4 MINUTE READ | February 24, 2021
Takeaways from President Biden’s First 30 Days
The first days of any new administration serve as leading indicators for how policies and priorities could impact businesses and consumer behavior throughout a president’s term, and President Biden’s has been no exception. During his first month in office, President Biden signed more than 40 executive orders and memorandums to address issues spanning the coronavirus pandemic, America’s economic recovery, climate policy, immigration reform, and more.
Morning Consult reported that consumers are hopeful for a return to normal and the post-pandemic future, boding well for retailers, travel companies, and entertainment venues, as well as President Biden’s approval ratings among registered voters. As Congress weighs the next stimulus package, the Biden Administration faces a multitude of challenges at home and abroad — from a natural emergency in Texas to mounting tensions in the Middle East.
Below are some of the most notable headlines and key takeaways for marketers and technologists coming out of President Biden’s first 30 days.
Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey are due to (virtually) appear at a highly anticipated congressional hearing scheduled for March 25, on the subject of viral misinformation and falsehoods, the first Big Tech hearing for the Biden Administration and the 117th U.S. Congress. While one of President Biden’s executive orders was to re-establish the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the new Administration has been fairly tight-lipped about how it intends to uphold its “tough on tech” campaign promise.
From antitrust concerns to content moderation and user privacy, the issues facing U.S. technology companies are piling up and, not just domestically, as seen this week with Facebook reaching a deal with Australian lawmakers over news sharing on the Facebook app. For now, activists and analysts are keeping a close eye on who’s being tapped to join the Biden Administration (and government agencies including the FTC and SEC) as a means to predict how the Administration aims to “hold technology companies accountable” for these issues.
The Biden Administration has moved quickly to respond to the coronavirus crisis, signing executive orders in the first days of the presidency to require masks and social distancing on all federal property and by federal workers, increase FEMA reimbursements to states, and establish a COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board to rapidly expand testing and improve access to coronavirus treatment and clinical care.
The latest: According to the Times, “new virus cases and deaths have slowed dramatically, and vaccine distribution has gradually picked up [the] pace.”
Notable executive action includes:
Extend the pause on student loans, as well as eviction and foreclosure moratoriums
Provide guidance for safely reopening schools
New OSHA guidance to boost worker safety amid COVID-19, requiring face masks at airports and on public transportation
Reinstate coronavirus-related travel restrictions on parts of South America and Europe
Invoking the Defense Production Act to fulfill any coronavirus-related supply challenges.
President Biden continues to push government agencies to “lead with science” and also ended the withdrawal process from the World Health Organization, re-engaging the United States in the global response to the pandemic. With Congress slated to deliberate a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, we’re sure to see more federal action in response to the coronavirus pandemic in the weeks to come.
Beyond confronting the health crisis, President Biden signed executive orders that will impact corporate America, from immigration reform to climate policy, launching public pledges from the campaign trail into motion. As sustainability and social issues remain top priorities for consumers, countless companies — from Johnson & Johnson to GM, LEGO, and Maersk — began 2021 with bold pledges to fight climate change and end discrimination, improve racial equity and reduce waste up and down the supply chain.
Pivotal executive orders include:
Elevating climate change as an issue of national security and a foreign policy priority
Preserve DACA to help DREAMers, among other immigration reforms
Expanding “Buy American” rules for government procurement
Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord
Expand protections for the LGBTQ community, preventing workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
Pause new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands and waters, cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline project
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The challenge now rests in determining how the private sector and government agencies will work together to address issues ranging from clean energy and antitrust enforcement to worker’s rights and putting an end to the pandemic.
Posted by Abby Long
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