During his campaign, President Joe Biden broadcasted a lot of different messages to the public. He was entering the white house during a time of general discomfort with the government and a negative opinion of the previous administration. The country was working to combat high rates of homelessness, unemployment, police brutality, racial injustices, and a worldwide pandemic. All Americans were hoping that his actions would do something to confront this unhealthy atmosphere.
The Hilltopper chose to look into some of these major campaign promises to determine if Biden had followed through with real change since taking office. We’ve broken it down into four major categories.
Biden won the 2020 Election well into the COVID-19 pandemic and because of this, much of the media’s attention was on his response to it. He opened with his American Rescue Plan which became an outline for the relief legislation making its way through congress. In this $1.9 trillion package, stimulus checks were provided to those families in need, as well as funding for reopening schools, aiding small businesses, and vaccination infrastructure. The bill passed on March 11. He also set a goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days. He blew that number away in only 59 days and instead upped his numbers to 200 million by his 100th day. On top of this, he also rejoined the World Health Organization in the hopes of a return to normal in the fall of this year.
Civil Rights Protections
Under President Biden we have not seen the end to police violence targeted towards people of color. On the campaign, Biden promised to create a commission to oversee police brutality at the national level but in April the idea was scrapped. However, AG Merrick Garland made an announcement that there would be a civil investigation into the Louisville and Minneapolis police departments. The new administration has put its support behind the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, passed by the US House in March.
Biden also promised voters on the trail that he was the candidate to increase diversity and inclusion. He called for the immediate passing of the Equality Act, amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation. It passed the House in February and now sits in the Senate. Biden himself however has not pushed for any movement from the Senate on this legislation since its passing in the House.
Since Biden’s January 21st inauguration, wildfires have ravaged the California forests, and Texas has practically frozen over. Many grew weary over how the planet was responding to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Biden has kept his promise to make America more “green-minded.” He issued an executive order on day one to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. He also stopped the development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement. Biden’s team also established the Office of Domestic Climate Policy in the White House. In progress, Biden and his administration have a plan to conserve 30 percent of American land and water by 2030 and help curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Biden promised to update the Voting Rights Act. He also wanted to pass the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment. These bills are all awaiting their respective hearings in the US Senate where Republicans have been staunchly in opposition of their passage. These motions by the President have not been met with great acceptance across the country either. In Georgia, a law was passed that led to widespread protests, boycotts, and even a withdrawal from the MLB in hosting its All Star Game in Atlanta in 2021.