiations and passage was essential to our farm economy. For Delaware and the rest of the nation, this bill contains funding and programs that are critical to the future of the family farmer, stewardship of our environment and meeting nutritional needs at a time when food prices are rising." [cite web
url = http://biden.senate.gov/issues/issue/?id=5df9f66d-9a89-4158-a3c9-66c423a5e802
title = Senator Joe Biden - Senator for Delaware: Issues - Agriculture
accessdate = 2008-09-08
publisher = US Senate
]

"Senator Biden has been a strong supporter of efforts to combat the problem of invasive species -- plants and animals improperly brought to U.S. shores. Senator Biden feels that these non-native species have the potential to be one of the largest economic and environmental threats in the 21st century. Non-native species alter vegetation, compete with native species, introduce new diseases and interfere with maritime commerce. Conscious of these dangers, Senator Biden continues to support programs aimed at preventing the importation of non-native plants and animals to the United States." [cite web
url = http://biden.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/BidenOnAgriculture.pdf
title = SENATOR JOE BIDEN ON AGRICULTURE
accessdate = 2008-09-08
publisher = US Senate
]

"After learning that Russia will start banning chicken imports from 19 plants in the United States" Senator Biden "issued the following statement:"

"Russia is once again using non-tariff barriers as an excuse to close its markets to American poultry. I am concerned about the effect of this action on Mountaire, a major employer and integral part of our state's agricultural production. Other local poultry processing plants may be targeted.

"Russia has repeatedly shown that it is not ready to abide by the rules of international trade. Let's not forget this is part of a bigger picture in which Russia has failed to behave as a responsible member in the international community. Until Russia reverses their recent actions -- both big and small - its application to join the World Trade Organization should remain on hold.

"The United States must take immediate and necessary steps -- just like we did in 2002 -to restore access to this market, which is critical to Delaware's farmers, Delaware's poultry industry and Delaware's economy, which relies heavily on the agricultural industry." [cite web
url = http://biden.senate.gov/press/press_releases/release/?id=844009C2-8BBD-4DE9-888B-5CC6FF071114
title = BIDEN Issues Statement on News of Russia's Ban on Chicken Imports
accessdate = 2008-09-08
publisher = US Senate
]

Banking

Biden voted for the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 [http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00044 ] and voted yes on restrictions on personal bankruptcy.

Energy

Biden opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and supports governmental funding to find new energy sources as well as upping funding for alternative transportation like Amtrak and mass transit. [cite web|url=http://www.anwr.org/Politics/Presidential-Candidates-views-on-ANWR-The-Democrats.php |title=Arctic Power - Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Presidential Candidates views on ANWR, The Democrats |accessdate=2008-08-25]

While campaigning for president in 2007, Biden said that, if elected, his top priority would be "energy security." He has also been quoted as saying "If I could wave a wand, and the Lord said I could solve one problem, I would solve the energy crisis." [ Grist Jan 3, 2008 Retrieved May 4, 2008 http://www.grist.org/feature/2007/08/29/biden/ ]

Globalization

Biden was given a 32% approval rating from the United States Chamber of Commerce. He favors taking burdens off corporations to prevent outsourcing.Vague|date=August 2008 He voted yes on repealing tax subsidies for companies that outsource jobs.

However, he was one of the Democrats to vote for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. [cite news
title = Final Senate Vote on NAFTA
url = http://www.citizen.org/print_article.cfm?ID=15960
publisher = Public Citizen
accessdate = 2008-08-22
] Biden was given a 42% approval rating from the Cato Institute, revealing a mixed record on free trade. He opposed the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) but supports normalizing relations with China, Vietnam and the Andean nations. He opposes free trade agreements with Oman, Singapore, and Chile.

Labor Unions

Biden was given a 100% approval rating from AFL-CIO indicating a heavily pro-union voting record.

Tax

Biden is against the Bush administration's tax cuts and would "take back one year of the tax cuts for Americans who make over a million dollars a year, and put this money in a dedicated Homeland Security and Public Safety Trust Fund to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations and invest in law enforcement." [cite web| title = Issues: Homeland Security| url = http://www.joebiden.com/issues/?id=0004| publisher = Biden's Presidential campaign website|date = August 2, 2007| accessdate = 2007-08-02] Dead link|url=http://www.joebiden.com/issues/?id=0004|date=August 2008 Biden supports a balanced budget amendment.

