A Biden presidency could bring a wave of policy shifts. Here are the ones you likely care about.

Written by on January 17, 2021


Joe Biden launched a $1.9 trillion spending package deal that goals to hurry distribution of the coronavirus vaccines and supply financial aid. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – For the primary time in a decade, Democrats will management each chambers of Congress, in addition to the White Home.

President-elect Joe Biden, who will be sworn in to office Wednesday, has made clear his high priorities will likely be to not solely reverse a few of these carried out by President Donald Trump’s administration, but in addition to implement aggressive aid towards COVID-19, and several other areas of progressive laws. 

Any of Biden’s legislative priorities should move via the Senate, which is narrowly Democratic-controlled however nonetheless requires not less than 10 Republican votes to advance laws and break a filibuster. Biden’s proposals are more likely to move the Democratic-controlled Home.

Now, America is more likely to expertise a tidal wave in coverage shifts. Right here’s what a few of these insurance policies modifications might embody, how they might be achieved and what meaning to your life:  


Biden has made clear that one huge change between his administration and Trump’s would be the seriousness with which he approaches the coronavirus pandemic. Whereas Trump has at instances embraced conspiracy and downplayed the seriousness of the virus, Biden has stated he’ll impress upon People the severity of the pandemic and urge precautions.

Biden says getting management of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be a high precedence as quickly as he takes workplace, together with supporting People financially in the course of the financial challenges which have come from the pandemic.

He has stated he’ll urge People to put on masks constantly via the primary 100 days of his administration and can mandate mask-wearing the place potential, equivalent to for federal workers. 

Extra: Biden introduces $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that includes $1,400 stimulus checks

He additionally launched a $1.9 trillion spending package deal to hurry the distribution of the coronavirus vaccines and supply financial aid. The package deal proposal contains investing $20 billion in a nationwide vaccination program, $1,400 stimulus checks and increasing unemployment insurance coverage dietary supplements to $400 per week. Some Republicans in Congress have stated Biden’s plan is simply too costly and misguided. 

Biden’s purpose is to offer 100 million vaccinations in the course of the first 100 days of his administration beginning Jan. 20, whereas the tempo up to now has been slower than that.

“I do know what I simply described doesn’t come cheaply,” Biden stated upon asserting his package deal. “However failure to take action will price us dearly.”


Thousands and thousands of People presently face uncertainty concerning their housing safety as huge job losses pushed by the COVID-19 disaster have crippled residents.

Extra: The federal eviction moratorium expires in January. It could leave 40 million Americans homeless.

In response to the looming disaster, Biden will name on Congress to move sweeping protections and monetary aid for these liable to dropping their properties because of the ongoing and nonetheless worsening pandemic.

Along with the $25 billion in assist accredited in the newest $900 billion stimulus package, Biden plans to ask lawmakers to approve $30 billion in rental help to cease a wave of evictions, according to CNBC. He will even ask Congress to increase eviction and foreclosures bans till Sept. 30.

Opinion: Millions of Americans have faced eviction amid COVID-19; ‘I have no idea what to do.’

Thousands and thousands are on the verge of being evicted with the federal eviction moratorium set to run out on the finish of January.

Moreover, Biden plans to offer a refundable tax credit score of as much as $15,000 that can assist People pull collectively a down fee to buy a house, shore up rental assist offered by the federal authorities, and dedicate $10 billion towards increasing a tax credit score that spurs the constructing or revamping of rental housing for low-wage earners. 

Extra: With Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock wins, Biden could raise taxes and boost health care

Biden additionally has proposed a number of steps to root out the systemic racism that has hindered the flexibility for folks of coloration, significantly African People, to purchase or maintain on to property – from onerous rates of interest that go away them weak to falling behind on funds, ending up in foreclosures, to biases that undervalue properties just because they’re owned by Black folks.

This could be a reversal from the Trump administration, whose Division of Housing and City Improvement and secretary, Ben Carson, suspended the Affirmatively Furthering Truthful Housing Rule.

The 2015 provision required communities receiving federal improvement funds to submit plans to “overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote truthful housing alternative, and foster inclusive communities which might be free from discrimination.” 


Trump made it no secret that he was a skeptic on all issues local weather change.

Consequently, nearly 100 environmental rollbacks occurred below the Trump administration over the previous 4 years to loosen laws on all the things from air and water high quality to wildlife.

