First 100 Days: Biden Stretched Too Thin With Many of His Plans Getting Stuck, Observers Say

On 28 April, President Joe Biden announced that during his first 100 days he had managed to bring the US back on track despite inheriting the worst pandemic and worst economic crisis from his predecessor. What are the president’s achievements and why does the GOP believe that he does not deserve credit for many of them?

Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats have largely praised his 28 April speech at the US Congress, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a “unifying message of resilience, resolve, and hope”. However, the Republicans almost immediately issued a rebuttal, criticising the president for further dividing the nation, going on spending sprees and proposing tax hikes.

Although Democrats see Biden’s actions as successes, the GOP regards the same activities as failures, says Timothy Hagle, a political science professor at the University of Iowa.

One glaring example is Biden’s migration policies, according to the academic. While the Democrats praised the president’s decision to reverse Trump’s strict border measures and introduce a reform envisaging legalising millions of illegals in the country, the GOP argues that Biden’s approach has led to the biggest migrant surge in 20 years.

​The attempt to list the COVID vaccination programme as Biden’s achievement without noticing Donald Trump’s Warp Speed effort does not look fair in the eyes of the Republicans. Even before Biden took the reins, Trump nearly met a goal of inoculating 100 million in 100 days by distributing about one million doses a day, on average. At the same time, the passage of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package is soured by the fact that it was rammed through the Congress without a single GOP vote.

​Similarly, the Biden administration alone cannot take credit for the US economic recovery, given that the trend took shape under Trump: the US real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 after a historic 33.4% surge in the third quarter.

At the same time, Hagle acknowledges that one hundred days isn’t really enough time for those sorts of ambitious plans which Biden has outlined so far.

​Furthermore, the first 30 days of Biden’s presidency were spent on sending cabinet and administration nominees to the Senate and getting the American Recovery Act passed in Congress, highlights Thomas Sutton, political analyst and professor at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio. He argues that the president does deserve credit for “cool[ing] the divisiveness of the Trump presidency and post-2020 election challenges”.

However, Biden’s most significant failure has been the lack of Republican support for his programmes, despite his claim that he would work to get bipartisan support for legislation, acknowledges Sutton.

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