Last week, President Joe Biden officially took office as the 46th President of the United States. His first few weeks in office will reveal a lot about the next four years.
Our new president is no stranger to Youngstown. He visited Youngstown State University’s campus in October 2018 while campaigning for Democrats Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton for governor.
His speech on campus nearly three years ago still rings true in 2021: “When have we ever said there was something we couldn’t do? So let’s lift our heads up … This is America, there’s not a thing we can’t do.” This closing line is parallelled in his inauguration speech.
While campaigning for president, part of his platform focused on free public college and reducing student loan debt. He spoke of reducing debt by $10,000 and has already continued to pause student loan payments until September.
But for some students, $10,000 is a mere fraction of what they’ll end up owing after interest or late fees.
Outside of student debt, Biden has many other issues to deal with. He has to develop a plan to roll out COVID-19 vaccines safely and efficiently. One of his first acts was to shut down operations of the Keystone Pipeline, which received mixed reviews by both his critics and allies. Biden also signed executive orders to undo some things done by the Trump Administration, including rejoining the World Health Organization and re-signing the Paris Climate Agreement. These are just a few problems that Biden has been dealing with in his first week in office.
Regardless of his campaign promises, the country is ultimately looking at Biden’s ability to actually execute them rigorously rather than leave them to the wayside. The majority of the public voted-in this experienced political figure because of the vast changes he swears to pursue. These changes, primarily, challenge the attitudes and ideologies of previous-standing Donald Trump. Disappointed with the apathetic and immoral, yet stern, approaches of Trump, the general American public was left feeling disappointed and disregarded. The hope is that, with Biden, he will be able to reinstill new faith, trust and optimism in the relationship between the president and the American people.