The next president’s top priority will be passing a nearly two trillion-dollar economic aid package
Since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, all American presidents have been judged by how much of their agenda they were able to accomplish in the first 100 days of their administrations.
President-elect Joe Biden is determined to get much of his agenda through Congress early in his term, experts say.
“What other president has come right from the doorstep pushing for $2 trillion in stimulus measures?” – wondered Dan Mahaffey, senior vice president and director of policy at the Washington-based Center for the Study of Presidential Power and Congress.
But Biden will have to operate with a much more fragile majority in each chamber than he did under Barack Obama.
Nevertheless, his plan is “even more grandiose because of the twin challenges, in health care and the economy,” Mahaffey noted.
The biggest element of his plan is direct payments and other measures aimed at supporting affected individuals and families totaling about $1 trillion.
Biden’s plan also includes $440 billion in direct assistance to small businesses and local governments.
But passing this package is far from the only thing he hopes to accomplish in his first months in office. Here are some of Biden’s other policy priorities.
Biden has pledged to restore relations with allies and other countries alienated by the isolationist “America First” agenda pursued by the Donald Trump administration. He also intends to convene an international summit dedicated to fighting corruption and militant nationalism.
Criminal Justice Reform.
In response to public outrage over police killings of unarmed African Americans, Biden has pledged to create a national police oversight commission and to work on strategies to build trust between police and communities to ease tensions.
Biden has signaled that he will rejoin the Paris climate agreement and take other steps to make the U.S. a world leader in efforts to mitigate climate change.
Biden hopes to repeal the massive corporate tax cuts enacted under Trump when the corporate tax was cut from 35 percent to 21 percent. He also wants to raise income taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
After four years of an administration that has clearly been hostile to many forms of immigration to the United States, the Biden administration will propose sweeping immigration reform that would give citizenship to more than 11 million illegal immigrants.
According to Mahaffey, Biden can expect at least some cooperation from Congress in the early days of his administration.
“The consensus in Congress, even with the Senate split exactly 50-50, is to take action on the economy,” he said.