Joe Biden on Families & Children

Former Vice President; previously Democratic Senator (DE)


Cut the cost of childcare in half

Cut the cost of child care. Many families pay up to $14,000 a year for child care per child.

Middle-class and working families shouldn't have to pay more than 7% of their income for care of young children. My plan will cut the cost in half for most families and help parents, including millions of women, who left the workforce during the pandemic because they couldn't afford child care, to be able to get back to work.

Source: 2022 State of the Union address , Mar 1, 2022

Guarantee education free from gender-based violence

PROMISE MADE: (2020 campaign website JoeBiden.com): Biden will create a White House Council on Gender Equality, chaired by a senior member of the Executive Office of the President tasked solely with guiding and coordinating government policy that impacts women and girls, such as economic policy, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy.

PROMISE KEPT: (CNN, 3/8/21): President Joe Biden is set to sign two executive orders which will establish the White House Gender Policy Council, and address sexual violence in the education field. The orders, to be signed on International Woman's Day, are aimed at ensuring gender equality and equity throughout the federal government at a time when women, particularly Black and Latina women, are being disproportionately afflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Biden's other executive order, meanwhile, is aimed at advancing policies to guarantee education free from sexual violence.

Source: TheConversation.com blog on Biden Promises , Mar 8, 2021

No mandatory paid family and sick leave in COVID relief

PROMISE MADE: (FMLA Insights 1/15/21): Biden's paid leave plan would effectively cover all employers. First, it would require employers with under 500 employees to again provide leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Second, the plan would require employers with 500 or more employees to provide FFCRA leave. Biden also would remove any exemptions for those employers who are smaller than 50 employees.

PROMISE BROKEN: (CNN March 6, 2021): Unlike Biden's initial proposal, neither bill would reinstate mandatory paid family and sick leave approved in a previous Covid relief package. But they continue to provide tax credits to employers who voluntarily choose to offer the benefit through October 1.

OnTheIssues ANALYSIS: Paid family and sick leave is mandated in 10 states: CA, CO, CT, DC, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI, and WA.

Source: CNN "Senate stimulus" analysis of 2021 Biden Promises , Mar 6, 2021

Expand the child tax credit to $3,000 for each child

PROMISE MADE: (Darla Mercado on CNBC, Jan 14, 2021): The president-elect wants to increase the child tax credit to $3,000 for qualifying children aged 17 and under. Kids under age 6 would be eligible for a $3,600 credit. Biden is calling to put these expansions into effect for the year on an emergency basis. Biden also wants to make the child tax credit fully refundable. That means taxpayers get a refund check, even if the credit exceeds their tax liability.

PROMISE KEPT: (CNN March 6, 2021): [In the Senate stimulus plan]: In an effort to combat poverty, lawmakers would expand the child tax credit to $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for each child under age 18. The credit would also become fully refundable so more low-income parents could take advantage of it. Plus, families could receive payments monthly, rather than a lump sum once a year, which would make it easier for them to pay the bills.

Source: CNBC and CNN analysis of Biden Promises , Mar 6, 2021

$39B to child care providers for COVID relief & stimulus

PROMISE MADE: (Michelle Fox on CNBC, Jan 15, 2021): Biden's plan would:

PROMISE KEPT: (CNN, March 6, 2021): [In the stimulus plan]: The bills would also provide about $39 billion to child care providers. The amount a provider receives would be based on operating expenses and is available to pay employees and rent, help families struggling to pay the cost, and purchase personal protective equipment and other supplies.

Source: CNBC and CNN analysis of Biden Promises , Mar 6, 2021

Invest $450 billion so people needing care can stay at home

Q: How would you provide support for the nation's army of unpaid family caregivers?

BIDEN: COVID-19 proves how vital it is to give people who want to live at home a chance to stay there. I'm going to invest $450 billion so more Americans can choose to live at home if they want to. We're going to give family caregivers, the really quiet heroes out there, the support they deserve. We're going to create a $5,000 tax credit for informal [family] caregivers.

Q: And for seniors?

BIDEN: Medicare is a lifeline for around 60 million Americans. Under the Affordable Care Act, we strengthened Medicare. We extended the life of the trust fund by bending the cost curve. We expanded free preventative services like mammograms and colonoscopies, and we closed the doughnut hole so more seniors could afford their prescriptions. We've got to give Medicare the power, for example, to negotiate drug prices.

Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Sep 28, 2020

Find purpose in family tragedy

Q: Reverend Anthony Thompson's wife, Myra, was one of the nine killed in a shooting during a Bible study at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church in 2015.

