Tonight, the leading 10 Democratic presidential candidates will take the debate stage in Houston for the third debate of the 2020 primary, this time hosted by ABC News.
The third presidential debate will put Democratic ideas for gun violence prevention as a main issue on the debate stage because it is a top priority for the American people.
Since the El Paso shooting, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke has led the Democratic field in calling for new restrictions on guns – including a proposed “mandatory buyback” — and blamed Trump for creating the conditions that have led to racial violence in the U.S.
Although mainstream media outlets highlight former Vice President Joe Biden, his prospects are steadily declining and it defies logic to assert that someone who lost three previous White House bids is someone the ‘most electable’ contender.
By contrast, Sen. Bernie Sanders rose from obscurity to amass a national following and his 2020 campaign has raised more than twice as much money as Biden, even though the Vermont progressive takes no corporate PAC funds and most of the ex-VP’s donors are heavy hitters.
As the debate will highlight, the candidates will argue about who is the best choice to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020 and help to provide resources to not only local, state, and House and Senate candidates across the country.
The candidates are vying to be identified as the most progressive and they will fight it out again over popular policies such as Medicare for All, free college tuition, and a Green New Deal to name just a few.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is touting herself as the one with the plans, but many of her ideas seem to have originated with Sanders.
“We need to expand Social Security,” said Warren, who released a new plan in the hours leading up to the debate. ” I’ve got a new plan for the biggest and most progressive increase in Social Security benefits in nearly half a century. It will immediately increase everyone’s benefits by $200 a month, cut the senior poverty rate by 68%, update outdated rules to increase benefits for women, low-income families, people with disabilities, public sector workers, and people of color and we’ll pay for it by asking the richest 2% of families to pay their fair share into the program.”
Warren’s proposal is strikingly similar to one proposed a few months ago.
Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced legislation February 13, 2019, to expand Social Security benefits and strengthen the retirement program for generations to come.
Social Security is one of the most popular and successful government programs. Before Social Security was created in 1935, about half of America’s seniors were living in poverty. Today the senior poverty rate is just 8.8 percent. Yet, despite this success, one out of every five seniors are trying to survive on an income of less than $13,500 a year and about half of Americans 55 and older have zero retirement savings.
The legislation would increase benefits by about $1,342 a year for seniors now making less than $16,000 annually and increase cost-of-living adjustments by more accurately measuring the spending patterns of seniors.
The Sanders bill would also ensure that Social Security could pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 52 years, according to the retirement system’s chief actuary. It would extend the program’s solvency by making the wealthiest 1.8 percent of Americans – those with incomes of more than $250,000 a year – pay the same rate into the retirement system as everyone else already pays. Current law caps the amount of income subject to payroll taxes at $132,900.
Sanders’ and DeFazio’s legislation would also restore student benefits, eliminated in 1983, that help educate children of deceased or disabled parents.
Thursday’s three-hour debate will be a new endurance test for Biden, who has shown vulnerability associated with his age and penchant for gaffes will make him an easy target for Trump.
The president has said Biden is “not playing with a full deck” and he raised questions about the former veep’s age and stamina..
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