The few of Biden’s many promises he has accomplished during his time in office as well as what he still owes the American people.
Although President Joe Biden has only spent a little over 100 days in office, the beginning of his term has been impactful nevertheless. With higher standards being maintained — both by the Democratic Party and progressives in America — following the departure of Biden’s predecessor, it is important to reevaluate plans the president had before his inauguration and compare them to what legislation he has pushed, policies he has passed, and his executive orders.
To compare Biden’s actions as the current American President, we can look to his official campaign website used while running in the 2020 election cycle. Under a tab titled “Joe’s Vision” are listed numerous plans Biden expressed concern and attention towards. Each proposal shows the variety of issues a majority of progressive Americans believe must be given attention. Although only a few of the Biden administration’s many plans to shape his “vision” will be discussed within this article, each issue on the list is a responsibility of the public to evaluate, on the federal as well as local level.
RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITY JUSTICE AND PROTECTION
During his campaign, Biden made sure to come across as though he understood the hardships faced by the diverse fields of minorities and cultures in America. On his campaign website, he has a plan for Native Americans, the Latino community, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the African Diaspora community, Indian Americans, the Jewish community, the Muslim community, as well as the Arab community.
Based purely on his campaign website, Biden understands the values and adversities faced by minority communities in America, but what has he done to help create a better America for us in his first 100 days? The Biden administration has pushed for an extension of the Voting Rights Act as well as pushed Congress to pass the SAFE Justice Act. Previously the administration promised to create a police oversight commission but has since dropped the plan. Instead, the administration has been lobbying Congress to pass a police reform bill known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
OTHER PLANS ADVANCING EQUALITY FOR HUMANITY-BASED ISSUES
Biden had shown promise to be a strong advocate of feminism in his Agenda for Women. On this page of his campaign website, Biden promoted his allyship by promising to fight for equal pay, improve economic security for women, help women navigate work and families, protect and empower women, and work toward an end of violence against women.
In his previous work as a Senator, Biden took leadership in authorizing the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 and has taken a few steps in backing women’s rights during his time as President. He also signed executive orders in March requiring his administration to establish a Gender Policy Council and directed the Department of Education to review Title IX and controversial provisions made under Title IX during the Trump administration.
Before he was elected to the White House, the official Biden campaign site quoted the guarantee that Biden would stand with the LGBTQ+ community and advance LGBTQ+ equality globally. The site mentioned Biden would protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination, support LGBTQ+ youth, protect LGBTQ+ individuals from violence (specifically the violence crisis against the transgender community), and all-around ensure fair treatment and rights to LGBTQ+ people.
In an article written by Reuters, they mentioned Biden’s anti-LGBTQ+ past of approving “‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as part of a larger defense bill after voting to remove the amendment. As vice president, he supported its 2010 repeal. Though Biden also voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, he had previously opposed denying same-sex couples benefits.” Biden has a history of supporting conservative social standards but has shown to promote more liberal ideas in current years. In his time as president, Biden has reversed Trump’s ban on prohibiting transgender people from serving in the military, and, according to an article written by NBC News, has “expanded the sex discrimination protection of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to include gender identity and sexual orientation.”
CONFRONTING CLIMATE CHANGE
The Biden plan for climate change and environmental justice stated, “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected,” in support of helping create a greener America.
Since entering office, Biden has famously re-entered America into the Paris Climate Agreement and has held a “climate world summit” where he claimed the ambitious goal that America would cut its emissions in half by 2030.
As stated in an Instagram post made by @nowsimplified, “He also created the first Office of Domestic Climate Policy in the White House, called on federal agencies to make climate change and environment justice a priority in decision-making, and stopped drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
THE FIGHT FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS AND UNIONS
As mentioned in his agenda regarding strengthening worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions, Biden planned to “check the abuse of corporate power over labor and hold corporate executives personally accountable for violations of labor laws, encourage and incentivize unionization and collective bargaining, and ensure that workers are treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve.”
In efforts to meet his word, since his admittance into office Biden has continued to support and urge members of Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The act grants workers protections in their right to unionize. Additionally, Biden continues to support the much-needed $15 minimum-wage raise.
Furthermore, according to the previously mentioned post made by @nowsimplified, “Biden recently introduced his American Jobs Plan… [which] would invest over $2 trillion in infrastructure and job creation, creating 19 million jobs and building a green energy economy.” Because of its massive cost, Congress — the branch needed to pass the plan — has mixed feelings concerning benefits. Despite this, Biden is determined to pass his plan.
ADDRESSING STUDENT LOAN DEBT
In Biden’s agenda for students, which goes into depth on mainly youth concerned policies such as clean energy and gun violence, the page writes, “Joe will provide two years of community college or other high-quality training programs without debt for any hard-working individual looking to learn and improve their skills. He will also make four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free for all students whose family incomes are below $125,000.”
On his first day in office, Biden extended the pause for student loan payments to September 30th of 2021, but total student debt cancellation — a concept many students and adults wish for and expected from this administration — has unfortunately not yet been achieved. However, in the Biden administration’s new plan known as the American Families Plan, Biden strives to make community college completely free. This plan, if passed in Congress, would be revolutionary in lowering the student loan debt crisis and possibly lowering the constantly rising college education costs.
IS IT REALISTIC SO EXPECT SO MUCH SO SOON?
Much was expected of President Biden entering office during a deadly pandemic and after the four years under President Trump. With 2020 being as difficult as it was on more than one front, the question remains as we go day by day into a new year: Is it realistic of us to expect so much so soon? According to an article written by CNN, “most of President Joe Biden’s executive actions introducing new policy in his first 100 days have been aimed at combating the novel coronavirus. He has primarily targeted former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies for reversals.” Luxe Kurves contributor Cassandra Crandell goes into more depth on the topic in her article Biden’s First 50 Executive Orders.
In matters of social equality, the Biden administration has shown a promising start, but more must be done to dismantle the racism, sexism, and bigotry so evident in our communities. Currently, the Biden administration has focused its main concerns on his American Jobs Plan, American Families Plan, as well as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act; however, it is up to Congress whether or not these policies will pass.
For now, our standard should continue to rise for the Biden Administration as well as our 117th Congress. Biden has done well in his first 100 days but we cannot allow our nation to expect less. We must also look to our own communities in demanding change for racial and ethnic minorities, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, our Earth, workers, students — the tip of the iceberg. America needs a social revamp and major cultural change before we can expect our policy to reflect the principles of progressive humanity-based values at its core.