Rev. Thompson: My question is, what is your faith and how would you use your faith in making decisions for our nation?

BIDEN: Well, Reverend, I kind of know what it's like to lose family. And my heart goes out to you. What you all did was astounding. I don't know whether you all know this: All of those who died, were killed by this white supremacist, they forgave him. The ultimate act of Christian charity. They forgave him. I find the one thing faith gives me, it gives me some reason to have hope and purpose. The way I've been able to deal with when my wife was killed and my daughter were killed and then my son died, I had to find purpose, purpose. My son asked me when he was dying, "dad, promise me you'll stay engaged." It took me a long time to get to the point to realize that that purpose is the thing that would save me. And it has.

Source: CNN S. C. Town Hall for 2020 Presidential primary , Feb 26, 2020

Focus on our children, to address child poverty

As the debate wound down, the candidates faced questions on what to do about young children in poverty and what it says about the country. Biden's answer--much like his candidacy--was heavy on biographical details.

"I come from a family where a dad said, 'We've got to move; don't have a job. We've got to move to a different city,' " he said. Biden concluded that "We must focus on our children."

Source: Washington Post excerpts of 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate , Feb 8, 2020

Kids are our future and health of US depends on them

These aren't someone else's children. They're all our children. They're the kite strings that lift our national ambitions, they really are. They lift our national ambitions aloft. We have an overwhelming interest, overwhelming interest in seeing to it they do well. You know, 24 out of every 100 students in school today, from grade school to high school, are Latino. What are we going to do? Walk away from that?
Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH , Feb 7, 2020

$15 minimum wage and triple money for Title 1 schools

I talk about the working poor all the time. No one should be working 40 hours a week and living in poverty. That's why we have to raise the standard of $15 an hour for every worker in America. We have to provide for opportunities at the early stages. I propose that we triple the amount of money we spend for Title I schools, which means every child, age 3, 4, and 5, will be in school, not daycare, school.
Source: CNN N. H. Town Hall on eve of 2020 N. H. primary , Feb 5, 2020

Keep punching at it: men can never raise a hand to women

We do not spend nearly enough time dealing with the culture of how women are treated. I was stunned when I did a virtual town meeting that told me 30,000 people were on the call, young people between 15 and 25, and I said, "what do you need to make you safer on college campuses and in your schools?" You know what they said? "Get men involved, engage the rest of the community."

And that's when [in the Obama Administration] we started this movement on the college campuses to fundamentally change the culture. No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger, other than in self-defense, and that rarely ever occurs. And so we have to just change the culture, period, and keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it. I really mean it. It's a gigantic issue. And we have to make it clear from the top, from the president on down, that we will not tolerate it. We will not tolerate this culture.

Source: November Democratic primary debate in Atlanta , Nov 20, 2019

As single father, I get it; target childcare tax break

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: V.P. Biden wrote an op-ed that he believed that women working outside the home would, "create the deterioration of family."

Biden: That was a long time ago. It would have given people making $100,000 a year a tax break for childcare. I wanted the childcare to go to people making less than $100,000. As a single father who raised three children for five years by myself, I have some idea what it cost. I support making sure that every person needing childcare get an $8,000 tax credit now. That would put 700,000 women back to work. My deceased wife worked when we had children. My present wife has worked all the way through raising our children. I wrote the Violence against Women Act & Lilly Ledbetter. I came up with the It's On Us proposal to see to it that women were treated more decently on college campuses.

Gillibrand: You said women working outside the home would lead to the deterioration of family. Either he no longer believes it ...

Biden: I never believed it.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

$2.3M in grants to help reduce domestic violence homicides

Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced grants to target the urgent need to reduce domestic violence homicides. From 2009 to 2012, 40 percent of mass shootings--those with four or more victims killed--started with the shooter targeting their girlfriend, wife or ex-wife.

In total, the Department of Justice will award $2.3 million to twelve sites across the country as part of the new Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative (DVHP Initiative). "Every single day in America, three women die at the hands of their boyfriend, or their husband, or their ex-husband. Many of these women have been threatened or severely abused in the past. We know what risk factors put someone in greater danger of being killed by the person they love--and that also means we have the opportunity to step in and try to prevent these murders. That's why these grants are so important. They'll help stop violence before it turns deadly," said Vice President Biden.

Source: White House Press Release, "Grants on Domestic Violence" , Mar 13, 2013

I’ve been a single parent; I know the difficulties

PALIN: [McCain chose me also for] my connection to the heartland of America. Being a mom, one very concerned about kids heading off to college, how are we going to pay those tuition bills? We’ve been there also, as they sit around the kitchen table and try to figure it out.

