US Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden would make community college free and invest $70 billion in historically black colleges and universities as well as those serving other under-represented groups, his campaign said Tuesday. Instead, it builds on the two-year proposal that Biden and former President Barack Obama had advocated for while in office. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. They juggle multiple jobs and care for their families.
Biden raised $15.2 million for the quarter, while Sanders, who is third at 14.6 percent in the polls, raked in $25.3 million for the period, the most of any Democratic 2020 candidate.
For students struggling to pay loans for undergraduate and graduate degrees, Biden would offer $10,000 of student debt relief for every year of national or community service, up to five years.
The plan would be paid for through the elimination of the stepped-up basis loophole, a type of break on inheritance taxes, and capping itemized deductions for wealthy Americans at 28%, according to the campaign.
Similarly, Biden's plans on student debt are less ambitious than his two main progressive challengers. But senior advisers for Biden pushed back on the notion that Biden's plan was not as aggressive as his competitors.
Warren, 70, a progressive senator from MA, has campaigned strongly through the summer, while centrist former vice president Joe Biden, 76, has been hit by health concerns and gaffes.
"My students inspire me", she told reporters on a call previewing her husband's higher education plan.
The RealClearPolitics poll average put Warren on 26.6 percent and Biden on 26.4 percent in the Democratic primary contest to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
Another major difference between Biden and his competitors' plans is the cost. Sanders has proposed wiping away all $1.6 trillion of existing U.S. student loan debt, while Warren says she would eliminate 95% of that debt.
Biden's plan also includes new spending aimed at improving access to college for low-income individuals, minorities and undocumented immigrants.