CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Vice President Mike Pence is set to take the stage against Democratic opponent Sen. Kamala Harris in Utah Wednesday night for the first and only vice presidential debate ahead of next month’s election.
But who is he? Here are some fast facts and background about the current Vice President:
🔴 Pence was previously the 50th governor of Indiana.
🔴 Pence is the 48th and current vice president of the United States.
🔴 Pence was a six term Indiana congressman.
Pence was born on June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Indiana to Edward and Nancy Pence. Pence was one of six children. His parents owned a convenience store business. In his White House biography, Pence said he “was raised to believe in the importance of hard work, faith, and family.” Pence has cited his Catholic upbringing as a major force in his life.
Pence attended Hanover College then attended Indiana University School of Law where he met his future wife Karen Pence.
After graduation Pence practiced law while leading the Indiana Policy Review Foundation. He also hosted the Mike Pence Show, a syndicated talk radio show and television public affairs’ program.
Pence first ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1988 and 1990.
Pence ran again for public office in 2000 for a seat in the House of Representatives. Pence represented two districts in Indiana from 2001 to 2013. He served as a member for Indiana’s 2nd district from 2001 — 2003 then represented Indiana’s 6th district from 2003-2012.
During his time in the House of Representatives, he served as the Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee and House Republican Conference Chairman. In 2007, Pence sponsored one of the first bills in Congress to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding. In 2011, he voted “yes” on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion. In 2011, Pence co-sponsored Parental Rights Amendment to constitutional guarantee parent’s right to educate kids.
Pence then was elected as the Governor of Indiana in 2013 until 2017. In 2015, Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was met with backlash from members of LGBT rights groups and the business community. While in office, he enacted the largest income tax cut in Indiana history. He signed a bill in 2016 that would prevent women from getting an abortion based on the sex, disability or race of the fetus.
Pence is the father of three children, Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.
Pence has repeatedly said he’s first “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”
Trump selected Pence to be his running mate in July 2016.
In his time as Vice President, Pence has been a tie breaker in 13 votes in the U.S. Senate including the nomination of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Pence is the Chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Pence has taken a lead rule in the Trump reelection campaign since the president tested positive for coronavirus. Pence said earlier in the week that he was cleared for travel.
Some of Pence’s policy positions:
- In 2017, Pence cast the tiebreaking vote to defund Planned Parenthood. In 2011, he voted “yes” on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion.
- Pence has supported gun rights consistently. In 2018, Pence said he was a card-carrying member of the NRA. In both 2020 and 2016, the NRA-PVR endorsed the Trump-Pence campaign.
- Pence has refused to say whether he views climate change as a threat to America, however, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back more than 100 environmental laws.
Energy and Oil:
- In 2011, Pence co-sponsored the Free Industry Act to prevent EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Pence also signed the “No Climate Tax” pledge by AFP.
- When asked in 2014 if he would consider legalizing recreational use of marijuana for the tax benefit, Pence said no and he does not support the legislation of marijuana.