WASHINGTON, Jan 14, 2021: President-elect Joe Biden is expected to unveil plans Thursday for fighting Covid and restoring the economy, but the ambitious first 100 days agenda is already overshadowed by the looming Senate trial of his soon-to-be predecessor Donald Trump.
The day after Trump was impeached in the House of Representatives-becoming the first US president in history to suffer a second impeachment-Biden hopes to seize this narrative and make Americans look forward to it again.
In a primetime speech, he is expected to address a twin crisis exceeding even the challenge that faced him as vice president to Barack Obama when they assumed office in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to reach new peaks, vaccination plans are faltering, and there are concerns that the economy recovering from the 2020 volcanic crater may decline.
Biden will be sworn in on January 20, and he said his plan is to solve all these problems at the same time, bringing one of the darkest periods in American history into the rearview mirror.
This will be the third large-scale Covid rescue plan since the pandemic began a year ago.
This would include more direct stimulus payments and could also feature new taxes on the wealthy and an increase in the minimum wage.
Biden is also promising to get vaccinations off the ground, with an eye-catching slogan of 100 million shots to be administered in the first 100 days.
It’s a tall order.
Biden takes office with one advantage he wasn’t expecting even a few weeks ago: full control of Congress.
Shock victories by Democrats in Georgia’s two Senate run-off races gave Democrats slim majorities in both chambers. This will also help Biden getting confirmations of his cabinet picks.
The Senate finance committee is set to begin looking at Janet Yellen’s nomination for Treasury secretary on January 19.