BIDEN: I understand what it’s like to be a single parent. When my wife and daughter died and my two sons were gravely injured, I understand what it’s like as a parent to wonder if your kid’s going to make it. I understand what it’s like to sit around the kitchen table with a father who says, “I’ve got to leave, champ, because there’s no jobs here. And when we get enough money, honey, we’ll bring you down.” The notion that somehow, because I’m a man, I don’t know what it’s like to raise 2 kids alone--I understand. I understand, as well as the governor or anybody else, what it’s like for those people sitting around that kitchen table. They’re looking for help. They’re not looking for more of the same.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Gov. Sarah Palin , Oct 2, 2008

MeToo: Change the culture of how women are treated

Q: The "Me, Too" movement has forced a cultural reckoning around the issue of sexual violence and harassment against women. Are there specific actions you would take to address this problem?

BIDEN: The first thing I would do is make sure we pass the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. I wrote the original act. We have to fundamentally change the culture of how women are treated. It's everyone's responsibility.

Source: November Democratic primary debate in Atlanta , Nov 20, 2019

Joe Biden on Voting Record

Fund "red flag" laws for family members at extreme risk

PROMISE MADE: (2020 campaign website JoeBiden.com): Extreme risk laws, also called "red flag" laws, enable family members or law enforcement officials to temporarily remove an individual's access to firearms when that individual poses a danger to themselves or others. Biden will incentivize the adoption of these laws by giving states funds to implement them.

PROMISE PARTLY KEPT: (White House press release, 4/7/21): The Justice Department will publish model "red flag" legislation for states. The President urges Congress to pass an appropriate national "red flag" law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass "red flag" laws of their own. In the interim, the Justice Department's published model legislation will make it easier for states that want to adopt red flag laws to do so.

ANALYSIS: Legislation and funding is required to incentivize states, but Biden kept his promise on DOJ providing support.

Source: White House press release on Biden Administration promises , Apr 7, 2021

1990: Pushed through Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The Violence Against Women Act included $300 million to train police, prosecutors, and victim advocates to help survivors, fund education programs, and toughen prosecutions on abusers. It had also helped define sexual assault as a hate crime.

Biden launched this crusade in 1990. [Finally, in 1994], when President Clinton inked the legislation into law, the Democratic majority leader said that Biden was "the one person most responsible for passage of this bill."

It had taken more than four years, but Biden stuck with it. The most important legacy of the VAWA, is that it helped change the culture about the way we think about these issues, whether it was sexual harassment, physical harassment, sexual assault, or violence in families.

Biden's work did not stop with VAWA. He would spend the next 25 years working to further change that culture, spreading awareness about sexual assault, and how it was not just a "women's issue," but one that needs to be owned by the men too.

Source: The Book of Joe, by Jeff Wilser, p.107-9 , Oct 24, 2017

1991: VAWA is about civil rights, not divorce law

Biden understood "the lack of control that is experienced not only by women who are themselves victims but by all the women who have to constrain their daily activities to avoid being a victim." He showed the basic insight of the civil rights provision-- that violence against women deprives women of equality."

In 1991 Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist appointed a four-judge committee to appraise the push for a Violence Against Women Act. It challenged classifying such violence as a civil rights offense and warned that the federal caseload might be so increased as to cause "major state-federal jurisdictional problems and disruptions."

Biden angrily wrote to the committee: "The bill does not federalize divorce law or domestic relations cases any more than any other civil rights law does." But Rehnquist wrote that the bill "is so open-ended and the new private right of action so sweeping that the legislation would involve the federal courts in a host of domestic relations disputes."

Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.312-313 , Oct 5, 2010

Fought for Family and Medical Leave, up to 12 unpaid weeks

Helping In The Workplace And At Home: As a father who parented small children on his own, Joe Biden knows first-hand the challenges of balancing work and family. He recognizes that it can be especially difficult for women, who often make the health-care decisions, take the kids or elderly parents to see the doctor, or stay at home when someone is sick. Joe Biden believes we need to provide all workers, including women, with the flexibility they need to both take care of their families and remain working For this reason, he fought for the Family and Medical Leave Act that has given 50 million workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to look out for a sick family member. As there are many more workers who cannot afford unpaid leave, he is co-sponsoring the Healthy Families Act, which would require employers with 15 or more workers to provide seven paid sick days to care for their own or their families’ medical needs.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.joebiden.com, “Issues” , Sep 1, 2007

