166 Facts About Biden


Biden was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and moved with his family to Delaware in 1953 when he was ten years old.

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Biden studied at the University of Delaware before earning his law degree from Syracuse University.

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Biden was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970 and became the sixth-youngest senator in U S history after he was elected to the United States Senate from Delaware in 1972, at age 29.

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Biden was the chair or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years.

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Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995; led the effort to pass the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and the Violence Against Women Act; and oversaw six U S Supreme Court confirmation hearings, including the contentious hearings for Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

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Biden ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008.

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Biden was the fourth-most senior sitting senator when he became Obama's vice president after they won the 2008 presidential election.

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Biden oversaw infrastructure spending in 2009 to counteract the Great Recession.

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On foreign policy, Biden was a close counselor to President Obama and took a leading role in designing the withdrawal of U S troops from Iraq in 2011.

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Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act to help the U S recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession.

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Biden proposed the American Jobs Plan, aspects of which were incorporated into the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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Biden proposed the American Families Plan, which was merged with other aspects of the American Jobs Plan into the proposed Build Back Better Act.

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Biden completed the withdrawal of U S troops from Afghanistan, during which the Afghan government collapsed and the Taliban seized control.

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Biden responded to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 by imposing sanctions on Russia and authorizing foreign aid and weapons shipments to Ukraine.

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At Archmere Academy in Claymont, Biden played baseball and was a standout halfback and wide receiver on the high school football team.

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At the University of Delaware in Newark, Biden briefly played freshman football and, as an unexceptional student, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965 with a double major in history and political science and a minor in English.

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Biden has a stutter, which has improved since his early twenties.

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Biden says he reduced it by reciting poetry before a mirror, but some observers suggested it affected his performance in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential debates.

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In 1968, Biden earned a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law, ranked 76th in his class of 85, after failing a course due to an acknowledged "mistake" when he plagiarized a law review article for a paper he wrote in his first year at law school.

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Biden had not openly supported or opposed the Vietnam War until he ran for Senate and opposed Nixon's conduct of the war.

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In 1968, based on a physical examination, he was given a conditional medical deferment; in 2008, a spokesperson for Biden said his having had "asthma as a teenager" was the reason for the deferment.

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In 1968, Biden clerked at a Wilmington law firm headed by prominent local Republican William Prickett and, he later said, "thought of myself as a Republican".

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Biden disliked incumbent Democratic Delaware governor Charles L Terry's conservative racial politics and supported a more liberal Republican, Russell W Peterson, who defeated Terry in 1968.

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Biden was recruited by local Republicans but registered as an Independent because of his distaste for Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon.

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In 1969, Biden practiced law, first as a public defender and then at a firm headed by a locally active Democrat who named him to the Democratic Forum, a group trying to reform and revitalize the state party; Biden subsequently reregistered as a Democrat.

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In 1970, Biden ran for the 4th district seat on the New Castle County Council on a liberal platform that included support for public housing in the suburbs.

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Biden won the general election by defeating Republican Lawrence T Messick, and took office on January 5, 1971.

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Biden served until January 1, 1973, and was succeeded by Democrat Francis R Swift.

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In 1972, Biden defeated Republican incumbent J Caleb Boggs to become the junior U S senator from Delaware.

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Biden was the only Democrat willing to challenge Boggs, and with minimal campaign funds, he was given no chance of winning.

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Biden received help from the AFL–CIO and Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell.

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Biden's platform focused on the environment, withdrawal from Vietnam, civil rights, mass transit, equitable taxation, health care, and public dissatisfaction with "politics as usual".

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On December 18, 1972, a few weeks after Biden was elected senator, his wife Neilia and one-year-old daughter Naomi were killed in an automobile accident while Christmas shopping in Hockessin, Delaware.

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Biden considered resigning to care for them, but Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield persuaded him not to.

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Years later, Biden said he believed the truck driver had been drinking before the crash, but was never charged, and the driver's family said the deaths haunted him until he died in 1999.

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Biden wrote that he "felt God had played a horrible trick" on him, and he had trouble focusing on work.

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Biden met the teacher Jill Tracy Jacobs in 1975 on a blind date.

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Beau Biden became an Army Judge Advocate in Iraq and later Delaware Attorney General before dying of brain cancer in 2015.

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Biden sometimes flew back from overseas to teach the class.

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Biden received considerable attention when he excoriated Secretary of State George Shultz at a Senate hearing for the Reagan administration's support of South Africa despite its continued policy of apartheid.

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Biden became ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1981.

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Biden's supporters praised him for modifying some of the law's worst provisions, and it was his most important legislative accomplishment to that time.

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In 1994, Biden helped pass the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, known as the Biden Crime Law, which included a ban on assault weapons, and the Violence Against Women Act, which he has called his most significant legislation.

