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No calm for Biden after his first month in office

Democrat Joe Biden served his first month as president of the United States amid the (mainly health and economic) crises, which he inherited from his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump.

 

During this time, the president signed 31 executive orders, a record number in modern American history.

That amount exceeds by one the number of similar initiatives signed in the same time by fellow Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was in office from 1933 to 1945.

However, Biden’s efforts to change the landscape in the United States face obstacles and the cooperation of a Congress whose Democratic majority is so narrow that it will be very difficult to pass laws without Republican approval. For example, Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion proposals to ‘rescue’ the economy from the effects of Covid-19, when the United States continues to be the nation most affected by the pandemic, are pending approval in the Legislature, as well as that of the immigration reform.

A few days ago, Democratic representatives on Capitol Hill unveiled the sprawling 400-page immigration bill that would provide an eight-year path to citizenship for 11 million irregular immigrants.

Considered by analysts as an uphill effort due to opposition from Republicans, the initiative will be analysed in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and a vote on it will probably take place during the week of 8th March.

If the two legislative entities approve the same text, the proposal will be sent to the president so that, with his signature, it becomes law, but according to those in the know about the matter, that event will not happen as quickly as the administration wants.

In the opinion of various stakeholders, Biden is promoting an inclusive immigration reform bill, which is receiving praise from progressives and defenders of immigrant rights, and at the same time contrasts with the criteria of Republicans. In terms of economic measures, the White House wants Congress to pass them before 14th March, the final date for key unemployment benefits, and the Democrats intend to resort to a legal manoeuvre to be able to pass the package in the Senate even if they cannot count on its backing by its opponents.

On the other hand, if Biden is to achieve his goal of reopening schools that are currently closed due to Covid-19 and which teach children under 14 years of age in his first 100 days in office (which are marked on 30th April), he will need the approval of legislators and teachers’ unions.

Biden is on track to fulfil another promise before 1st May, that is, to administer at least 100 million doses of vaccines against this disease, as the executive mansion reported the achievement of about 1.5 million of the injections supplied daily.

Along with these problems, Biden’s first month at the helm of the United States was marked by the impeachment of Trump, who was accused of inciting insurrection in the attack on the Capitol in Washington on 6th January, resulting in five deaths.

As anticipated by various sources, the necessary 67 votes, or a two-thirds majority in the 100-member upper house, were not achieved for the conviction. Unlike on previous occasions, the legal proceedings were led by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, Speaker pro tempore of the Upper House, and not by the highest figure of the Supreme Court of Justice, John G. Roberts. (PL)

(Translated by Hannah Phelvin – Email: hphelvin@gmail.com) – Photos: Pixabay

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