2020. What a clusterf*ck of a year. The past ten months have brought so many disasters and general WTF moments that we’ve lost count. Social distancing. Murder hornets. Multiple hurricanes. Tiger King. Millions of acres of wildfires. COVID-19. Virtual schooling. Dorinda fired from the Real Housewives of New York. Masks. Oh, and this little thing called the Presidential election.
With the “new normal” actually being anything but, parents are being pulled in a million different directions so it is perfectly understandable if you have yet to do your research on where the candidates stand on key issues impacting families. Luckily, we’ve done it for you! Below are five areas to know where candidates stand before you hit the polls.
Outside of COVID-19, people are still dealing with the full range of normal ailments ranging from the mild to severe. The thing that binds us all together is our healthcare system. Anyone who has had to navigate any part of our nation’s healthcare system will tell you it is not for the faint of heart.
Trump’s Stance: Republicans have been talking about dismantling the existing Affordable Care Act (AKA ObamaCare) since it was a just a hint of a dream in President Obama’s head, but, to date, President Donald Trump has not yet offered a comprehensive healthcare plan for replacing it.
Biden’s Stance: Presidential candidate Joe Biden, who was Vice President when the bill was written, largely supports the ACA which does not allow insurance companies to charge based on pre-existing conditions and requires the majority of individuals to have coverage or face a penalty fee.
TLDR: 2020 has made issues around our healthcare abundantly clear. Trump wants to slash ACA but hasn’t provided a plan for a better solution. Biden supports ACA and does not want it removed.
If you’ve been on Is This Normal for a hot minute, you know there are some topics that we are really passionate about and one of those things is paid family leave. We’ve heard so many stories from moms not being able to take the time that was needed to stay home and bond with their baby (not to mention recover from birthing a human) because their place of employment did not offer paid maternity leave. The struggle of going back into the workplace before being ready is a poison in our country’s culture and it is one that we are not shy about pushing back against.
Trump’s Stance: In 2019, with the encouragement of daughter Ivanka Trump, President Trump passed a bill allowing federal employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave. This was a great move that will impact thousands of workers, especially because parental leave covers the scope of both moms and dads. Even better, this applies to birth, adoption, and foster placement situations. This bill does not change benefits for millions of families across the country that do not have access to the benefits this bill provides.
Biden’s Stance: Biden supports 12 weeks of paid family leave for all working Americans.
TLDR: Trump has passed a bill giving federal employees 12 weeks paternity leave. Non-federal employees are subject to state legislation or company mandates. Biden supports all working Americans receiving 12 weeks paid family leave.
Affordable, accessible quality childcare has been an ongoing struggle for families across our country and with so many people facing unemployment this year, that struggle is only getting more difficult. Communities are trying to tackle this problem on a local level, however, federal leadership is a must when it comes to moving the needle.
Trump’s Stance: In 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that raised the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per qualifying child for eligible families with $1,400 being refundable. This means that if parents owe $0 in taxes or less than $1,400, they can receive up to $2,000 as a tax refund (or credit) if both the child and parent qualify. Trump expanded the Child Tax Credit to families with incomes of up to $200K (single) and $400K (married), and there is much scrutiny that the credit is not helping low-income families who need it most. Additionally, with the passage of the CARES act amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump earmarked funding support for the childcare sector with $3.5 billion in emergency funding to childcare providers.
Biden’s Stance: In July, Biden announced a plan that outlined budgeting billions of dollars for childcare support. The plan would provide universal pre-kindergarten for 3 and 4 year olds, and also provide the needed support to childcare providers in order for that to happen. Families making less than $125,000 a year would be eligible for up to $16,000 tax credit to reimburse up to 50% of the family’s childcare expenses.
TLDR: Both parties have acknowledged the rising need for accessible, quality early childhood education so hopefully the coming year will bring some bi-partisan efforts to make this a reality for families in need.
Few topics have divided the Right and Left more staunchly than a woman’s right to choose. We see it once again becoming a topic of hot debate as the process to replace former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has thrown a wrench in an already unpredictable year. Since its ruling in 1973, Roe v. Wade has protected a woman’s national right to access an abortion, but with the late Justice Ginsberg’s Supreme Court seat vacant, that right now stands in the crosshairs.
Trump’s Stance: During his time in office, Trump has banned federal funding from going to organizations that provide abortion services, which includes community health organizations like Planned Parenthood. It has been suggested that the Trump administration would support a near-total ban on abortions.
Biden’s Stance: Biden is supportive of Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose. As President, he has stated he would work to codify Roe v. Wade and stop state laws that violate the ruling. Biden also supports restoring federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
TLDR: Trump and his administration are in favor of striking down Roe v. Wade, while Biden is committed to upholding a woman’s right to choose.
All Things COVID-19
We would be remiss to leave COVID-19 response out of this article. Who would have thought going into this election year that one topic it would be important to know where your candidate falls would be a pandemic response? As surreal as it is, how the next president responds to the ongoing public health crisis will shape the future of this nation.
It seems everyone has a different opinion on all things COVID and our candidates are no different.
Trump’s Stance: President Trump has more flexible views on mask wearing with less absolute adoption of CDC guidelines. While he has at times encouraged the public to wear a mask in the absence of social distancing, he has also represented an anti-mask sentiment. When it comes to schools reopening, President Trump had suggested withholding funding from schools that did not open in a timely manner.
Biden’s Stance: Biden has followed the vast majority of scientists, wearing a mask almost constantly in public. He also has shown support for enacting a nation-wide mask mandate. In regards to schools reopening, Biden has advocated for Congress to provide school districts across the country with financial support to encourage the needed changes and critical equipment in order for schools to safely function. Biden has indicated schools should make their opening choices based on the state of their local community, not from a national directive.
TLDR: When it comes to kids being in school, both candidates support schools re-opening however, Trump favors in-person, while Biden continues to encourage districts to open when local conditions allow. Currently, districts are split across the country with some doing all in-person, some virtual, and some a hybrid of both options.
This election season, there is a lot to unpack and, unfortunately, there is so much noise that it is hard to hear the important stuff. Even in the midst of the chaos it is important to remind yourself that your voice matters. Your vote matters because the choice we make this November will define what the future holds for all of us and our children, so make a plan and be sure to VOTE! Have more question about this topic? You know what to do. Ask us anything.