Joe Biden on Homeland Security

Former Vice President; previously Democratic Senator (DE)


Most lethal terrorist threat: white supremacist terrorism

In 20 years, terrorism has metastasized. The threat has evolved way beyond Afghanistan. We have to remain vigilant against the threats to the United States wherever they come from. Al-Qaida and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, other places in Africa, in the Middle East and beyond. And we won't ignore what our intelligence agency has determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today: white supremacy's terrorism.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address , Apr 28, 2021

Kept promise to allow transgendered to serve in military

PROMISE MADE: (CNN LGBT Town Hall, 10/10/19): If I were president, [transgendered people] would not have to choose [between their gender identity and serving their country]. The fact of the matter is transgender men and women should be able to do anything anybody else can do. There should be no difference.

PROMISE KEPT: (Military Times, 3/31/21): The Pentagon swept away Trump-era policies that largely banned transgender people from serving in the military, issuing new rules that offer them wider access to medical care and assistance with gender transition. The new department regulations allow transgender people who meet military standards to enlist and serve openly in their self-identified gender, and they will be able to get medically necessary transition-related care authorized by law.

Source: Military Times on Biden Administration promises , Mar 31, 2021

Greatest terror threat to America is domestic terror

That is the greatest threat to terror in America, domestic terror. I would make sure that my Justice Department and the civil rights division is focused heavily on those very folks, and I would make sure that we, in fact, focus on how to deal with the rise of white supremacy. It is a bane on our existence. It has always been. As Lincoln said, we have to appeal to our better angels, and these guys are not -- and women -- are, in fact, demented. They are dangerous people.
Source: CNN Presidential Town Hall 2021 with Biden & Anderson Cooper , Feb 16, 2021

Extend the New START Treaty for five years with Russia

By leading with diplomacy, we must also mean engaging our adversaries and our competitors diplomatically, where it's in our interest, and advance the security of the American people. That's why, yesterday, the United States and Russia agreed to extend the New START Treaty for five years to preserve the only remaining treaty between our countries safeguarding nuclear stability.

At the same time, I made it clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia's aggressive actions--interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens--are over. We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people. And we will be more effective in dealing with Russia when we work in coalition and coordination with other like-minded partners. The politically motivated jailing of Alexei Navalny and efforts to suppress freedom of expression are a matter of deep concern.

Source: Manchester Ink Link on 2020 New Hampshire Senate race , Feb 4, 2021

FactCheck: Yes, Hunter Biden was kicked out of military

Is it true that Biden's son was discharged from the military for drug use? The exchange first:

TRUMP: Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged.

BIDEN: That's not true; he was not dishonorably discharged.

TRUMP: For cocaine use.

BIDEN: None of that is true.

Fact-Check from NBC News, Oct. 16, 2014, headline "Joe Biden's Son Hunter Kicked Out of Navy for Cocaine"

A U.S. official told NBC News that Hunter Biden was kicked out of the Reserve earlier this year after he failed a drug test. The official said Biden failed the test in 2013, but he was not kicked out until Feb. 14 of this year. Senior US officials told NBC News that Biden, 44, tested positive for cocaine. Hunter Biden issued a statement saying: "It was the honor of my life to serve in the US Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy's decision. With the love and support of my family, I'm moving forward."

Source: NBC News Fact-Check on First 2020 Presidential Debate , Sep 29, 2020

Don't turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on US soldiers

One of Trump's more recent foreign policy scandals was the suggestion that Russia had been paying bounties to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan for dead U.S. troops, which is believed to be linked to several American deaths in Afghanistan. "Under President Biden, America will not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers," the former vice president said. "Nor will I put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise: voting."
Source: D.Brennan/Newsweek on 2020 Democratic National Convention , Aug 21, 2020

Coronavirus: Use Defense Production Act for needs

All the way back in January, the Intelligence Community indicated that this pandemic was on the horizon. The only thing you really make a mistake is going too slow. Going too fast, meaning providing the kind of help that is needed is not a problem. What happens if we make too many? That's a little like asking in World War I, we may make too many landing craft. We're going to have some leftovers. Get out now what can be gotten out--now, now, now. And yesterday, and last month, and last week.

