Biden's first anniversary in the White House: what the president succeeded in, and what promises failed to be fulfilled
On January 20, 2021, Democrat Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States. Edition with the BBC decided to find out what Biden managed to do in the first year of his presidency.
He promised to return the US leadership in the world, start large-scale construction in the country, defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, and seriously fight global warming.
A lot of it didn't work out - Biden had political issues like divisions within his party, but he was just unlucky in places. His rating continues to fall, and against this background, more and more attention is paid to Donald Trump. Although he lost the election, Trump still remained the most popular Republican.
Leadership in global politics and the fight against climate change
The Biden administration promised to show that the US had returned to the international arena after Trump, who did not want to spend energy and money on other countries.
The main task of the US State Department has become rivalry with China. This was a priority before, and under Biden, relations with China have deteriorated.
All plans were disrupted by the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. He did not agree with the allies and caused their discontent.
And in November, the State Department announced that Russia might launch a second invasion of Ukraine. And in the following months, the United States was consumed by this topic.
In the autumn, Biden was one of the main guests of the climate summit in Glasgow. He shamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping for not showing up.
On the subject: The year of Biden's presidency: how Americans evaluate his work
Although he himself came too with not very good news. Unfortunately, the president has not been able to get renewable energy transition plans through Congress. Now they are at the stage of bills, they can be found on link.
But still, he achieved a lot. One of Biden's first decisions in office was US return to the Paris climate agreement, from which, shortly before the end of his term, Trump left.
Biden created the National Climate Task Force, which examines the ways and methods of combating climate change both in the United States and around the world.
Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic
Trump has been accused of inaction and slow response to the COVID-19 threat. He promised to bring the pandemic under control. His administration devoted all its efforts to vaccination and achieved that the majority of Americans were vaccinated.
But there is a minority that actively opposes Biden's efforts. As a result, now the percentage of fully vaccinated in the US (63,1%) is less than the EU average (70%). And even less than in a number of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
But still, the number of vaccinated in the United States is slowly but surely growing.
As a result, the federal authorities had to introduce mandatory vaccination for all employees of companies with more than 100 employees. This measure caused outrage in the Republican states, and their authorities challenged the decision. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which struck down mandatory vaccinations for private companies. But left it in force for government agencies.
In addition, the delta wave in the summer and then the omicron in the winter exposed problems in the administration's plans to deal with the virus. Due to the lack of affordable home antigen tests before Christmas, thousands of Americans stood in long queues at testing centers.
The problem with the tests was immediately solved. A federal website has been launched, where you can order tests for free.
Site covidtests.gov requires users to provide their names and addresses to receive tests.
The government has procured 500 million rapid tests to be made available to every family and is limiting the number of tests sent to each address to a maximum of four.
Green economy and social justice
Biden promised to start massive construction, create new jobs, fight poverty - all at the same time as putting the economy on a green track.
Among his priorities are lowering drug prices, expanding public health insurance and supporting families with children, and switching to renewable energy.
The ambitious plans have been compared to Roosevelt's New Deal, which helped the United States emerge from the Great Depression. So far, Biden does not have such stunning results as Roosevelt, but he can still boast of success.
According to CNBC, the Obamacare insurance plan in 2021 purchased a record number of people.
Federal health officials noted that even before the deadline, a whopping 14,2 million people nationwide signed up for coverage in Obamacare plans.
This number represents an increase of more than 20% over the same period last year.
This broke the previous record of over 12,6 million people, which was set in 2016, the last full year of Barack Obama's presidency.
There have been some changes in the insurance plans themselves: additional perks have been added and plan prices have been lowered. The rules for granting financial assistance have also been changed. This was done to increase the level of support for people with different income levels.
If you were previously eligible for financial assistance, this amount has increased. And if you were not eligible for financial assistance, you may be able to get it now.
Americans are dissatisfied with inflation and rising gasoline prices and blame the government for this, although these are the consequences of global processes.
Problems with the delivery of goods, empty store shelves, lack of staff - all this was visible to the naked eye.
Every month the rate of inflation growth set a new record. Last December growth hit a record in 40 years. This could force the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates as early as March to fight the price surge. Higher interest rates tend to lead to higher consumer and business loan rates, slowing the economy and forcing spending cuts.
Work problems were also evident, and although Biden managed to add more than 6 million jobsThe COVID-19 pandemic has changed the concept of work forever. Many have left expensive cities for cheaper ones, switched to remote work and learned to spend much less or even retire early. And this, in turn, created a noticeable shortage of personnel, especially in the areas of hotel, restaurant and retail business.
Shortage of personnel and supply problems left the store shelves empty. Merchants have again begun to impose restrictions on some essential goods, and all experts advised to stock up on Christmas gifts in October so that they could arrive. Some shops reduced hours of operation or closed altogether.
Rivalry with Trump
Many hoped that Trump would disappear from political life after the defeat in the elections, his role in the storming of the Capitol, blocking on Twitter and other social networks.
But a year later, a majority of Republican voters want Trump back in politics. He continues to regularly hold rallies that rob thousands of people despite the fact that the official election campaign will not begin until 2023.
But already in 2022, midterm elections to Congress will be held, and Trump, as the most popular of the Republicans, will influence both voters and candidates.
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And if Biden loses the Democratic majority after this election, it will be very difficult, almost impossible, to get any of his plans accepted.
The problem with immigrants
The problem of illegal immigrants on the US-Mexico border worried the minds of more than one president, each of whom coped as best he could. Trump decided to build a wall worth billions of dollars. Biden halted its construction, reversed many of Trump's immigration decisions, and unwittingly created a crisis at the border and at home. Many illegal immigrants have dispersed throughout the United States while waiting for their requests to be considered, and some special flights were taken out at night to different states.
On his campaign trail, Biden promised to reverse all of Trump's anti-immigration decisions to the US, but fortunately or unfortunately, he failed.
A federal judge in Texas has blocked an end to Trump-era border policies by forcing non-Mexican migrants to remain in Mexico until their U.S. immigration court is appointed, and has ordered the administration to restart a controversial program it opposes and still seeks to end.
Another Trump-era border policy, which immigrant advocates and the United Nations have called on the Biden administration to abandon, also remains in place.
A public health authority involved at the start of the coronavirus pandemic is allowing authorities to turn away immigrants at the US southern border - effectively preventing them from applying for asylum.
But still, Biden had victories - both big and not so much.
He raised the FY2021 refugee limit from 15 to 000, though. was able to take in 62 refugees only by the end of the financial year - the lowest figure in the history of the program. But in this case, the failure was most likely caused by COVID-500, mass lockdowns and staff shortages.
And Biden's most important achievement can be called the introduction of an accelerated procedure for considering asylum applications. This program, which applies to refugee families, was created by the Joe Biden administration in May 2021. Its purpose is to expedite the asylum process; the judge must make a decision within 300 days of the petitioner's initial appearance in court. So the president is trying to close the backlog in immigration courts, where more than 1,5 million cases are waiting in line. The only disadvantage of this is that immigrants have to quickly navigate US immigration policy or look for a representative.
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