Michael Bennet

Senator from Colorado
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Michael Bennet dropped out of the presidential race on February 11, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Bennet has pitched himself as a pragmatic lawmaker with a progressive voting record. He was first appointed to the US Senate in 2009 and subsequently elected in 2010 and 2016.
Wesleyan University, B.A., 1987; Yale Law School, 1993
November 28, 1964
Susan Daggett
Unaffiliated
Halina, Anne and Caroline
Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, 2005-2009;
Chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, 2003;
Managing director, Anschutz Investment Company, 1997-2003;
Special assistant to the US attorney for Connecticut, 1997;
Counsel to the US deputy attorney general, 1995-1997
BENNET IN THE NEWS
Michael Bennet ends 2020 presidential campaign
Updated 11:48 PM ET, Tue Feb 11, 2020
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet ended his 2020 presidential campaign on Tuesday in a speech to supporters in New Hampshire. "I think it's fitting for us to end the campaign tonight," Bennet told a crowd in Concord. He continued: "I really want to say that I appreciate the fact that you gave me a chance here, and you're giving all the other candidates a chance. I wish all those candidates well that are going beyond New Hampshire." Bennet said he would support the Democratic nominee for president, and said, "I am going to do absolutely everything I can do as one human being to make sure that Donald Trump is a one-term president." "It's not just about who's in the White House," Bennet continued. "We've got to win a majority in the Senate and I will campaign all over this country to make sure we win that majority in United States Senate." Bennet's candidacy sputtered from the outset, with the Colorado senator failing to qualify for the majority of Democratic debates. But the Democrat stuck in the race long after his momentum stalled, turning his operation almost entirely to New Hampshire as it became clear he did not have a path to victory in Iowa. Bennet, the seventh member of the United States Senate to run for president this cycle, looked to set himself apart as a candidate with the ability to win narrow races, something he did in his first Senate race in 2010, and his ability to work with Republicans. The senator regularly attacked the left wing of the Democratic Party, publicly worrying that moving the party too far to the left would not only help Trump but hurt Democratic efforts to win over voters who stayed home in 2016. "I think right now the Democratic Party doesn't stand for very much at the national level with respect to what the American people think," he said when he announced his bid. "But this is an opportunity to show what we stand for, for us to have a competition of ideas. I think it is phenomenal we have got as diverse an array of candidates as we have in all respects and that we got the number that we have. A process like this is long overdue in the Democratic Party." But the Democratic electorate showed little interest in that pitch, despite the fact that Bennet raised questions about "Medicare for All" before they became the centerpiece of attacks on the sweeping health care policy by other moderate candidates. "I'm concerned about that bill," he told CNN in early 2019, noting he worries the bill would do to employer-backed insurance plans that most Americans have. "I don't think that is a good starting point." Bennet, near the end of his campaign, was barely registering in state or national polls, but he continued campaigning with a particular focus on New Hampshire, where the candidate pledged to hold 50 townhalls before the February primary. Bennet entered the race in early April. The senator had intended to get in earlier but delayed his announcement after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and subsequently given a clean bill of health. The high point of Bennet's campaign came when he slammed Vice President Joe Biden for delivering the American people a bad deal in 2012 when he negotiated a deal on taxes and spending with Sen. Mitch McConnell. Bennet voted against the deal and argued during that the deal was a bad one. "That was a great deal for Mitch McConnell," Bennet said, "and a terrible deal for America." The attack did little to hurt Biden, however, as he remains a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination and Bennet is ending his bid.
