Joe Biden’s Presidency So Far: Promises vs Plans

Joe+Biden%E2%80%99s+Presidency+So+Far%3A+Promises+vs+Plans

Meredith McCalmon

As Joe Biden won the 2020 election over Donald Trump, America expected change. Amidst a nation torn by climate issues, police brutality, and COVID-19, it looked like a new President was just what our nation needed to restore American values. Joe Biden took office with optimism for the United States, promising reform and rehabilitation to our broken country. While Biden has begun to repair some of the main issues troubling America, he has started to cause a few new ones as well. 

What Did Joe Biden Promise?

 

100 Million COVID Vaccinations in the First 100 Days

During Biden’s campaign for Presidency, he promised that by the first 100 days of his term, he would have vaccinated 100 million Americans. 

“This team will help get at least 100 million COVID vaccines into the arms of the American people in the first 100 days,” Biden said in a news conference with his health team. 

 It was later revealed that the President didn’t mean he would administer shots to 100 million people, but rather give 50 million people their two dose regimen. This meant America would need to vaccinate around one million people each day, and medical professionals were torn on whether this goal would be attainable. Many were concerned about distribution, questioning how states would attain vaccines regularly enough to keep the quota. Others felt uneasy about funding, wondering how states would rack up the dough to pay for not only the vaccines themselves, but also the staffing, training, and informational campaigns needed to effectively distribute vaccines. Regardless of the obstacles he faced, though, Biden never strayed from his plan to administer 100 million vaccines within his first hundred days in office.

Status: Completed

The Joe Biden Administration recently announced they had reached their goal of administering 100 million COVID vaccines, and have set a new goal of 200 million shots in arms within the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency.

 

Reduce Emissions From Aviation and Global Shipping

On Joe Biden’s Official Website, he details a nine-step plan to improve the growing issue of climate change. His team would focus on reversing the damage caused by President Trump. This includes limiting methane pollution, ensuring that all light and medium duty vehicles produce zero emissions, protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and banning new oil and gas leasing. 

Status: No progress yet

 

Economic Relief/ Stimulus Checks

As COVID-19 became more and more prominent throughout America, unemployment became a prevalent issue, as well as a strong decline in economic spending as we saw businesses close. In order to provide for American citizens and get the economy back on track, Joe Biden revealed his plan to aid businesses and individuals. He calls this the American Rescue Plan, which will encompass multiple phases. 

Firstly, Biden detailed his plan to assist those threatened by eviction. He claimed he would release $25 billion for rental assistance to Americans, and $5 billion to help pay overdue water and energy costs. He also revealed his plan to extend the eviction moratorium to September 2021, meaning eviction notices for Americans will continue to be prohibited. Next, Biden planned to aid state and local governments by providing $350 billion to fund police and fire departments, and other government agencies. Unemployed Americans would receive relief as well, as the weekly unemployment benefit costs were to be raised from $300 to $400. Most prominently, though, Biden disclosed that he would be increasing the payment in economic impact checks from $600 to $2,000, meaning Americans would receive $1,400 stimulus checks. This idea came after many citizens, both employed and unemployed, fell victim to pay cuts as COVID-19 affected businesses. This plan became one of Biden’s most relevant points in convincing America to elect him as President. 

Status: In Progress

Biden has not yet provided Americans with the $1,400 stimulus check he had promised. However, he has not given up on doing so. Earlier this month, the President signed the American Rescue Plan which details Biden’s plan for financial aid during the time of Covid-19, as unemployment and eviction rates spike. Payments to Americans are expected to start rolling out over the course of the next few weeks. 

 

Raise Minimum Wage

In addition to his federal relief plan, Joe Biden proposed raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, a  $7.75 increase from the current minimum wage. Though the President themself cannot singlehandedly increase the minimum wage, Biden asked the Office of Personnel Management to recommend raising the minimum wage. Biden also plans to terminate discrimination against Americans with disabilities in the workplace, which results in loopholes allowing those with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wage. 

Status: No progress yet federally

 

Pause Student Debt 

Joe Biden recognized the challenges facing students in debt by pledging to freeze the costs of tuition. He claimed he would cancel up to $10,000 for each student borrowing from the Department of Education. In addition to this, Biden proposed a plan for tuition free college to students meeting certain criteria. To be eligible, your family must have a yearly income of $125,000 per year or less, and you must be attending university. He also planned to limit student loans, repaying up to 5% of federal student loans to those who make over $25,000 annually. For those making less than this, undergraduate student loans would be canceled. 

Status: In Progress

President Joe Biden followed through on his promise to pause student debt, extending the payment freeze through September 2021. This decision serves to let students borrowing money spend it on more crucial things, like healthcare and rent. This act, though helpful, leaves many students questioning where they will stand after the payment pause is over when it comes to finances. The Biden Administration has arguably not provided enough information to ease many college-goers nerves entirely. 

 

Pause Deportation

The Biden Administration pledged to have zero deportations in the first 100 days of his presidency. This was focused on righting the wrongs Trump had created by essentially eliminating the requirements to be deported, which implied that to be deported, an individual must pose a threat to American security. As Biden claims he wants to restore these values, he planned to freeze deportation until reforms could be properly carried out. 

Status: No Progress

 According to United We Dream -an advocacy group for young immigrants- there were around 26,248 deportations within just the first 29 days of Biden’s presidency. Even worse, is the conditions of migrant facilities overseen by the Biden Administration. These “camps” are not too different from jails. Children and families live in trailers, packed together like sardines, oftentimes with no air conditioning. Not allowed to leave the facilities, immigrants are guarded by members of the militia and treated like convicts. 

What Else has Joe Biden Carried Out?

 

Bombed Syria

In late February, President Joe Biden ordered an airstrike in Syria aimed towards buildings that were suspected of being Iranian military sites. The 7-bomb attack came in response to Iranian rockets and threats towards America. The bombs killed “a handful of people” but America has not released any specific statistics detailing the casualties. Ultimately, far too little was known about the suspected Iranian military sites to warrant the dropping of bombs, and the decision to do so starkly contrasts Biden’s goal to improve foreign affairs. 

 

Re-joining Paris Agreement

Biden fulfilled one of his major campaign promises by rejoining the Paris Agreement on his first day in office. The Paris Agreement is a pact between many countries focused on limiting emissions to reduce global warming. As the United States and China create the most emissions of any nations, joining this agreement is a commendable act by Biden to curb global warming.

 

President Joe Biden has already begun to right the wrongs President Trump imposed on America, and these are  only a few of the many decisions made by Biden since he first took office. That being said, the defeat of Trump does not give us an excuse to stop holding our politicians accountable. As some condemned Trump for unfair treatment of immigrants at the border, I call into question the morality of Biden’s immigration plans as well. This is just one example, but it proves that as Americans we cannot silence our voices when our preferred candidate wins. It is imperative that we learn not to idolize politicians, because presidents should be working for America, not the other way around.