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In 1993, Biden voted for a provision that deemed homosexuality incompatible with military life, thereby banning gays from serving in the armed forces.

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Biden was junior senator to William Roth, who was first elected in 1970, until Roth was defeated in 2000.

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In May 1974, Biden voted to table a proposal containing anti-busing and anti-desegregation clauses but later voted for a modified version containing a qualification that it was not intended to weaken the judiciary's power to enforce the 5th Amendment and 14th Amendment.

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Biden supported a measure forbidding the use of federal funds for transporting students beyond the school closest to them.

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In February 1988, after several episodes of increasingly severe neck pain, Biden was taken by ambulance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for surgery to correct a leaking intracranial berry aneurysm.

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Biden was a longtime member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

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Biden chaired it from 1987 to 1995 and was a ranking minority member from 1981 to 1987 and again from 1995 to 1997.

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Biden had known of some of these charges, but initially shared them only with the committee because Hill was then unwilling to testify.

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The committee hearing was reopened and Hill testified, but Biden did not permit testimony from other witnesses, such as a woman who had made similar charges and experts on harassment, saying he wanted to preserve Thomas's privacy and the hearings' decency.

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Liberal legal advocates and women's groups felt strongly that Biden had mishandled the hearings and not done enough to support Hill.

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Biden later sought out women to serve on the Judiciary Committee and emphasized women's issues in the committee's legislative agenda.

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Biden voted to acquit during the impeachment of President Clinton.

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Biden was a longtime member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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Biden became its ranking minority member in 1997 and chaired it from June 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009.

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Biden collaborated effectively with Republicans and sometimes went against elements of his own party.

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Biden voted against authorization for the Gulf War in 1991, siding with 45 of the 55 Democratic senators; he said the U S was bearing almost all the burden in the anti-Iraq coalition.

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Biden became interested in the Yugoslav Wars after hearing about Serbian abuses during the Croatian War of Independence in 1991.

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Once the Bosnian War broke out, Biden was among the first to call for the "lift and strike" policy of lifting the arms embargo, training Bosnian Muslims and supporting them with NATO air strikes, and investigating war crimes.

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Biden said he had told Milosevic, "I think you're a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one.

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Biden wrote an amendment in 1992 to compel the Bush administration to arm the Bosnian Muslims, but deferred in 1994 to a somewhat softer stance the Clinton administration preferred, before signing on the following year to a stronger measure sponsored by Bob Dole and Joe Lieberman.

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Biden has called his role in affecting Balkans policy in the mid-1990s his "proudest moment in public life" related to foreign policy.

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Biden joined many other Senate Democrats and "amplified on the Clinton administration's counterattack against former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter.

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Biden was a strong supporter of the War in Afghanistan, saying, "Whatever it takes, we should do it.

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Biden eventually became a critic of the war and viewed his vote and role as a "mistake", but did not push for withdrawal.

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Biden supported the appropriations for the occupation, but argued that the war should be internationalized, that more soldiers were needed, and that the Bush administration should "level with the American people" about its cost and length.

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Biden opposed the troop surge of 2007, saying General David Petraeus was "dead, flat wrong" in believing the surge could work.

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Biden instead advocated dividing Iraq into a loose federation of three ethnic states.

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In May 2008, Biden sharply criticized President George W Bush's speech to Israel's Knesset in which Bush compared some Democrats to Western leaders who appeased Hitler before World WarII; Biden called the speech "bullshit", "malarkey", and "outrageous".

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Biden formally declared his candidacy for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination on June 9, 1987.

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Biden was considered a strong candidate because of his moderate image, his speaking ability, his high profile as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the upcoming Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination hearings, and his appeal to Baby Boomers; he would have been the second-youngest person elected president, after John F Kennedy.

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Biden raised more in the first quarter of 1987 than any other candidate.

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Biden's speech had similar lines about being the first person in his family to attend university.

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Biden responded that politicians often borrow from one another without giving credit, and that one of his rivals for the nomination, Jesse Jackson, had called him to point out that he had used the same material by Humphrey that Biden had used.

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Biden was required to repeat the course and passed with high marks.

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The limited amount of other news about the presidential race amplified these disclosures and on September 23, 1987, Biden withdrew his candidacy, saying it had been overrun by "the exaggerated shadow" of his past mistakes.

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In mid-2007, Biden stressed his foreign policy expertise compared to Obama's.

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Biden had difficulty raising funds, struggled to draw people to his rallies, and failed to gain traction against the high-profile candidacies of Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton.

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Biden never rose above single digits in national polls of the Democratic candidates.

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Shortly after Biden withdrew from the presidential race, Obama privately told him he was interested in finding an important place for Biden in his administration.