We should be using the Defense Production Act to do whatever we need to do, whether it's the rapidity with which testing has to take place that you get a result, to actually getting the tests done, to investing in whether or not you have protective gear for our first responder

Source: CNN S.C. Town Hall amid 2020 primaries , Mar 27, 2020

We used National Guard for Ebola; use for new pandemic too

I would call out the military. Now. They have the capacity to provide this surge help that hospitals need and that is needed across the nation. I would make sure that they did exactly what they're prepared to do. They did it in the Ebola crisis. They have the capacity to build 500-bed hospitals, and tents that are completely safe and secure, and provide the help to get it done to anybody, this overflow. So it is a national emergency. I would call out the military.
Source: 11th Democratic primary debate (Biden-Sanders one-on-one) , Mar 15, 2020

Protect electoral process from disinformation

I joined an international organization headed by the former head of NATO to work out an agreement that everyone running for office, both in Europe and the United States, would take the pledge that they would not use any disinformation period in an election. Any foreign power that provided information or tried to get engaged in an electoral process in any one of the countries would be reported immediately.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 with Anderson Cooper , Feb 20, 2020

ISIS will come here if they take over Iraq and Syria

[Trump] questions whether or not he'll keep the sacred commitment of Article 5 for the NATO members. If he is reelected, I promise you, there will be no NATO. Our security will be vastly underrated--we will be in real trouble.

And with regard to regime change in Syria [Trump withdrew US forces from the Kurdish areas of Syria last week], that has not been the policy. It has been to make sure that the regime did not wipe out hundreds and thousands of innocent people between there and the Iraqi border.

And lastly, what is happening in Afghanistan all the way over to Syria, we have ISIS, it's going to come here. They are going to, in fact, damage the United States of America. That's why we got involved in the first place, and not ceded the whole area to Assad and to the Russians.

Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

Opposed assassinating bin Laden as too risky

This book does not presume to be an analysis of Obama policy and its success and failures. (During their years in power, Barack and Joe were largely aligned on policy issues, though sharp disagreements did emerge, including Joe's opposition to the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden; he feared that failure would turn Obama into a one term president.)
Source: Barack and Joe, by Steven Levingston, p. 6-7 , Oct 8, 2019

Refugee policy is an embarrassment

[In Germany, Biden said] "The America I see values basic human decency, not snatching children from their parents or turning our back on refugees at our border. Americans know that's not right." The former vice president told the Munich Security Conference, "The American people understand plainly that this makes us an embarrassment. The American people know, overwhelmingly, that it is not right. That it is not who we are."
Source: Washington Examiner on 2020 Democratic primary hopefuls , Feb 16, 2019

1991: Favors government "back doors" into encryption

In 1991, Biden introduced two bills aimed at curbing terrorism and crime respectively, both of which featured language mandating that tech companies create "back doors" in their products for law enforcement to snoop through. Biden tried to water down encryption again three years later with a successful bill that expanded federal wiretap powers, but privacy advocates managed to remove this and other provisions from the bill before it passed.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Aug 2, 2018

Boston Marathon bombers were jihadis, but keep Constitution

Q: After the Boston Marathon bombings, your language was typically direct. At a memorial service for the slain MIT campus policeman Sean Collier, you called the bombers "two twisted, perverted, cowardly, knock-off jihadis," which, of course, is exactly what everyone in America was thinking. Are these kind of remarks spontaneous?

