President Biden sworn in on January 20


Jenna Rowen-Delson, Staff Writer

President Joesph Biden was sworn into office on January 20, 2021. His inauguration looked different from the inaugurations of the past because of safety measures due to COVID-19.
Former President Donald Trump chose not to attend Biden’s inauguration and became the first President to do so in 150 years. Former Vice President Mike Pence did attend.
Former President Barack Obama, Biden’s former boss, arrived for the inauguration, along with former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Kamala Harris became the first woman and person of color to ever hold the office of Vice President, being sworn in just a few minutes before Joe Biden.
Joe Biden in his inauguration speech pledged that he would be a President for all Americans.
“I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did,” Biden added.
Biden did not waste time getting to work after his inauguration. Joe Biden, keeping his campaign promise, signed an executive order for the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. This comes after the United States was withdrawn from the agreement under Donald Trump.
Biden also mandated that masks are worn and social distancing occurs on all federal properties. He also signed a proclamation reversing Donald Trump’s travel ban that critics said unfairly targeted people from Muslim-majority countries. As stated on the White House website, the proclamation is on “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States.”
Joe Biden also faced some backlash, mainly from Republicans and conservatives for signing an order revoking the Keystone XL pipeline permit. Biden’s order was clear it was to “promote and protect our public health and the environment.” On Joe Biden’s website, it states, “Our response to climate change can create more than 10 million well-paying jobs in the United States that will grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class enjoyed by communities across the country, not just in cities along the coasts.”
Another significant Biden executive order is repealing the transgender people ban from the military.
“It is my conviction as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces that gender identity should not be a bar to military service,” says the order that can be found on the White House site.
Some, including Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, were critical of all of the executive orders Biden has signed in his first few weeks.
McConnell reminded people that as a candidate Biden once declared “you can’t legislate by executive action unless you are a dictator.”
However, what Biden actually said was there are “things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator” after rejecting the idea of using an executive order to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
“There are steps, including overturning some of the harmful, detrimental and, yes, immoral actions of the prior administration that he felt he could not wait to overturn, and that’s exactly what he did,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
To put the use of executive orders in context, George W. Bush signed 291 over his eight years in office and Barack Obama issued 276. Trump in his one term signed 220 executive orders.
In a poll of 170 Monroe-Woodbury students, 70 percent approved of Joe Biden as President so far.
“He’s already reversed some terrible policies Trump had and he’s only like ten days in,” said sophomore Avlinn Jaskowski.
“I think that he’s made a lot of progress in just the short time he’s been President,” said freshman Kayla Watson. “I think they’re steps closer to equality, for example lifting the transgender military ban among other things, and I think he’s taking good steps to bettering the country.”
While some appreciated all of the action Joe Biden has done so far, others did not.
“He’s acting like a dictator,” said Monroe-Woodbury junior Cody Shapiro. “Has signed horrible executive orders.”
“I think he hasn’t been in office long enough,” said Nafiun Syed. “Right now he can appeal to the public’s wants but then completely change a year or two in, so up until he fully completes a year, it’s kind of too early to tell what his true intentions are.”