Keeping Up With Joe Biden

President Joe Biden has proven to be anything but “sleepy,” filling his first week with a pile of proclamations, plans, and executive orders. I’m finding it hard to keep up with the news—but in a good way. So here’s my recap of recent developments:  

“The Keystone XL battle was also one of the first to broaden the environmental movement beyond mostly white and expert voices to include those of Indigenous groups and rural farmers, a strategy that has since spread widely. The Gwich’in people of northern Alaska have played a central role in the fight against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Indigenous groups have also led opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Line 3 pipeline, two projects that may now draw scrutiny from the Biden administration.”

  • Increasing food aid: Biden’s executive order directed the Department of Agriculture to allow states to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and to increase benefits through a school meals program started during the pandemic. 

I’ve already written about Biden’s executive orders and proposed legislation on immigration, and about his COVID plan. I planned to write more about the actions listed above, but the news is moving too fast, and I’ve run out of time, so this brief list will have to be enough. 

While Biden has moved rapidly to do what he can through executive orders, the heavy lifting remains in getting Congress to act. One big battle looms immediately: the $2 trillion COVID relief package. Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki asks rhetorically: “Is unemployment insurance only an issue that Democrats in the country want? Do only Democrats want their kids to go back to schools? Do only Democrats want vaccines to be distributed across the country?”

Let’s hope Republicans want these things enough to vote for them. 

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