Extra: Trump’s EPA rewrote the rules on air, water energy. 

Biden, who has referred to as local weather change “an existential risk to the well being of our planet and to our very survival,” has made it a focus of his incoming administration. He has vowed to reverse a few of the Trump administration’s insurance policies in addition to enact some extra of his personal to fight local weather change.

He’s more likely to undo most of Trump’s environmental rollbacks together with his govt powers. 

Moreover, after Trump formally withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Settlement, the worldwide pact solid 5 years in the past amongst a whole bunch of countries to halt the devastating impacts of local weather change, Biden has stated the U.S. would rejoin the accord as quickly as potential.

On account of Trump’s withdrawal, the U.S. was the one internationally acknowledged nation on the planet not taking part within the Paris Settlement.

Biden has pledged to rejoin the settlement instantly after being sworn into workplace.

Climate Point: Biden-Harris win sparks hope for climate action

Biden’s local weather targets embody 100% clear power by 2035, vastly increasing wind and photo voltaic to get the nation to net-zero emissions by 2050, upgrading hundreds of thousands of buildings and houses to be extra energy-efficient, plugging deserted oil and fuel wells, reclaiming mines and making environmental justice a key consideration.

Biden additionally stated he’ll shift the federal fleet of automobiles from fuel to electrical, which can help 1 million jobs at carmakers and their provide chains. He has proposed the federal government would supply grants to retool factories, construct 500,000 charging stations for electrical automobiles alongside highways, and broaden high-speed and light-weight rail.

Extra: Biden proposes $2 trillion to spur development of 100% clean energy by 2035

Biden’s proposal to spend $2 trillion over 4 years to spur the event of extra power with out growing greenhouse fuel emissions requires Congress to go alongside.

Although Vice President-elect Kamala Harris could be the tie-breaker for easy majority votes within the Senate, passing aggressive local weather payments quickly could also be unlikely until extra Republican lawmakers soar on board than in years previous.


Harder immigration legal guidelines and guarantees of a border wall have been cornerstones of Trump’s 2016 election marketing campaign. Lots of his rallies have been full of chants of “Construct That Wall!” 

The Nationwide Basis for American Coverage projected in July that Trump’s immigration insurance policies might cut back authorized immigration by 49% by 2021.

Biden has vowed to reverse most of these restrictionist insurance policies. The method of overturning lots of the insurance policies will likely be easy — he can signal govt orders and his company heads can concern memos or directives overriding Trump insurance policies — however some modifications might take for much longer to unwind. 

Extra: Biden might need years to reverse Trump’s immigration policies on DACA, asylum, family separation, ICE raids, private detention and more

Inside the first 100 days of his presidency, Biden stated, he would ship Congress a complete immigration reform plan, together with a “pathway to citizenship” for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants dwelling within the U.S. 

One of many details of competition instantly dealing with the Biden administration would be the present state of the border. 

Whereas it’s true the controversial migrant holding amenities have been inbuilt President Barack Obama’s administration, their supposed goal was to carry migrant youngsters for 72 hours earlier than releasing them to federal companies for placement. 

Underneath Trump, household separations grew to become a blanket coverage utilized to all undocumented immigrants crossing the border. All adults could be charged with legal immigration violations, resulting in a separation from their youngster.

Extra: 628 parents of separated children are still missing. Here’s why immigrant advocates can’t find them.

Biden can do some issues to extra shortly reverse the long-lasting results, like granting authorized standing to households that have been separated, permitting mother and father who have been deported to return, amongst different issues he has teased.

One other border concern will likely be “the wall.” Bidentold NPR that he wouldn’t tear down any of the border obstacles already constructed however “there is not going to be one other foot of wall constructed on my administration.” 

Some border building tasks should get constructed after Biden takes workplace as a result of contracts might have already been signed.

Moreover, the brand new administration might want to deal with the standing of refugees.

Biden will face intense strain to grant entry to the tens of hundreds of people that have been blocked from coming into the U.S. by dozens of modifications made by Trump.

Extra: Trump administration slashes refugee program amid president’s campaign attacks on immigrants

Trump has blocked authorized residents, relations of U.S. residents, refugees, asylum seekers, overseas staff and others for a wide range of causes, together with nationwide safety and public well being.

Trump has established file lows yearly he’s been in workplace. The refugee cap, which dictates what number of refugees could also be admitted to the U.S., has fallen from 110,000 in Obama’s closing 12 months in workplace to 15,000, introduced by Trump in October, the bottom because the program was created in 1980.

