WASHINGTON – For the first time in a decade, Democrats will control both chambers of Congress, as well as the White House.
President-elect Joe Biden, who will be sworn in to office Wednesday, has made clear his top priorities will be to not only reverse some of those implemented by President Donald Trump’s administration, but also to implement aggressive relief toward COVID-19, and several areas of progressive legislation.
Any of Biden’s legislative priorities will have to pass through the Senate, which is narrowly Democratic-controlled but still requires at least 10 Republican votes to advance legislation and break a filibuster. Biden’s proposals are likely to pass the Democratic-controlled House.
Now, America is likely to experience a tidal wave in policy shifts. Here’s what some of those policies changes may include, how they may be achieved and what that means to your life:
Biden has made clear that one big change between his administration and Trump’s will be the seriousness with which he approaches the coronavirus pandemic. While Trump has at times embraced conspiracy and downplayed the seriousness of the virus, Biden has said he will impress upon Americans the severity of the pandemic and urge precautions.
Biden says getting control of the COVID-19 pandemic will be a top priority as soon as he takes office, along with supporting Americans financially during the economic challenges that have come from the pandemic.
He has said he will urge Americans to wear masks consistently through the first 100 days of his administration and will mandate mask-wearing where possible, such as for federal employees.
More:Biden introduces $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that includes $1,400 stimulus checks
He also introduced a $1.9 trillion spending package to speed the distribution of the coronavirus vaccines and provide economic relief. The package proposal includes investing $20 billion in a national vaccination program, $1,400 stimulus checks and expanding unemployment insurance supplements to $400 per week. Some Republicans in Congress have said Biden’s plan is too expensive and misguided.
Biden’s goal is to provide 100 million vaccinations during the first 100 days of his administration starting Jan. 20, while the pace so far has been slower than that.
“I know what I just described does not come cheaply,” Biden said upon announcing his package. “But failure to do so will cost us dearly.”
Millions of Americans currently face uncertainty regarding their housing security as massive job losses driven by the COVID-19 crisis have crippled citizens.
More:The federal eviction moratorium expires in January. It could leave 40 million Americans homeless.
In response to the looming crisis, Biden will call on Congress to pass sweeping protections and financial relief for those at risk of losing their homes due to the ongoing and still worsening pandemic.
In addition to the $25 billion in aid approved in the most recent $900 billion stimulus package, Biden plans to ask lawmakers to approve $30 billion in rental assistance to stop a wave of evictions, according to CNBC. He will also ask Congress to extend eviction and foreclosure bans until Sept. 30.
Opinion: Millions of Americans have faced eviction amid COVID-19; ‘I have no idea what to do.’
Millions are on the verge of being evicted with the federal eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of January.
Additionally, Biden plans to provide a refundable tax credit of up to $15,000 that will help Americans pull together a down payment to purchase a home, shore up rental aid provided by the federal government, and dedicate $10 billion toward expanding a tax credit that spurs the building or revamping of rental housing for low-wage earners.