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Joe Biden’s “pretty impressive” record

Photo: Julia Nikhinson Agence France-Presse US President Joe Biden as he returned to the presidential plane in April 2024.

Benoit Valois-Nadeau

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  • United States

In this section taken from the American Election Courier, our journalists answer questions from our readers. Click here to subscribe.

What are Joe Biden's achievements ? – Serge Ménard

It seems to me that the major networks, both written and television, do not broadcast Joe Biden's achievements. Am I wrong ? – Serge Emond

After the tumultuous Trump years, Joe Biden and his achievements are often relegated to the background, behind his own unpopularity and the highly publicized escapades of his predecessor, believes Christophe Cloutier-Roy, deputy director of the Observatory on the United States of the Chair Raoul-Dandurand.

“It is not surprising that we do not talk much about his record, in a context where American policy is so marked by questions of personality, especially with the candidacy of Donald Trump and his legal setbacks. This means that we tend to obscure the more concrete side of politics. »

Biden's policies also have a consensual approach, which means that they attract little attention, argues the political scientist. While Barack Obama and his Obamacare had, for example, the capacity to mobilize supporters and opponents, the policies of the Biden administration are far from being as divisive.

«J I have the impression that the Biden administration has not put forward any particularly controversial policies in recent years. His record is less present [in the media] because he is not attacked by the Republicans. »

The Biden government can all in all boast of a “fairly impressive legislative record”, according to this specialist in American domestic politics, especially when we consider the very little room for maneuver that the Democratic Party has in Congress.

Here is an overview of the main achievements of the Biden administration in four key areas.


Joe Biden inherited a particularly difficult economic context, marked by the recession caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Three years later, growth is back and the unemployment rate is at a historic low.

The Democrats explain this recovery by the massive bailout plans launched by the president, such as the American Rescue Plan Act, a post-pandemic recovery strategy for the American economy at a cost of 1,900 billion dollars, or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a plan to modernize American infrastructure whose budget is approaching 1,000 billion dollars.

Attributing the strength of the American economy to the president's work alone is, however, always risky, warns Mr. Cloutier-Roy. “We give the president a lot of credit when the economy is doing well. And we also give him a lot of blame when the economy is bad. Either way, it's overkill. »

One thing is certain, the president has broken with the neoliberal philosophy of his predecessors, to return “to a more interventionist State” offering a “larger social safety net”, intended in particular to support the middle class.

Despite the strength of the American economy, galloping inflation, which has made access to property difficult for many young Americans, weighs down the Democratic president's economic record.


Joe Biden, the first green president ? From the first moments of his mandate, the Democrat took strong actions that marked the return of the United States to the fight against climate change.

On his first day in the Oval Office, the new president signed an executive order imposing the country's return to the Paris Agreement, which the United States left in 2017 under the leadership of Donald Trump. In the process, the new tenant of the White House also revoked the operating permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which was to transport tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas.

“Whether he is re-elected or not, I think that it is first and foremost the environmental policies that we will remember from the Biden presidency,” says Christophe Cloutier-Roy.

His Inflation Reduction Act, a $370 billion plan, made the energy transition and green energy drivers of the country’s economic recovery. If the movement was already underway before Joe Biden took office, since the start of his mandate, renewable energies (wind, solar, hydroelectricity) have moved to second place in the American energy portrait, behind natural gas, but ahead of coal and nuclear power.

Added to this are stricter standards restricting emissions from coal-fired power plants, the protection of vast territories from Alaska to shelter from oil and gas exploitation and a vast program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.

Paradoxically, American oil production has reached an unprecedented level under the Biden administration. Faced with the rise in gasoline prices that followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm opened wide the valves of oil exploitation in the country. Result: the price of gasoline is approaching the symbolic mark of $3 per gallon in several states.

Foreign policy

Internationally, the mandate of the 46th president began in chaos with the hasty withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and the resumption of power by the Taliban in August 2021. In Biden's defense, the withdrawal had been initiated by his predecessor Donald Trump, but that did not prevent the president's approval rating from falling below 50% for the first time following the fall of Kabul. The index only deteriorated thereafter and today it is around 40%.

“It was not the withdrawal itself that shocked the public, because the Americans were all eager for [their soldiers] to leave Afghanistan. But the cataclysmic circumstances in which this was done made the president look bad,” argues Christophe Cloutier-Roy.

Despite the discomfiture in Kabul, Joe Biden put a lot of effort to restore the central place of the United States on the world stage, after the isolationism of the Trump years.

The president notably had to deal with the joint rise of Russia and China. Faced with the Russian bear, Joe Biden led the Western camp in support of Ukraine, providing weapons and money in large quantities.

“We are returning to the consensus of the Cold War and post-Cold War, that of a nation very present on the international scene which feels the need to intervene in all crises when its interests (or those of its sphere of influence) “influence) are threatened”, explains the deputy director of the Observatory on the United States.

Against China, he managed to forge new alliances in the Pacific region, which notably allowed South Korea and Japan, two countries at odds for decades, to come closer together.

The CHIPS and Science Act has also made it possible to repatriate to American soil the production of semiconductors, highly strategic electronic compounds, until now mainly produced in China and Taiwan.

Domestic policy

On the domestic scene, the Biden presidency began in January 2021 under the sign of COVID-19, which caused more than a million deaths in the country. The new president notably imposed the wearing of masks and distancing in federal buildings and on public transport, while promoting large-scale access to the vaccine.

“Without being a public health expert, I believe Biden’s crisis management has been good. But I have the impression that the electorate has already turned the page on COVID and that this positive outcome will not weigh in the balance when it comes time to vote,” underlines Christophe Cloutier-Roy.

In immigration, Joe Biden reversed several Donald Trump policies, notably the controversial decree which prohibited entry into American territory to nationals of seven Muslim countries.

The Democrat, however, pledged to complete, at great cost, certain portions of the wall built on the Mexican border to stop irregular migration, a measure initiated by his predecessor Trump.

Faced with the invalidation of the judgment Roe v. Wade by the country's Supreme Court in 2022, the Biden administration has taken a strong stand for universal access to abortion, particularly in the person of Vice President Kamala Harris. He also accelerated the authorization by Public Health of the contraceptive pill without a prescription.

If he was generally powerless to prevent mass shootings, the president still managed to pass one of the only bills to restrict access to firearms in nearly 30 years, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which strengthened the background checks that precede the purchase of firearms. 'a weapon.

In the crowd of dramas in Buffalo and Uvalde, Joe Biden also announced the creation of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which helps states apply tougher legislation and better support victims of gun violence .

We can also credit the president with the appointment of the first black woman justice to the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116