It’s Still Unclear What Biden, Harris Can Do

Food For Thought

It’s Still Unclear What

Biden, Harris Can Do

President Biden and Vice President Harris are featured on the cover of this week’s Time magazine as “Person of the Year.”

All new Presidents inherit messes from their predecessors, but Biden is the first to have to think about literally decontaminating the White House.

Combatting the pandemic is only the start of the challenge, at home and abroad. There are alliances to rebuild, a stimulus package to pass, a government to staff.

Biden’s advisers are preparing a slew of Executive Orders: restoring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, rejoining the Paris Agreement, reversing the so-called Muslim ban and more.

Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan aims to revitalize the virus-wracked economy – which some analysts say is unlikely to fully recover until 2023 – by investing in infrastructure, education and childcare. “I think if my plan is able to be implemented,” Biden says, “it’s gonna go down as one of the most progressive Administrations in American history.”

Much of what Biden hopes to do, from Cabinet appointments to legislation, will have to pass a more divided Senate than the one he left a dozen years ago.

If Republicans win at least one of Georgia’s two Senate seats in Jan. 5 runoffs, the fate of his agenda will be in the hands of Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, who, like most GOP members of Congress, has refused even to acknowledge his victory.

Biden’s relationships and peace offerings may not be worth much in this climate, says his friend William Cohen, a former GOP Senator. Republicans “will be watching not him but Donald Trump, and acting just as much out of fear of (Trump) in the future as they have in the past.”

As in the campaign, the GOP is likely to amplify controversy surrounding Biden’s son Hunter, who on Dec. 9 released a statement acknowledging his tax
affairs are under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware.

CHARLOTTE ALTER,
with reporting by Alana Abramson, Brian Bennett, Vera Bergengruen,
Madeleine Carlisle, Leslie Dickstein, Alejandro de la Garza, Simmone Shah,
Lissandra Villa, Olivia B. Waxman and Julia Zorthian
2020 PERSON OF YEAR
TIME MAGAZINE
Dec. 21, 2020


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