Biden cites high health care and energy costs as two major threats to the prosperity of American businesses, and believes that addressing these issues will improve American economic competitiveness. [cite news
title = Joe Biden for President: Issues”
url = http://www.joebiden.com/issues/#0006
publisher = Biden's Presidential campaign website
date = August 2, 2007
accessdate = 2007-08-02
] Dead link|url=http://www.joebiden.com/issues/#0006|date=August 2008

Foreign policy

The Council on Foreign Relations reported on Biden's political positions. [cite web|url=http://www.cfr.org/bios/1451/joseph_r_biden_jr.html |title=Joseph R. Biden, Jr. - Council on Foreign Relations|accessdate=2008-08-25]

Iraq

In 1990 Joe Biden voted against the first Gulf War after Iraq under Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. [http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB122049148440397625.html] In 1998, Biden expressed support for the use of force against Iraq, and urged a sustained effort to "dethrone" Saddam Hussein over the long haul. [cite news | url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/iraq/stories/iraq111398a.htm | title=Support for U.S. Stance on Iraq Grows | author=Thomas W. Lippman and Bradley Graham | publisher=Washington Post | date=1998-11-13] In 2002 as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he stated that Saddam Hussein was "a long term threat and a short term threat to our national security" and that United States has "no choice but to eliminate the threat".cite news | url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18381961/page/2 | title=MTP Transcript for April 29, 2007 | author=Tim Russert | publisher=MSNBC | date=2007-04-29 |page=2] He also said, "I think Saddam either has to be separated from his weapons or taken out of power." [Meet the Press August 2002 interview with Tim Russert http://www.michaelmoore.com/mustread/index.php?id=1040] Biden also supported a failed resolution authorizing military action in Iraq only after the exhaustion of diplomatic efforts, [cite web|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/us/politics/24policy.html|title=New York Times - A Democratic Leader on Foreign Policy, In Iraq and the Balkans] Biden argued that Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons and is seeking nuclear weapons; [ [http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2002_record&docid=cr10oc02-70 AUTHORIZATION OF THE USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AGAINST IRAQ] ] he subsequently voted in favor of authorizing the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Biden has since said that he believes it was a mistake to support the Iraq war because it has been mismanaged by the Bush Administration. In 2005 Biden said, "We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq (but) I think that would be a gigantic mistake, or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out--equally a mistake." [Joe Biden on Meet the Press 2007 http://www.ontheissues.org/Archive/2007_Meet_the_Press_Joe_Biden.htm]

Regarding his belief that Iraq maintained stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, Biden stated in 2007 that inspectors had seen and cataloged the existence of the materials required to make such weapons prior to their expulsion from Iraq and pondered why Hussein didn't tell the international community that he had disposed of them.cite news | url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18381961/page/2 | title=MTP Transcript for April 29, 2007 | author=Tim Russert | publisher=MSNBC | date=2007-04-29 |page=2] Scott Ritter, the chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, stated in July 2002 that most chemical and biological agents produced by Iraq would have been neutralized or degraded in storage, encouraging the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to convene hearings to reassess the threat. [Scott Ritter: [http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0721-02.htm Is Iraq a True Threat to the US?] ] When the committee scheduled hearings in the beginning of August 2002, Ritter stated that "Sen. Joe Biden is running a sham hearing. It is clear that Biden and most of the Congressional leadership have pre-ordained a conclusion that seeks to remove Saddam Hussein from power regardless of the facts, and are using these hearings to provide political cover for a massive military attack on Iraq." [ [http://accuracy.org/newsrelease.php?articleId=633 Ritter and Von Sponeck on Iraq: Interviews Available] ]

