America stands still today for Joe Biden as he is sworn in as the country’s 46th president.
His inauguration today is a defining moment for a man who has spent all his life in the corridors of power. Born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he served as vice president during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017.
He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 1965 and a law degree from Syracuse University in New York in 1968. His entrance into politics started in 1970 when he served on the New Castle county council for three years.
He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 at the age of 29, becoming the fifth youngest senator in history. He won re-election six times thus becoming Delaware’s longest-serving senator. He served on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, twice as its chair (2001–03; 2007–09), and on the Committee on the Judiciary, serving as its chair from 1987 to 1995.
Biden focused on foreign relations, criminal justice, and drug policy while in the Senate. He was the lead senator in writing the law that established the office of “drug czar,” a position that oversees the national drug-control policy.
Biden’s first attempt at the presidency was in 1988 when he filed for nomination under the Democratic Party. He had to withdraw from the race following revelation that parts of his campaign stump speech had been plagiarized from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock without appropriate attribution.
He tried again in 2008 placing fifth in the Iowa Democratic caucus in January of that year. He again withdrew from the race. His political fortune changed On August 23, 2008 after Obama officially announced his selection as the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee. During that Election Year, Biden also won re-election to the Senate but had to resign to become vice president. In November 2012 Obama and Biden were reelected for a second term.
Ahead of today’s inauguration, Biden has picked members of his cabinet. He has also made key policy statements. One of the first steps he is expected to take during his first days in office is to reverse his former President Donald Trump’s policies.
He plans to sign dozens of executive orders and send sweeping bills to Congress, aiming to roll back some of Trump’s signature policies on immigration and climate change while taking action to ramp up the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
According to Biden’s advisers, a review of campaign promises and a recent memo by the president-elect’s incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, Biden will seek a $1.9 trillion spending proposal aimed at accelerating the distribution of coronavirus vaccines while providing economic relief to millions of Americans hurt by the pandemic.
He will return the United States to the World Health Organization. Trump withdrew from the agency, saying it failed to properly oversee the COVID-19 pandemic.