A: No, I actually wrote that speech. I wanted to communicate two things: first, to make it clear that there is not this sort of gigantic, coordinated network run by Al Qaeda that has cells all around the country and, second, that the republic is not in jeopardy and there's no reason for us to jettison the Constitution and erect a police state in order to protect people. The moment we change, they win. That's the only way they win. It was a terrible tragedy, but we found the guys; we'll make rational adjustments in plugging holes within our law that could have been plugged. But do not, do not, do not yield in any way to the intimidation.

Source: Douglas Brinkley in Rolling Stone Magazine , May 9, 2013

Political process to restore a democratic government in Mali

[French President Hollande and I] discussed an array of issues including Mali and North Africa more broadly. On behalf of the President & the people of the United States, we applaud your decisiveness and the incredible competence and capability of your French military forces [in military action in Mali].

We support the political process that France is leading to restore a democratic government in Mali. We discussed the importance of working with our regional partners to counter terrorism across North Africa and beyond. We spent time discussing how terrorist organizations metastasized and why additional strategies will be necessary going into the future to deal with this new threat.

I emphasized the importance of working with the new government of Libya and building effective security institutions. On Syria, we both fully support the Syrian opposition coalition, the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Source: Press Conference with V.P. Biden & French President Hollande , Feb 4, 2013

We should not cut embassy security funding

Q: One month ago, on the anniversary of 9/11, Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans were killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi. Wasn't this a massive intelligence failure?

RYAN: It took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack. Our ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment guarding him. Shouldn't we have a Marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi?

BIDEN: With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey. The congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for.

Q: What were you first told about the attack? Why were people talking about protests?

BIDEN: Because that's exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. You know, usually when there's a crisis, we pull together as a nation. But even before we knew what happened to the ambassador, the governor was holding a press conference. That's not presidential leadership.

Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate , Oct 11, 2012

Caring for veterans is our only sacred obligation

BIDEN: We only have one truly sacred obligation as a government. That's to equip those we send into harm's way and care for those who come home. That's the only sacred obligation we have. Everything else falls behind that. [Veterans] should be honored; not be thrown into a category of the 47% who don't pay their taxes.
Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate , Oct 11, 2012

1970s: control CIA from outside; 1980s: time to lay off

Presidents of both parties chafed at and sought to circumvent post-Vietnam restrictions on their authority such as the ban on assassinations imposed in 1976 or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. By the end of the 1970s, however, the mood in Congress had begun to shift and the reform era came to an end.

[For example], in the mid-70s Biden participated in the congressional efforts to investigate the CIA and get it under outside control. A few years later, however, as the country was shifting to the right, he served notice at a Senate hearing that it was time to lay off. "The momentum is moving the other way," Biden told representatives of the ACLU. Yes, he agreed with their views, Biden said, but the issue of writing rules for the CIA did not have [much] popular appeal.

"Let me tell you something," Biden declared. "The folks don't care. The average American could care less right now about any of this. You keep talking about public concern. There ain't none."

Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 18 , Jun 14, 2012

1979: Met with Soviet leaders about SALT II Treaty

conditions adopted by the Senate. For three hours in the Kremlin, he matched wits with Brezhnev and Premier Alexei Kosygin. In the long exchange, Biden wrote, "I did manage to get an unspoken assurance from him that the Soviets would likely accede to In the summer of 1979, with Senate ratification of the SALT II Treaty signed by Carter and Brezhnev in peril, the president asked Biden to lead a delegation of six young senators to Moscow seeking assurances that the Soviet leaders would abide by new the treaty modifications the Senate had under consideration. The Soviets wanted the treaty passed, too." In the end, however, after Biden's best efforts to sell ratification, it fell short in the Senate. Nevertheless, when Ronald Reagan won the White House in 1980, his administration informally complied with the SALT II limits. When in 1986, he threatened to abandon them, Biden along with Republican Senator William Cohen of Maine proposed legislation to prevent him from doing so.
Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.318-319 , Oct 5, 2010

Revealed location of top-secret bunker beneath VP residence

Biden sabotages his own security by insisting on having only two vehicles instead of eight in his Secret Service motorcade, especially when visiting Delaware. Nor does he want the usual police escort. "He doesn't understand protection," an agent says. "Our bosses have no backbone. Instead of folding, they should explain why protection is needed and insist that he have it."