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES
climate crisis
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Bennet has said he doesn’t support the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Instead, he has released his own five-principle plan, which would significantly increase the protection of public lands. “I think it is great that we have a bunch of bold proposals out there,” Bennet said in May 2019. “We are going to have a competition of ideas.” Bennet has set a target of 100% net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, although he has not detailed how he would reach this goal. He also said he would create a $1 trillion “climate bank” to invest in infrastructure and, he hopes, spur private investment in green energy innovation. Bennet says the plan would create 10 million jobs over a decade related to what he calls the “zero-emission economy.”Bennet has said he would keep the US in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. More on Bennet’s climate crisis policy
economy
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Bennet has not signed on with congressional Democratic efforts to pass a $15 minimum wage. According to his campaign, he favors an increase to $12 per hour. He’s also introduced legislation to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and overhaul and expand the child tax credit, which currently provides families with a credit of up to $2,000 for each dependent under 17. Under Bennet’s plan, families would get a $300 monthly credit for each child under 6 and $250 a month for each child under 17. He has actively opposed some of Trump’s trade actions. With Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, Bennet filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to reverse the President’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and he has opposed Trump’s trade war with China, specifically because of the negative impact on American farmers. But he has also said Trump “was right to call China out.” More on Bennet’s economic policy
education
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Bennet unveiled a plan in September 2019 pledging that by 2028, “every child born in this country, regardless of circumstance, will be at the center of a community that offers them a real chance to flourish personally and prosper financially,” according to his campaign. The plan calls for a federal-state partnership to establish free nationwide preschool, support for school districts that establish longer school days and school years, free community college for all Americans, increases to teacher pay and more funding for schools in rural areas and “high-poverty and otherwise underserved schools.” As Denver schools superintendent, Bennet was deeply involved in shaping merit-pay plans for teachers. As a presidential candidate he has called for taking steps to raise teacher pay. “We have to pay teachers as the professionals that they are. And that’s not just a little bit more. That is a lot more,” he said at a CNN town hall. More on Bennet’s education policy
gun violence
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Bennet has voted to ban high-capacity magazines and supports universal background checks. While he did not co-sponsor the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, Bennet says he would support banning so-called assault weapons. He did not endorse the recent legislation because it “was overly drawn and allowed the manufacturers to avoid the ban,” he told CNN in May 2019.
healthcare
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Bennet is not in favor of plans that would eliminate private insurance. He co-sponsored a plan known as “Medicare-X” that would let individuals and small businesses buy government-backed insurance policies, known as a public option, on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The plan would also allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices. Bennet says Americans should still have choice when it comes to health insurance. “We need to get to universal health care,” he said during the first Democratic debate. “I believe the way to do that is by finishing the work we started with Obamacare and creating a public option.” In July 2019, he introduced a rural health care plan that would harness technology to provide medical services in rural communities, including allowing doctors to see patients via video chat and remotely monitor patients. The plan would provide up to $10,000 a year in loan forgiveness and repayment support for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who choose to work in rural areas. And it would invest $60 billion to combat substance abuse, including building more treatment centers. More on Bennet’s health care policy
immigration
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Bennet has compared Trump’s separation of families at the border to his Jewish mother’s experience being separated from her own parents as a child in Poland during the Holocaust. “When I see these kids at the border, I see my mom,” Bennet said during the first Democratic debate. He has called for overhauling the asylum process and restoring aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to reduce the flow of migrants north. He’s a co-sponsor to a Senate bill called the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act. Bennet has said he still stands by the last major bipartisan immigration package, negotiated in 2013, which included a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. He also co-sponsored the DREAM Act of 2009, some of which was eventually put into effect through Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protecting from deportation some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as minors.
LATEST POLITICAL NEWS
The latest on the coronavirus pandemic
Updated 6:05 AM ET, Tue Jul 14, 2020
