What the first hundred days of the Biden-Harris Administration plan to entail

Mollie Tashlik, Staff Writer

On Jan. 20, President-elect Joe Biden will move into the White House with a plan to turn his campaign promises into policy.  Recently, Biden said his goals are more than just a list of priorities, but actions that must happen during his first 100 days in office.

  The president-elect emphasizes three areas he would like to take immediate action on: immigration reform, the environment, and economic aid to state and local governments impacted by pandemic-related losses.  Additionally, the pressing COVID-19 pandemic is also a top  priority.  Biden is aware that success on these issues depends how well he and Congress can work together. 

  Tackling the ongoing pandemic is a must for the incoming Biden-Harris administration in their first hundred days.  Their plans include a COVID-19 task force with 13 physicians, public health experts, and researchers to implement their strategy to address the pandemic.  Working closely with governors and state officials, there is the potential to encourage mask mandates nationwide for a suggested 100 days.  

This mandate will be enforced on government property to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as vaccine distribution and increased testing continue.  The Biden-Harris plan is to “ensure all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing,” said Biden’s website in his outlined seven-point plan for his first 100 days.  The Biden plan provides $25 billion towards vaccine manufacturing and distribution.

  Immigration will be a top priority on day one.  Biden plans to send an immigration bill to the Senate with a citizenship plan for over 11 million undocumented people in America.  During his campaign, Biden committed to making the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — known as DACA — permanent on his first day in the White House.

   On Dec. 4, 2020, a New York Federal Court ordered the Department of Homeland Security to restore DACA to its original form which provides  protections for young immigrants brought to this country illegally as children.  This means those eligible can now apply for the first time, and anyone who received a 1-year renewal of their DACA certification will automatically have their protections extended to two years.  

  In addition, President-elect Biden committed to ending the Trump Administration policy that separated immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border.  Biden’s plan includes a 100-day moratorium on deportations and eliminating Trump’s restrictions on asylum-seekers.

  Regarding the environment, the president-elect plans to do away with “very damaging executive orders that have significantly impacted making the climate worse and making us less healthy,” said Biden in an interview with NBC News.  One of Biden’s promises was to bring the United States back into the 2015 Paris Climate Accords.  Biden also plans to re-strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency.

In his clean energy plan, Biden proposed a plan for the country to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and for a $2 trillion investment into clean energy and climate sustainability.  President-elect Biden has assembled a task force to initiate his climate plan.  This task force’s primary goal is to combat environmental justice problems and prioritize pollution monitoring.  Biden believes that climate change is a global emergency and a pressing issue that needs immediate, hands-on fixing.

“Biden’s new plan is a step in the right direction to get the climate crisis under control and get the environment back on track,” said junior Sydney Siegman.  

It has been reported the incoming administration is focused on passing an impactful economic aid package, and Biden has indicated a “series of executive actions” may be considered to address the “most urgent priorities” such as economic recovery and addressing racial inequality.

“It is so important that Biden has acknowledged the effect the pandemic has had on the economy and is willing to take necessary steps to fix it,” said junior Caroline Brandvold. 

As inauguration day grows closer, President-elect Biden is carefully assembling his cabinet.  He appointed Ron Klain, who was previously the Obama Administration’s Ebola-Response Coordinator, as his White House Chief of Staff.  Klain additionally served as Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore.  Biden has selected former Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, to be the first woman to lead the Department of Treasury.  He additionally plans to appoint Adewale Adeyemo as Deputy Treasury Secretary.  Biden announced his Secretary of Defense to be Llyod Austin, who is a former U.S. Army general.  For the position of Secretary of State, Biden appointed Antony Bliken, Biden’s National Secretary Adviser as Vice President and President Obama’s Deputy Secretary of State. All of the appointments must be confirmed by the Senate, before officially assuming their position in the cabinet. 

“I think it is very wise that Biden is following in Obama’s footsteps with his decisions.  His cabinet is made up of people who are educated and up for the job,”said junior Allison Strobel.