WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
After replacing Donald Trump, the real work begins for US President Joe Biden.
Who else has Biden appointed to his Cabinet? How many executive orders, and what kinds of directives, has the chief executive signed? On a personal level, how is First Lady Jill Biden, as well as their grandchildren, adjusting to the White House?
The first 100 days, as we know, are important for any president – and the coming days will show us why.
Bookmark and refresh this page for the latest updates – including articles, photos, and videos – on Biden’s first 100 days in office.
US imposes wide array of sanctions on Russia for ‘malign’ actions
The United States on Thursday, April 15, imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia to punish it for alleged interference in the US election, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other “malign” acts.
The measures blacklisted Russian companies, expelled Russian diplomats and placed limits on the Russian sovereign debt market. More penalties could come, although Washington did not want to escalate matters, the Biden administration said.
Moscow reacted angrily, saying this dangerously raised the temperature between the two countries. It summoned the US ambassador for what it said would be a tough conversation.
Read more here.
Biden, Suga to send signal to assertive China at US-Japan summit
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden will highlight Tokyo’s central role in Washington’s strategy to counter the challenge of an increasingly assertive China at a summit on Friday, April 16.
While that emphasis on Japan’s key status will be welcome in Tokyo, where some politicians are pushing for a tougher stance towards Beijing, it also raises questions about how far Tokyo can go to meet demands on regional defense and human rights.
“This will be the precursor to a series of meetings among like-minded countries to send the right signal to Beijing,” Kunihiko Miyake, an adviser to Suga, told Reuters.
Read more here.
Biden administration drops plans for police oversight, citing George Floyd bill
President Joe Biden’s administration is backing away from a campaign pledge to swiftly create a US police oversight commission, a White House aide said, concluding that legislation would better address officers using excessive force.
Susan Rice, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, said in a statement that the administration believed a commission would not be the “most effective way to deliver on our top priority in this area” right now.
That priority is signing a bill that passed the House of Representatives in March, banning officers from using chokeholds and entering suspects’ homes without knocking, Rice said in response to questions about progress on police reforms.
That bill, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, is unlikely to win the 60 Senate votes it needs. Republicans oppose provisions in the bill eroding “qualified immunity” protections afforded officers in legal cases.
Biden promised to launch a national police oversight commission by his 100th day in office, at the end of April, following the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Doing so, Biden said, would help “to ensure that our police protect and serve all members of their communities.”
The backtracking leaves the police reform issue in legislative limbo, along with a host of liberal priorities struggling to move through Congress, where Biden’s fellow Democrats hold slim majorities.
The White House, which consulted civil rights activists and police unions on the decision, heard that a commission could stall momentum for legislation and duplicate work done in prior administrations, an aide said.
In Minneapolis, prosecutors will rest their case this week in the trial of white policeman Derek Chauvin, who is accused of murdering Floyd. The trial, which the White House is monitoring, included eyewitness descriptions of Floyd, who is Black, dying as Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly 10 minutes.
White House seeks bipartisan infrastructure push; Republicans wary
President Joe Biden could find himself under pressure on Monday, April 12, to prove his much-touted interest in working with Republicans in Congress, as lawmakers return from their spring break to grapple with his $2.3-trillion proposal to improve US infrastructure.
The Democratic president appears to be losing political capital with a group of Senate Republicans, including Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, who may represent his best chance of enacting legislation garnering the support of both parties.
Read more here.
Biden turns to NASCAR, NAACP to convince people to take vaccines
President Joe Biden is enlisting the help of groups as varied as NASCAR and the NAACP as part of a multi-billion dollar effort to convince Americans to take COVID-19 vaccines.
Twenty-seven percent of Americans said they were not interested in getting vaccinated, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll this month, a figure that has not budged in months.
Vice President Kamala Harris and other administration officials will hold an online event on Wednesday, March 31, bringing together churches, native tribal leaders, civil rights activists and sports leagues like Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Football League and NASCAR.
Women dominate Biden’s first slate of judicial nominees
President Joe Biden released his first slate of 11 federal judicial nominations on Tuesday, March 30, nine of them women of diverse backgrounds including several Black candidates and an Asian American.
“This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession,” Biden said in a statement that emphasized their “broad diversity of background experience and perspective.”
The nominees, which include nine women, must be confirmed by the US Senate.
Read more here.
Biden says China will not surpass US as global leader on his watch
US President Joe Biden on Thursday, March 25, said he would prevent China from passing the United States to become the most powerful country in the world, vowing to invest heavily to ensure America prevails in the rivalry between the world’s two largest economies.
Biden said he had spent “hours upon hours” with Xi Jinping when he served as vice president under former President Barack Obama, and was convinced the Chinese president believed autocracy – not democracy – held the key to the future.
Biden names Harris to lead efforts with Mexico, Central America, to stem migrant flow
President Joe Biden on Wednesday, March 24, named Vice President Kamala Harris to lead US efforts with Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle countries to try to stem the flow of migration to the United States.
Biden’s decision gives a high-profile assignment to his vice president, a daughter of immigrants who has forged a reputation as an ally of immigration advocates. As California attorney general, Harris had to deal with a major influx of unaccompanied minors at the state’s border with Mexico in 2014.
It is a task that carries political risks for Harris, a potential future presidential candidate. Border woes have been an intractable problem for multiple presidents.