Miami-Dade County has continued to see staggeringly high Covid-19 positivity rates and an increase in the number of hospitalizations and ventilator use, according to the latest data released by the county's government. In the past 13 days, Miami-Dade County has seen a 68% increase in the number of Covid-19 patients being hospitalized, a 69% increase in the number of ICU beds being used, and a 109% increase in the use of ventilators. Officials also reported a 28% Covid-19 positivity rate on Monday. The county has exceeded the 22% mark for the past two weeks, and the current 14-day average is 26%, the data shows. The positivity rate -- how many of those tested are actually infected -- is tracked daily by the county. Mayor Carlos Gimenez's office has said the goal is to not exceed a positivity rate of 10%.   Here is a breakdown of the hospitalization data released by the county government: Covid-19 patients: 6/30: 1,202 7/13: 2,023 Patients in ICU beds: 6/30: 245 7/13: 413  Patients on ventilators: 6/30: 103 7/13: 215 ##Cases## One of the 16 cities that make up Metro Manila will go into lockdown for two weeks from Thursday after it saw coronavirus cases “suddenly inflate,” the Mayor of Navotas said Monday on his official Facebook page. The lockdown will begin at 5 a.m. (5 p.m. ET) on July 16 and end on July 29 at 11:50 p.m., Toby Tiangco said on Facebook. "Residents will have a scheduled day to go out of the house and shop for groceries, medicine and other needs. Only those holding a home quarantine pass will be allowed to leave their homes. Essential workers are allowed to go to work, but no mass gatherings will be permitted," he added. Navotas had a total of 981 confirmed cases on Monday, Tiangco wrote. The city has a population of 249,463, according to the city government’s website. “Due to the continuous increase of our patients, our community isolation facilities have been filled ... even some hospitals in Metro Manila have reached full capacity,” Tiangco said. “We are hoping that through lockdown, we can slow the increase of cases in our city.” A 30-year-old man in San Antonio, Texas, died in a city hospital after attending a "Covid party," where people intentionally get infected. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg discussed the case with CNN on Monday, saying these parties were happening in other states, too. "It comes from the fact that people have been hearing that from politicians that this might be a hoax," he said. "And so we saw in this particular case ... a young person attended a Covid party with a known positive case because they thought they were invincible, that this wouldn’t affect them." "This was a Memorial Day party at the lake. Five days later, this young man got sick and again the last thing he said to that hospital tech nurse is that he was wrong. And unfortunately, too many young people are wrong." Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer at San Antonio's Methodist Hospital, confirmed over the weekend that a patient died after getting sick at a Covid party. Appleby said the patient told the nurse, “I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.” Covid parties: Reports first emerged in early July that some young people in Alabama are throwing Covid-19 parties, a disturbing competition where people who have coronavirus attend and the first person to get infected receives a payout. ##Cases## Singapore has fallen into a deep economic slump — and it's even worse than many had predicted. The government said Tuesday that GDP likely shrank 12.6% in the second quarter compared to the same time the previous year, marking "the steepest drop on record," according to economists. GDP shrank by 41.2% in the second quarter compared to the previous three months, more than most analysts had expected. That officially pushed the country into a recession. Singapore's GDP had already fallen by 0.3% in the first quarter on a year-on-year basis. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The latest decline was due to strict government restrictions, known locally as "circuit breaker" measures, which were enforced from April to June as the country dealt with a sudden spike in coronavirus cases. This included the shutdown of many businesses, including "the suspension of nonessential services and closure of most workplace premises," the Ministry of Trade and Industry noted in a statement. Officials had already been bracing for bad news. Prior to the new numbers, the government had slashed the country's economic forecast three times this year alone. But "it's not all gloom and doom," Yun Liu, an economist at HSBC, wrote in a report to clients. Recession is here, but it's a short one," she added. Some analysts believe the worst is over for Singapore, particularly since the government has deployed billions of dollars in stimulus measures to shore up the flagging economy. "Looking ahead, Q2 will mark the trough," Alex Holmes, Asia economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note Tuesday. "The key reason for optimism is the huge size of the government’s stimulus package, which is equivalent to around 20% of GDP." ##Economy## While US President Donald Trump obsesses about his reelection hopes in his White House bubble, state and local leaders are frantically reversing state reopenings that he demanded, which turned America into the world's biggest coronavirus hotspot. As emergency rooms filled and the virus quickened its relentless march across southern and Western states, Trump stuck to the fiction that the worst is already over: "We had to close it down; now we're opening it up," the President said of the economy at the White House, patting himself on the back for saving "millions of lives." As new cases of the disease reach 60,000 a day nationwide, many leaders in both parties, including those who supported Trump's aggressive approach, now have little choice but to prioritize science over politics, leaving the President looking out of touch with reality. In Texas, Houston's mayor proposed a two-week shutdown, days after Gov. Greg Abbott raised the possibility of more stringent measures. