How Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders voted on 25 important bills

From the crime bill to the financial crash, a side-by-side comparison of the 18 years these Democratic presidential candidates served together in Congress.
Published March 9, 2020|Updated March 10, 2020

For the 18 years Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders both served in Congress, lawmakers passed some of the most consequential and controversial legislation in a generation, including the 1994 Crime Bill, the PATRIOT Act, and the federal response to the 2008 financial crash.

How did Biden and Sanders vote on these bills, and others? The Tampa Bay Times compiled the voting records of Biden and Sanders on 25 key bills that passed Congress during the years they served together. The side-by-side comparison often demonstrates the vastly different perspectives of the two Democratic presidential candidates — Biden, a deal maker who moved major legislation during his 36 years in the Senate; Sanders, a persistent progressive voice over three decades in both chambers. It also shows how they’ve evolved as politicians.

The long, overlapping legislative careers of Biden and Sanders provide a rare opportunity to directly compare voting records of two presidential front-runners. While there were hundreds of times when Biden and Sanders were on the same side, these bills represent issues that have divided Congress, the country and even the Democratic Party. Some still do today.

Click on the name of any bill to learn more about it.