New Brody’s Corner: “Return to Boring with Biden”

A round-up of important recent events for the Biden administration.

Brody Eggert, Editor in Chief

Here is a round-up of important recent events for the Biden administration.
Week 3:

While not as busy as weeks one and two, three certainly had its moments. President Biden followed through on one of his campaign promises to “re-engage” with the United Nations Human Rights Council, a body that President Trump left after criticizing it for unfairly treating Israel. The Biden administration similarly is wary of the HRCs criticisms of Israel. It is working to mend the relationship between the body and Israel, which is often criticized for its human rights abuses in the West Bank as they reclaim it from Palestine. Furthermore, the Biden Administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it was starting a review of housing discrimination against LGBTQ+ families in America. Biden also announced the United States’ purchase of an additional 200,000,000 COVID-19 vaccines. As of March 14th, 107 million doses have been put into the arms of Americans, with some estimates showing that all Americans (at the current rate of vaccination) could be vaccinated in 5 months! The Biden Administration also announced that it is reviewing closing Guantanamo Bay, a big win for progressives who have been calling for the base’s closure, criticizing it for human rights abuses against the many accused terrorists imprisoned there.

Week 4:

While Ted Cruz was jet-setting off to Cancun, leaving Texans to fend for themselves in the freezing weather, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and President Biden got to work, approving emergency resources to be diverted to Texas and working to restore power. Even New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D) got in on the fun, raising 15 million dollars for Texans in need. Biden also reopened enrollment for Obamacare, giving 15 million Americans without health insurance the opportunity to enroll. Biden also extended the moratorium on foreclosures on homes with federally backed loans to keep Americans in their homes while many have lost their livelihoods and income. Biden spent most of his week meeting with foreign heads of state at the G-7 summit and rallying support for his 1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan, why this week was relatively short on policy and action.

Week 5:

President Biden started off the week by reopening an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) migrant child detention center, a disappointment to many on the left. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the reasoning behind this decision was to protect unaccompanied children arriving at the border, of which there has been a recent increase. Biden also announced changes to the PPP program, which provides loans to small businesses to pay their workers. He opened up a special enrollment period for businesses with less than 20 employees and stripped measures that made it harder for minority-owned small businesses to qualify for the loans. Biden’s new energy secretary, fmr. Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), was also confirmed this week, giving the Biden Administration more power over the Department of Energy. Now that he has a proper department head, not an acting holdover from the Trump Administration. Biden also launched a missile attack against an Iran-backed militia group in Syria, the first (known) strike of his presidency.

Week 6:

The House passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the first significant piece of legislation (not executive orders) passed under the Biden administration. The American Rescue Plan deals with various subjects related to the pandemic and struggling economy and intends to put $1,400 in Americans’ pockets. Biden also pushed for states to send their students back to school. Some schools have been open for full-in-person learning since August, others like our own EHHS are currently hybrid (transitioning to 5 days a week), and others are still entirely virtual with no in-person classes. Miguel Carradona was also confirmed as Biden’s Secretary of Education; he will be integral in reopening American schools, implementing new education policies, and reversing many controversial former policies. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. However, the $15 minimum wage provision of the American Rescue Plan failed to pass the Senate and was blocked by the Senate Parliamentarian.

Week 7:

Biden’s back with the executive orders! On March 7th, Biden signed an executive order protecting voting access for eligible voters, of course. On March 8th, Biden signed a second executive order establishing the White House Gender Policy Council dedicating to promoting and improving gender equality. Department of Homeland Security head Alejandro Mayorkas opened up asylum applications for Venezuelans fleeing the oppressive Maduro regime. The Senate confirmed Merrick Garland, Michael Regan, Marcia Fudge for Attorney General, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Biden also (FINALLY) signed the American Rescue Plan into law, providing $1.9 trillion for struggling Americans and American small businesses.