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of all indoor restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and shut all bars. Oregon banned gatherings of more than 10 people inside because of an "alarming rise" of Covid-19 cases in the state. Florida now has more Covid-19 cases than all but eight entire countries. The picture is of a nation that is beginning to shut down again in defiance of the President's triumphant but misleading claims that a "transition to greatness" is under way. Restrictions imposed on cities as large as Houston and Los Angeles could set back the surprising revival in the economy last month. Modest job gains, trumpeted by the President, could turn into permanent job losses. Read the full analysis here: ##Reopening## ##Politics## ##Economy## People who have been infected with coronavirus could see their immunity decline within months, studies have found -- which is just “what we were afraid of,” Dr. William Haseltine told CNN today. Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, said the studies demonstrated long-suspected fears. "This (virus), like its sister coronaviruses, the ones that give us colds, are very different from the childhood viruses," he said. When you get childhood viruses like measles and mumps, you're then protected from re-infection for life. But Haseltine said it’s a different story with the cold viruses, because you get them and then your body “forgets” it was ever infected.  “They come back and get you again every year. You can be reinfected by the same cold virus every year and get the same cold," he said. He pointed to various studies in China, Spain and the UK that "actually measured the virus in people and ... the antibodies and watched the immunity decline." "That's what we were afraid of,” he said. If the findings are confirmed to be true, they could have significant implications for sick patients, for vaccine development, and for the idea that populations could achieve herd immunity. Read more here: Hong Kong is tightening travel restrictions and social distancing measures as it battles a "third wave" of cases. The city reported 52 new cases on Monday, 41 of which were local transmissions and the other 11 with travel history. This raises the total number of confirmed cases to 1,521. The past seven days alone have seen 236 new cases -- an alarming surge in Hong Kong, which has been lauded for its quick and effective response to the pandemic. For many weeks before this surge, cases were down to single digits, and sometimes zero, every day. Under the new restrictions announced Monday: Incoming travelers who have been in or transited through high-risk areas in the last 14 days must show proof that they tested negative before boarding. If they fail to do so, airlines will be penalized. Public gatherings will be capped at four people again. The limit had previously been 50. Restaurants cannot seat more than four customers together at a table, and must stop dine-in services from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day. Gaming centers, bathhouses, gyms, and other public recreational facilities will be closed for a week. Exhibitions and public events will either be canceled or postponed. Masks are now mandatory on all public transport. ##Cases## ##Reopening## At least ten incarcerated people at the San Quentin Prison in Northern California have died from coronavirus complications, according to data from California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). San Quentin is the site of the worst coronavirus outbreak in California's prison system, with nearly 1,400 inmates who have tested positive.  The prison population is currently at about 4,000 inmates. It has been reduced by almost 10,000 inmates since March, through expedited transitions to parole and suspended intake from county jails, said CDCR. There are 2,423 infected incarcerated people in California. There are also 755 CDCR employees who have tested positive across the state. "CDCR takes the health and safety of all those who live and work in our state prisons very seriously and will continue to work diligently to address the COVID-19 pandemic," CDCR said. ##Cases## The Australian state of Victoria recorded 270 new cases on Monday, according to Premier Daniel Andrews. The state has been conducting mass testing in response to a spike in cases; it conducted 30,195 tests on Saturday, 22,943 tests on Sunday, and 21,995 tests on Monday. The decline in cases could be due to stay-at-home order in the cities of Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, Andrews said. Melbourne's lockdown, imposed last Wednesday, will be in place for six weeks -- affecting almost 5 million people. The state now has 1,803 active cases. Of the new cases discovered Monday, 242 are still being traced. Fears are growing that the Victoria outbreak may have spread to the neighbouring state of New South Wales, where 13 new cases were reported on Tuesday.  "We are concerned that we have had some seeding from Victoria, where that outbreak has been going on from some time," NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said Tuesday. "We share a long border with Victoria, we are intrinsically linked with Victoria, we have a lot of travel and connections," Dr Chant said. ##Cases## ##Reopening## In the US state of Michigan, 43 new coronavirus cases have been linked to a large house party from early July in Washtenaw County, health officials said in a press release Monday. Most of the new cases are young people between the ages of 15 and 25, said the release. The party is believed to have taken place between July 2 and 3. Spread from the party has impacted people outside the county and even the Midwestern state, according to the release. Health officials are now asking anyone who attended the party to self quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms of the virus for 14 days. There were an additional 66 people who are believed to have had face-to-face contact with a confirmed case. That number does not include family members who are immediate household contacts of the newly identified cases, the release said. "This is a very clear example of how quickly this virus spreads and how many people can be impacted in a very short amount of time" Jimena Loveluck, Health Officer with Washtenaw County Health Department, said in the release. "We cannot hope to accomplish our goal of containing COVID-19 and preventing additional cases, hospitalizations and deaths without full community support and cooperation." Read the full story here: ##Cases## More than 100,000 people in India have tested positive in just the