Biden “Boring” News

Biden

Jessica Lattanzi, Opinions Editor

A few months ago, Americans seemed to be addicted to the news. Increasingly surreal melodramas of election anxiety, fraudulent voting, a violent insurrection, impending impeachment, and a shaky transfer of power captivated societies everywhere. It seemed the globe would cave under the pressure of it all.

However, the minutes ticked by. Days turned into weeks, and a semi-peaceful transfer of power was made. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became the 46th President and Vice President of the United States.

Since that fateful inauguration day on January 20, it seems the news has gotten a little quieter, the hateful words a bit softer, and the nation a little calmer. This may in part be a result of the fact that former President Donald Trump has been banned from social media since being accused by many as starting the riot at the Capitol on January sixth. The 45th President’s bold tweets tended to cause news breaking drama, so its absence has mitigated much of that spectacle.

Yet things are rarely as anticlimactic as they initially seem. Let’s take a look at what President Biden has enacted in his first months in office.

In his first 50 days alone, Biden wasted no time in pushing his agenda. He signed 17 executive actions, 15 of which are set to become executive orders. These steps contrast greatly the moves former President Trump made, and many actually reverse his orders.

To begin, Biden sings a very contrasting tune to Trump with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeking to enact a nationwide mask mandate and rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO), Biden took a tighter approach to mandates regarding the pandemic. Biden also has a very optimistic look at future Coronavirus vaccination. During a press briefing in early March, Biden said that by the end of May, the United States will have acquired enough vaccine doses for every American adult. He later tweeted, “I’m announcing we’re bringing together Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and the full power of the federal government to ramp up vaccine production and defeat this virus.”

Nonetheless, this sentiment may not be so easy to spread. On the same day (March second) Mississippi and Texas governors announced that they were ending the statewide mask mandate and allowing businesses to operate at full capacity. Texas governor Gregg Abbott tweeted, “I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%. EVERYTHING. I also ended the statewide mask mandate.”
Despite this opposition, Biden has passed his new stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan. The $1,400 per-person check would cost the federal government $1.9 trillion. Biden faced pressure from moderate Senate Democrats to decrease the scale of who will be eligible for these payments. Watch this video from the Washington Post to learn more.

Biden has also taken several steps to help combat racial inequity. He is going to launch a whole-government moving towards “Allocating Federal Resources to Advance Fairness and Opportunity”, “Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders”, and “Identifying Methods to Assess Equity”. Fighting for an end to racism has been on the Biden agenda since the very beginning. Biden says he decided to run for President in 2020 after witnessing the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville VA. This perspective of love and equality is especially vital now that Anti-Asian hate crime has risen, notably after an Anti-Asian hate crime killed six Asian-American women in a massage parlor. Read more about the story here.

Biden continues to reverse Trump’s actions by eliminating the Executive Order 13769, otherwise known as the “Muslim ban,” which was deemed unconstitutional. He is also stopping progress on the infamous Mexico-US wall by undoing Trump’s order on extreme immigration enforcement.

On his first day in office, Biden took strides to combat climate change by rejoining the Paris climate agreement. Additionally, he lifted the Presidential permit given to the Keystone XL Pipeline, a point of controversy for more than a decade.
The President took action for LGBTQ+ rights and repealed the law that banned transgender Americans from joining the military, which was passed during the Trump administration. Furthermore, Biden called on Congress to enact laws that will ban assault weapons and require background checks for all gun sales.

Although the news may be less hectic, and, dare I say, more boring than before, action is happening and Democracy continues to run its course. But we all know that it’s only a matter of time before another scene is added to this melodrama. Who knows? Maybe the world really will give way into the abyss of space. What a headline that would be.