The Association of Young Americans’

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The Issues

Higher Education and Student Debt

Criminal Justice Reform

Climate Change

Political Equality

What’s his position?
Seeks to strengthen college as a pathway to the middle class, forgive student loans for some borrowers, improve accountability standards for higher ed institutions, increase college access and completion, fund colleges/universities that support non-traditional and low-income students. POLICY ↗
What’s his position?
Seeks to prevent crime, reduce the number of incarcerated individuals, eliminate racial disparities and ensure fair sentences, offer second chances to criminals, reduce violence, support survivors of violence, and reorient the justice system toward rehabilitation and redemption. POLICY ↗
What’s his position?
Proposes to invest $2 trillion to build a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy with net-zero emissions by 2035, boost climate resilience efforts, rally the world around climate action, focus heavily on environmental justice, take action against fossil fuel companies and other polluters, and invest in communities impacted by the climate transformation.
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by safeguarding and implementing the Clean Air Act, and developing new fuel economy standards
What’s his position?
Seeks to reduce money in politics, make it easier for candidates of diverse backgrounds to run for office, restore ethics in government, rein in Executive Branch financial conflicts of interest, and increase accountability standards for lobbying activities.
Ensure SuperPACs are wholly independent of campaigns and political parties, from establishment, to fundraising and spending
Policy platforms
  • Simplify income-based repayment for federal student loans and lower monthly payments
    • If you make less than $25,000 per year: you would owe no payment on your undergrad student loans and no interest would accrue
    • If you make more than $25,000 per year: you would pay only 5% of your discretionary income over $25,000 toward federal student loan payments
  • Offer two years of free community college
    • Federal government would pay 75% of cost and states would contribute the rest
  • Enable borrowers to discharge student loans in bankruptcy
  • Forgive all undergraduate federal student loan debt for borrowers who attended public colleges and universities, as well as historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and private minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Borrowers who earn an income of less than $125,000 per year would be eligible for student loan forgiveness
  • Forgive up to $50,000 in student debt for those working in public service ($10,000 per year).
  • Invest $70 billion in HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs
  • Require for-profit colleges to prove merit before gaining eligibility for federal aid
  • Decriminalize cannabis use and automatically expunge prior convictions
  • Create $20 billion grant program to spur states to shift from incarceration to prevention
  • Connect those in need with appropriate social services (mental health, substance abuse)
  • Eliminate the death penalty
  • End practice of cash bail
  • Eliminate private prisons and stop corporations from profiting off of prisons
  • Repeal mandatory minimums at the federal level and give states incentives to repeal their mandatory minimums
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by safeguarding and implementing the Clean Air Act, and developing new fuel economy standards
  • Re-enter Paris Agreement
  • Establish an Environmental and Climate Justice Division within Department of Justice 
  • Create a National Crisis Strategy to address climate disasters that prioritizes equitable disaster risk reduction and response
  • Require public companies to disclose climate risks and greenhouse gas emissions in operations and supply chains
  • Create 1 million jobs upgrading 4 million buildings and weatherizing 2 million homes over 4 years (cut carbon footprint of national building stock in half by 2035)
  • Ensure SuperPACs are wholly independent of campaigns and political parties, from establishment, to fundraising and spending
  • Bar lobbyists from making contributions to those who they lobby
  • Empower agency watchdogs to combat unethical behavior
  • Require all candidates for federal office to release tax returns dating back 10 years prior to the date they declared candidacy for their first federal office
  • Establish Commission on Federal Ethics to more effectively enforce federal ethics law
What’s his position?
Has proposed deep budget cuts to the Department of Education (specifically financial aid programs). Has expressed interest in streamlining the student loan repayment process to improve accountability over servicers and treatment of student borrowers, but has not yet done so. Has not shown support for widespread student loan relief. IN OFFICE ↗
What’s his position?
Has expressed a strong pro-national-security stance. Has supported increased policing, a crackdown on international crime, and reduced violence against law enforcement officers. IN OFFICE ↗
What’s his position?
Has shown strong support for fossil fuel energy development. Has undone many regulatory actions related to climate change and relaxed enforcement on pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane. Has not shown support for climate action. IN OFFICE ↗
What’s his position?
Has expressed support for “draining the swamp” but has made few legislative advances. Has pledged to bar officials in his administration from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments for life; to ask Congress to ban former members and their staff from lobbying for five years; to pass legislation broadening the definition of lobbying; and to ask Congress to ban lobbyists for foreign interests from making campaign contributions. IN OFFICE ↗
While in office
  • Proposed cuts to Department of Education in budget proposals:
    • Fiscal year 2018: $150 billion cut from fed student aid programs over 10 years
    • Fiscal year 2019:  $3.8B cut from Dept of Ed + eliminate Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs, cut funding for Federal Work-Study (FWS) program.
    • Fiscal year 2020: cut PSLF and FSEOG, cut funding for FWS in half, rescind $2B from Pell Grant reserve funds.
  • Signed Executive Order forgiving all student debt for permanently disabled U.S. military veterans
  • Suspended student loan payments and interest for six months’ time during coronavirus pandemic with CARES Act
    • Proposed overhaul of Higher Education Act (HEA) which would consolidate existing income-driven repayment plans, limit loan debt by adding caps on Parent and Grad PLUS programs, and require loan counseling for students
  • Signed Executive Order (13773) aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations, including drug cartels and gangs
  • Created new National Public Safety Partnership to reduce violent crimes in cities
  • Expanded Project Safe Neighborhoods to encourage U.S. Attorney’s to work with communities to develop customized crime reduction strategies.
  • Allocated $61 million to extend Operation Legend and send federal agents to combat violent crime in cities 
  • Signed Executive Order (1380) to restore state and local law enforcement’s access to surplus equipment from the Defense Department
  • Approved $98 million in DOJ funding to increase policing 
  • Signed First Step Act, which reduced prison sentences for some federal crimes and provided support services for currently/formerly incarcerated people
  • Signed Executive Order (13920) to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and open more leases to develop offshore drilling
  • Approved the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and New Burgos Pipeline
  • Reversed President Obama’s moratorium on new leases for oil and gas development on federal lands
  • Rescinded methane emissions rule
  • Withdrew from Paris Climate Agreement

Signed Executive Order (13770) that placed 5-year ban on lobbying and lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign countries for federal employees

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