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Biden was officially nominated for vice president on August 27 by voice vote at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

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Biden's vice-presidential campaigning gained little media attention, as the press devoted far more coverage to the Republican nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

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Under instructions from the campaign, Biden kept his speeches succinct and tried to avoid offhand remarks, such as one he made about Obama's being tested by a foreign power soon after taking office, which had attracted negative attention.

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Relations between the two campaigns became strained for a month, until Biden apologized on a call to Obama and the two built a stronger partnership.

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Biden chaired Obama's transition team and headed an initiative to improve middle-class economic well-being.

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Biden lost an internal debate to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about sending 21, 000 new troops to Afghanistan, but his skepticism was valued, and in 2009, Biden's views gained more influence as Obama reconsidered his Afghanistan strategy.

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Biden visited Iraq about every two months, becoming the administration's point man in delivering messages to Iraqi leadership about expected progress there.

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Biden oversaw infrastructure spending from the Obama stimulus package intended to help counteract the ongoing recession.

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Biden campaigned heavily for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections, maintaining an attitude of optimism in the face of predictions of large-scale losses for the party.

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Biden led the successful administration effort to gain Senate approval for the New START treaty.

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Biden then took the lead in trying to sell the agreement to a reluctant Democratic caucus in Congress.

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Biden had spent the most time of anyone in the administration bargaining with Congress on the debt question, and one Republican staffer said, "Biden's the only guy with real negotiating authority, and [McConnell] knows that his word is good.

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Some reports suggest that Biden opposed proceeding with the May 2011 U S mission to kill Osama bin Laden, lest failure adversely affect Obama's reelection prospects.

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Biden took the lead in notifying Congressional leaders of the successful outcome.

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In October 2010, Biden said Obama had asked him to remain as his running mate for the 2012 presidential election, but with Obama's popularity on the decline, White House Chief of Staff William M Daley conducted some secret polling and focus group research in late 2011 on the idea of replacing Biden on the ticket with Hillary Clinton.

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Biden made his statement without administration consent, and Obama and his aides were quite irked, since Obama had planned to shift position several months later, in the build-up to the party convention.

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Biden apologized to Obama in private for having spoken out, while Obama acknowledged publicly it had been done from the heart.

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Biden was nominated for a second term as vice president at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September.

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Biden was inaugurated to a second term on January 20, 2013, at a small ceremony at Number One Observatory Circle, his official residence, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor presiding.

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Biden played little part in discussions that led to the October 2013 passage of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, which resolved the federal government shutdown of 2013 and the debt-ceiling crisis of 2013.

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Biden himself said the U S would follow ISIL "to the gates of hell".

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Biden had close relationships with several Latin American leaders and was assigned a focus on the region during the administration; he visited the region 16 times during his vice presidency, the most of any president or vice president.

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Biden never cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, making him the longest-serving vice president with this distinction.

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Biden felt his son's recent death had largely drained his emotional energy, and said, "nobody has a right.

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In January 2016, Biden affirmed that it was the right decision, but admitted to regretting not running for president "every day".

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Biden continued to lead efforts to find treatments for cancer.

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Biden was targeted by two pipe bombs that were mailed to him during the October 2018 mail bombing attempts, which targeted democratic lawmakers and critics of then President Trump.

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Biden remained in the public eye, endorsing candidates while continuing to comment on politics, climate change, and the presidency of Donald Trump.

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Biden continued to speak out in favor of LGBT rights, continuing advocacy on an issue he had become more closely associated with during his vice presidency.

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In 2019, Biden criticized Brunei for its intention to implement Islamic laws that would allow death by stoning for adultery and homosexuality, calling this "appalling and immoral" and saying, "There is no excuse—not culture, not tradition—for this kind of hate and inhumanity.

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Biden finally launched his campaign on April 25, 2019, saying he was prompted to run, among other reasons, by his "sense of duty.

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Biden was accused of withholding $1billion in aid from Ukraine in this effort.

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In 2015, Biden pressured the Ukrainian parliament to remove Shokin because the United States, the European Union and other international organizations considered Shokin corrupt and ineffective, and in particular because Shokin was not assertively investigating Burisma.

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In March 2019 and April 2019, Biden was accused by eight women of previous instances of inappropriate physical contact, such as embracing, touching or kissing.

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Biden had previously described himself as a "tactile politician" and admitted this behavior has caused trouble for him.

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Biden won 18 of the next 26 contests, including Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, putting him in the lead overall.

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When Sanders suspended his campaign on April 8, 2020, Biden became the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for president.

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Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States in November 2020.

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Biden's transition was delayed by several weeks as the White House ordered federal agencies not to cooperate.

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Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021.

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Biden is the second Catholic president and the first president whose home state is Delaware.

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On February 4, 2021, the Biden administration announced that the United States was ending its support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen.

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On March 11, the first anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.

