The first 100 days

Ishaan Srivastava, Contributing Writer

President Biden will be taking over the White House in an undoubtedly divisive time for America as we battle a pandemic, suffer from a crumbling economy, and face a nation that is more divided than ever before. Other than the direct issues, the newly-minted President and his administration will also be tasked with a whole slew of issues ranging in matters of foreign policy, criminal justice, and infrastructure among others. 



As the biggest threat to the nation at the moment, President Biden has vowed to directly tackle COVID-19 and plans to introduce new policies and ideas to deal with this issue. 

At one of his first press conferences dealing with COVID-19 as President, Biden announced that he intends on unrolling a mass vaccination plan, which is aimed at administering 150 million doses over his first 100 days in office. 

“This will be one of the most challenging operational efforts we’ve ever undertaken as a nation,” Biden said.“We’ll have to move heaven and Earth to get more people vaccinated, to create more places for them to get vaccinated, to mobilize more medical teams to get shots in people’s arms.” 

The administration also bought an additional 200 million doses of COVID vaccines, which should be capable of vaccinating 300 million people or nearly the entire population of the United States. In his announcement, President Biden hoped to get to a stage where anyone who wanted to get a vaccine would be able to by late spring or early summer. 

Biden’s COVID agenda also works to further involve the federal government in matters of distribution, whereas the previous administration left it upon the states to distribute vaccines. Biden also plans on invoking the “Defense Authorization Act” to bolster the vaccination production rate and aims to halt the United States’ departure from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The President is also asking Congress for additional money to help in the distribution effort. Out of the $400 billion requested, $20 billion would be allocated to a mass vaccination program, $50 billion towards testing and contact tracing, and $30 billion for supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE).



Another major hurdle for the Biden administration is the aforementioned crumbling economy that goes hand in hand with the COVID crisis. As the pandemic rages on, it has brought unprecedented job loss and hurt small businesses, average Americans are struggling and these will all be on President Biden’s economic agenda. 

The biggest part of this plan is to pass another COVID relief bill worth about $1 trillion which would provide direct financial support to Americans and emergency funds for small businesses. The “American Rescue Plan” constitutes $1400 direct payments to struggling Americans.

The additional $1400 has already sprouted some opposition to the proposal, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia told the Washington Post “Absolutely no” to the notion of providing additional relief money to struggling Americans, after issuing $600 payments in early December.

This early opposition may be a hard fight for Biden should Manchin not vote in favor, prompting him to look for other Republican senators to vote in favor of his proposal. In other direct relief, Biden’s plan also includes expanding unemployment insurance by $100, and increasing the child tax credit. 

The other major focus of the Biden economic plan is on small businesses, for which he hopes to provide $35 billion for small business financing programs, increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and $350 billion for the states for financial support. He hopes to introduce a $1.3 trillion infrastructure plan which would be implemented over a 10 year period. 


Reversing Trump policies and first executive orders: 

Even before he was elected, President Biden had made it clear that he would focus much of the beginning of his term reversing several Trump administration policies in an effort to be able to further push his agenda and set the groundwork to implement more policies. Starting on his first day, President Biden issued a flurry of executive orders reversing many of the Trump administration’s policies. 

On matters of immigration, the President signed an order reversing the Trump-era travel ban on several Muslim majority and African countries that had sprouted controversy when it was implemented. He has additionally promised to reunite families separated at the U.S-Mexico border. The President has placed his own travel ban on the country of South Africa following the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in that state, and plans to extend travel bans to European Union, the UK, Ireland, and Brazil.

Among the orders from his first day, the President issued a mask mandate on all federal land, property, buildings and some modes of interstate transportation. 

 In other parts of the economy, the President issued an executive order laying out the groundwork for a $15 minimum wage, and food assistance. 

In other executive actions, the President has issued an order to accelerate the production and development of vaccines, testing, and PPE. He signed an executive order to halt the construction of the border wall from the Trump administration by terminating the national emergency which had been declared to construct it. He canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, and also reversed the ban from the Trump administration on transgender Americans from serving in the military. 

On his seventh day in office, the President issued an executive order directing the incoming Attorney General not to renew contracts with private prisons, in a move to address his criminal justice reform agenda. 


Environment and climate change: 

The Trump administration had seen a long list of reversals from the Obama administration’s environmental policies. With President Biden in the White House now, he hopes to restore most of the major climate policies and further advance on it, a promise that was central to his campaign and important for many of his voters. 

As said on the White House’s website, “President Biden will take swift action to tackle the climate emergency. The Biden Administration will ensure we meet the demands of science, while empowering American workers and businesses to lead a clean energy revolution.” 

One of his more prominent foreign policy goals was to re-enter the Paris Climate agreement, which President Trump had exited during his administration citing that it “undermined” the economy and put the United States at a permanent disadvantage. 

“I was elected to represent Pittsburgh not Paris,” Trump said. 

On his first in the oval office as President, Biden reversed another Trump policy and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, the United States will take 30 days to formally rejoin the Paris Agreement. 

In another one of his executive orders, the President directed members of his administration to continue to reverse many of his predecessor’s climate reversals. 

On his agenda, Biden also plans on using the Federal government’s purchasing power to increase the demand and purchase of climate friendly “green” products, which he would implement by requiring federal agencies to buy eco-friendly products for their respective uses. 


Other things on the list: 

In order to be able to pay for his policies, Biden plans on requesting Congress to repeal the 2017 tax cuts, yet another indication of a move away from the Trump administration. The President argues that the tax cuts mainly favored wealthy Americans. 

On guns, the President wants to request Congress to re-examine loopholes in its background check system, and repeal liability protections for gun manufacturers, which would allow Americans to file lawsuits against manufacturers should one of their products be used in a crime. President Biden also said he would “restructure” federal agencies that overlook gun laws.

With the impeachment trial of his predecessor looming over his first 100 days, President Biden has come out in support of it, but believes that there will not be enough Republican senators to vote in favor of it. 

Another hit from the COVID-19 crisis is the massive shutdown of schools across the country. With schools beginning to welcome back a select amount of students for in-person instruction, President Biden has indicated that he would like a majority of elementary and middle schools to reopen within the 100 day time period. However, this plan does have a few setbacks including several new and more contagious COVID variants as well as parents hesitant of sending their children back to school .

The first 100 days of any Presidency have been considered one of the most important periods of work and development for any new administration. They are a major indication of the new President’s governing style and what they consider important. For any President, pushing ahead on campaign promises is their biggest priority, however President Biden’s main aim will be to push down the COVID-19 pandemic, revitalize the economy, work on America’s foreign policy, and give a major focus on climate change, which will come to define his first 100 days in office.