past four days, said the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday. The country recorded 28,498 new cases and 553 new deaths in the last 24 hours, said the ministry. That raises the country's total to 906,752 cases and 23,727 deaths. Not all these cases are active: More than 571,000 have recovered from the virus, leaving 311,565 cases still active. More than 12 million tests have been conducted nationwide, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research. ##Cases## Surging coronavirus cases across the United States are causing delays in getting test results from laboratories, according to Quest Diagnostics, a leading provider of diagnostic services. “Soaring demand” for a Covid-19 molecular test is “slowing the time” the company can provide test results even after rapidly scaling up its capacity, Quest said Monday. Increased capacity: The company has already doubled its testing capacity from two months ago, and now is able to perform 125,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day. By the end of the month, it expects to have the capacity for 150,000 tests a day. Despite this increase in capacity, it's taking up to a day to process test results for its priority patients: hospital patients, pre-operative patients in acute care settings and symptomatic healthcare workers. For all other cases, it’s taking on average seven or more days, said Quest in a press release. The company is facing challenges in trying to ramp up testing: Global supply constraints are still an issue, the company said.  The lab network is trying to add new technology platforms and is considering an expansion of its lab referral program. But the company cautioned that it can’t reduce its turnaround time on testing results as long as Covid-19 cases continue spiking across the country. “This is not just a Quest issue. The surge in Covid-19 cases affects the laboratory industry as a whole,” the company said. This winter, the coronavirus pandemic could create a perfect storm. In many places, health care systems already struggle in winter; conditions such as asthma, heart attacks and stroke tend to worsen in colder temperatures, and some infectious diseases like influenza spread more easily. Scientists are warning that countries need to prepare for a potential winter uptick in coronavirus cases that could be more serious than the initial outbreak. Why winter could see a rise: In cold weather we spend more time indoors in poorly ventilated spaces — exactly the conditions that are likely to make the novel coronavirus spread more easily. What's more, coronavirus cases will likely become more challenging to track and trace given Covid-19 symptoms are similar to those of winter respiratory bugs. Expert forecast: As many as 119,900 people could die of coronavirus in UK hospitals between September 2020 and June 2021, warned the UK's Academy of Medical Sciences. This projection, which the academy called a "reasonable worst-case scenario," is more than double the 45,000 deaths the UK has experienced so far. This number does not include potential deaths in care homes, which have accounted for 30% deaths in England. Read more here:   Peru surged past 330,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases on Monday. It remains the country with the second highest number of cases in Latin America, behind Brazil. The Peruvian Health Ministry reported 3,797 new cases and 184 new deaths in the past 24 hours. This raises the country's total to 330,123 cases and 12,054 deaths since the pandemic began. ##Cases## Brazil has seen more than 260,000 new coronavirus cases in the past week alone, according to data from the Brazilian Health Ministry. On Monday, the ministry recorded 20,286 new cases, bringing the country's total number of confirmed cases to 1,884,967. 261,683 of those cases came from the past seven days. The nationwide death toll stands at 72,833. President tests positive: Among the new cases recorded in the last week was Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who announced he tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. Bolsonaro will take another Covid-19 test this week, the official doctor for the presidency told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil on Monday, and reported he is "doing well." The President also announced that day he had taken hydroxychloroquine on the advice of his medical team and posted a video on his official Facebook page later showing himself taking what he claimed was a third dose of the drug. ##Cases## ##Politics## The United States now has at least 3,361,042 cases of coronavirus and 135,582 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Monday, the US reported 56,100 new cases and 377 deaths.  The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.  Follow our live tracker of US cases here: ##Cases## Mexico confirmed 4,685 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 304,435. The Mexican Health Ministry also reported 485 new deaths, bringing the country’s coronavirus death toll to 35,491. President claims progress: Earlier Sunday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said claimed the pandemic "is losing intensity."  The president made the comments before the Sunday figures were released, but the country has reported consistent daily increases in cases throughout the pandemic. "I want to tell you that the report is positive, is good, the conclusion is that the pandemic is decreasing, is losing intensity," he said in a video address to the nation. ##Cases## ##Politics## The National Basketball Association and its players' union said in a joint statement on Monday that two more players have tested positive for Covid-19 at the league’s Orlando campus. A total of 21 NBA players have tested positive for the virus since July 1.   Two players returned positive tests while still under initial quarantine after arriving at the NBA’s campus in Orlando. Those players have left the league’s campus to isolate at home or in isolation housing. The other 19 players tested positive before traveling to the league’s Orlando campus and are in self-isolation at home until being cleared to travel. ##Cases##
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