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Biden's decision met with a wide range of reactions, from support and relief to trepidation at the possible collapse of the Afghan government without American support.

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In May 2021, during a flareup in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Biden expressed his support for Israel, saying "my party still supports Israel".

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Biden attended a G7 summit, a NATO summit, and an EU summit, and held one-on-one talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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In July 2021, amid a slowing of the COVID-19 vaccination rate in the country and the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, Biden said that the country has "a pandemic for those who haven't gotten the vaccination" and that it was therefore "gigantically important" for Americans to be vaccinated.

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In September 2021, Biden announced AUKUS, a security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, to ensure "peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term"; the deal included nuclear-powered submarines built for Australia's use.

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Biden has prioritized diversity in his judicial appointments more than any president in U S history, with the majority of appointments being women and people of color.

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Biden entered office nine months into a recovery from the COVID-19 recession and his first year in office was characterized by robust growth in real GDP, employment, wages and stock market returns, amid significantly elevated inflation.

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Biden reacted by ordering 6, 000 American troops to assist in the evacuation of American personnel and Afghan allies.

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Biden faced bipartisan criticism for the manner of the withdrawal, with the evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies described as chaotic and botched.

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Biden defended his decision to withdraw, saying that Americans should not be "dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves".

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Biden convened an online Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change to press other countries to strengthen their climate policy.

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Biden pledged to double climate funding to developing countries by 2024.

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Biden began the year by endorsing a change to the Senate filibuster to allow for the passing of the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act, on both of which the Senate had failed to invoke cloture.

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Biden blamed Vladimir Putin for the emerging energy and food crises, saying, "Putin's war has raised the price of food because Ukraine and Russia are two of the world's major bread baskets for wheat and corn, the basic product for so many foods around the world.

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Biden sought to strengthen ties with Australia and New Zealand in the wake of the deal, as Anthony Albanese succeeded to the premiership of Australia and Jacinda Ardern's government took a firmer line on Chinese influence.

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On July 21, 2022, Biden tested positive for COVID-19 with reportedly mild symptoms.

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On July 28, 2022, the Biden administration announced it would fill four wide gaps on the Mexico–United States border in Arizona near Yuma, an area with some of the busiest corridors for illegal crossings.

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Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law on August 9, 2022.

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Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was introduced by Senators Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin, resulting from continuing negotiations on Biden's initial Build Back Better agenda, which Manchin had blocked the previous year.

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In 2022, journalist Sasha Issenberg wrote that Biden's "most valuable political skill" was "an innate compass for the ever-shifting mainstream of the Democratic party.

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Biden supported the fiscal stimulus in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; the Obama administration's proposed increase in infrastructure spending; subsidies for mass transit, including Amtrak, bus, and subway; and the reduced military spending in the Obama administration's fiscal year 2014 budget.

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Biden has proposed partially reversing the corporate tax cuts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, saying that doing so would not hurt businesses' ability to hire.

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Biden voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Biden has promoted a plan to expand and build upon it, paid for by revenue gained from reversing some Trump administration tax cuts.

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Biden has supported same-sex marriage since 2012 and supports Roe v Wade and repealing the Hyde Amendment.

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Biden opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and supports governmental funding to find new energy sources.

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Biden wants to achieve a carbon-free power sector in the U S by 2035 and stop emissions completely by 2050.

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Biden's program includes reentering the Paris Agreement, nature conservation, and green building.

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Biden has said the U S needs to "get tough" on China and build "a united front of U S allies and partners to confront China's abusive behaviors and human rights violations".

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Biden has called China the "most serious competitor" that poses challenges to the United States' "prosperity, security, and democratic values".

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Biden has voiced concerns about China's "coercive and unfair" economic practices and human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region to the Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.

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Biden pledged to sanction and commercially restrict Chinese government officials and entities who carry out repression.

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Biden has said he is against regime change, but for providing non-military support to opposition movements.

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Biden opposed direct U S intervention in Libya, voted against U S participation in the Gulf War, voted in favor of the Iraq War, and supports a two-state solution in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

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Biden has pledged to end U S support for the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen and to reevaluate the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia.

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Biden supports extending the New START arms control treaty with Russia to limit the number of nuclear weapons deployed by both sides.

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In 2021, Biden recognized the Armenian genocide, becoming the first U S president to do so.

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Biden was consistently ranked one of the least wealthy members of the Senate, which he attributed to his having been elected young.

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Political writer Howard Fineman has written, "Biden is not an academic, he's not a theoretical thinker, he's a great street pol.

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Biden comes from a long line of working people in Scranton—auto salesmen, car dealers, people who know how to make a sale.

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In recent years, especially after the 2015 death of his elder son Beau, Biden has been noted for his empathetic nature and ability to communicate about grief.

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