Biden's lack of regard for security was evident when, chatting with journalists at the head table at the 2009 Gridiron Dinner, he revealed the location of a top-secret bunker beneath the vice president's residence. Biden later tried to claim that he was talking about a study used by his predecessor Dick Cheney at the upper level of the residence. But the Secret Service emailed agents to warn them that Biden had compromised the location of the vice president's secret underground bunker. "It was a shock to all of us that the vice president did that," says an agent. "If we had done that, we would have been prosecuted."

Source: In the President`s Secret Service, by R. Kessler, p.231-232 , Jun 29, 2009

Obama worked with Republicans to reduce nuclear weapons

BIDEN: John McCain voted against a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that every Republican has supported. John McCain has opposed amending the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty with an amendment to allow for inspections. Barack Obama, first thing he did when he came to the United States Senate, reached across the aisle to my colleague, Dick Lugar, a Republican, and said, "We've got to do something about keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists."
Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sarah Palin , Oct 2, 2008

Greatest security threat is from al Qaeda in Pakistan

Q: What's the greater threat, a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan?

BIDEN: Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be destabilizing, but they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that's able to be deployed. John continues to tell us that the central war on terror is in Iraq. I promise you, if an attack comes in the homeland, it's going to come from al Qaeda in the hills of Pakistan. We need to support that democracy by helping them with their economic well-being.

PALIN: Both are extremely dangerous. And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the Gen. Petraeus and al Qaeda, and it's probably the only thing that they're ever going to agree on. An armed, nuclear Iran is so extremely dangerous. Israel is in jeopardy when we're dealing with Iran. Others who are dangerous dictators are ones that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions. And that goes beyond naivete and poor judgment.

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

Universal national service, in military or Peace Corps

Q: Teenage boys must register for selective service at age 18, but not girls. I'm wondering whether this sends the right message about national service, & whether we ought to re-examine how we go about asking young people for their service to the country

A: The answer is yes. In 1988, [we in Congress] not only introduced a bill for mandatory universal service, but you get to pick one of three things: if you chose the army, it's six months; if you chose a domestic Peace Corps, it's two years; if you chose foreign Peace Corps, you only have to do it a year. Everyone man and woman when they get to be eighteen they can chose what they want, but there should be universal service unless there is an extreme physical disability.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum , Dec 1, 2007

Talks about nations acquiring uranium are more complicated

Q: Would you pledge that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb while you are president?

A: I would pledge to keep us safe. This is complicated stuff. We talk about this in isolation. The Iranians may get 2.6 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium. But the Pakistanis have thousands of kilograms of highly-enriched uranium. If by attacking Iran to stop them from getting 2.6 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium, the government in Pakistan falls, who has missiles already deployed with nuclear weapons on them that can already reach Israel, already reach India, then that's a bad bargain. Presidents make wise decisions informed not by a vacuum in which they operate, by the situation they find themselves in the world. I will do all in my power to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but I will never take my eye off the ball. What is the greatest threat to the US: 2.6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium in Tehran or an out-of-control Pakistan? It's not close.

Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University , Oct 30, 2007

Commitment to never use torture; no part of our policy, ever

Q: Would you allow a presidential exception to allow torture if we captured a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative who knew about an impending attack?