1990: authored the Violence Against Women Act

In 1990, I wrote legislation called the Violence Against Women Act. I was convinced this might be the most important piece of legislation I had introduced and among the most difficult to turn into law. I was surprised at the resistance from inside-the-beltway women’s groups. I knew these groups didn’t entirely trust me because I wasn’t pure on the issue of abortion. But there were others things beyond the groups’ long-held suspicions of me. I got the sense that women’s advocacy groups were worried that the VAWA would be a distraction from their main issues. And there was also a certain amount of personal pride I sensed among women. VAWA failed to reach the Senate floor in 1990 and finally passed in 1994. Violence against women would no longer be written off as “she was asking for it” (rape), “sexual miscommunication” (date rape), or “a family matter” (domestic abuse). Once our criminal justice system recognized these as serious & inexcusable crimes, women could stop blaming themselves.
Source: Promises to Keep, by Joe Biden, p.240-245 , Jul 31, 2007

Voted NO on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors.

Vote to kill an amendment that would prohibit the distribution of violent video programming to the public during hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience. Voting YES would kill the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting NO would suport the amendment proposing the new restrictions.
Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-114 on May 13, 1999

Rated 16% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record.

Biden scores 16% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

    Our Five-Fold Mission:
  1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
  2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
  3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
  4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
  5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

Permanent crime database for volunteers with kids.

Biden introduced creating permanent crime database for volunteers with kids

A bill to amend the National Child Protection Act of 1993 to establish a permanent background check system. Congress finds the following:

  1. In 2006, a total of 16,500,000 adults volunteered their service to education or youth programs.
  2. An estimated 6.6% of individuals in the United States will serve time in prison for a crime during their lifetime. The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System of the FBI maintains fingerprints and criminal histories on more than 47,000,000 individuals, many of whom have been arrested or convicted multiple times.
  3. Of individuals released from prison, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years.
  4. Given the large number of individuals with criminal records and the vulnerability of the population they work with, human service organizations that work with children need an effective and reliable means of obtaining a complete criminal history in order to determine the suitability of a potential volunteer or employee.
  5. The large majority of Americans (88%) favor granting youth-serving organizations access to conviction records for screening volunteers and 59% favored allowing youth-serving organizations to consider arrest records when screening volunteers.
  6. Even when accessible, the cost of a criminal background check can be prohibitively expensive, between $21 and $99 for each volunteer or employee.
  7. The Child Safety Pilot Program demonstrates that timely and affordable background checks are possible, as background checks under that program are completed within 3 to 5 business days at a cost of $18.
    Source: Child Protection Improvements Act (S.2756/H.R.5606) 08-S2756 on Jul 28, 2008

    Fund 2,500 Boys and Girls Clubs in underserved areas.

    Biden co-sponsored a Bill to open 2,500 Boys and Girls Clubs

    Amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to make grants to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to establish and extend club facilities where needed, with particular emphasis on establishing clubs in and extending services to public housing projects and distressed areas. Redefines the term "distressed area" to include an Indian reservation with a population of high risk youth of sufficient size to warrant the establishment of a BGCA. Earmarks specified funds to provide a grant to BGCA for administrative, travel, and other costs associated with a national role-model speaking tour program.

    Corresponding House bill is H.R.1753. Became Public Law No: 105-133.

    Source: Bill sponsored by 10 Senators and 24 Reps 97-S476 on Mar 19, 1997

    Other candidates on Families & Children: Joe Biden on other issues:
    2020 Presidential Candidates:
    Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
    V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
    V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
    Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
    CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
    CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
    Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
    Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
    Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
    Kanye West (Birthday-CA)

    2020 GOP and Independent primary candidates:
    Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (Libertarian-RI)
    Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
    Zoltan Istvan (Libertarian-CA)
    Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
    Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
    Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
    CEO Howard Schultz (Independent-WA)
    Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
    V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
    Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
    Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)

    2020 Democratic Veepstakes Candidates:
    State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
    Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D-GA)
    Rep.Val Demings (D-FL)
    Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
    Gov.Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM)
    Sen.Catherine Masto (D-NV)
    Gov.Gina Raimondo (D-RI)
    Amb.Susan Rice (D-ME)
    Sen.Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
    Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    Gov.Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
    A.G.Sally Yates (D-GA)
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    External Links about Joe Biden:

    2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
    Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
    Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
    Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
    Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
    Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
    Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
    Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
    Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
    Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
    Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
    Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
    Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
    Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
    Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
    Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
    Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
    Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
    CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
    Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
    Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
    CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

    Page last updated: Mar 05, 2022