Candidate profile: Michael Bennet

New Hampshire Primary

(NEXSTAR) — Michael Bennet, 55, has served as a Senator from Colorado since 2009 when he was appointed to replace Ken Salazar, who was named Secretary of the Interior. Bennet was the Superintendent of Denver Public Schools from 2005 until his appointment to the Senate. Bennet currently sits on the Senate committees on Intelligence, Finance and Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

Key political positions

Healthcare

Bennet proposes a plan he calls Medicare-X, which he calls a Public Option plan that builds on the Affordable Care Act. According to Bennet’s website, Medicare-X would be available on the exchange for people to buy if they have no insurance or are unhappy with their current private insurance. Medicare-X would begin in rural areas with one or no insurers and would require the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and Medicare-X. Bennet’s plan includes many provisions of the ACA but does not specifically reference pre-existing conditions.

Economy

Bennet’s plan for the economy includes an immediate cut to child poverty by nearly 40% with his American Family Act (AFA). He plans to expand the Child Tax Credit through the AFA, which will provide a tax credit of up to $300 per month per child to help middle class families afford to raise kids. He also plans to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to $3,000 for workers without children. Bennet’s plan also calls for raising the minimum wage to $15/hour in high-cost cities and expanding paid family and medical leave.

Immigration

Bennet supports an immigration reform plan similar to the 2013 “Gang of Eight” bill, which includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people in the United States. He would back border wall funding as part of a broader bill that provides a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants.

Climate change

Bennet’s plan aims to put the nation on a path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier. It’s all part of his Climate X Option, which would require utilities to provide “zero-emission energy to every household and business,” a new national conservation initiative and a “Climate Bank” to spur private investment.

Gun reform

Bennet said his top priorities on gun control include expanding and improving universal background checks, limiting magazine size and implementing an assault weapons ban. 

Education

According to his website, Bennet’s education plan will ensure that all students:

  • Arrive at Kindergarten ready to learn.
  • Can read by grade 3.
  • Are proficient in math and reading by grade 8.
  • Can think critically and solve problems.
  • Graduate high school with the ability to earn a living wage, not just the minimum wage.
  • Enter post-secondary education—if that’s the path they choose—prepared to learn without remediation and to persist to an on-time graduation.
  • Enter adulthood ready to participate in their democracy as informed citizens.

More information about Bennet’s political beliefs or viewpoints can be found on his website.

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