Wednesday, January 20, 2021 : By Nathan Skates
President Joe Biden will get to work immediately in reversing the course set by the Trump administration. In the beginning days of Biden’s presidency, his priorities will be COVID-19, the economy, combating systemic racism and inequity, and climate change.
Biden has set an ambitious agenda not only for his first 100 days in office, but his first 10 days. The new administration is seeking to reverse course from Trump-era policies through executive action and through working with a divided Congress. Included in Biden’s early objectives will be rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, pushing for a $15 minimum wage, and trying to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill.
Upon taking office on January 20, Joe Biden will start to enact his agenda, one that is quite different from his predecessor’s. Biden’s administration will seek to reverse Trump-era policies and enact a different vision for America.
Ron Klain, Biden’s White House chief of staff, said that Biden’s priorities are “the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis.” Klain also said, “He’s going to come back to the White House after giving that speech at the Capitol and take some immediate actions to start to move this country forward.”
On Biden’s first day in office, he will rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, impose a federal mask mandate requiring masks on federal property and for interstate travel, extend a freeze on student loan repayments and eviction and foreclosure restrictions, and lift the Trump travel ban from certain Muslim-majority countries that were deemed terror threats.
Biden’s lifting of the travel ban on countries that harbor or fund terrorists is ironic. The Trump administration recently lifted a COVID-19 travel ban from Brazil and portions of Europe, but the Biden administration plans to reverse it. The travel ban for these friendly areas will be reinstated due to alleged COVID-19 risks. He will also sign an executive order ending border wall construction between the United States and Mexico.
On Thursday and Friday, Biden plans to sign executive orders related to reopening schools and dispersing COVID-19 relief payments.
Next week, the new administration will begin pushing for major changes. Biden will take additional action on climate change, reunite families separated at the border, and take “significant early actions to advance equity and support communities of color and other underserved communities.”
Biden’s plans on climate change can be found on his website. In addition to rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, reports say that Biden will nix the Keystone Pipeline. The new administration will take the nation in a radically different direction on energy, seeking to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and switch to “clean energy.” Biden’s campaign website says, “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” indicating his plans on energy will be anything but unifying.
Biden’s plans for advancing racial economic equity can be found here.
His plan to “restore dignity to our immigration system and our border policies” reportedly includes granting legal status to approximately 11 million illegal immigrants. The administration’s plans include a “shorter pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of people with temporary protected status and beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who were brought to the U.S. as children, and probably also for certain front-line essential workers, vast numbers of whom are immigrants.”
“These executive actions will deliver relief to the millions of Americans that are struggling in the face of these crises. President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward….Of course, these actions are just the start of our work. Much more will need to be done to fight COVID-19, build our economy back better, combat systemic racism and inequality, and address the existential threat of the climate crisis. But by February 1, America will be moving in the right direction on all four of these challenges, and more, thanks to President-elect Joe Biden’s leadership.”
Biden has also proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that would include raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, among other progressive initiatives.
Joe Biden is starting his presidency with an ambitious progressive agenda, not the moderate one he promised on the campaign trail. The new administration’s plans illustrate a deep divide in our country as Biden enacts an agenda that is almost completely opposite of Trump’s.
Biden’s plans will surely bring about hardship, particularly in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions. The Biden administration claims they will “restore America’s place in the world.” Evidently America’s place in the world is to join a harmful climate agreement that other nations will not adhere to. By enacting radical environmentalist plans, energy costs will skyrocket, gas prices will likely rise, and the average American will suffer.
As millions of Americans lost their jobs during COVID-19, raising the minimum wage to $15 will result in further job loss and incentivize employers to automate rather than hire more workers. A higher minimum wage is also likely to finish off some small businesses that have heretofore managed to survive the COVID lockdowns.
The hyperbolic language of the left often leads them to label every item on their agenda a “crisis.” Climate change and racial inequity are not crises. Climate change is not a crisis because it does not actually pose an existential threat to Americans and pursuing green energy will do virtually nothing to combat any supposed warming.
The left doesn’t want equality, however, they want equity. Even in Biden’s climate plans, the concept of equity is featured. America doesn’t promise equality of outcome, only equality of opportunity. It is not the responsibility of the government to forcibly bring everyone to the same outcome. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, the only equal outcome possible under this scenario is equal misery.