This week marks President Joe Biden’s 100th day in office, and the results are already clear: America is getting back on track.
Not only has President Biden returned a sense of decency, character, and empathetic leadership to the White House, he has done so through bold, bipartisan action that has resulted in one of the most consequential pieces of legislation to be signed into law in decades: the American Rescue Plan.
At the start of his presidency, Biden made an ambitious promise to deliver 100 million vaccine doses within his first 100 days. Through swift executive action and masterful deal-making with vaccine manufacturers, Biden’s administration got it done within 58 days. Then, Biden upped the goal to 200 million doses and went on to exceed that ahead of his 100th day in office. More shots will continue to go into arms through the national vaccination program and federally supported community vaccination sites, thanks to the vaccination funding provided by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
Biden vowed to move the U.S. to a wartime footing to beat back this pandemic and is already delivering results. With over half of all Americans age 16 and up having received at least one dose of the vaccine, Biden’s response to the pandemic has almost certainly saved thousands of lives.
However, the harm caused by the pandemic extends beyond just our physical well-being. Jobs evaporated and unemployment skyrocketed as society scrambled to limit the spread of a deadly virus and save the lives of fellow Americans. Working families, students, and small-business owners were hit especially hard. That’s why Biden fought tirelessly to include measures in the American Rescue Plan to directly relieve some of their burdens.
When Biden took office, he told us help was on the way. With 100 days now under his belt, he’s already fulfilling that promise. Biden and congressional Democrats have delivered real tangible results for the American people and their families, beginning with direct payments of up to $1,400 for 85% of households in Minnesota. For a low- to middle-income family of four, that’s $5,600. The American Rescue Plan got checks out the door and into pockets across the country.
The March jobs report is the latest encouraging sign that President Biden’s leadership is getting the country back on track: 916,000 jobs were added across the country in March, signaling that with the effective distribution of the vaccine and the aid in the American Rescue Plan Americans across the country are beginning to go back to work.
President Biden’s legislation also cut child poverty in half through a child tax credit, secured millions of pensions that were about to collapse, reduced health insurance premiums for millions of American families, made the most significant investment in American child care since World War II, and made the largest investment in tribal communities in U.S. history.
With the effective distribution of vaccines and the aid in the American Rescue Plan, Americans across the country are beginning to go back to work, small businesses are able to keep their doors open, and Americans’ lives are beginning to return to normal.
While Biden and Democrats are leading, Republican Party politicians have refused to be a part of the solution. I say “Republican Party politicians” very deliberately because polls show wide levels of support for Biden’s American Rescue Plan among Republican voters, upwards of 59%. Despite the bill’s bipartisan support, not a single Republican politician voted for the American Rescue Plan. However, President Biden is not going to let self-interested politicians deter him from actually delivering for the American people.
What’s most clear in President Biden’s first 100 days is that he puts people first. The remarkable juxtaposition between him and the previous president shows just how effective a leader can be when more focused on saving their people than inciting insurrections.
Although the coronavirus still rages on, and we still have work to do, I am confident that under Biden’s servant leadership, we will build a better America for present and future generations to come.
Ken Martin is the DFL Party chairman. He wrote this exclusively for the News Tribune.