Biden supports a "five-step plan" towards removing troops from Iraq. In November 2006, Biden and Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, released a comprehensive strategy to end sectarian violence in Iraq. Rather than continuing the present approach or withdrawing, the plan calls for federalizing Iraq with separate regions for Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis.cite news | url=http://articles.latimes.com/2007/oct/01/world/fg-iraq1 | author=Ned Parker and Raheem Salman | title=U.S. vote unites Iraqis in anger | publisher=Los Angeles Times | date=2007-10-01] The key points include:
#Giving Iraq's major groups a measure of autonomy in their own regions. A central government would be left in charge of interests such as defending the borders and distributing oil revenues.
#Guaranteeing Sunnis — who have no oil rights — a proportionate share of oil revenue and reintegrating those who have not fought against Coalition forces.
#Increase, not end, reconstruction assistance but insist that Arab Gulf states fund it and tie it to the creation of a jobs program and to the protection of minority rights.
#Initiate a diplomatic offensive to enlist the support of the major powers and neighboring countries for a political settlement in Iraq and create an Oversight Contact Group to enforce regional commitments.
#Begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces in 2007 and withdraw most of them by 2008, leaving a small follow-on force for security and policing actions.

The plan, named "The Biden-Brownback Resolution", passed the Senate 75-23 in a nonbinding vote on September 25, 2007, including 26 Republican votes. Iraq’s political leadership united in denouncing the resolution, while the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a statement distancing itself.cite news | url=http://articles.latimes.com/2007/oct/01/world/fg-iraq1 | author=Ned Parker and Raheem Salman | title=U.S. vote unites Iraqis in anger | publisher=Los Angeles Times | date=2007-10-01]

Africa

Biden favors an American deployment of troops to Sudan. In support of this, Biden said senior U.S. military officials in Europe told him that 2,500 U.S. troops could "radically change the situation on the ground now".

Biden is opposed to American financing of abstinence only programs to combat HIV-AIDS in Africa. In 2007, he cosponsored the HIV Prevention Act which would end President Bush's mandate that one third of all funds be earmarked to abstinence only programs.

Israel

Biden is a self-described Zionist. He is highly supportive of the state of Israel and views Israel as a strategic ally in the Middle East. [http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Middle_East/10241824.html Israel must come to terms with nuclear Iran] ] He stated that "the Arab nations have known that there is no daylight between us and Israel." [Jennifer Siegel: [http://www.forward.com/articles/presidential-hopeful-slams-bush-for-stance-on-syri/ Presidential Hopeful Slams Bush for Stance on Syria] The Jewish Daily Forward, 21 March 2007.] Regarding support for Israel within the Democratic Party, Biden has stated that the Democrats' support for Israel "comes from our gut, moves through our heart, and ends up in our head. It's almost genetic." [ [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=755798 Joseph Biden, Democrat] , profile at Haaretz, October 23, 2006.] In September 2008, Biden stated "A strong America is a strong Israel. I have a 35-year record of supporting Israel, and Israel's security is enhanced the stronger America is." [ [http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/17064/ Candidate Biden: U.S., Israel Joined at the Hip] by Aaron Passman, The Jewish Exponent, September 11, 2008.]

In a speech to several hundred older Jews at a Florida retirement community, Biden stressed that he and Barack Obama are strongly pro-Israel. Biden stated "I am chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. I give you my word as a Biden, I would not have given up that job to be Barack Obama's vice president if I didn't in my gut and in my heart and in my head know that Barack Obama is exactly where I am on Israel. And he is...I promise you ... we will make [Israel] more secure." Biden also criticized the presidency of George W. Bush, stating that "By any objective fact, Israel is less secure today in the world than it was eight years ago." [ [http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/110185.html Biden reassures Florida Jews on Israel] , Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), September 2, 2008.] [ [http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-flpbiden0903pnsep03,0,5617985.story Sen. Joe Biden reiterates support for Israel at two South Florida rallies] by Mark Hollis and Juan Ortega, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, September 3, 2008.]

In early September 2008, Haaretz quoting an un-sourced report from Israel Army Radio which stated that Biden had reportedly told Israeli officials in private that Israel "will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran." Biden denied he had ever made this statement or any similar statments. David Wade, a Biden spokesman, stated that “This is a lie peddled by partisan opponents of Senators Obama and Biden and we will not tolerate anyone questioning Senator Biden’s 35-year record of standing up for the security of Israel.” Wade also stated that Biden' views a nuclear Iran as “grave threat to Israel and the United States.” Israeli officials later reported that the original story appeared “dubious.” [ [http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/01/biden-denies-saying-israel-will-have-to-reconcile-with-nuclear-iran/ Biden Denies Saying Israel will have to Reconcile with Nuclear Iran] , Fox News (with contributions from Reena Ninan), September 1, 2008] [ [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1017129.html Obama camp denies report Biden said Israel will have to reconcile to nuclear Iran] , Haaretz Service, September 1, 2008.]

