The United States’ 46th president, Joe Biden, has been in office for a little over a month. While only a short time, President Biden has begun to create significant change in American policies through both his executive orders and congressional support. While Biden’s administration continues in some of the traditional legacy of democratic administrations, new policies are already underway.
Overall, Biden carries the torch of a typical American presidency. Daniel Bennett, political science professor at John Brown University, states that the new administration so far has undergone little unexpected change. Biden fits the presidential mold that Trump had broken, in that Biden prefers to rely on his press more than Trump did. Bennett said that Biden is “a more boring president than Trump, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
Nevertheless, Biden has managed to make significant headway in fulfilling his campaign promises. Bennett notes that Biden has signed numerous executive orders to overturn Trump’s immigration policies as well as increased abortion availability and funding overseas. Biden has even signed some environmental executive orders. However, Biden must rely on Congressional legislation to pass bills on the larger promises he made in financial relief and stimulus negotiations.
Miguel Rivera, associate professor of political science, foresees a problem with the bill, known as the Equality Act. “The Equality Act takes away institutions’ ability to challenge regulations and laws under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and their ability to use religious freedom as a defense in any lawsuits.” Rivera agrees with Bennett on Biden’s ability to change American policy. “A combination of [Biden’s] executive orders and his support of the Equality Act is clear evidence that he has kept his campaign promises related to his more liberal agenda and LGBTQ,” Rivera said.
One main challenge for the Biden administration is the continuation of the pandemic. This, Bennett reasons, is simply a leftover of the Trump administration that the Biden administration inherited responsibility for. This challenge is being taken in stride. Rivera says that Biden “has kept his promises so far regarding COVID-19 and the actions he is taking there to ensure the implementation of the vaccines.”
One of these promises is to return to international unions and organizations. “Many people thought Trump’s [international policy stance] was a good one as it shook up several decades of stuff,” Bennett said. “There’s a sigh of relief from allies and countries overseas because [with Biden] they know what to expect even if we don’t agree.”
The media has aligned its various outlets as expected: liberals praise Biden, while conservatives criticize him. However, Americans at large are holding their breath, waiting for a decisive change in the Biden administration before harboring any opinion. “The public is giving Biden the benefit of the doubt … We’ll see what happens,” Bennett said.
One month since Inauguration Day, Biden clearly means to change policy. The future and Americans’ opinions of the Biden administration are highly uncertain. Still, the American people have reason to believe Biden will do all he can while in office to fulfill his promises.
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