President Joe Biden’s administration wasted no time changing the official White House website Wednesday after the inauguration, using the page to announce seven of what the administration called its “immediate priorities.”
The administration is clear that, among other items, climate change and “racial equity and civil rights” will replace the agendas which were made a priority by former President Donald Trump.
“President Biden will deliver bold action and immediate relief for American families as the country grapples with converging crises. This will include actions to control the COVID-19 pandemic, provide economic relief, tackle climate change, and advance racial equity and civil rights, as well as immediate actions to reform our immigration system and restore America’s standing in the world,” the website reads.
The page outlines how Biden intends to govern during his initial days in office, and there is a clear theme focusing on transforming identity and climate politics into policy.
Number one on the agenda is battling the coronavirus pandemic, to which the Biden agenda attaches a racial element. Biden calls for expanded testing and an end to school and business closures, as well as “science-driven steps to address the communities — especially communities of color — who have been hardest hit by this virus.”
The page also declares an upcoming “clean energy revolution” to fight climate change. “President Biden will take swift action to tackle the climate emergency,” the website states.
In a blurb about “racial equity,” Biden vows to remove barriers which the website says prevent some Americans from getting ahead. Biden blames “systemic racism” for the woes of many Americans.
“The promise of our nation is that every American has an equal chance to get ahead, yet persistent systemic racism and barriers to opportunity have denied this promise for so many,” the site says. “President Biden is putting equity at the center of the agenda with a whole of government approach to embed racial justice across Federal agencies, policies, and programs.
“And President Biden will take bold action to advance a comprehensive equity agenda to deliver criminal justice reform, end disparities in healthcare access and education, strengthen fair housing, and restore Federal respect for Tribal sovereignty, among other actions, so that everyone across America has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.”
In discussing economic plans, the Biden “immediate priorities” page is heavy-handed when it comes to language regarding race.
“President Biden will take bold steps to address the inequities in our economy and provide relief to those who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The President will also work with Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan to change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge towards economic recovery, and invest in racial justice,” the site says.
“And, he will build our economy back better from the pandemic and create millions of jobs by strengthening small businesses and investing in the jobs of the future.”
Biden also briefly brushes over the issue of health care, vowing to build on the Affordable Care Act and to reduce the cost of care.
The administration’s next item is immigration.
“President Biden will reform our long-broken and chaotic immigration system. President Biden’s strategy is centered on the basic premise that our country is safer, stronger, and more prosperous with a fair and orderly immigration system that welcomes immigrants, keeps families together, and allows people across the country — both newly arrived immigrants and people who have lived here for generations — to more fully contribute to our country,” the site says.
The final item seems to be a shot across the bow of the outgoing Trump administration. In a section titled “Restoring America’s Global Standing,” the White House website portrays the country as having lost its place as a global leader.
“President Biden will take steps to restore America’s standing in the world, strengthening the U.S. national security workforce, rebuilding democratic alliances across the globe, championing America’s values and human rights, and equipping the American middle class to succeed in a global economy,” the website says.
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