A: No, I would not. I met 17 three- and four-star generals who, after my making a speech pointing out I would not under any circumstances sanction torture, I thought they were about to read me the riot act. The generals said, Biden, will you make a commitment you will never use torture? It does not work. It is part of the reason why we got the faulty information on Iraq in the first place is because it was engaged in by one person who gave whatever answer they thought they were going to give in order to stop being tortured. It doesn't work. It should be no part of our policy ever--ever.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College , Sep 6, 2007

Missile defense is perfect metaphor for neo-isolationism

In 2001, Bush's new foreign affairs team were so intent on going ahead with Reagan's Star Wars missile defense shield that they were willing to pull out of earlier arms control treaties to get there, inviting, in my view, another arms race. The missile defense system seemed to be the perfect metaphor for the neoisolationist policy. Let's arm the heavens, they were saying, and protect the US, the rest of the world be damned.

The administration had said they were willing to walk away from the decades-old ABM Treaty in order to unilaterally develop and deploy the missile defense system, and now they were putting real money behind it. They were willing to put tens of billions of dollars into the Maginot line in the sky that could quite likely set off another arms race, while cutting funding for a program to help Russia destroy its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons before they got into the hands of terrorists.

Source: Promises to Keep, by Joe Biden, p.291-292&298 , Jul 31, 2007

Urged Pres. Bush to return to Washington on 9/11

After I finished an interview on the morning of 9/11, my cell phone rang. President Bush was on the line. "I just watched you, and I'm really proud of you. You were saying the right things."

When I asked him when he was heading to Washington, he said the intelligence community told him he shouldn't. I recalled a story about the leader of the French resistance, Charles de Gaulle, near the close of World War II. When France was liberated, there was a parade down the Champs-Elysees in Paris, led by de Gaulle. As they walked, shots rang out, and everyone hit the ground except de Gaulle. He continued to walk ramrod straight. With that one defiant action he lifted France off its knees.

"Mr. President, come back to Washington," I said. [Pres. Bush famously did].

Source: Promises to Keep, by Joe Biden, p.303-304 , Jul 31, 2007

1992: No Pax Americana

In 1992, "Defense Planning Guidance" had been prepared by Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby, for Secretary Richard Cheney. The Wolfowitz memo called for permanent US military presence on 6 continents. Containment and deterrence to defend the West were to yield to a new offensive strategy to "establish and protect a new order."

Under the Wolfowitz Doctrine, US military supremacy was to remain sufficiently dominant to deter all "potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

Reaction was sharp. Sen. Joe Biden denounced the memo as the blueprints for "a Pax Americana." Sen. Edward Kennedy said the Pentagon plans "appear to be aimed primarily at finding new ways to justify Cold War levels of military spending." Disowned by the Bush I White House, the memo was seemingly forgotten. But in Sep. 2002, with Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Libby restored to power, the Wolfowitz memo reappeared in an official document released by the White House, titled The National Security Strategy.

Source: Where the Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p. 42-44 , Aug 12, 2004

Joe Biden on Defense Budget

More benefits to veterans for toxic exposures

Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan faced many dangers. One was stationed at bases and breathing in toxic smoke from "burn pits" that incinerated wastes of war--medical and hazard material, jet fuel, and more. We're expanding eligibility to veterans suffering from nine respiratory cancers. I'm also calling on Congress: pass a law to make sure veterans devastated by toxic exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan finally get the benefits and comprehensive health care they deserve.
Source: 2022 State of the Union address , Mar 1, 2022

Boost the defense budget

Joseph Biden on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Invest $275M in Israel's "Iron Dome" & future joint systems

Under this administration, we've invested $275 million in Iron Dome, including $70 million to increase the production of Iron Dome batteries and interceptors.

Not long ago, I would have had to describe to an audience what Iron Dome was, how it would work, why funding it mattered. I don't have to explain to anybody anymore. Everybody gets it. Last year, Iron Dome made a difference. When Hamas rockets rained on Israel, Iron Dome shot them out of the sky, intercepting nearly 400 rockets in November alone. It was our unique partnership--Israel and the US--that pioneered this technology and funded it.

And it is in that same spirit that we're working with Israel to jointly develop new systems, called Arrow and David's Sling, interceptors that can defeat long-range threats from Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. And we are working to deploy a powerful new radar, networked with American early warning satellites, that could buy Israel valuable time in the event of an attack.

Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference , Mar 4, 2013

National debt comes from putting two wars on a credit card

BIDEN: They talk about this Great Recession as if it fell out of the sky, like, "oh my goodness, where did it come from?" It came from [Paul Ryan and Republicans] voting to put two wars in a credit card, and at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion- dollar tax cut for the very wealthy. I was there. I voted against him. I said, no, we can't afford that. And now all of a sudden these guys are so seized with a concern about the debt that they created.

RYAN: Let's not forget that they came in with one-party control. When Barack Obama was elected, his party controlled everything. They had the ability to do everything of their choosing, and look at where we are right now. They passed a stimulus, the idea that we could borrow $831 billion, spend it on all these special interest groups and that it would work out just fine, that unemployment would never get to 8 percent. It went up above 8 percent for 43 months.

Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate , Oct 11, 2012

Special Forces instead of M1 tanks

Q: How you do the budget math and have this increase in defense spending?

RYAN: You don't cut defense by a trillion dollars.

BIDEN: Who's cutting it by a trillion?

RYAN: We're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 Marines, 120 cargo planes. We're going to push the Joint Strike Fighter out. We're cutting missile defense. If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest it has been since before World War I. This invites weakness.

BIDEN: Look, we don't cut it. The military says, we need a smaller, leaner Army. We need more special forces. We don't need more M1 tanks. What we need is more UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called "drones"]. That was the decision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended to us and agreed to by the president.

Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate , Oct 11, 2012

We spend same in 3 weeks in Iraq as 7 years in Afghanistan

PALIN: The counterinsurgency strategy--clearing, holding, rebuilding, the civil society and the infrastructure--can work in Afghanistan.

BIDEN: While Barack & I have been calling for more money & more troops in Afghanistan, McCain was saying two years ago, "The reason we don't read about Afghanistan anymore in the paper, it's succeeded." We spend in three weeks on combat missions in Iraq, more than we spent in the entire time we have been in Afghanistan. That will change in an Obama administration.

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

Cut $350B in military programs, from Star Wars to F-22's

[We should] cut somewhere in the order of $20 billion a year out of the military for special programs, from Star Wars, to a new atomic weapon, to the F-22, to the Nimitz-Class Destroyer. You can save $350 billion. That would allow me to do everything I want to do -- my priorities on education, health care and the environment -- and still bring down the deficit by $150 billion.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate , Dec 13, 2007

Joe Biden on Voting Record

Don't Ask Don't Tell is antiquated & unworkable

Q: Would you support a repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which would allow gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers the right to serve openly in the military?

A: Sen. Biden supports ending the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. It is antiquated and unworkable. According to recent polls, 3/4 of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan said that they had no problem serving with openly gay people. 24 of the nations serving alongside US forces in Iraq permit open service which has had no negative impact on these forces or the morale of our brave soldiers. Finally, the US does not have enough troops to fulfill our current missions--it is ridiculous to turn away brave and patriotic Americans who volunteer to serve solely because of their sexual orientation--especially in light of the Defense Department's recent decision to extend tours of duty in Iraq. Sen. Biden believes that we should treat everyone serving in the military by the same standards regardless of orientation.

Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate--written questionnaire , Aug 9, 2007

Rated 80% by SANE, indicating a pro-peace voting record.

Biden scores 80% by SANE on peace issues

Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation`s largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...

As the Pentagonís budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.

The 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: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003

Give higher priority to rail security.

Biden co-sponsored giving higher priority to rail security

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to provide increased rail transportation security.

SPONSOR`S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. McCAIN: We must do what is possible to protect Americans at home. Our Nation`s transit system, Amtrak, and the freight railroads, I am sad to say, remain vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Though we have increased dramatically our security capabilities since 9/11, we have more to do. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security has not yet completed a vulnerability assessment for the rail system, nor is there an integrated security plan that reflects the unique characteristics of passenger and freight rail operations.

