Biden’s First 100 Days


President Joe Biden gives a speech at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Photo provided by Creative Commons

After his inauguration day on January 20th, 46th U.S. President Joe Biden began his presidency by signing 17 executive orders on his first day. He recently released plans for his first 100 days in office, which included Covid-19 defense measures and new climate regulations. Americans applaud and criticize these actions, and those standing on the middle ground are waiting to see if Biden will be the President to cater to both sides and unite the country. 

In Biden’s first few weeks, he has repealed many of Trump’s actions and policies, which has earned Biden backlash from Trump supporters. He has made ambitious promises, such as various immigration-related actions, a review for the Trump-era law concerning immigrant residency, pausing construction on the border wall, and rescinding the ban that blocked non-citizen travelers from 13 countries. Biden also created a task force to reunite families that were separated at the border by Trump’s “zero tolerance” border strategy, one of Biden’s promises during his campaign ads. The task force will be headed by the Homeland Security Secretary. Woodgrove High School history teacher Kent Staneart says doing away with Trump’s previous administration policies is only temporary change, “To fully create change, executive orders need to be followed up by more permanent laws which can only be put in place by Congress.”

With Covid-19 maintaining its prominence in the U.S., Biden’s administration has stated that, “We must spend whatever it takes, without delay, to meet public health needs and deal with the mounting economic consequences.” One of his first executive orders was to require passengers on trains, airplanes, and intercity buses to wear masks. Biden has also created the Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force to help ensure an equitable pandemic response and recovery, and is also set to pitch a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package during an hour-long CNN Presidential Town Hall. Like Trump, Biden wants schools to reopen as soon as possible, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying that the new goal was, “to have the majority of schools, so more than 50 percent, open by day 100 of his presidency.”

Biden has also made climate change a central issue in the party, which has drawn sharp criticism from Republicans and Trump supporters. On his first day in office, he rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, an international climate action plan which seeks to drastically reduce our carbon footprint. He signed an executive order to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and developed a new cabinet called the National Climate Task Force.

Woodgrove senior and President of the Environmental Club, Emma Schreiner, comments on why joining the Accord is vital for international relations.“I think that Biden joining the Paris Climate Accord is crucial in creating the unity we need with other countries to make a difference in the environment. We still have a long way to go, but this is a step in the right direction.” As far as overseas relations, any national changes that are made will have to satisfy both political parties. 

In the beginning of the Democratic candidate race, many Democrats criticized Joe Biden for being too moderate and have pushed him to focus on policies that agree with a leftist agenda, but following through with these requests could have its setbacks. Staneart responds, “As long as he stays reasonably moderate in his plans and goals and can get enough support from Republicans, then he should have some success. However, if he went radical, then his party would likely lose congressional votes in the midterm election, which would slow down his progress.”