President Joe Biden entered his new position with ambitious plans, many of which directly counteract former President Trump’s agenda. The media has been lively with talk of Biden’s 100 day plan, which lists all of the specific actions Biden hopes to take in a variety of areas, from COVID-19 and climate change to immigration and racial injustice. Biden has only been in office for four weeks. What has he been able to accomplish so far?
President Biden set records with the amount of executive orders he signed during his first week in office. Although the subject of these executive orders usually had support, critics were quick to suggest that Biden was being too bold with his 28 executive orders. These orders rejoined the U.S. into the Paris Climate Accord, Rejoined the World Health Organization, and first and foremost, mandated that everyone wear a mask on federal government property.
Many of the President’s first actions were focused on repealing working plans and mandates of former President Trump, who is currently facing a second impeachment trial. Examples of this include his undoing of the Muslim ban, his undoing of the ban on transgender people in the military, and his halt of the U.S.-Mexico border construction.
Perhaps one of the most controversial of President Biden’s legislative moves was his repeal of the Global Gag Rule, which prevented foreign countries involved with the US from promoting abortionist policies. Considering Biden is the second Catholic president in America’s history, these actions have led to a mix of support and rebuke from members of the Church across the country. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is even debating barring the President from receiving communion.
In addition to legislation, Biden picked the most diverse cabinet in US history with his appointees being 55 percent non-white and four percent women. This historically diverse cabinet meets Biden’s campaign promise of a cabinet that “looks like America.” It is well known that Biden’s VP is Kamala Harris, the first black, South Asian American, and woman to ever serve in this position. Pete Buttigieg, transportation secretary, is the first openly gay Cabinet secretary to be confirmed by the Senate. Deb Halaand as interior secretary will become the first Native American in a cabinet position. Rachel Levine has been nominated as assistant secretary of health will be the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate. Biden has run into obstacles as only 7 out of the 23 cabinet positions that require confirmation have been confirmed.