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What Can We Expect During Biden’s First 100 Days?

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Photo courtesy of politico.com

More often than not, American Presidents are judged on what they achieve during their first 100 days in office. 

After Trump’s long-awaited departure, our incoming president faces severe challenges and will have to rely on executive orders, rather than legislation, to get most things done. 

Among some of the promises the former Delaware senator has made is to reverse Trump’s immigration laws, rejoin the Paris agreement, and enforce wearing masks to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. 

“My first 100 days won’t end the COVID-19 virus. I can’t promise that” Biden said. “But we did not get into this mess quickly. We’re not going to get out of it quickly. It’s going to take some time.”

Thanks to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s legacy, presidents’ first 100 days are seen as an important benchmark since it’s their first chance to deliver on campaign promises before the public’s opinion shifts once again. 

However, historians agree that none have faced a daunting vaccine distribution plan amid an economic crisis such as Biden is facing. 

What’s on his agenda?

Stopping the Spread of COVID-19 

Although Covid-19 vaccinations began under Trump, Biden’s team will be responsible for their rollout to the general population. The new president has said he believes 100 million vaccine doses could be administered within his first 100 days; in other words, by April. 

His challenge will be building up trust for the vaccines among skeptical communities, including African-Americans and Republicans. Biden has also said that his call for Americans to wear masks for 100 days is their “patriotic duty” to slow the virus’s spread until vaccines are widely available. He will also move quickly to rejoin the World Health Organization, which Trump withdrew the US from in June.

Biden introduced California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his nomination for health secretary. Becerra will face a daunting challenge in leading the department at a critical moment in the pandemic. 

He served 12 terms in Congress, representing Los Angeles, before becoming the attorney general of his home state in 2017. He is the first Latino to hold that office, and while in Congress, he was the first Latino to serve as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, where he worked on health care as a senior member of the health subcommittee, according to The New York Times. 

Welcoming more immigrants

Biden has promised to reform immigration policy in his first 100 days. This includes canceling Trump’s emergency declaration that has allowed him to fund the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico, as well as reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows people who were brought to the United States legally as children to remain in the country and apply for work permits. 

He has also said that he would rescind Trump’s ban on people from Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Biden has also vowed to soften US asylum laws and introduce legislation that would set in motion citizenships for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

In addition, he has said he will:

  • Bring back case management programs while ending prolonged detentions that currently, many families suffer from.
  • Reverse Trump’s public charge rule that denies permanent residency to legal immigrants if they use food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers, or any other public benefits.
  • Show support and protect Dreamers and their families.
  • Get rid of the refugee bans.
  • Bring humanitarian resources to the border for those in need.
  • Review the countries listed under Temporary Protected Status.
  • Restore sensible enforcement priorities.
  • Hold Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees accountable for inhumane treatment.
  • Support the current naturalization process for green cardholders.
  • Use the Task Force on New Americans to promoting immigrant entrepreneurship, civil engagement, and increase access for people to learn new languages.
  • Hold a meeting with leaders from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Canada, to address the factors driving migration and propose a regional resettlement solution.
  • For more on Biden’s extensive plans for immigration, click here.

Raise Taxes for the Wealthy

Biden has promised to raise taxes for people earning more than $400,000 per year, and to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, reported Forbes. 

He has said that most Americans won’t see a tax increase and that it would be reserved for the most wealthy taxpayers. 

Biden’s tax plan may not reduce taxes for low- and middle-income Americans, but he plans to increase the amount of some tax credits, including the child tax credit, child and dependent care credit, and earned income tax credit. These tax refunds would put money back into most people’s pockets, according to the Tax Foundation.org. 

Protecting the LGBTQ+ Community

Biden wants to direct federal resources to help prevent violence against transgender women, focusing on transgender women of color. Passing the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity would greatly protect this community. If passed, he plans to have his Cabinet enforce the act across all federal departments and agencies. If you want to read more about Biden’s plan for the LGBTQ+ community, click here.

Saving the Environment

In addition to rejoining the Paris Agreement that the U.S. withdrew from on June 1, 2017, Biden plans to host a climate world summit and discuss with leaders of the major carbon-emitting countries to join the United States in making pledges to limit their carbon footprint beyond what they already promised. 

He wants to be the leading country in setting international agreements to reduce emissions in global shipping and aviation. 

Biden aims to have the Office of Science and Technology Policy create a report identifying climate strategies and technologies to improve air and water quality in underfunded communities. And he wants to show public support for international legislatures and take action to decrease the greenhouse gas, hydrofluorocarbons, a known trigger in global warming. If you want to read more about Biden’s plan for the environment, click here.

Enforcing Gun Safety

Biden plans to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act that would keep firearms out of abusers’ reach by closing “boyfriend” and “stalking” loopholes that continue to allow access to guns by abusive ex-boyfriends as well as stalkers with previous convictions.