Mike Pence and Kamala Harris are vying for the office of U.S vice-president in the upcoming 2020 election. Pence is currently serving as vice-president under president Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election against the Democratic nominee Joe Biden. While most media attention is focused on the presidential candidates, it’s important to know why the prospective vice-presidents stand for as well.
After all, Joe Biden is a former vice-president.
Where do the two VP picks stand on the important issues? Let’s explore with Mike Pence first.
Back when Pence was an Indiana congressman, he stated his opposition to raising the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over two years in 2007. (via a Huffington Post report.) According to the same report, Pence defended his opposing stance by saying this.
“A 41 percent increase in the minimum wage that is brought into the well of Congress without providing any relief to small business owners and family farmers is irresponsible and unwise…It will harm both the wage payer and the wage earner. An excessive increase in the minimum wage will hurt the working poor.”
Pence hasn’t made any strong stances on the minimum wage since his opposition vote.
National Security/Foreign Policy
When Pence was the governor of Indiana, he tried to introduce legislation to block Syrian refugees from living in Indiana. He defended the plan in a 2016 vice-presidential debate, by saying this.
“I will tell you, after two Syrian refugees were involved in the attack in Paris that is called Paris’ 9/11, as governor of the state of Indiana, I have no higher priority than the safety and security of the people of my state. So you bet I suspended that program. And I stand by that decision. And if I’m vice president of the United States or Donald Trump is president, we’re going to put the safety and security of the American people first.“
Mike Pence (via ontheissues.org)
The legal battle finally ended in 2018, when a judge overruled Pence’s plan (via a vice.com report). At that same vice-presidential debate where Pence defended his Syrian refugee ban, he also advocated for, “Strong, broad-shouldered American leadership.” (Via ontheissues.org) Pence went into further detail by saying that:
“I just have to tell you that the provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength. It begins by rebuilding our military. And the Russians & the Chinese have been making enormous investments in the military. We have the smallest Navy since 1916. We have the lowest number of troops since the end of the Second World War. We’ve got to work with Congress, and Donald Trump will, to rebuild our military & project American strength in the world. We’ve just got to have American strength on the world stage. When Donald Trump becomes president, the Russians and other countries in the world will know they’re dealing with a strong American president.“
Here are a few other national security related pieces of legislation Pence has voted for over the years, per ontheissues.org.
- Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan (In 2003.)
- Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns. (In 2002.)
- Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (In 2006)
- Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (In 2006)
Check out Pence’s entire speech at the 2018 National Cybersecurity Summit here.
So, where does Kamala Harris stand on these issues? Let’s explore.
While GritDaily has noted Harris’s main stance on the minimum wage here, it’s worth delving into. Has Harris actually done anything to support her stance on raising the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour? She has.
Back in 2017, Harris joined other Senate Democrats in supporting a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour. According to harris.senate.gov, Harris said this on the matter.
“The minimum wage must be a living wage, and the current rate of $7.25 makes it impossible to support a family…Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. That means we’ve got to change a system that forces a mom trying to keep a roof over the head and food on the table to hold down two jobs just to earn $15,000 a year. The ladder of economic opportunity is broken in this country, but this legislation will help fix it.“
The proposed piece of legislation would’ve raised the federal minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour by the year 2024. Her stance is echoed by Biden as well, who stated on his official website that if he becomes president, he will raise the federal minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour.
National Security/Foreign Policy
Harris had this to say in a Council on Foreign Relations questionnaire.
“What has been the greatest foreign policy accomplishment of the United States since World War II? What has been the biggest mistake?”
The greatest U.S. foreign policy accomplishment has been the post-war community of international institutions, laws, and democratic nations we helped to build. For generations, presidents from both parties established a network of stalwart partners. These countries have contributed to our prosperity and worked with us in war and peace to deal with some of the toughest international crises and to confront a number of generational challenges.
Our biggest mistake has been to jeopardize all that progress and accomplishment by engaging in failed wars that have cost lives, destabilized the regions in which they have been fought, and undermined our leadership in the international community. To make matters worse, the current president seems intent on inflicting further damage to U.S. credibility by disregarding diplomacy, withdrawing from international agreements and institutions, shunning our allies, siding with dictatorships over democracies, and elevating sheer incompetence in his decision-making processes.
Check out the rest of her responses on foreign policy here.
Harris has advocated for cutting defense spending, and is a member of Senate Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees. She supported Senator Bernie Sander’s proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that, “have redirected 10 percent of Pentagon funding to various federal programs.” (Per harris.senate.gov) This is what she had to say of her decision to support the proposed amendment.
“As a member of the Senate Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees, I’m keenly aware of the global threats facing our country. I’m honored to represent a state with the most service members and military families in the country, and I take seriously my responsibility to do what’s best for them. I’ve had conversations with people in California and across the country, and I have heard the pride with which Americans speak about our brave service members and agree that the United States military should always be second to none.
Congress must finally make smart investments in American communities during this crisis. People across the country are hurting. Parents can’t find work, kids can’t go to school, and sick people can’t afford the health care they need. Now more than ever, we must find ways to reinvest in families and communities which is why I have introduced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act with Senator Sanders and the Saving Our Street Act with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). Congress has a responsibility to do more—much more.”
The U.S presidential election is less than eighty days away. Will you be voting?