Rogette Harris

Rogette Harris has been following American politics from a young age. As a teenager, she became involved with civil rights issues and became

May 2, 2021
Published on: pennlive
1 min read

By Rogette Harris

Joe Biden entered the White House with an expansive agenda that included developing a plan to better control the spread of COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout, enhancing the U.S. economic recovery, prioritizing climate policy, and re-shaping immigration policy.

President Joe Biden is now at his first 100 days in office. This 100-day benchmark started with former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had a huge productive start to his presidency in 1933, and it has been used to judge new presidents ever since.

Many skeptics thought President Biden would forgo large bold ideas and instead focus more on making bipartisan deals. However, he has hit the ground running with his agenda with or without Republican support and started creating a strong record.

Biden started his presidency by promoting the American Rescue Plan. This $1.9 trillion package provided short-term assistance to state and local governments, direct checks for American families, an expanded child tax credit, assistance to small businesses and homeowners, expanded unemployment compensation and more. In our era of polarized politics, Biden and Democrats used the budget reconciliation process to sidestep the chances of a filibuster, and the bill was passed on party lines.

Next on President Biden’s agenda is the American Jobs Plan, a sweeping infrastructure package that would add $2 trillion into our economy. The legislation would fund infrastructure programs to include bridges and roads, while improving broadband service, drinking water and the electric grid. Biden also has a climate plan that he claims will create jobs as well as help the environment using electric vehicles and cleaner energy sources. Biden is doing all of this while promoting racial equality. Although COVID-19 vaccines were already developed before Biden took office, he will receive an A+ for improving their rollout in his first 100 days.

President Biden has also garnered a lot of attention in the numerous executive orders he signed when first elected. Many of these executive orders purpose was to undo some of the key decisions from former President Donald Trump. For example, Biden re-entered the Paris Climate Agreement, established a White House Gender Policy Council and revoked executive orders that limited immigration and justified separating families at the border. It reminded us how temporary an executive order can be and how legislation must become law for permanent change to take place.

Although there is a lot of positive news to report on President Biden’s first 100 days. His presidency has not been problem free. For instance, there has been a flood of migrants at the US-Mexico border and the number of unaccompanied minors has reached new highs in over a decade.

Police killings of unarmed Black Americans continue, and there seems to be a mass shooting every week. In addition, while the vaccine rollout has been largely successful, COVID-19 infections remain high in many states. There will be many other bumps in the road to recovery.

The first 100 days does not necessarily determine the course of the rest of a President’s term. Regardless of what the future holds, Biden’s presidency has so far kept Democrats energized and engaged as we move into the 2021 elections and redistricting process nationwide.

Rogette Harris is a political analyst and a member of PennLive’s Editorial Board.