President-elect Biden will be the head of the government and he would rather govern by consensus than an executive order. Therefore most large-scale bills will need to pass Congress before they can be signed into law. Failure to capture the Senate would hamstring Biden’s attempts to pass any major legislation.
The balance of power in the Senate will remain uncertain into the new year, as two Georgia races are headed for 5th January runoffs. Leading up to the runoff elections, Republicans have an advantage in the fight for Senate majority, with 50 seats compared to Democrats’ 48. 433 out of 435 seats in the House of Representatives have been called and the Democrats are holding the majority with 222 seats.
The Democrats currently have a considerable lead in the House of Representatives and look certain to become the majority party again, but need two more seats in the Senate to reach 50. Although 50 out of 100 would only see them level with the Republicans, in the case of a tie the deciding vote would go to Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris.
When Biden takes office in January, the first changes he makes will come in foreign policy, an area a president can act without permission from congress. Biden brings a great deal of foreign policy experience to the table as he was a United States Senator, member and twice a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a two-term Vice President.
In Wilmington on November 24, Biden declared, “America is back.” But the hard truth is that Donald Trump leaves behind destruction and America in turmoil. The relationship with China is at a half-century low, the NATO alliance is weaker than ever, North Korea has declared itself a nuclear power which previous presidents had tried to prevent. Above all, Biden is inheriting the United States amid a global pandemic. While the United States Trump leaves behind presents challenges that Biden’s administration will have to tackle, it also presents an opportunity. This may be Biden’s chance to “Make America Great Again.” This will allow Biden to reinvent America’s approach to problems that have remained unresolved and disputed throughout previous administrations. Biden’s immediate strategy begins at home, improving domestic policies and goes on to reinvesting in alliances and rejoining institutions.
When it comes to foreign policy the Biden’s administration will take a multilateral approach and embrace international engagement. He intends to reverse Trump’s unilateral policies and reestablish relations with long-standing allies. Biden will rejoin the Paris agreement on climate change, offer to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran if Tehran returns to compliance, reaffirm the U.S. military commitment to NATO, rejoin the World Health Organization, and work with other countries to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also likely to restore partnership with Europeans.
Some argue that the United States’ foreign policy may be too broken for Biden to fix. Trump’s ‘America First’ policies have isolated the United States on the international forum – destroying the reputation and global standing of the US making it a soft power. As the United States was withdrawing during Trump’s term there was a power vacuum created allowing China to emerge as the next superpower on the horizon. This shift in the global climate since Biden was last in the white house is likely to become a hurdle in restoring the United States’ international standing.
On the domestic front, there is a stark difference between Trump and Biden’s policies. In his presidential campaign, Biden has stated that he would reverse many of Trump’s policies regarding the pandemic, climate change, and racial injustice. One policy that Biden will be reversing is Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy which will, in turn, allow corporations to fund, in part, costly climate, education, and health-care plans. Biden has also made clear to take initiative to raise the federal minimum wage to $15.
Biden’s success in this election comes as hope to many Americans. His policies, both foreign and domestic, are more favorable for a better future for the United States. Biden supports public health care, paid family leave, plans on increasing minimum wage, reducing public college tuition fees, pro-immigration, pro-abortion, wants to increase corporate tax, and supports LGBT+ rights.
https://time.com/5917389/joe-biden-foreign-policy/ “Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Leaves Behind Destruction—and Opportunity—for Joe Biden” Time, 03 December 2020.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/2272717/joe-biden-and-the-world-foreign-policy-outlook “Joe Biden and the world — foreign policy outlook” The Express Tribune, 18 November 2020.
http://www.therepublic.com/2020/11/20/bidens_foreign_policy_wont_be_obama_20/ “Biden’s foreign policy won’t be Obama 2.0” The Republic, 11 November 2020.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/us-foreign-policy-might-be-too-broken-for-biden-to-fix/2020/10/08/b82cfcf0-09a0-11eb-859b-f9c27abe638d_story.html “U.S. foreign policy might be too broken for Biden to fix” The Washington Post, 9 October 2020.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/trump-policies-vs-biden-policies/ “Where Trump and Biden stand on issues” The Washington Post, 22 October 2020.