HomePolitics7 major issues at stake in the 2024 elections

7 major issues at stake in the 2024 elections

WASHINGTON — The policy is the opposite President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump are becoming more acute as the general election campaign gets into full swing.

But what does this choice mean for ordinary voters and the economic and cultural issues that interest them? A rematch between the Democratic incumbent and his Republican predecessor may seem uninspiring to many voters, but the policy stakes are enormous for tens of millions of Americans — and the world.

Here are seven major issues at stake in the 2024 election.

Abortion

The contrast: Biden favors federal abortion protections; Trump is against them. Trump supported nationwide restrictions on abortion as president but is now downplaying the need for a federal ban as Republicans are divided on the issue. Biden does not support federal borders.

Biden supports the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill to protect abortion rights in all 50 states under federal law and ban medically unnecessary barriers to accessing the procedure. To achieve that, he has asked voters to send him a Democratic Congress that supports legal abortion.

Trump has boasted of “breaking Roe v. Wade” by choosing three of the five Supreme Court justices who overturned it, fulfilling a four-decade goal of the Republican Party. More recently, Trump has openly worried that the backlash could cost him and his party the election. Last week, Trump said the issue should be left to the states, a shift from his support for nationwide restrictions when he was president. His new position has drawn resistance from Republican Party allies, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and anti-abortion rights advocates, who say he is wrong and that Republicans should not be deterred from their long-standing goal of to enact a number of laws. national abortion limits.

Some Republicans are downplaying the prospects that federal abortion restrictions will pass Congress even if they gain full control. Biden and his allies are telling voters to look at the Republican Party’s long history of defending federal restrictions, not their recent rhetoric.

Immigration

The contrast: Trump has promised a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigration and tougher executive action; Biden asks Congress to give him more tools to manage an overwhelmed border and create new legal routes to immigrate to the US

Trump has called existing border laws an existential threat to the US, saying migrants are “poisoning the blood of our country” and bringing new “languages.” His campaign website states: “President Trump will stop Biden’s border disaster. He will once again end catch-and-release, restore Remain in Mexico and eliminate asylum fraud. In cooperative states, President Trump will deputize the National Guard and local law enforcement to help quickly remove illegal alien gang members and criminals.”

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After rescinding some of Trump’s policies, Biden has recently shifted to supporting stricter immigration laws as the system remains overwhelmed. He championed a bipartisan bill that would raise the bar for obtaining asylum, allocate more U.S. resources to process asylum claims and turn away migrants who don’t qualify, and give the president the authority to temporarily suspend the to close the border if migration levels hit certain triggers. (Republicans blocked the bill in the Senate amid lobbying from Trump, who wants to use the border as an election issue.) Biden has also endorsed the US Citizenship Act, which would give people in the US illegally a path to citizenship if they pass through . background checks and pay their taxes.

Fundamentally, Trump has aligned himself with forces that want less immigration into the country, while Biden has embraced the belief that immigrants make the US better.

Healthcare and prescription drugs

The contrast: Biden wants to expand the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and allow Medicare to negotiate more prescription drugs; Trump has aggressively criticized the ACA but offered no health care plan.

Biden, who was vice president when the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, sees it as a cherished achievement to protect and strengthen. The law, also known as “Obamacare,” which expanded coverage to 45 million people through subsidies, insurance mandates and a Medicaid expansion, continues to face conservative opposition.

In addition, Biden has touted a provision in his party-line Inflation Reduction Act that gives Medicare the authority to negotiate lower prices on 10 prescription drugs. He said he wants to step up that to 50 if he is re-elected, with a target of $200 billion in savings.

Trump spent his four years as president fighting in vain to repeal and unravel the law — through legislation and executive action and passing lawsuits to sweep it away. In November, Trump called for a review of plans to “end” the ACA. He has recently tried to play this down, insisting he only wants to improve the law. But he didn’t offer a health care plan. Many of his Republican allies in Congress still support repealing or undoing the ACA, including a budget from the Republican Study Committee, which has about 80% of the House GOP conference as members, including Chairman Mike Johnson of Louisiana .

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Taxes

The contrast: Trump’s 2017 tax cuts expire at the end of next year, and he has called for them to be extended; Biden has called for raising taxes on families making more than $400,000 to fund several priorities.

A series of Trump tax cuts, which Republicans passed on a party-line basis in 2017, are set to expire at the end of 2025. Congress and the winner of the election will decide what happens to them.

In a recent private speech to wealthy donors, Trump said his policies include “extending the Trump tax cuts” if he is elected, according to a Trump campaign official. This would maintain lower rates across the income spectrum, with the biggest benefits for the top earners.

Biden has attacked that law as a giveaway to the wealthiest Americans, promising that “big corporations and the very rich will finally pay their fair share.” He supported an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, saying that “no one making less than $400,000 will pay an extra cent in federal taxes.” Biden also calls for a $3,600 per-child tax cut for families, an average tax credit of $800 for “frontline workers” and a 25% minimum tax for billionaires, according to a recently released campaign plan.

The expiration of the Trump tax cuts will restore the unlimited federal deduction for state and local taxes, which Republicans capped at $10,000 in the 2017 law. Republicans broadly support keeping the limit, with some exceptions, while most Democrats want to eliminate it.

Judges and the Supreme Court

The contrast: their track records tell a clear story. Trump has picked young conservative judges to serve on the federal bench, while Biden has picked liberals with a focus on professional and personal diversity.

One of the clearest contrasts is what kind of judges Trump and Biden would choose for lifetime appointments to the federal courts. A simple way for voters to think about it is whether they prefer new justices with the conservative views of Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first choice for the Supreme Court, or with the liberal views of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Biden’s (until now only) choice for the Supreme Court. .

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As president, Trump nominated young conservative judges who will serve for generations. Biden has focused on finding judges with diverse backgrounds and resumes, including more civil rights attorneys and public defenders.

Perhaps the biggest question is whether there will be a vacancy on the Supreme Court in the next four years. The winner of the presidential election and the party that controls the Senate would fill this spot.

Trade

The contrast: Trump implements a general import tariff of 10%; The Biden White House opposes that, saying it would increase inflation.

Trump, long a skeptic of US trade deals, has proposed imposing a 10% tariff on all imported goods when he returns to the White House. He recently told Fox News that it could account for 60% – or possibly “more than that” – of imports of Chinese goods.

Biden opposes that idea. In a memo last weekend, the White House denounced the idea of ​​“blanket tariffs that would raise taxes and prices by $1,500 per American family,” without mentioning Trump by name; it referred to an estimate from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, that Trump’s 10% tax on imports could cost an average American household $1,500 a year.

Biden has instead tried to boost domestic manufacturing with major federal investments in semiconductors and electric vehicles.

Foreign policy and NATO

The contrast: Biden is in favor of aid to Ukraine, while Trump is skeptical about it; Biden supports NATO and a traditional view of American power, while Trump has criticized NATO and expressed some isolationist views.

The clearest example of the foreign policy differences between the two concerns the fate of Ukraine, which is running out of ammunition and says it needs American help to continue to hold off Russian aggression. Biden is a staunch supporter of helping Ukraine, while Trump has poured cold water on US aid to Ukraine and successfully pressured House Republicans to block it since they won the majority in January 2023.

And that points to a deeper divide: Biden is an outspoken supporter of the NATO alliance as a bulwark against adversaries such as Russia and China and of maintaining order after the Second World War. Trump has sharpened his criticism of NATO and joined a growing isolationist wing in the US that wants to be less involved in global affairs. Trump recently said that as president he would “encourage Russia to do whatever they want” toward member states that are “delinquent” on their dues.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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