US ELECTION 2020: policy promises at a glance

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In the run-up to Tuesday’s US Presidential election our student reporting team aims to explore, explain, enlighten and  even entertain you on the race for the White House.


SO WHAT do the two presidential rivals stand for: what are their policy promises to America?


Deliver a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year and adopt an America-first approach to any successful vaccine developed in the US or overseas.

Set up “Operation Warp Speed”coronavirus task force by the end of January, to focus on distribution and “re-opening the country”.

Spending $10bn on eradicting Covid-19 and a “return to normal in 2021”.

Set up a national contact-tracing programme, establish at least 10 testing centres in every state, and provide free coronavirus testing to all.

Nationwide mask mandate, which would require face coverings to be worn on federal property.



Expand non-renewable energy (Mr Trump is a climate-change sceptic), increase drilling for oil and gas, and roll back further environmental protections.

Withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord – the international agreement on tackling climate change – which the US will formally leave later this year.

Immediately re-join the Paris Climate Accord if elected.

Target net zero emissions for the US by 2050, and ban new leases for oil and gas drilling on public lands, as well as a $2trillion investment in green energy.

Incentivise the production of zero-emission vehicles.



Create 10 million jobs in 10 months, and create one million new small businesses.

Retain the 37 per cent income tax rate on high earners and lower the 22 per cent rate for middle earners to 15 per cent.

Give companies tax credits if they keep jobs in the US and drop corporation tax from 21 to 20 per cent.

Raise taxes for people earning more than $400,000 a year to pay for investment in public services.

More than double the federal minimum wage to $15 (£11.50) an hour from the current rate of $7.25 (£5.50).



Repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed under President Obama (‘Obamacare’ – which increased the federal government’s regulation of the private health insurance system) – and replace it with a plan he is yet to publish.

Lower drug prices by allowing imports of cheaper drugs from abroad.

Protect and expand the ACA.

Lower the eligibility age for Medicare (which provides medical benefits to the elderly), from 65 to 60.

Give all Americans the option to enrol in a public health insurance plan similar to Medicare.



Reduce US troop levels overseas, while continuing to invest in the military.

Continue to challenge international alliances and maintain trade tariffs on China.

Repair relationships with US allies, including with Nato and the World Health Organisation.

Scrap unilateral tariffs on China, and instead hold them accountable with an international coalition that China “can’t afford to ignore”.

A critic of Brexit, he supports Israel and has said he will push for sanctions on Russia.



Doesn’t believe racism is a systemic problem within US police forces and has promised to “defend” police forces amid the growing protests against police brutality towards black Americans.

Claims to be a champion of law and order, and promises to protect police funding and hire more officers, increase punishments for attacks on police, and take action against left-wing political protest movements.

Will take tough action on illegal immigration and impose stronger requirements for legal immigrants.

Says racism as a systemic problem, and has set out policies to address racial disparities in the justice system, such as grants to incentivise states to cut imprisonment rates.

Has rejected calls to defund police, saying additional resources should instead be tied to maintaining proper standards.


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Supports and encourages the US constitution’s Second Amendment protections giving Americans the right to bear arms, loosening restrictions and criticising advocates of tighter gun controls.

He did propose tightening background checks on gun buyers after a string of mass shootings in 2019, but nothing came of the plan and no further legislation has been put forward.

Wants to ban assault weapons, introduce universal background checks on gun purchasers, limit the number of guns a person can purchase to one per month.

Make it easier to sue negligent gun manufacturers and sellers, and fund more research into preventing gun violence.



Plans to fill the vacancy on the court during the remainder of his first term in office, and has put forward conservative judge, Amy Coney Barrett.

The Supreme Court could soon rule on the legal right to abortion in the US – which both the president and Judge Barrett have opposed in the past.

Wants the vacancy to be filled after the next president enters office.

Says he wants women to have a legal right to an abortion, even if the Supreme Court rules against it.

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