Joe Biden’s first 100 days: a success story

Connor McNamara

Since FDR began his blitz of New Deal legislation immediately after being elected, the tradition of judging a president by their successes in the first 100 days of office has continued.

Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act after Kennedy’s assassination. Reagan oversaw the release of the American hostages in Iran and enacted huge budget reforms. Obama convinced Congress to sign an $800 billion stimulus package to extricate the U.S. from the 2007 recession. Now it’s Joe Biden’s turn.

With the way the past year has gone, it seems fitting that Biden is so often compared to FDR. There have been few presidents who took the oath of office while such forces loomed over the country. The 2021 inauguration was marked by twin crisis: the occupation of the Capitol by a mob who falsely believed the election had been stolen, and the continued COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recession.

As Biden entered office, he was under enormous pressure to effectively com-bat both of these combined emergencies, along with others. Has he succeeded? It seems the answer is yes.

According to CNN, so far Biden has:

  • Reached his goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days a month early, and has so far vaccinated over 250 million Americans.
  • Signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a bill which among other things is delivering cash checks to families in need, extending unemployment coverage, and is expected to cut child poverty in half.
  • Signed over 60 executive actions, including orders to increase the minimum wage for federal employees to $15, reversals of previous conservative immigration policy, and institutions of new environmental rules.
  • Committed to withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 this year.
  • Rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and committed to further greenhouse gas reductions nationally.

These are only some of the significant actions the new president has taken, and his pace is not slowing down. Biden has already proposed both the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, both of which would invest un-precedented resources into physical and human infrastructure.

He is also making progress with his southern border policy, one of the most criticized aspects of his presidency so far. According to the New York Times, migrant children detention levels have dropped over 80% in the past month, and the average length of time spent in the border cells has decreased dramatically as well.

Shadowed by political giants of the past, all presidents must fight to make the first months of their arrival in office stand out. Not all have succeeded, but it appears Biden has. He has suffered few meaningful setbacks and seems to have emerged from his first 100 days relatively unscathed, ready to work even harder.

This is not the Biden many of us expected, or even the one it seems we were promised, but personally, I’m glad to find the country led by a president who can get stuff done.