- President Joe Biden will mark six months in office on July 20.
- Biden enjoys unified government control, but the Senate still has its complications.
- The administration has focused on the fight against COVID-19 and is developing strategies to continue the fight.
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On July 20, President Joe Biden will be in office for six months.
Since their inauguration in January, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have faced a host of challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, which since last year has changed life as we know it.
However, on a range of issues, from the direction of a largely reopened economy and immigration challenges on the U.S.-Mexico border, to reshaping the country’s position on the world stage and printing on federal justice system, Biden has clearly been a backbone of former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Biden, who represented Delaware in the US Senate for 36 years before becoming vice president for eight years, is certainly not new to Washington, DC. But that familiarity has so far helped Biden navigate a city he knows intimately, despite being a place that has also grown much more partisan in recent decades.
Here are five key figures that currently define the trajectory of Biden’s young presidency:
In April 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment rate in the United States stood at 14.8%, a dizzying number that reflected the economic pain caused by businesses forced to close because of the deadly virus. .
The unemployment rate in June was 5.9%, with the economy creating 850,000 jobs last month, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economy added 583,000 jobs in May and 269,000 jobs in April, respectively, so the June figures are a welcome sign in the long recovery in a post-COVID world.
The unemployment rate rose 0.1% from May to June, but that reflected the increase in the workforce.
However, as restrictions related to COVID have relaxed and vaccination rate increased since the start of the year, the economy has clearly benefited.
After nearly six months in power, Average of FiveThirtyEight surveys has Biden’s overall approval rating of 52.4%, with 42.5% disapproving of his performance, reflecting his relatively stable numbers over the past few months.
However, when it comes to Biden’s handling of the coronavirus, the average of the FiveThirtyEight surveys a Biden at 60.3% approval, with 31.6% disapproval. Trump after his first six months in office held a 39% approval rate, including 55% disapproval, making him the most unpopular president for six months, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Biden has regularly had higher numbers for its handling of COVID-19 compared to its overall approval rating, even among Independents and Republicans.
Since July 18, 161,232,483 Americans were fully immunized, representing 48.6% of the total population, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Fully vaccinated people received two injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or one injection of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
However, 186,038,501 Americans received at least one dose, which is equivalent to 56% of the total population.
While many people struggled to find appointments earlier this year, many sites are now offering walk-in appointments as vaccination rates are lagging in many parts of the country.
Reluctance to vaccination is a real thing, and Biden, who pledged to prioritize tackling the virus during his presidential campaign last year, is trying to find new ways to encourage people to get vaccinated, especially since the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus grabs Across the country.
Administration missed his goal 70% of the population who received at least one vaccine injection by July 4, but Biden recently defined a strategy a door-to-door effort to help protect unvaccinated people from the virus, as well as to immunize primary care physicians and physicians.
Earlier this year, Democrats were thrilled to regain control of the Senate after sweeping Georgia’s double ballot, which gave them 50 seats in the Senate. However, with Republicans also holding 50 seats, Democratic control is only a reality because of Harris’ ability to sever ties in the equally divided chamber.
While the Democrats have been able to get nearly all of their top cabinet and administration candidates through the Senate, as well as their ability to get candidates through the bench, they still have to contend with the legislative obstruction, which can be used when major legislation does not meet the 60-vote threshold to shut down debate.
Party leaders are desperate to pass their For the People Act marquee, or S.1, the radical voting rights bill that would end partisan gerrymandering, expand early voting and postal voting, and establish national standards for voter registration, among other measures.
However, the moderate Sens. Arizona’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema have not backed down on their long-standing commitments to keep the filibuster intact, which will continue to limit how much the administration can actually sign the law.
Senate Democrats last Wednesday made a deal at a $ 3.5 trillion infrastructure bill which would include infrastructure priorities focused on child care, clean energy and education. This legislation would be separate from the $ 1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure framework developed by a small group of senators and the White House.
However, the bill will have to go through reconciliation, which Republicans have already rejected because of its cost and scope in areas they deem unrelated to infrastructure.
By using the budget reconciliation process, Democrats can pass the bill by simple majority and avoid filibuster.
Democrats are determined to embrace a broader set of party lines, however, and with the obstruction still intact, this will likely be the party’s best chance of enacting such a massive bill ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. .