On The Issues: Biden vs. Palin

Issues

Sen. Joe Biden

Gov. Sarah Palin

Iraq

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Co-authored a five-point plan to end the war in Iraq, partly by establishing a limited
central government in Baghdad that would be in charge of border defense, oil production
and distribution of oil revenue. In 2007, the Senate voted to endorse parts of the
plan. During an April Congressional hearing Biden probed the Commanding General David
Patraeus about the possibility of an immediate troop withdrawal.
During a March 2007 interview she said, “I’ve been so focused on state government,
I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.”

Palin declared her support of the Bush administration but asked about an exit strategy.
During her Republican National Convention speech, Palin said, “Victory in Iraq
is finally in sight”

Civil Rights

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Supported a local hate crimes prevention act that would allow the Justice Department
to assist local agencies in investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. It would also
expand the definition of hate crimes to include offenses based on sexual orientation,
gender, or disability. The act passed a House vote last May.
Opposes same-sex marriage

Opposes category of hate crimes, saying “all crimes are crimes of hate”

During the race for governor, Palin’s campaign established an internal diversity
task force

Defense/National Security

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In 2007, Biden successfully pushed to increase the Bush administration’s spending
on armored military vehicles from $1.79 billion to $22.4 billion. He victoriously
fought to keep his state’s Air National Guard Base open. He proposes to invest
$10 billion a year for five years in homeland security, which includes increasing
railway security and implementing 9/11 Commission recommendatio
Commands the Alaskan National Guard

Palin has repeatedly cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as giving her insight
into national security issues. She also said “energy is a foundation of national
security”

Commands the Alaskan National Guard

Disabilities

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Has been a long supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Backs efforts to allow Medicaid to provide home- and community-based support services
for disabled individuals to remain out of institutions

Palin’s 5-month-old son has Down Syndrome.

During her RNC speech, Palin pledged to be an advocate for families with special-needs
children.

Education

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In 2007 Biden introduced the College ACCESS Act providing a $3,000 refundable tax
credit ó equivalent to a $12,000 deduction. The plan would also increase the
Pell Grant maximum to $6,300. The bill has not been voted on. He would improve No
Child Left Behind by giving schools greater flexibility in evaluating student performance
and fully funding education. Biden says the Bush Administration underfunded the program
by $85 million.
In March, she signed legislation increasing public school funding including increasing
per pupil spending by $100 to $5,480 for next year. In August, she congratulated
294 Alaska public schools that made adequate progress in language arts and math under
the federal No Child Left Behind

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