First 100 Days: A look at Biden’s presidency so far


Erica Schindler, Online EIC

Like his fellow 2020 candidates, President Joe Biden made many promises as he outlined his vision for the country during the election. As Biden attempted to stand-out from his fellow Democratic Primary challengers, he spoke on a number of issues impacting the United States. These included the Covid-19 pandemic, transgender rights and student loan forgiveness.

In the very early days of his presidency, Biden signed an executive order to overturn former president Donald Trump’s ban on military service for transgender people. This was an action Biden said he would take during the campaign. Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, an international treaty that lays out a framework to mitigate climate change.

“I agree with joining the Paris Agreement and re-engaging with the World Health Organization,” senior Lily Holsten said. “I also like that more action is being taken to address the pandemic, like the requiring masks and distancing on federal property.”

 President Biden’s first executive order directs federal agencies to require that masks be worn on federal land and in federal buildings. This, as well as Biden’s action to rejoin the World Health Organization, comes after he made the pandemic a key platform for his campaign and administration.

Another campaign promise made by Biden was to eliminate some of the college debt held by Americans. The president has not yet taken concrete action on this. Recently, when asked about eliminating $50,000 in student loan debt, Biden stated that he would be in favor of forgiving $10,000. This is in contrast to leaders in the House and Senate and everyday Americans who have urged Biden to forgive more money in loans and to take action on this issue more quickly.

“I disagree with the administration in places where there hasn’t been enough action taken,” Holsten said. “For example, I think he hasn’t done enough for student loan forgiveness.”

Democrats now have control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. Many are hoping that Biden will use this opportunity to enact other policies he ran on sooner rather than later such as increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. A minimum wage increase was included as a provision in the most recent Covid-19 relief package, but was struck down by the Senate parliamentarian.

It remains to be seen exactly what President Biden will do in the rest of his first 100 days in office and the remainder of his first term as president. While it is still very early in his presidency, he has both kept and broken promises made on the campaign trail already.