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President Biden’s 1st Month In Office

Joe Biden American Rescue Plan Speech Samuel Corum/Getty Images

It has been over a month since Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. For many Americans, it felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the previous four years of Trump and his interesting presidency. However, do these same feelings hold up after Biden’s 1st month in office?

During the 2020 general election campaign, some Democratic voters didn’t seem that excited to vote for Biden given his moderate positions compared to that of Bernie Sanders. Sanders supported popular policies like Medicare for All, cancelling student debt, and legalizing marijuana while Biden did not.

Though, as the general election progressed, Biden would come out with some promising policies, which included canceling a percentage of student debt, adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act, and a plan to send kids back to school safely. During the Georgia runoff races, Biden added that if Jon Osoff and Raphael Warnock were elected into the Senate, he would send $2,000 stimulus checks “out the door immediately.” These policy promises seemed enough for voters, as this allowed the Democratic Party to win the presidency, retain the majority in the House, and earn a slight majority in the Senate.

So far, the approval rating of Biden has been positive. According to the CAPS-Harris Poll survey released on March 1, the president’s approval rating is at 61%, up significantly higher than former president Donald Trump, who reached a 48% approval rating in Feb. 2017.

In an anonymous poll I conducted similar to the CAPS-Harris Poll, out of the five respondents, the approval rating for the president is 80%. On a few specific policies such as administering the government, stimulating jobs, and reacting to COVID-19, most respondents approve of President Biden. However, on policies like fighting terrorism and immigration, the approval is mixed. In terms of how Biden will fare in the future, most agree that he will fulfill his presidential promises, but that we need to give him more time.

“I think it’s far too early to tell, however I believe he will do well to pass mostly moderate Democratic policies while every now and then he’ll try to win the progressives over again.”- Anonymous UNG Student

On the national level, there is a more mixed response to Biden. Though he has a 61% approval rating, the approval rating factor could be that people think the president is doing a good job just because he is not Trump. One criticism is that though Biden has been on the right track on helping pass important bills, his pacing needs to improve to ensure Americans get the relief they desperately need.

For example, it was only on March 6 that the Senate narrowly passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, two months after the results of the Senate runoff races came in. Even with the relief bill, the qualifications for receiving stimulus checks are means-tested. As a result, nearly 17 million fewer Americans will get the new stimulus checks.

The promise of $2,000 stimulus checks also has failed to be delivered, as these checks are $1,400. The reasoning is because the $600 is included from December 2020. However, the $600 checks were from Trump’s administration, not Biden’s. Also, not everyone reportedly got their stimulus checks from December. This means that people hoping for relief might not get it at all or it might barely cover rent.

With Americans needing relief fast, Americans are growing impatient with the lack of prioritizing over policies under the Biden administration. The Democratic Party seemed to want to carry on with Neera Tanden’s nomination and bombing Syria rather than focus on passing a relief bill.

In a CNN article released on March 5, Ben Calvert, a 27-year-old Minnesota college student, said that him and his friends are losing faith with Democrats given the power that they have. He said, ”A lot of my friends are really frustrated because they were like, ‘We’ve got to elect these two senators in Georgia! We’ve got to get Joe Biden in office and then everything’s going to be better! It’s not a $1,400 dollar check, it’s $2,000 checks.’”

“But now, they’re putting that stimulus check and minimum wage hike on the back burner while they’re dropping bombs in Syria. And those bombs are kind of expensive for a dude who owes me $2,000.” – Ben Calvert

However, could it be that Americans are just too impatient on Biden? It might be possible, but a lack of a good reasoning from the Democratic Party as to why every citizen isn’t getting relief might cost them the 2022 and 2024 elections.

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President Biden’s 1st Month In Office