Joe Biden already has a favorite compliment in the halls of the White House. Close associates claim that the President of the United States celebrates, albeit quietly, when he learns that his debut was more ambitious than that of Barack Obama, vice president from 2009 to 2017.
In the first 100 days of his government, which ends on Thursday (29), Biden has shown a desire to be one of the most transformative presidents in American history. But, for this, he must make permanent marks of his bold proposals, reformulating the country in terms of inequalities, the right to vote and the role of the state in economic growth.
The Hundred Days Mark is full of symbolism, usually without much practical effect. This year, however, with the postponement caused by the pandemic restrictions, the date will virtually coincide with Biden’s first speech to the joint session of Congress, his opportunity to celebrate victories and to list priorities that may shape the legacy of his presidency.
This Wednesday (28), the Democrat is expected to list the progress of his plan against Covid-19, which has allowed the distribution of more than 200 million vaccines in a hundred days and set the record for cases and deaths caused by the disease in the country. With the urgency hinted at in the Oval Office, Biden took the United States from a health disaster to one of the world’s greatest mass vaccination successes and was able to signal a faster economic recovery with the approval. an economic relief program worth US $ 1.9 trillion. , with specific assistance for the most vulnerable.
In front of parliamentarians, the president wants to draw attention to the next challenges and must announce the increase in taxes on the richest, in part to finance his proposed trillion dollar infrastructure reform. He knows that the next hundred days will be more difficult – and risky – because he must move forward with this agenda, which combines job creation and green economy, without ignoring the immigration crisis, the biggest of his government and its framework. main criticism.
The economic bailout has been Biden’s big victory in Congress so far, and 1 of 11 laws the president has signed since taking office on Jan.20. The number is small compared to his more recent predecessors – Donald Trump staggered 28 laws in the first 100 days and Obama, 14 – but the number defines the Democrat’s risky way of governing.
In terms of executive decrees, a mechanism that does not need Congressional approval to take effect, but can be reversed more easily, the president has been the record holder since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945), who ruled the country in the midst of the Great Depression and World War II.
Biden has signed 42, many to overturn Trump’s policies, such as the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization, vetoing people entry of certain Muslim-majority countries on American territory and the release of resources for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.
A traditional politician and senator for nearly four decades, Biden understands that executive orders are fleeting and that while his policies are not to be reversed by a possible next president, Congress must legislate them.
The president is in a hurry because his party’s fragile majority in the Senate – 50 for Democrats and 50 for Republicans, with a tiebreaker at the hands of Vice President Kamala Harris – could end in the legislative election of 2022.
Projects that do not involve a budget require more than a simple majority to be approved, such as measures that are in the infrastructure package or on arms control and to reduce voting restrictions, topics that Biden addressed publicly.
Praised at the inauguration, the discourse of bipartisanship was however left behind. Biden’s formula is to convince Congress to approve his popular support-driven measures – which is why he has put forward proposals for infrastructure reform and green economy investment linked to creating millions of people. jobs and increased competitiveness in the country.
According to the FiveThirtyEight website, the president’s average approval rating is 54.4% – more popular than Trump throughout his tenure, but less than Obama, who had 60% during the same period.
One of the few themes that united Biden with Republicans is the strained relationship with China and Russia.
Governments of the past had the luxury of choosing which national security threats they attacked first, according to a State Department member, but Biden did not have that option. According to the diplomat, China, Russia, Covid-19 and climate change have imposed themselves on the White House.
Last week, Biden led the Leaders’ Climate Summit, in an attempt to reposition the United States in the leadership of environmentally-driven, global geopolitics seen as another Democratic asset.
The lack of a clear commitment from countries like China and India to reducing pollutant emissions over the next decade, however, could hamper Americans’ plans.
But its biggest puzzle today is the border crisis, with the largest influx of immigrants to the United States in 20 years. During the campaign, Biden vowed to give more humane treatment to foreigners trying to enter the United States undocumented and to facilitate access to American citizenship for 11 million immigrants, but the lack of control at the border has eclipsed measures already in place, such as the one he intends to bring separated families on currency in the Trump administration.
Biden has come under serious attack, including by allies, for restricting access to the press to monitor patrol work on the border with Mexico and for the high volume of unaccompanied children staying in detention centers over long than the 72 hours permitted by law.
He has not yet given an effective response to the crisis, but on Tuesday (27) he appointed a Texas official known to be a political spokesperson for the ICE (Immigration and Customs Agency) command.
Under floods of criticism in the same area of immigration, Obama argues that he could have been more daring during his administration, but still, the first black president in American history left two marks in history: Obamacare and the financial reform for Crisis of 2008.
The sense of urgency shows Biden knows the time is short to make structural changes in such a polarized country, but the hurdles can be significant, and the possibility of running for reelection – which had not been considered before. – has already appeared in a press release. by democrat.