It’s official—Joe Biden will be the 46th President. There will be no more certification of the results between now and Inauguration Day. In addition to that, Donald Trump gave us about as close to a concession as we’d expect from him.
So what happened this election cycle? Well, the Democrats lost seats in the House of Representatives, but maintained a majority. In addition, the Democrats just barely won control of the Senate, in no small part thanks to the election of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Lastly, the Democrats won the Presidency, with President-Elect Joe Biden, the oldest person to ever hold the role, and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the first woman, and the first person of color to hold the role.
The electoral margin was 306 to 232–exactly the same as the margin by which Donald Trump beat Sec. Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The Trump administration is not ending on a positive note. His approval rating is the lowest it’s ever been. There was a security breach of the Capitol Building during the confirmation of the electoral votes. This resulted in an evacuation, five deaths, and over 50 people being arrested. Following the riot, two of Trump’s cabinet members have resigned, those being Sec. of Transportation Elaine Chao, and Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos.
In addition, articles of impeachment are being drafted in the House for a second time, this time referring to Trump’s supposed incitement of the Capitol Building breach, and the now-infamous phone call with the Georgia Secretary of State, in which he asked him to “find” enough votes.
Simply put, the Democrats are in a very good position at the moment. But with this new Democratic Supermajority, (meaning they control the presidency and both houses of Congress) what can we expect to see get passed in the next two years?
Honestly, not much.
If you’re hoping for me to say that they will pass things like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and Universal Basic Income, I’m sorry but I won’t. We may have a comfortably democratic house, but the Senate is right down the middle; if one Democrat sides with the other side, then they lose their majority.
In addition to that, Joe Biden is a very moderate liberal. He has hinted that if Medicare for All were to somehow end up on his desk, he would veto it. He is also against Universal Basic Income, and his climate policy falls short of being as drastic as the Green New Deal.
We will get some things, though.
Moderate climate policy is likely, such as the banning of oil fracking on federal land and a gradual transition to clean energy.
Another thing that is likely to pass is BidenCare, which includes a public health insurance option. While it’s not Medicare for All, this would be historic, possibly the highlight of a Biden Administration.
We will also probably see tax increases on the wealthy, and only the wealthy. Biden has pledged that he will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 per year.
The thing that will change people’s immediate future the most that will most definitely be passed, is the $2000 stimulus checks. I can say this with such certainty, because Senate Democrats have prioritized that.
So what do these next two years have in store for us? Baby steps.
I really hope that the Democrats will do their country proud, just as I hope the same with Republicans. Sadly, that’s a rare sight to see from either side of the aisle. The most important thing that we can do is to get involved with politics and vote in every election we can when we’re of age for candidates we admire.
A single vote seems insignificant, but it can bring change.
Ryan Burke is a sophomore at Sweet Home High School, and a former Co-Editor of the Panther Press Viewpoints Section. He is on the swim team, and likes to write about current news and events.