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Joe Biden: One Year In Power

A year into his term, the US president has failed to unite a deeply divided country

Joe Biden during a speech

Photo: TW-POTUS

LatinAmerican Post | María Fernandez Ramírez

With a minority in Congress and a divided party, Joe Biden faces a difficult 2022. The midterm elections are approaching, in which the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will be renewed, and new governors will be elected in 36 states and three territories. These elections have traditionally not gone in favor of the president's party and this would make the Democrat's situation worse for the next year. In addition, Trump is on a mission to discredit the Democratic party and maintain his strength for the 2024 elections. 

Today, a 50/50 Senate has made it difficult to approve projects promoted from the White House, such as the social spending law known as “Build Back Better”, which aims to promote economic recovery after the crisis caused by the pandemic, as well as provide greater social benefits to people, such as the expansion of the public health system. The funds would be obtained from higher taxes on large businessmen. The economic issue is key for the North American majority, which Trump takes advantage of in his populist speeches. At the moment, the fate of said project is uncertain and, despite his efforts, Biden fails to convince senators. The truth is that inflation is at 7%, a figure not seen for 4 decades.

Also read: Donald Trump's Plans For 2024

On the other hand, on January 17, on Martin Luther King Day, marches were held with hundreds of people in Washington to demand the protection of the right to vote, due to a debate that is taking place in Congress to stop Republican initiatives to restrict the vote, which ends up affecting minorities.

A recent poll conducted by USA TODAY/Suffolk University indicates that the president's approval rating has dropped to a very low 38% . This is a reflection of the mistakes that the government has made. A weak point in the Trump administration, which influenced the vote, was its handling of the pandemic. However, it has also been a problematic issue for Joe Biden as the variants continue to advance despite the increase in vaccination. In addition, vaccination is an issue that has become politicized and many Americans are anti-vaccine .

One of his recent achievements was the approval of the Infrastructure Law, which even had Republican support. This project will make large investments: close to 53 billion dollars for highways, more than 240 million in ports, 3 billion in airports, 65 billion in internet connectivity and more than 8 billion in sustainability and protection of water resources.

Internationally

The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan undoubtedly marked Biden's first year profoundly. While he stated that said withdrawal would be done in a safe and orderly manner, the Taliban movement has quickly assumed power and established its norms throughout the country. At this moment, the country is in a humanitarian crisis with strong repression of the population. The White House government froze 9.5 billion dollars from the Afghan Central Bank and this has resulted in widespread famine in the country.

In international politics, Biden will face several challenges in 2022. Tensions in Ukraine and Taiwan, negotiations with Iran and the North Korean arms race.

On the other hand, during the last year the American continent imposed various economic sanctions on countries in Central and South America to exert pressure. In fact, this year there were debates in the UN General Assembly for the United States to lift its blockades on Cuba, which have been in place for more than 60 years, backed by 184 states. However, as is customary, the decision rests with the United States and its institutions. Its relations with Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Honduras, Haiti, El Salvador, and Guatemala are tense, and its rulers are having more and more talks with the Chinese government.

What happened to the attack on the capitol?

Last January 6 marked a year since the capture of the capitol, in which supporters of Donald Trump broke into the headquarters of Congress, when it was certified that Joe Biden had won. This attack was instigated because Trump claimed that the elections had been stolen. The event ended up being an episode of terror and violence, in which 5 people died.

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Washington Field Office of the FBI, have conducted investigations to identify the participants and their degree of involvement with the act. To date, more than 725 people have been prosecuted for participating in the takeover. Of these, 75 people have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon. Despite the findings, the former president remains unaccounted for and continues to insist that there was fraud. In fact, it is estimated that 70% of Republicans believe in said fraud and do not recognize the legitimacy of Biden. The most dangerous thing is that the Republicans are making speeches to legitimize all kinds of acts in favor of the "salvation" of the country.