Biden's first 100 days: From reversing Trump’s immigration policies to COVID-19 relief, here’s what's on the agenda
President-elect Joe Biden will step into the White House on Wednesday facing an array of crises, from COVID-19 to nationwide tension surrounding racial justice.
Biden has already started rolling out his plans to take them on.
Over the past several weeks, Biden has laid out several things he wants to do in his first 100 days in office. The proposals include tackling the pandemic, reversing immigration policies put in place under President Donald Trump and addressing criminal justice reform.
On Thursday, Biden laid out a COVID-19 relief package that he hopes to see pass through Congress in the immediate weeks after taking office.
The $1.9 trillion plan includes $20 billion for a national vaccination program, $1,400 stimulus checks and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Biden has also pledged to provide 100 million doses of the vaccine during the first 100 days of his administration.
“This will be one of the most challenging operational efforts we have ever undertaken as a nation,” Biden said Thursday of vaccine distribution. “We’ll have to move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated, create more places for them to get vaccinated, to mobilize more medical teams to get shots in people's arms.”
As part of his response to the pandemic, Biden also said that he wants to begin reopening schools in the first 100 days of his administration. His relief package proposes $130 billion to help schools safely reopen.
Biden has also said in the 100-day timeframe, he will also call for masks to be mandated in places “where he can under the law,” such as in federal buildings, planes and buses.
Here are some of the issues Biden has said he wants to address in his first 100 days in office:
Economy and taxes
Biden has said that his COVID-19 relief plan will help “stimulate the economy," with the help of $1,400 stimulus checks, grants for small businesses and billions for schools to reopen, among other proposals. He will introduce that recovery plan next month during his address to a joint session of Congress.
Biden has also said he will propose a new tax plan that includes raising corporate income taxes to 28%. Currently, the corporate tax rate is 21%, which was set under Trump’s 2017 tax plan.
Under his tax plan, Biden said no one making less than $400,000 will see their taxes increase, but that a 12.4% Social Security payroll tax will be imposed on those who earn $400,000 or more. The president-elect, however, has not given a timeline of when that plan would be introduced.
During his tenure, Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement, which focuses on goals to help mitigate climate change.
On the first day of his administration, Biden plans to rejoin the accord.
Biden has said that within the first 100 days of his administration, he wants to host a climate world summit to “directly engage the leaders of the major greenhouse gas-emitting nations of the world to persuade them to join the United States in making more ambitious national pledges, above and beyond the commitments they have already made.”
He also pledged on his first day in office he would take actions that require “aggressive methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations.” He said the goal is to develop “rigorous new fuel economy standards aimed at ensuring 100% of new sales for light- and medium-duty vehicles will be zero emissions and annual improvements for heavy duty vehicles.”
Trump took a hardline approach to immigration that led to several controversial policies, including a family separation policy along the U.S.-Mexico border, which has since been halted but continues in isolated cases.
Biden has said that he will begin undoing many of the Trump administration’s immigration policies on Day One.
Biden has previously said he will issue an executive order on the first day of his presidency to create a federal task force to reunite children with their parents who were separated at the border. As of December, 628 parents who were separated from their children at the border are still missing.
Trump also faced criticism over conditions for migrants at the border, enacted a travel ban for mostly Muslim-majority countries, and slashed the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S.
Within the first 100 days of his administration, Biden has said he will stop construction on the border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border by taking away funding.
Policies related to LGBTQ individuals
Biden last year vowed that in the first 100 days of his administration, he would push to pass the Equality Act, which aims to extend federal protections in the areas of housing, education, credit and services to members of the LGBTQ community.
“To help achieve our vision of equality, I will make enactment of the Equality Act a top legislative priority during my first 100 days — a priority that Donald Trump opposes,” Biden said in October. “This is essential to ensuring that no future president can ever again roll back civil rights and protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, including when it comes to housing.”
Amid a nationwide reckoning with systemic racism, Biden has vowed to make racial justice and criminal justice reforms a key part of his administration.
In his first 100 days, Biden has said, he is committed to creating a national police oversight commission.
Last year, the death of George Floyd, a Black Minnesota man who was killed in police custody, spurred protests nationwide and even across the world. Since then, there have been calls for police reform.
"I've long believed we need real community policing. And we need each and every police department in the country to undertake a comprehensive review of their hiring, their training and their de-escalation practices," Biden said in a speech last summer. "And the federal government should give them the tools and resources they need to implement reforms."