On Wednesday night, the two Texas presidential candidates, Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro, will face off with eight other challengers in Miami, Florida as part of the first Democratic presidential debate.
If you look beyond the horse race media coverage, cable news debate countdown clocks, and pundits’ expectations, both candidates have come to the table with substantive policy proposals.
Castro, who served as housing chief under Obama, revealed a plan last week to end homelessness and make housing more affordable. He proposed a $46 billion budget for affordable housing as well as a tax credit program that would pay for a portion of someone’s rent if it exceeded 30 percent of their income.
Just as recently, O’Rourke proposed a trust fund for veteran’s healthcare paid by households who don’t have family members serving in the U.S military.
“We must be willing to pay any price, and bear any burden, to provide the full care, support, and resources to every single veteran who served every single one of us,” he said in a statement. The fund would support veterans’ hospital care and medical services.
Speaking to Pod Save America about climate change being the greatest threat to Americans, O’Rourke recently delved into his climate change plan that includes a $5 trillion investment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Castro was the first Democrat to unveil a major plan for immigration. He called for a path to full citizenship for all undocumented residents and Dreamers living in America, as well as a “21st century Marshall Plan for Central America” aimed at stabilizing countries that are the source of the recent increase in asylum applications and border crossings. And he wants decriminalize illegal border crossings, instead making them a civil offense.
O’Rourke hasn’t gone that far in his immigration proposal but is also calling for a path to citizenship for undocumented residents and a $5 billion investment in Central America.
In terms of education, both candidates support increasing teacher’s wages. After the debates this week, they’ll head to Houston on July 5 to discuss education with the largest teacher’s union in the U.S.
The Signal’s debate coverage begins Wednesday at 7:45pm and again at 10pm. Watch live on Facebook.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org