Biden on Impeachment, L.G.B.T.Q. Forum: This Week in the 2020 Race

Here’s our rundown of what happened in the Democratic primary this week, as the candidates gear up for Tuesday’s debate in Ohio.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. explicitly endorsed impeachment on Wednesday, going beyond past statements in which he had called only for an impeachment inquiry if President Trump did not cooperate with Congress.

“To preserve our Constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached,” Mr. Biden told supporters in New Hampshire, as he accused Mr. Trump of having “betrayed this nation.”

It’s been a whirlwind week for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is recovering from a heart attack. In addition to the concerns the episode raised about his health, his campaign’s delay in disclosing the heart attack led to criticism about its transparency, which Mr. Sanders has forcefully rejected.

Perhaps more consequentially, Mr. Sanders told reporters on Tuesday that he would be changing the “nature” of his campaign by doing fewer events. On Wednesday, he said he had misspoken.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts often tells voters that after she became “visibly pregnant” at the end of her first year as a public-school teacher, the principal wished her luck and hired someone else to replace her.

This week, a conservative news site and other outlets challenged her account, citing a 2007 interview with Ms. Warren and minutes from a school board meeting — and Ms. Warren pushed back in a unique way. Rather than just restating the truth of her account (though she has done that as well), she called on women to share their own stories of pregnancy discrimination, which remains widespread.

CNN and the Human Rights Campaign hosted the latest subject-based forum of the presidential race on Thursday, focused on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. Protesters interrupted the event at several points to call attention to the murders of black transgender women, and the candidates seemed to welcome the reminder.

Before the event, Ms. Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Senator Kamala Harris of California released plans on L.G.B.T.Q. equality. All three said they would fight to pass the Equality Act and ban conversion therapy as president.

  • Mr. Buttigieg, the first openly gay man to run for president, pledged in his plan to reverse the Trump administration’s efforts to strip anti-discrimination protections. He also said he would create a national mentorship program to support L.G.B.T.Q. youth, among many other measures.

  • Ms. Warren said her administration would restore and strengthen Obama-era protections and withhold federal grants from any company that discriminated against L.G.B.T.Q. employees. Like Mr. Buttigieg, she also called for an end to conversion therapy.

  • Ms. Harris said she would establish a chief advocate for L.G.B.T.Q. affairs in the White House, appoint transgender and gender nonconforming people to leadership roles, reverse Mr. Trump’s ban on transgender service members, and ensure that questions relevant to the L.G.B.T.Q. community be included in the census.

This week brought a deluge of new policy proposals on issues ranging from foster care to judicial ethics.

  • Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado released a housing plan that would create affordable housing units in areas where good jobs are available, increase funding for housing vouchers and provide tax credits for down payments, among other things.

  • Mr. Biden introduced a higher education plan calling for tuition-free community college, $50 billion for work force training, more funding for colleges that serve people of color, and other measures.

  • Mr. Buttigieg released an “Affordable Medicine for All” plan focused on prescription drug costs. He said he would penalize pharmaceutical companies that raised prices by more than the inflation rate, and cap out-of-pocket costs under a public insurance option.

  • The former housing secretary Julián Castro released a foster care plan, pledging to recruit more foster families and take executive action to eliminate rules that prevent same-sex couples from fostering or adopting.

  • Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announced her plan for veterans, which includes more than 20 measures to improve their health care, expand their access to education and connect them to jobs.

  • Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas released a women’s rights plan. He said he would champion ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and ensure access to reproductive health care.

  • Mr. Sanders, in a proposal to get corporate money out of politics, promised to ban corporate contributions to the Democratic National Convention and replace the Federal Election Commission with what he called “a true law enforcement agency.”

  • The former hedge-fund investor Tom Steyer announced a “People Over Profits Economic Agenda” that would repeal the Citizens United ruling, set congressional term limits, create a national referendum process and establish a wealth tax.

  • Ms. Warren released a judicial ethics plan, which would allow misconduct investigations of judges like Brett M. Kavanaugh, and an environmental justice plan, which would help disadvantaged communities cope with pollution and natural disasters.

The fifth presidential debate will be held in Georgia on Wednesday, Nov. 20, and the hosts will be MSNBC and The Washington Post.

As previously announced, candidates will need 165,000 donors and at least 3 percent support in four qualifying polls to make the stage. (An alternative polling option is 5 percent support in two early-state polls.) Eight candidates have met those criteria so far; the latest was Andrew Yang, who did so this past week.

Ms. Warren had a crowd-pleasing comeback at the CNN town hall when asked how she would respond to a supporter who said, “Senator, I’m old-fashioned, and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.”


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