Biden has pledged to set the annual refugee admissions cap at 125,000 and will instantly increase the cap via an govt order. However, transition officers have cautioned implementation may take time, given the quantity of hiring wanted to interview refugees, and structural points.

Financial aid and reversing tax cuts

Because the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the financial system in america, many want to the president-elect for financial aid and help. 

The unemployment charge within the U.S. was 6.7% in December, which remained the same from the month prior, and employers minimize about 140,000 jobs, the Division of Labor introduced final week. Girls, although, took the brunt of job losses in December –– accounting for 100% of the jobs lost that month. 

Whereas Biden’s proposed aid plan goals to handle vaccine distribution and points exacerbated by the pandemic, the proposal additionally gives a framework to stimulate the financial system additional. Along with the $1,400 direct stimulus funds, Biden can be calling for the rise of hourly minimal wage to $15. 

Stimulus checks: Americans say financial stability depends on economic impact payments

On high of coronavirus-related financial aid, Biden has additionally pledged to reverse Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which handed in 2017. It was the biggest overhaul of tax codes in about three a long time, and company tax charge modified from a tiered tax charge  of 15%-39% to a flat charge of 21%. Most of the tax advantages that have been set as much as assist people and households expire in 2025.

Biden’s tax plan, then again, takes a extensively completely different method –– pushing greater taxes on firms and people making greater than $400,000 a 12 months. Biden has additionally promised to not enhance taxes for these making lower than $400Ok and supply new and revised tax advantages for low- and middle-income households. 

Fact check: Biden tax plan would raise rates for those who make more than $400K, corporations

Gun management

Throughout Trump’s reign as president, he had a little bit of a blended take when it got here to gun management. Whereas his administration tightened some restrictions, it additionally weakened others. 

Extra notably, Trump killed an Obama-era regulation in 2017 that will have compelled stricter background checks throughout gun gross sales. The reversal particularly addressed the rule that required the Social Safety Administration to submit data of mentally disabled folks to the Nationwide On the spot Prison Background Test System. 

A couple of 12 months later, 14 college students and workers have been slain throughout a mass capturing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This sparked the well known and student-led March for Our Lives motion, which referred to as on the completely different ranges of the U.S. authorities to tighten gun management, cut back entry to deadly war-like weapons and implement stricter background checks. 

Extra: Gunmakers see stock price increases in days after riots at US Capitol

Biden has outlined over 10 initiatives associated to gun security on his website, with a few of the high priorities revolving round banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, implementing a buyback program and requiring background checks for gross sales of all weapons.

Though it’s not clear when such insurance policies could also be carried out, Biden has an intensive historical past difficult the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation. And as vp, Biden developed legislative proposals and govt actions associated to gun management, a few of which addressed authorized loopholes and increasing funding for psychological well being assets.

Nonetheless, gun management stays a extensively debated matter amongst lawmakers in each chambers, on either side of the aisle.

Well being care 

In his time in workplace, Trump has made try after try and intestine the Reasonably priced Care Act, handed whereas Biden was vp. However now that Democrats management the Senate and the Home, the trail to increasing the ACA might get slightly simpler. 

Congress might fairly move a collection of expansions to the ACA, together with measures to make insurance coverage extra inexpensive to extra People. Biden has stated he’ll strengthen the ACA when he takes workplace.

Biden has stated he would increase the subsidies folks can use to assist them purchase protection via ACA marketplaces. He says no household should spend greater than 8.5% of their earnings on well being protection due to refundable tax credit for his or her premiums.

And People might additional minimize down on their out-of-pocket prices as a result of a Biden administration says it’ll decrease the value of prescriptions by negotiating drug costs.

Biden, who has lengthy stated he’s not a supporter of the single-payer insurance policies favored by his progressive counterparts, has additionally expressed help for a public possibility that will be obtainable to all People.

He’s additionally more likely to reverse Trump administration insurance policies that excluded protections for transgender People and would possible prioritize increasing entry to contraceptives and reproductive well being care, together with abortion.

Contributing: Daniel Gonzalez, Marc Ramirez, Sarah Taddeo, Tiffany Cusaac-Smith, Nicholas Wu, Ledyard King, Charisse Jones, Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/politics/2021/01/17/biden-inauguration-policy-changes/6643277002/

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