Politics

With Joe Biden projected to win the US election, what will immediately change?

Joe Biden has taken the lead in a number of key states that would see him win the US election, so what will immediately change if Biden wins?

The last few days have been some of the most crucial for world politics we have seen this year. I mean, when Kanye officially conceded defeat we knew it’d be a nail-biter.

Early signs showed Donald Trump was on path to re-election, but after a stunning shift in the race, it looks more likely than ever that the US will be dragged back to the table of world affairs by Joe Biden, after taking a narrow lead in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada. So, what will Joe Biden be doing immediately to create change in a divided America?

Joe Biden Mask
Photo: Erin Schaff

The first immediate action Joe Biden has prioritised is putting in place a national strategy to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. After 230,000 deaths and 9,760,000 cases in the US, the pandemic was only made worse throughout the election as President Donald Trump both downplayed the severity of the virus and talked up his handling of it.

Biden’s plan to restore the nation’s public health includes the wide availability of free testing as well as subsidising preventive care and treatment measures for COVID-19 if a vaccine is found.

Once legislation is able to be passed, Biden plans to implement an economic response to the virus ensuring paid leave for all workers who contract the virus or need to care for someone who has. Many other measures, including setting up agencies for contact tracing and protections for workers, can be found here.

Another major outcome out of a Biden presidency will see the US take a much more forward-thinking approach to climate change, something they campaigned on heavily.

Within the first 100 days of election, Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement which Trump formally withdrew from days before the election. This will be followed up with a stimulus package of two trillion dollars to invest in clean energy and infrastructure, with a goal of zero net emissions by 2050, as well as carbon emission free electricity by 2035.

Without a majority in the senate, major reforms won’t be able to take place in the days following a Biden election. However a multitude of environmental changes can be made, such as allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a heightened version of Barrack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which would hold states to account for keeping to national net emissions targets, as well as appointing climate conscious leadership in the agency.

Biden can also restore the 125 environmental protective measures that have been repealed or weakened during Trump’s four years as President such as the “waters of the United States” rule preventing water pollution.

With the presidential race coming down to the wire, nothing is certain yet and the potential for major reform in a non-majority government may be slim in the first part of a Biden Presidency. Despite this, there is real optimism that the next four years will see America return to the international community with a global focus.

Despite being projected to win the election, a result will only be told with time. And it’s important to remember that whoever wins, Trump will remain President in name and power until a potential Biden inauguration on January 20.

So stay tuned folks, Trump has got a lot of people left to sue before this is all over.