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US President-elect Joe Biden vowed to act swiftly to tackle the covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis once he takes office on Wednesday, but his efforts to unite the country may be undermined by the impeachment against Donald Trump.
Biden has already announced that he will immediately reverse some of Trump’s most controversial policies, something he can do by fiat.
He vowed to return to the Paris climate change agreement “on day one.” Trump announced his plans to leave him in 2017, drawing criticism around the world.
The president-elect will also immediately overturn the ban imposed by his predecessor on flights from several Muslim countries, described as Islamophobic.
In short, the start of the Biden government is very active. He promised in a statement released on Saturday that in his first ten days he will sign “dozens” of decrees.
But if Biden can do many things with a simple rubric, there are situations that do not depend exclusively on the White House.
The impeachment of Trump in the Senate is sure to complicate his efforts to unite Americans in the response to COVID-19 and in the effort for economic recovery.
The House of Representatives accused Trump of inciting an insurrection after he inflamed a mob on January 6 that rushed against the Capitol shortly after.
Trump’s first impeachment trial, started in late 2019, accused of pressuring Ukraine to discredit Biden, was resolved in 21 days.
If the current trial lasts the same, it will surely derail Biden’s ambitious plans for his first 100 days.
Still, the president-elect appealed to his 36-year experience in Congress to be confident that legislators will be able to do two things at the same time.
“I hope the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with its constitutional responsibilities in impeachment while working on the other pressing issues of this nation,” he said shortly after the House impeachment.
He suggested that the Senate, which will be controlled by the Democrats from Wednesday, use half the time for the trial and the rest to confirm his cabinet, something a priority.
The confirmation sessions will begin Tuesday in a Capitol that resembles a war zone in the face of renewed security measures implemented by the police and the national guard.
The first in line to be confirmed are Alejandro Mayorkas (Homeland Security); Janet Yellen (Treasure); Lloyd Austin (Defense) and Antony ‘Tony’ Blinken (State or Foreign Relations).
– Financial assistance –
Biden detailed a $ 1.9 trillion plan Thursday to deal with what he called “the twin crises of the pandemic and the sinking economy.”
The plan calls for payments of $ 1,400 to people below certain income levels, raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour, extending unemployment benefits and new assistance to troubled cities and states.
The proposal, which will be the third aid package for Americans since the pandemic began, also extends the ban on foreclosures and unpaid rent evictions until the end of September, and will provide funds to bolster the food ration program. .
– Massive investments –
The initial phase of income assistance will be followed in subsequent weeks by a new investment plan to revive the economy.
Biden said it will create millions of “high paying” jobs, respond to the climate crisis and tackle racial inequality.
These goals will be achieved, Biden explained, through massive new investments in the country’s infrastructure and through an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions with the goal of achieving neutrality by 2050.
All of this will be funded by an increase in corporate taxes and personal taxes on individuals who earn more than $ 400,000 per year.
– Plan for covid-19 –
The president-elect wants to accelerate the vaccination campaign and reach millions of Americans in a country that has world records in terms of infections and deaths, and that may reach 400,000 deaths by when Biden is sworn in on Capitol Hill next Wednesday. .
It is another ambitious plan: vaccinate 100 million people in the first 100 days of government. For this, he wants to create neighborhood vaccination centers, improve cooperation between the federal and state governments, and mobilize 100,000 health workers.
Biden wants to move quickly and also to help restaurants, bars, hotels, airlines and other businesses return to something close to normal as soon as possible.
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