The huge weapon in the Oval Office has been replaced. The painting of racist President Andrew Jackson has been removed, and busts of black civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King now hang on the walls. Joe Biden kept the solid wood desk from his predecessors, and on the first day of the new US president’s work, 15 folders of regulations were piled up. The new landlord hastily drew it.
Joe Biden is not going to settle for cosmetic changes in the White House. The salvo of presidential decrees aims to usher in a sea change in US corona, climate and migration policies. “We have a lot to do in this winter of danger, a lot to fix, a lot to fix, a lot to heal,” said the 78-year-old after being sworn in at the Capitol. He now follows the action at an impressive pace.
The focus of Biden’s activities in the coming weeks is likely to be on the fight against the corona pandemic, which is raging virtually unopposed in America and has so far claimed more than 400,000 deaths. While there are significantly more vaccinations in the US than Germany, it is sometimes chaotic – especially as the Trump administration has completely surrendered distribution to the states and municipalities without any financial or logistical support. The vaccine threatens to run out over the weekend in New York and a lucrative vaccination tourism from other states is developing in Florida.
On his first day, Biden presented a 21-page Covid strategy, stated that the US was rejoining the World Health Organization, and imposed a 100-day mask requirement in federal buildings and transportation. At the same time, the new president kept his announcement to bring the country back into the Paris climate protection agreement, which Republican Senator Ted Cruz severely criticized, saying that the new government was “ more about the beliefs of the citizens of Paris than the jobs of Paris. the citizens. Further regulations halt the construction of the controversial Keystone oil pipeline and suspend Arctic drilling authorized by predecessor Donald Trump in the closing days of his tenure. In addition, the entry ban on citizens of Muslim countries is suspended. disbanded and the construction of the wall to Mexico stopped.
With the wave of decrees, Biden shows a demonstrative will to act. However, he needs the Senate for major legislative projects, such as Covid’s announced $ 1.9 trillion aid package. The two new Democratic senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were sworn in there on Wednesday. Now there are 50 Republicans in the House, exactly 50 Democrats. In a ballot, the vote of the new Vice President Kamala Harris is decisive.
The Senate must also approve Biden’s cabinet. The first potential members such as candidate Minister of Finance Janet Yellen and candidate Minister of Foreign Affairs Antony Blinken have already been heard and, according to observers, will soon be confirmed without problems. Resistance arises among other candidates, such as candidate Minister of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and budget director Neera Tanden. The appointment of new intelligence coordinator Avril Haines was approved as the first top line-up.
Biden’s ambitious agenda in the Senate usually clashes with the impeachment process decided by the House of Representatives. The subsequent impeachment lawsuit against ex-President Trump could paralyze the room for weeks. So far, new Democratic majority leader Chuck Schumer and Republican faction leader Mitch McConnell have failed to agree on a procedure that continues to do normal legislative work. Perhaps that’s why Nancy Pelosi, the spokeswoman for the House of Representatives, has so far withheld the official charges.
In the White House, enthusiasm for impeachment is clearly limited. Biden, who describes the country’s reconciliation as his main goal, has not directly commented on the project. His spokeswoman Jen Psaki said only Wednesday evening at her first press conference that the government was optimistic that the Senate would master multitasking: “The specific processes are a matter for Congress.”