Capstone National Partners
“Democracy Has Prevailed”
The United States of America has a new president.
It is. Wednesday, the world watched as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took their oaths of office, promising to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” With that, Biden is the oldest president in US history. And Harris is the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American to take on the second-highest office in the land. It all happened against a backdrop of masks, social distancing, and no crowds to limit the spread of COVID-19. And as tens of thousands of troops stood ready for any potential threats on the Capitol. Despite it all, Biden and Harris marked the beginning of a new era.
After his swearing in, the 46th president addressed the nation. Following years of division and misinformation, a contested election, and an attack on the government, Biden said that “democracy has prevailed.” He urged for unity and called for an end to the “uncivil war” that divides Americans. And he reached out to the 47% of voters who didn’t choose him, promising to be “a president for all Americans.” While making his plea, the president acknowledged the challenges before him, including a raging pandemic, a struggling economy, systemic racism, and persistent threats of white supremacy and extremism. Biden also took the wide lens, mentioning the need to confront the climate crisis and warning countries who may pose a national security threat. And he said the US will lead “not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”
She was the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. And yesterday, at age 22, she became the youngest poet to recite at a presidential inauguration. Gorman finished “The Hill We Climb” the night after the Capitol riots. And she knew she an important message to share: “to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.”
Wednesday marked the end of a long and winding road for Biden. And the beginning of a new one that’s got a number of bumps ahead. But if history has shown anything, it’s that America does and can move forward. (theSkimm)
Kamala Devi Harris Broke The First Executive Office Glass Ceiling
And of the women watching her historic success: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.” (MSMag)
How They See Us…
There Is A New Sheriff In Town
- COVID-19…He placed a mask mandate requiring people to wear them on federal grounds. And plans to encourage Americans to meet his 100-day mask challenge to mask up for (you guessed it) 100 days. Biden also halted the US’s departure from the World Health Organization, which was supposed to go into effect July 6. Dr Anthony Fauci will now lead a US delegation at today’s executive board meeting.
- The economy…He also ordered agencies to extend moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. And extended the Trump admin’s pause on federal student loan payments. Here’s what that could mean for you.
- Climate change…Biden rejoined the Paris climate deal. He also withdrew the permit allowing the construction and use of the Keystone XL pipeline. And reinstated an Obama-era rule that doesn’t allow oil and gas drilling in Arctic waters and the Bering Sea
- Equality…He rescinded Trump’s controversial 1776 Commission intended to go against the 1619 Project. And ordered each federal agency to do an equity assessment and report within 200 days to address obstacles in place that hold back underserved communities.
- Immigration…Biden ordered his Homeland Security Secretary (pending confirmation) to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) with help from the attorney general. He took steps toward stopping the construction of former President Trump’s border wall. And ended the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries.
- On other issues…He ordered changes to the Census – think: including unauthorized immigrants in the count. And like some past presidents, Biden also ordered all of those appointed to his admin to sign an ethics pledge.
And On Day 2
Why it matters: In his second full day in office, Biden is again resorting to executive actions as he tries to increase payments for nutritional assistance and protect workers’ rights during the pandemic.
Biden is also asking the Department of Veterans Affairs to consider pausing federal collections on overpayments and debts, potentially helping some 2 million veterans.
Bipartisanship Or Bust
But only three days into Biden’s presidency, there’s little unity to be found. Still, Biden isn’t ready to quit Republicans. For now, it’s bipartisanship or bust.”
The Biden Cabinet … We Have A SECDEF
Making Covid-19 Moves
I’ve Got That [Liberating] Feeling
“Americans Have A New President But Not A New Country”
But things might not go entirely as planned as America’s allies are still reeling from Trump and wondering if he was truly an aberration or a warning. … Trump’s “disdain” for allies and “warmth” for autocrats like Putin, as well as his encouragement of the Jan. 6 riot in which his supporters attempted to overthrow the November election results, have eroded America’s standing, former Senator, Bob Corker (R-TN) said. “It doesn’t surprise me that people feel distrustful of America today. Here we had our own president undermining democracy here in the U.S.”
Should Senators Be Held Accountable?
“The question the Senate must answer is not whether Sens. Hawley and Cruz had the right to the object to the electors, but whether the senators failed to ‘[p]ut loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department’ or engaged in ‘improper conduct reflecting on the Senate’ in connection with the violence on January 6,” said, in a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee.
It noted that both voted to reject electoral votes even after the violence at the Capitol disrupted the counting process.”