On Inauguration Day, January 20, 2020, Joe Biden is likely to be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Many presidents push an aggressive agenda with their first 100 days in office in order to quickly accomplish as much as possible.
Joe Biden is likely to be no exception. The Biden-Harris Transition Team is currently focusing on four areas where a newly sworn in President Biden will target: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change.
Here is what he is likely to try and accomplish as soon as he is sworn in.
Launch Coronavirus Task Force
Vice President Biden has already begun to assemble his coronavirus task force, also called The Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.
The board is led by co-chairs Dr. David Kessler, Dr. Vivek Murthy, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith who will advise Biden on “managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”
Sign Additional Coronavirus Legislation into Law
At an event in October, Vice President Biden vowed to ask Congress to promptly pass a new coronavirus bill that he would be able to sign within a few days of taking office.
“I’ll ask the new Congress to put a bill on my desk by the end of January with all the resources to see how both our public health and economic response can be seen through the end,” he said.
Rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO)
Following the WHO’s bungled response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its infamous assertion in January that “Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus,” President Trump withdrew the United States from the WHO.
Vice President Biden plans to immediately rejoin the WHO. “Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health. On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage,” the vice president tweeted in July, directly after President Trump had withdrawn the United States from the organization.
Rejoin Paris Climate Accords
The Biden-Harris Transition Team announced that not only will a newly inaugurated President Biden recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement, but “he will go much further than that.”
President Obama initially committed the United States to the Paris Climate Accords, though President Trump subsequently withdrew from it.
A Biden Administration will additionally try to “put the United States on an irreversible path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.”
This includes providing “every American city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation options,” working to “generate clean, American-made electricity to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035; upgrade 4 million buildings and weatherize 2 million homes over 4 years.”
It’s likely much of that goal would need the cooperation of Congress, which could prove problematic if Republicans retain control of the U.S. Senate.
Vice President Biden has also pledged to raise corporate taxes on his first day in office. The current corporate tax rate is 21%, which was cut significantly by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Prior to the tax cut, the corporate rate was 35%.
Joe Biden is proposing an increase of the corporate rate to 28%. “I’d make the changes on the corporate taxes on day one,” Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Once again, if Republicans keep control of the U.S. Senate, the chances of Vice President Biden being able to increase corporate taxes on the first day of his administration are reduced to almost zero.
Citizenship for 11 Million Illegal Aliens
On day one, Vice President Biden has also pledged to send a bill to Congress proposing a path to citizenship for all 11 million illegal aliens currently in the United States. Again, this would need the approval of both houses of Congress.
“On day one I`m sending… to the United States Congress a bill to provide for a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people, number one, in the United States,” Biden said in an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.
Extension of DACA
The vice president is also planning on permanently extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which ends deportation proceedings for those who arrived illegally in the United States when they were under age 18.
“I will immediately work to make [DACA] permanent by sending a bill to Congress on day one of my Administration,” Vice President Biden said over the summer.
Though this would need congressional approval, the vice president could likely extend DACA unilaterally prior to any consideration by Congress.
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Photo from JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS
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