Biden’s First Moves

By: Charlotte Baer

The Biden administration has been running rampant, attempting to undo 4 years of Trumpism, both with policy and rhetoric. President Joe Biden has signed a plethora of executive orders, actions, and memorandums. Most of these are aimed at addressing the Coronavirus pandemic and reversing many of Donald Trump’s executive orders. The executive actions Biden has taken in the first days of his administration include halting funding for the construction of Trump’s border wall, reversing Trump’s travel ban targeting largely Muslim countries, imposing a mask mandate on federal property, ramping up vaccination supplies, and requiring international travelers to provide proof of negative Covid-19 tests prior to traveling to the United States. So far, Biden has signed more than 50 executive actions, 22 of which are direct reversals of Trump’s policies. Past the executive orders, the Biden administration has also attempted to change the image of the presidency and the executive. Also, recently, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, the first high-level gathering of U.S. and Chinese officials since President Joe Biden took office, and tensions were high. “There are a number of areas where we are fundamentally at odds,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said as the last session drew to a close Friday, March 19, “including China’s actions in Xinjiang, with regard to Hong Kong, Tibet, increasingly Taiwan, as well as actions that it is taking in cyberspace. And it’s no surprise that when we raised those issues clearly and directly, we got a defensive response.” Back in DC, the Biden administration’s resistance with China is received well on both sides of the aisle and could be an opportunity for bipartisanship. In fact, after the meetings in Alaska, Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Alaska’s Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, both of whom are Republicans. The Biden administration has also been facing serious pressure to address the issue at the border with unaccompanied children crossing the border alone and going to the ports to surrender to border agents in increasingly large numbers. Just this past January, border patrol agents caught nearly 6,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border. That’s nearly double compared to the number of crossings that were recorded in January of 2020. By law, children are supposed to be moved out of border patrol facilities within 72 hours; however, many have been held for up to 10 days, without the proper means to care for them. This has become a top priority for the Biden administration and is heating up on both sides of the aisle.

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