On Jan. 20, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris were inaugurated, marking the first time a woman and person of color has held the office of the vice president. Within the first few hours of his presidency, Biden ushered in a slew of executive orders.
Students at Long Beach State have expressed mixed views of the Biden administration’s actions thus far, though several have shown support for the reversal of many Trump-era policies.
Lynzie Hinman, a third-year communications major, admitted that Biden and Harris were not her ideal presidential candidates.
“I think I was like a lot of people my age where I was for Bernie,” Hinman said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race on April 8, 2020, and it became clear that Biden would become the Democratic candidate. A movement emerged amongst Sanders supporters to “Settle for Biden,” which was extremely influential given Sanders’ sway with members of Gen Z and millennials who currently account for almost 40% of eligible voters.
“So far, I’ve been really glad with all the executive orders they’ve been doing,” Hinman said. “The only thing I’m getting frustrated with is how the Trumpian politicians are giving him a hard time.”
Hinman said she hopes that the new administration will continue to advocate for gender and sexual equality. She noted Biden’s overturning of Trump’s transgender military ban as one of the executive actions she feels grateful for.
“The past decade has changed, and we’ve become more inclusive,” Hinman said.
Aside from executive orders like instituting a federal mask mandate, Biden has made the decision for the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
Natalie Lanhey, a fourth-year sociology major, said she hopes that the Biden-Harris administration continues to address the climate crisis.
“I’m impressed with what the administration has done and accomplished so far,” Lanhey said. “Obviously there’s room for criticism and critique, but they did come into office with so much on their plate that Trump just left for them to deal with.”
Republicans in Congress like Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene continue to advocate for the theory that the 2020 election was “stolen,” and have been vocal regarding their opposition to Biden’s executive actions.
Though things seem to be looking up at the moment, Lanhey feels concerned that Biden and Harris may not follow through with many of the plans they made while running for office.
“I just hope that they stick to their word and live up to all that they promised to do and fix during the campaign and that these first few weeks aren’t all glamorous just to go to shit in a few months,” Lanhey said.
Jemmy Monroe, a second-year double majoring in English and journalism, said while they are content that the Trump administration is no longer in office, they have their reservations about the Biden-Harris ticket.
“I’m glad that I don’t have to wake up every morning thinking ‘What’s going to be on the news today,’” Monroe said. “I can not think about the president for more than five minutes, so that’s slightly comforting.”
Monroe said they “didn’t appreciate” Biden’s comments on the campaign trail telling Black voters they weren’t Black if they voted otherwise. Yet, they feel pleased to see action being taken to focus on COVID-19.
To address the suffering economy and hunger crisis that have been exacerbated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the president has created a legislative package that looks to provide governmental assistance to food insecure Americans and stimulus checks.
Some voters worry that this administration will be too centrist in regards to policy issues like the college debt crisis and the Green New Deal.
Currently, the Democratic Party holds the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Monroe said they hope that Congress will create meaningful legislation and set a precedent for future congresspeople to better represent their constituents.
“If we have people in government and we have constituents who are able to put pressure on them, that’s fine,” Monroe said.