During a conference call to members of the Jewish media on September 3, 2008, Biden stated, in regard to a potential Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, that it “is not a question for us to tell the Israelis what they can and cannot do, I have faith in the democracy of Israel. They will arrive at the right decision that they view as being in their own interests.” However, Biden stated that additional diplomatic efforts should be made to help avert the potential need for military action. [http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/110212.html Biden: AIPAC doesn't speak for all Jews] , Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), September 3, 2008)]

In September 2008, Biden spoke at the Washington Conference of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC). Biden stated that “I’ve spent 35 years of my career dealing with issues relating to Israel. My support for Israel begins in my stomach, goes to my heart and ends up in my head." Regarding Barack Obama's stance on Israel, Biden stated that “I guarantee you, I would not have joined Barack Obama as his vice president if I had any doubt, even the slightest doubt, that he shares the same commitment to Israel I share.” Biden also harshly denied a claim by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) that he once attempted to cut off aid to Israel. [ [http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/110520.html Biden at NJDC: Obama supports Israel] , Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), September 24, 2008.]

During the 2008 Vice-Presidential debate, Biden stated "no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never, ever joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion." [http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/02/debate.transcript/index.html Transcript of Palin, Biden debate] , CNN, October 2, 2008.]

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

Regarding the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Biden defended his right to oppose some AIPAC-backed measures. Biden stated that "AIPAC does not speak for the entire American Jewish community. There’s other organizations as strong and as consequential.” Biden further stated that AIPAC does not speak for Israel. However, Biden added that “I’ve never disagreed with AIPAC on the objective. Whenever I’ve had disagreement with AIPAC it has always been a tactical disagreement, not a substantive disagreement.” Following this interview, an AIPAC spokesman praised Biden's leadership efforts on several fronts and stated that "We look forward to continuing to work with him in the Senate or in the White House."

In September 2008, Biden spoke with AIPAC leaders in a conference call. Following the meeting, an AIPAC spokesman stated that "We had a very warm conversation with Senator Biden today, as we have many times throughout the years, about the importance of the U.S-Israel relationship, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future. We had an opportunity to express our appreciation for his strong leadership in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased to hear Senator Biden reaffirm his desire to maintain his close relationship with AIPAC as we work together to strengthen the special friendship between the two democracies over many years to come." An adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama stated that "Sen. Biden expressed his appreciation for AIPAC's important work supporting Israel's security and the U.S.-Israel relationship, and that he looks forward to continuing to work with them as partners on these issues in the future as he has in the past." [ [http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/110442.html Biden, AIPAC clear the air] , Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), September 19, 2008.]

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Biden has stated he supports a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Biden cosponsored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 which expressed U.S. support for a two-state solution. [ [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=109-20060623-38#sMonofilemx003Ammx002Fmmx002Fmmx002Fmhomemx002Fmgovtrackmx002Fmdatamx002Fmusmx002Fm109mx002Fmcrmx002Fms20060623-38.xmlElementm4m0m0m “Mr. President, I support the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006...”] "govtrack.us".] During the 2008 Vice-Presidential debate, Biden stated that the policy administration of George W. Bush with regard to the Middle East has been "an abject failure" and pledged that, if elected Barack Obama and himself "will change this policy with thoughtful, real, live diplomacy that understands that you must back Israel in letting them negotiate, support their negotiation, and stand with them, not insist on policies like this administration has." [http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/02/debate.transcript/index.html Transcript of Palin, Biden debate] , CNN, October 2, 2008.]

North Korea

Biden favors open dialogue with North Korea and describes them as a "paper tiger", unable to directly cause harm to America. However, in June 2007 Democratic debate, he called the situation one of "the three most important things that the next president is going to have to deal with", along with Iran and Iraq.

