Biden’s First Days in Office – A Review

The first 100 days are the most important in any presidency: how will he be judged?


Henry Bloss, Editorial Board

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was inaugurated at 12:00 PM, Eastern Time, on the steps of the Capitol– the same steps which, just a week earlier, were overrun in an attempt to stop this very moment. From this point on, Biden set to work.

Biden’s first days in office dispelled any notion that he would be an ineffectual president. His first few days are considered to be the most progressive of any president, ever. He launched over 22 executive orders within his first week, the most of any president to hold the office. For comparison, President Trump issued four, President Obama issued five, and President George W. Bush issued zero. This use of executive power, in line with the “bully pulpit” mentality of Teddy Roosevelt, drew praise from the left and criticism from the right.

Many of these executive orders are referendums on some more controversial policies from the Trump Era. Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement President Trump left in 2017, and committed to lowering fossil fuel emissions in America. Biden also revoked the controversial transgender military ban instituted by the Trump administration. Biden ended the travel ban instituted by the Trump administration from several state sponsors of terrorism in the Middle East, North Korea, and Venezuela.

The president has gone above and beyond simple revocation, however. Biden issued an order promoting racial equity within his branch of government, ordering thorough internal investigations of all departments and promising a reallocation of resources to promote racial equity within his departments. In other words, he will be implementing Critical Race Theory within all executive departments, at the ire of conservatives and the delight of the inter-sectional left.

He also fulfilled a campaign promise and mandated the use of masks on federal property, as well as in transportation across state lines. He issued a separate order outlining COVID response, creating a COVID-19 coordinator, who specifically is designed to examine the logistics of the pandemic and report to Biden on which action he thinks is best. The president seeks to expand access to COVID-19 treatments to critical care facilities and nursing homes.

Additionally, Biden revoked the harsh policy of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department towards Southern immigration, taking a stance against the child separation policy and fighting against the massive detainment facilities, despite the fact that his former boss, President Obama, built said facilities. Biden reaffirmed that immigrants will be counted in the Census population count, despite the claims of the Trump administration, and strengthened the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Via executive order, Biden blocked funding to the border wall and halted construction, undoing the previous administration’s use of emergency powers to fund the border wall. These actions have taken criticism from the right. The left, however, is unimpressed, given Biden’s record on immigration in the past.

Through executive order, President Biden reaffirmed his stance against the climate crisis, revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which is controversial both for its transportation of fossil fuels and its transportation through Indigenous lands. While the left hailed this decision as environmentally conscious, the right and moderate leaning Americans criticized this decision for the loss of over 15,000 jobs during a pandemic.

Committing himself to equality for the LGBTQ community, Biden banned discrimination on the basis of gender identity of sexual orientation within the federal government. He also launched a massive statement concerning transgenderism in America, encouraging people to accept transgenderism, giving transgenderism legal pathways throughout the country, banning discrimination on this front, and stated that transgender athletes must be allowed to participate in the sport of their chosen gender.

Adopting a view from the more left-leaning Bernie Sanders, now chairman of the Senate Budget committee, Biden temporarily halted all federal student loan payments, citing the financial difficulties of the pandemic. He has also promised a massive American stimulus bill, including $1400 stimulus checks.

Biden’s communications team has been less promising. Press Secretary Jen Psake has proven fairly unprepared for her briefings. Her most frequently uttered phrase is, “We’ll circle back to that.” She continually lacks appropriate information for harder hitting questions. Biden himself has been similarly dodgy. When asked what he and President Vladimir Putin discussed in a proposed conversation, Biden responded with, “You,” and walked off stage.

Looking at the future, it is likely Biden will continue his similar progressive path. I expect him to utter platitudes of withdrawing from conflicts, though if he will I cannot say. He will likely continue the same dodgy press practices. How these next four years play out we will have to see.