Biden’s Plans for His First 100 Days in Office

Gaby Traynor, Contributing Writer

As Joe Biden is set to take over the White House on January 20, 2021, he will have to show Americans whether or not he can deliver on promises he made during his campaign. He ambitiously vouched for policy-heavy initiatives to undo some of the actions President Trump accomplished during his term. The topics Biden focused on during his campaign included racial justice, immigration, COVID-19, and climate change. While there are many other problems that may arise in his presidency, some believe his performance on these topics will show his potential effectiveness for his term. Jacob Griffin ’21 stated, “I feel that Biden’s 100-day plan will reflect how the rest of his term will go. Much of what he is planning to do focuses on COVID-19, which is expected, but he also plans to reverse much of what happened during the Trump administration, such as tax cuts, and the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.”

As racial justice issues have gained more attention this year after the death of George Floyd, Biden is pushing to create laws to extend the Voting Rights Act. In a statement in response to the protests nationwide, Biden said that he is, “committed to creating a national police oversight commission,” that will give meaning to the Constitution’s pledge of “equal protection of the laws.” He has said that he wants to invest an additional $300 million to create reforms to execute a national use of force standard, the purchase of body cameras, and employing more diverse police officers. Along with creating a better relationship between police officers and citizens, Biden has proposed to push the SAFE Justice Act which would reduce the mandatory minimum time for nonviolent sentences. This Act would also create policies that would, in theory, lower the likelihood of convicted criminals to reoffend.  

While there are many other problems that may arise in his presidency, some believe his performance on these topics will show his potential effectiveness for his term.

Biden plans to focus on immigration, an issue President Trump was very vocal about during his presidency, by building on progress made by President Obama. Biden has stated that on his first day in office  he plans to create immigration legislation to create a path for the 11 million migrants in the US seeking to gain citizenship. He plans to make the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, an initiative signed by President Obama in 2012, a permanent program. The DACA program was one that Trump’s administration had been set on disabling but failed to do so. A move that Biden plans on making, that will prove as a big difference from Trump’s administration, is his plan to end Trump’s executive order that banned travelers from some Muslim-majority countries. Biden also plans to enact an executive order that would stop immigrant families from being separated at the US-Mexican border, which is something he expects to do in his early days as President. Similarly, he plans to reform the US asylum system and treatment those at the border receive. He plans to stop the funding toward the construction of the wall at the US-Mexican border but will not take down the parts that have already been built. 

Arguably one of the most crucial and time-sensitive issues Biden plans to act on is a response to the COVID-19 crisis. Alex Nolan ’23 said that he hopes Biden “focuses on the most urgent issues first, those being COVID-19 and the economy, then focuses on the rest of his campaign once we’re out of the woods with those.” In a statement made in November, Biden elected a chair of COVID advisers that, in his words, are to, “help shape [his] approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.” He has also promised to work with other politicians such as state governors, mayors, and local officials. His efforts to quickly dissolve the growing problem of COVID-19 is astonishing yet some are still skeptical. “I think Biden’s COVID-19 response during his first 100 days sounds hopeful but not feasible,” said Rosa Boehm ’23. President-elect Biden has also announced on his first day in office he plans to rekindle the US relationship with the World Health Organization. This will reverse the decision President Trump made to back out of the Organization just this summer. 

If everything goes accordingly, this [the Paris Climate Accord] would play a huge part in the environmental issues that the world is being faced with at the moment.

In efforts to revert some of the decisions President Trump made, Biden plans to immediately reenter the Paris Climate Accord. This is one of the many sets of goals Biden hopes will combat the climate change issues confronting the world. His clean energy plan would potentially get the country to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This proposal would need a $2 trillion investment and he has said that 40% of the funds will go out to communities who are disproportionately impacted by climate change. If everything goes accordingly, this would play a huge part in the environmental issues that the world is being faced with at the moment.  

Biden, while not even being in office, has shown a commitment to creating a promising and effective next four years, however, to some his plans seem impractical: “Biden’s 100-day plan is very ambitious, so I am concerned that he will not be able to complete the plan, especially if the Senate is republican-controlled,” said Kalista Godsman ’23. While we may not know what is to come, we see that the issues Biden has promised to resolve have a plan, is it now just a question on the efficiency and truth behind his promises.