Iran

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Biden has been a prominent voice calling for "hard-headed diplomacy" with Iran. In July 2008, Biden should first engage directly with Iran in the context of talks with the Permanent Five Members of the UN Security Council and Germany, and "ultimately country-to-country, just as we did with North Korea." He also has called for the implementation of "coordinated international sanctions" on Iran, adding "we should complement this pressure by presenting a detailed, positive vision for U.S.-Iran relations if Iran does the right thing." [http://www.cfr.org/bios/1451/joseph_r_biden_jr.html Biden's 's position on top foreign policy issues] ]

In 2007, Biden voted against a measure to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. He wrote in December 2007 that "War with Iran is not just a bad option. It would be a disaster." Biden has threatened to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Bush if he starts a war with Iran without Congressional approval. In an interview with members of the Jewish media in September of 2008, Biden stated that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is a terrorist organization and that the Bush administration already had the power to designate it as one. He stated that he voted against the measure out of concern that the Bush administration would misuse the measure to justify a military attack against Iran.

Cuba

Biden strongly opposes the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba and supports the continuation of the trade embargo as well as the democratization of the island in post-Castro era. In 2006, Biden stated, "We should be putting together a plan as to how we are going to play a positive role in moving that country, after the Castros are gone, to—more toward democratization and liberalization in their society."

Russia

In 2005, Biden cosponsored a Senate resolution criticizing Russia for failing to uphold its commitments at the 1999 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit, which included agreements on a completed Russian military withdrawal from Moldova. That resolution also expressed disapproval of Russia’s demand for the closure of the OSCE Border Monitoring Operation (BMO), which served to observe border crossings between Georgia and the Russian republics of Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia. That bill passed in the Senate.

Biden introduced legislation in July 2008 urging members of the Group of Eight to "work toward a more constructive relationship with Russia," and encouraging Russia to behave according to the G-8’s "objectives of protecting global security, economic stability, and democracy." The resolution also called on Russian and U.S. leaders to increase cooperation and funding for the Nunn-Lugar program and other nonproliferation initiatives. It also emphasized the need for a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty. The resolution passed.

Biden has voiced concerns about Russia backsliding on democratic reforms. In August 2008, Biden criticized Russia’s military action in Georgia. "By acting disproportionately with a full scale attack on Georgia and seeking the ouster of Georgia’s democratically elected President Mikheil Saakashvili, Moscow is jeopardizing its standing in Europe and the broader international community – and risking very real practical and political consequences," Biden wrote in a Financial Times op-ed. Biden urged Russia to abide by the negotiated cease fire.

ocial issues

Abortion, stem cell research, cloning

Joe Biden believes that the "Roe v. Wade" decision should remain intact. He is quoted as saying, "The best policy for our country on the question of abortion is a policy of Government neutrality. Put another way: I do not believe that the government should be involved in making judgments on whether a woman can, or should have an abortion, or – if she chooses to do so – in paying for that abortion."Fact|date=August 2008 In September 2008, Biden was barred from receiving Holy Communion by the bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania because of his support for abortion rights. [cite news |first=David |last=Kirkpatrick |title=Abortion Issue Again Dividing Catholic Votes |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/17/us/politics/17catholics.html?bl&ex=1221883200&en=1e3acb5115249581&ei=5087%0A |work=The New York Times |date=2008-09-16 |accessdate=2008-09-19 ]

He voted in favor of a 1999 bill to ban in most circumstances "partial birth abortion" [cite web
url = http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=106&session=1&vote=00340
title = U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 106th Congress – 1st Session
accessdate = 2008-08-25
publisher = United States Senate
] and on the 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. [cite web
url = http://www3.capwiz.com/c-span/issues/votes/?votenum=402&chamber=S&congress=1081&tally=1
title = Roll Call Vote No. 402 Tally
accessdate = 2008-08-25
work = C-SPAN: Congress Guide – Key Votes
publisher = C-SPAN
] Biden has defended these votes as recently as April 2007.cite web |url=http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/elections/statements/biden.html |title=Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) |work=NARAL Pro-Choice America |accessdate=2008-10-01 |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20071213210038/http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/elections/statements/biden.html |archivedate=2007-12-13] He has also stated his opposition to federal funding of abortions.

