- The 2020 presidential election is nearing its end — voting closes on November 3.
- President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have vastly different views on most policy issues, from climate change to immigration to tax policy.
- But on a few select issues, such as Section 230, a strategy for lowering drug prices, and the promise of a large stimulus package, the two candidates agree.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It goes without saying that President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have different views. The two clash over many major issues, from climate change to immigration to tax policy.
But on a few issues, the rival candidates actually do see eye-to-eye. Take a look at these three:
1. A big stimulus package after the election
In March, Congress passed the almost $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which distributed one-time $1,200 stimulus checks and a $600 bonus in unemployment benefits. The moves “packed a positive punch for the economy,” Business Insider previously reported, by helping stave off poverty for 12 million people at the time.
Bonus unemployment payments expired in July, and Congress has been locked in negotiations over a new bill. The updated $2.2 trillion HEROES act, passed by House Democrats, would send $1,200 to qualifying adults, and bring back the $600 per week bonus unemployment checks. But negotiations have stalled, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said that he expected a “more modest” package to be released at the start of 2021, according to CNN.
Both Trump and Biden have expressed support for a large stimulus package after the election, but neither has quantified their hypothetical stimulus plan’s spending.
Earlier this month, Trump tweeted, “STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!” and on Tuesday, Trump said that, “after the election, we’ll get the biggest stimulus package you’ve ever seen.” At present, it’s unclear exactly how large or wide-ranging Trump’s stimulus package would be, or exactly what it will entail. On October 9, the Trump administration countered the Democrats’ $2.2 trillion plan with a $1.8 trillion stimulus offer, but in a radio interview the same day, the president said that he wanted a stimulus package that was even larger than the Democrats’.
Biden’s stimulus plan would send out more direct payments and increase unemployment benefits, according to his website. In addition, his “Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy” would forgive at least $10,000 in federal student loans per person, increase social security checks by $200 a month, ensure emergency paid sick leave for all, cover the costs of COVID-19 testing, and provide relief funds to states “on the front lines.”
2. Section 230: Misinformation, alleged censorship, and the president’s tweets
Section 230 is a federal law that states that internet companies aren’t liable for the content posted on their platforms. But in recent years, as hate speech, misinformation, election disinformation, and illegal activity have proliferated on social media sites, many are taking a second look at the policy. On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified to congress about Section 230. GOP lawmakers used the hearing to push claims that conservative content is censored online, while lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for more transparency about how companies moderate their content.
Biden and Trump have both objected to the law, but for slightly different reasons.
In December, Biden said that Section 230 should be “immediately revoked, number one” in an interview with the New York Times. The former VP told the Times he had “never been a big Zuckerberg fan” and that Facebook should be held accountable for “propagating falsehoods.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s fight against Section 230 began after Twitter fact-checked his tweets about mail-in-voting in August and May. Two days after Twitter put a label a series of his tweets with fact-checks, Trump signed an executive order that would allow federal regulators to amend Section 230. The executive order claimed: “When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.”
The tech leaders largely agreed at the Senate hearing that more transparency is needed, however repealing Section 230 would crush platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. And without the protections the law gives platforms, Twitter and Facebook would likely bar Trump from using their services.
3. Lowering drug prices
Both Trump and Biden have said that they are committed to lowering prescription drug prices. Over the past few years, medicines like insulin and Epi-Pens have become representative of the steep drug-price increases Americans have faced, and drug pricing remains a priority for voters. The nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation found that 79% of Americans say prescription prices are unreasonable, and 22% think Congress’ top priority should be lowering drug prices.
Trump’s and Biden’s stances on healthcare policies like the Affordable Care Act are starkly different. Biden has said “we have to protect and build on Obamacare,” while Trump has said he hopes to see the policy “terminated” in the Supreme Court. But despite differences on healthcare policies, both candidates have advocated for a similar approach to the topic of drug pricing: going international.
“You know, you go to some countries and they’ll sell, like, a pill for 10 cents, and in the United States, it costs two dollars. And it’s the same basic factory. It’s the same everything,” Trump said in July. “The United States bears the cost of all of these low prices that you see all over the world where people go to Canada to buy a prescription drug from the United States. Not going to happen with me.”
In September, Trump signed an executive order implementing a “most favored nations” policy, which said that drugs covered by Medicare Part B, which serves seniors, should not cost more than the lowest price paid for that drug by other countries.
Similarly, Biden has expressed support for the idea of allowing Americans to buy medicine from other countries.
“To create more competition for US drug corporations, Biden will allow consumers to import prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the US Department of Health and Human Services has certified that those drugs are safe,” his campaign website reads.