President Joe Biden’s (right) administration will strengthen former President Barack Obama’s (left) legacy by reversing some of his predecessor’s executive orders. However, the new president will also chart his own course.
Biden Becomes 46th President of the United States
On Jan. 20, President Joe Biden became America’s 46th commander-in-chief, vowing to bring unity to a fractured nation.
President Biden said that he would represent all Americans during his presidency and not just those who voted for him and Vice President Kamala Harris.
On Wednesday, Biden said, “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.
“Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things…
“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know that the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long tore us apart.”
To bring the country together, after an attempted coup and insurrection to keep former President Donald Trump in office even though he lost the presidential election last November, Biden will use his decades of experience working with Republican Senators in attempt to mend broken fences.
Speaking of the insurrection by far right wing extremists and terrorists, Biden said, “So now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries. As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on the nation we know we can and we must be.”
He continued, “We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain. Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now.”
Biden spoke on the ravaging coronavirus and its impact on the economy saying, “Once in a century virus that silently stalks the country. It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost, hundreds of thousands of businesses closed, a cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.”
Despite Biden’s message of unity and healing, critics have spoken out against some of his executive orders like the one halting the license for the Keystone Pipeline.
Critics of that decision have said that stopping the Keystone Pipeline will kill jobs for many people.
Furthermore, some critics have stated that executive orders do not allow for unity because the actions do not allow for negotiations between Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Biden signed executive orders on the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, immigration, the environment, the Census and other issues.
Some of Biden’s executive orders overturned Trump’s executive orders.
“I thought there’s no time to wait,” Biden said. “Get to work immediately.”
Incoming Biden administration team members said that more executive actions would come in the coming days and weeks to confront some of the issues that Biden sees America facing.
In a statement prior to inauguration, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “In the coming days and weeks we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the President-elect’s promises to the American people, including revoking the ban on military service by transgender Americans, and the reversing the Mexico City policy.”
Through executive actions from Biden, the United States rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Furthermore, the Biden administration extended eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, put a pause on student loan payments until Sept. 30 and also vowed to count non-citizens on the census, which is something that Trump tried to disallow via an executive order in July of 2020.
Biden wants to use the word non-citizen instead of the term illegal alien because he wants to emphasize that America is the land of immigrants.
Additionally, he reversed Trump’s ban on travel from some Muslim countries, and is vowing to create a pathway to United States citizenship for undocumented immigrants and so-called dreamers, brought to America at an early age by their non-citizen parents.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic prevented much of the pomp and circumstance that often surrounds inauguration day like the parades and the numerous balls around Washington, D.C.
Instead, the inauguration events included a virtual parade around America and a musical celebration on inauguration night, hosted by Academy Award winning actor, Tom Hanks.
Some of the musical acts that performed virtually from around the country on inauguration night included John Legend, Black Pumas, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons, Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Luis Fonsi and others.
The inauguration itself featured performers from across the political spectrum like poet Amanda Gorman and singers Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and country legend Garth Brooks, who said that he votes Republican but wanted to show unity by performing for a Democratic president.