This legislation would authorize resources to ensure rail transportation security receives a high priority in our efforts to secure our country from terrorism. The legislation directs DHS to complete a vulnerability assessment for the rail system and make recommendations for addressing security weaknesses within 180 days of enactment.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.

Source: Rail Security Act (S.1379/H.R.153) 05-S1379 on Jul 11, 2005

Apply habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees.

Biden introduced applying habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees

Sponsor`s introductory remarks: Sen. Biden: Our counterterrorism authorities should not only thwart attacks; these authorities should also strengthen international coalitions, draw Muslim populations around the world closer to us, and deprive terrorists of a recruitment narrative. In our long term effort to stem the tide of international terrorism, our commitments to the rule of law and to individual rights and civil liberties are among our most formidable weapons. They are what unite foreign governments behind us in effective counterterrorism coalitions.

This bill maintains rendition as a robust and agile tool in our fight against international terrorism, but it brings that tool within the rule of law, and prohibits rendering individuals to countries that will torture or mistreat them or to secret, extra-territorial prisons.

This bill also closes a hole intentionally left open by the President`s recent Executive Order on the treatment of detainees. The President`s order is notably silent on some of the more controversial techniques the CIA has allegedly used in the past, such as waterboarding, extreme sleep deprivation, extreme sensory deprivation, and extremes of heat and cold.

Congressional Summary: Prohibitsa US agent from:

  1. engaging in the extraterritorial detention of any individual; or
  2. rendering (transferring to another legal jurisdiction) of any individual.
Provides for uniform standards for the interrogation; monitoring and reporting regarding the treatment, conditions of confinement, and status of legal proceedings of individuals rendered to foreign governments.
    Extends statutory habeas corpus to persons detained by the United States who have been:
  1. determined to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant; or
  2. detained for more than 90 days without such a determination.
Source: National Security with Justice Act (S.01876) 07-S1876 on Jul 25, 2007

Restore habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror.

Biden co-sponsored restoring habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror

A bill to restore habeas corpus for those detained by the United States; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Sen. SPECTER. `I introduce this legislation, denominated the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act. Last year, in the Military Commissions Act, the constitutional right of habeas corpus was attempted to be abrogated. I say `attempted to be abrogated` because, in my legal judgment, that provision in the Act is unconstitutional.

`It is hard to see how there can be legislation to eliminate the constitutional right to habeas corpus when the Constitution is explicit that habeas corpus may not be suspended except in time of invasion or rebellion, and we do not have either of those circumstances present, as was conceded by the advocates of the legislation last year to take away the right of habeas corpus.

`We have had Supreme Court decisions which have made it plain that habeas corpus is available to non-citizens and that habeas corpus applies to territory controlled by the US, specifically, including Guantanamo. More recently, however, we had a decision in the US District Court applying the habeas corpus jurisdiction stripping provision of the Military Commissions Act, but I believe we will see the appellate courts strike down this legislative provision.

`The New York Times had an extensive article on this subject, starting on the front page, last Sunday, and continuing on a full page on the back page about what is happening at Guantanamo. It is hard to see how in America, or in a jurisdiction controlled by the United States, these proceedings could substitute for even rudimentary due process of law.`

Source: Habeas Corpus Restoration Act (S.185/H.R.2826) 2007-S185 on Jun 22, 2007

School assistance to survivors of injured federal police.

Biden co-sponsored the Federal Law Enforcement Dependents Assistance Act

A bill to provide educational assistance to the dependents of Federal law enforcement officials who are killed or disabled in the performance of their duties.

Corresponding House bill is H.R.4111. Became Public Law No: 104-238.
Source: Bill sponsored by 12 Senators and 11 Reps 96-S2101 on Sep 20, 1996

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Joe Biden on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Ryan Binkley (R-TX)
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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External Links about Joe Biden:

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