He has joined with Democrats in voting against parental notification and a ban on abortions on military bases. Biden's record on abortion is pro-choice, receiving a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in four of the last five years, although he received a 36% as recently as 2003. Biden pledged that he would appoint Supreme Court justices that share his beliefs. He has also stated his opposition to the Mexico City Policy, and voted in favor of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act in 1994. Biden supports federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and voted to expand development and voted against a 1998 ban on cloning.

Drug law

Biden favors diverting drug offenders out of the nation's prison system. He is ostensibly against making stricter laws for drug offenses, but helped in the creation of a Drug Czar, a government official overseeing all anti-drug operations. According to his campaign website, he is for increased penalties against those caught selling drugs within 1000 feet of schools. [cite news | url=http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Joe_Biden_Drugs.htm | title=Joe Biden on Drugs ] He was the drafter and chief sponsor of the RAVE Act, a law that aimed to crack down on MDMA-fueled raves but which was criticized by some as being too broad in scope.cite news | url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,58663,00.html | publisher=Fox News |title=Raving Lunacy|date=July 25, 2002] The law, which was later renamed the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2003, was additionally controversial because it was passed without public hearing or debate in Congress, attached to an unrelated child protection bill. Critics of the law assert that it has since been used by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration to intimidate those organizing rallies and fund-raisers to support drug-law reform. [cite web
url = http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/290/dearave.shtml
title = DEA Uses RAVE Act Threats to Block Montana NORML#SSDP Benefit
date = 2003-06=06
accessdate = 2008-08-25
publisher = Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRC Net)
]

LGBT issues

Biden voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act [cite web|url=http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=104&session=2&vote=00280 |title=U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records|accessdate=2008-08-25] and against the Federal Marriage Amendment. [cite web|url=http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00163 |title=U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records|accessdate=2008-08-25] He supports states rights to establish civil unions and favors adding sexual orientation to the criteria for a hate crime. [cite web
url = http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070421/REPOSITORY/704210326/1043/NEWS01|title = Candidates dance at civil unions: Dems shy of marriage; GOP jumps to right
date=2007-04-21|accessdate = 2008-08-25|publisher =Concord Monitor and New Hampshire Patriot
]

Welfare

Biden is opposed to the privatization of Social Security and was given an 89% approval rating from the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), reflecting a pro-senior citizen voting record. Voted in support of welfare block grants and supports welfare reform.

Women

"I consider the Violence Against Women Act the single most significant legislation that I’ve crafted during my 35-year tenure in the Senate. Indeed, the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 was the beginning of a historic commitment to women and children victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault. Our nation has been rewarded for this commitment. Since the Act’s passage in 1994, domestic violence has dropped by almost 50%" [cite web
url = http://biden.senate.gov/issues/issue/?id=975b0cf4-ce25-42cc-b63d-072fb81e8618
title = Senator Joe Biden - Senator for Delaware: Issues - Domestic Violence
accessdate = 2008-09-08
publisher = US Senate
]

"By empowering women to make changes in their lives, and by training police and prosecutors to arrest and convict abusive husbands instead of telling them to take a walk around the block, domestic violence is down 50 percent." [cite web
url = http://biden.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/BidenRecordWomen.pdf
title = Senator Joe Biden Stands Up For Women
accessdate = 2008-09-08
publisher = US Senate
]

ee also

* Political positions of John McCain
* Political positions of Barack Obama
* Political positions of Sarah Palin

Notes

External links

* [http://www.ontheissues.org/Joe_Biden.htm Joe Biden on the Issues]
* [http://www.4biden.com/ Joe Biden - democratic candidate 2008]
* [http://www.4biden.com/news/iraq-a-way-forward/ Iraq: A way forward]
* [http://whereistand.com/JoeBiden Joe Biden's opinions - whereIstand.com]
* [http://www.statesurge.com/members/903-joseph-r-jr-biden-federal Full list of Joe Biden's Legislation - statesurge.com]
* [http://www.cfr.org/bios/1451/joseph_r_biden_jr.html Biden's 's position on top foreign policy issues]


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