In his first 15 days in office, President Joe Biden has passed a slew of executive orders, including halting the Keystone pipeline and new oil and gas exploration on public lands, prohibiting workplace discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, ending the ban on transgenders in the military, extending student loan, eviction, and foreclosure relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.
Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization.
But Biden’s promise to “shut down the virus” will be difficult to accomplish with just the singing of an executive order. The death toll in the United States will reach 500,000 this month.
Biden has promised to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office. On day 6 in office, he increased that goal by 50 million.
According to recent polls, dealing with COVID-19 and strengthening the economy are Americans’ top priorities right now.
Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal includes $1,400 relief checks for individuals, enhanced unemployment benefits, funding for COVID testing and vaccine development and distribution, aid to struggling schools, states, and localities, a $15 per hour minimum wage, expenditures for child care, and an increase in the child tax credit aimed at drastically reducing child poverty.
Biden is already facing challenges with both wings of his party. Progressives are anxious to proceed with the relief bill, but Democratic moderates are not as eager, especially when it comes to the $15 minimum wage.
But according to a new survey from Vox and Data for Progress, 64 percent of Americans want quick and substantial pandemic relief, even if that means proceeding through reconciliation.
The $2 trillion relief package that Congress passed in March 2020 proved to be very popular among Americans. But the pandemic is not over, and it will hurt the economy for months to come.