As Trump’s Term Comes to an End, the New Biden Administration is Building Up

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Gayatri Malhotra / Unsplash

A man celebrates Joseph Biden’s win of the Presidency after the November 2020 election results were declared, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

On November 23, 2020, Emily Murphy, the head of the General Service Administration, signed a letter to formally begin the transition period of the Presidency. With the Trump presidency coming to a close, the Biden-Harris administration prepares to soon take office with Joseph Biden’s Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021.

One legacy of the  Trump administration was its crackdown on illegal immigration, separating children from their parents and imposing a travel ban. As Vice President, Biden oversaw the creation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that President Trump attempted to cease, which allowed undocumented immigrants  who came as children to be deferred from deportation. Biden has planned an executive order to reinstate DACA. On November 24th, 2020, Biden nominated Alejandro Mayorkas to be his Secretary of Homeland Security. Mayorkas would be the first Latino and immigrant to have the role. He has pledged to enforce immigration and border laws but also to get the department to gain its honor back after the Trump Presidency.

The incoming Biden presidency must tackle getting the Coronavirus pandemic under control. With over 208,000 cases a day and over 376,000 deaths in America, the pandemic is a national emergency. Before deciding on any White House staff or cabinet, Biden assembled a COVID-19 task force co-chaired by David A. Kessler, former head of the FDA, Vivek Murthy, former United States Surgeon General, and Marcella Nunez-Smith, a co-chair of President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board. Biden also named an additional thirteen medical professionals who will serve on the task force. Biden has pledged to take an aggressive approach to the virus by increasing testing, by producing enough PPE for medical professionals, and by hastening the distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines while reducing public fear.  Many Latinos and Blacks have a reluctance to take the vaccines due to lack of information and ability to access healthcare.

Another issue that Biden must face is the economy. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the American economy has crumbled since March 2020. Millions are unemployed, small businesses face an uncertain future as their revenue declines, and many Americans are holding out for $600 stimulus checks that Congress recently passed after much delay. On November 30, 2020, Biden nominated Janet Yellen, former Federal Reserve Chair, as Secretary of the Treasury. If confirmed (which is likely given Democratic control of the House and Senate), Yellin would be the first woman to run the Treasury Department. On the same day, Biden said, “As we get to work to control the virus, this is the team that will deliver immediate economic relief for the American people during this economic crisis and help us to build our economy back better than ever. They will work tirelessly to ensure that every American enjoys a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead, and that our businesses can thrive and outcompete the rest of the world.” On December 10th, 2020, Biden chose Katherine Tai as the United States Trade Representative, the first woman of color to hold the role and someone who has garnered a lot of support from Congress.

Biden must also deal with urgent environmental issues. The global carbon footprint has increased by almost 30% over a single decade.  Even with the reduced gas emissions currently, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the effects of  the past, like the increasing worldwide average global temperature, will still remain and must be solved. The Trump administration left the landmark Paris climate agreement last year. On November 24th, 2020, Biden nominated John Kerry, former Secretary of State, as his special presidential envoy for the climate. Kerry will be part of the National Security Council and will have authority over energy and climate policies in the executive branch. 

 On January 6, 2021, pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol while the Senate was confirming the Electoral College results, temporarily suspending the count. The riot caused five confirmed deaths so far and forced Congress to evacuate. During the day before, the Democratic Party won both of Georgia’s Senate seats leading to Democratic control of the Senate for the next two years.

Even with the many roadblocks that have been faced during the transition period, the Biden Administration will be able to begin the process of healing America and gluing it back together, starting on January 20th, 2021.

Even with the many roadblocks that have been faced during the transition period, the Biden Administration will be able to begin the process of healing America and gluing it back together, starting on January 20th, 2021.

 

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