The Biden Administration one year in

 One year into Joe Biden’s presidency, the United States is just as divided as it was before. The polarization of politics continues to rise within the government and the populace, as the division of the right and left prepares to shape, or deconstruct, the future of the nation. 

   Biden won 51.3% of the popular vote; however, since his inauguration, Americans have dialed back their support, with now only 43.1% of the nation satisfied with his actions and policies. This sudden shift in presidential approval causes many questions to arise concerning the catalysts of this decline. A major part of analyzing the success of a presidential term comes from the approval rating, as a lower approval rating signifies a more unpopular president, making it difficult for a leader to win a second term.

   Tasked to maintain the pandemic following the work of the Trump administration, Biden signed various bills and executive orders after taking office, as COVID relief was a major focus of his campaign. The primary component of his COVID agenda contained a 1.2 trillion bill, with many distinct elements. Nearly half of this money is for new investments in infrastructure, which will assist in job creation. This massive bill has a large focus on infrastructure for roads, water, cybersecurity, public transportation, the environment and more. This instance was considered the first major success of the Biden administration, and widespread alleviation has been reached from the bill. It allows for stimulus checks during COVID and aiding in making vaccines more accessible. However, Biden’s first year has shown few bills enacted in terms of quantity, and most deal with handling COVID-19 and related issues. In his first hundred days, he had signed merely 11 bills into law, which is certainly on the lower end. Comparatively, Obama signed 14 in his first hundred days, and Trump approved 28 bills. 

   The American Rescue Plan Act will assist in limiting the effects of COVID on the economy, and is additionally meant to build on the Affordable Care Act. However, higher taxes will not help the ongoing inflation issues. The prices of goods have risen over 6.8% in the last year, which is the largest increase since the 1980s. Biden claims this issue is due to the recent supply chain crisis and that the increase will die down eventually.

   A major turning point in Joe Biden’s presidency centered around the removal of American troops from Afghanistan after nearly twenty years. Biden’s delayed evacuation provoked the Taliban as the departure of American troops allowed the takeover of Kabul, the capital, on August 15. Poor execution also caused major complications, including the bombing at Kabul International Airport and the overall failure of a safe retreat. The absence of U.S. influence further triggered the Afghan refugee crisis.

   Biden’s foriegn policy focused on repairing relationships that were broken by the preceding administration. He signed executive orders on his first day in office to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization, goals of his presidency following Trump’s withdrawals. However, he has also taken significant military action, ordering airstrikes in Syria targeting Irainian militias following attacks on U.S. operatives in Iraq. With stress between the United States and its main adversaries China and Russia, the President explained his goals to establish a stable relationship, absent of domestic threats, with Russia at a summit in June; he also made an agreement with China to mitigate climate change.

   Future Biden plans concern limiting the growth of climate change and creating paying, union jobs to build and maintain infrastructure for clean energy. Additionally, the White House website states he is attempting to help in mitigating issues such as health care disparities, racial equity, and problems within the immigration system. Biden’s presidency will most likely result in higher inflation rates, lower COVID rates, less legislation passed than other recent presidents, and while foreign relation tensions are currently high, they can be expected to lower over time. 

   Despite the seemingly positive effects of his Presidency, national approval for Joe Biden is quite low, which doubts the bipartisanship and acceptable nature of his plans. Furthermore, this statistic hurts the possibility for his reelection or another Democrat victory in the 2024 Presidential election.