What Has Biden Done? Here is a Long List of Accomplishments

There’s a common misconception that mainstream media outlets have an overt bias toward Democrats.

This all started in the late 1970s with “pioneer of conservative talk radio” Bob Grant, who paved the way in the post-Fairness Doctrine 1980s for right-wing hate media personalities like Rush Limbaugh.

After President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, media mogul Rupert Murdoch found the field ripe for extending his cancerous empire, fulfilling Roger Ailes’s dream of creating the 100-percent 24/7 “fair and balanced” cable television channel we know as Fox News.

Joining it today are cable channels One America News (OAN), Sinclair Media-owned stations, Murdoch-owned newspaper The New York Post, and scores of internet sites, like Breitbart; The Epoch Times; The Blaze; The Daily Caller; The Washington Times; The Washington Examiner; Town Hall; and Meta, the social media site formerly known as Facebook.

These right-wing outlets have done such a successful job hammering home the lie that any other mainstream outlet not them is de facto “liberal” that the presumably “liberal” outlets tack further to the right to avoid being accused of it.

This obsession with placating their more truculent competitors has ironically led “liberal” ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN to adopt a more right-leaning bias.

So we shouldn’t be surprised when the corporate media trains its attention on any tidbit of negative news coming out of the current White House, particularly economic, ignoring the myriad successes the Biden administration has achieved in just one year.

And there are a lot of successes.

A lot.

Here are just some the Democratic party can boast of this first year of the Biden administration with a congressional majority:

Need some more?

Below are just a few (okay, more than a few) of the most consequential.

Education

Housing

  • $46.5B in housing assistance that includes $21.5 billion in rental assistance, $10 billion for homeowner relief, $5billion for section-8 vouchers, $5 billion to fight homelessness, $5 billion for utilities assistance

Healthcare

  • 2-year Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credit expansion that ended the “subsidy cliff”– expanded coverage and cutting costs for millions
  • Required insurers to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis medicine (PrEP), an HIV prevention drug, and all related clinical visits
  • Extended the ACA open enrollment period from 45 to 76 days with a new year-round special enrollment period for low-income enrollees
  • Restored Navigator program to assist with ACA sign up
  • Removed separate billing requirement for ACA abortion coverage
  • Eliminated a regulation allowing states to privatize exchanges
  • Eliminated all Medicaid work requirements
  • Permanently removed the restriction on mail access to abortion pills
  • Rescinded Mexico City Policy (global gag rule) barring international non-profit corporations from receiving US funding that provided abortion counseling or referrals
  • Allowed states to extend coverage through Medicaid and the (Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to post-partum women for one year (up from 60 days)
  • $6 billion to Indian Health Services
  • $17 billion to the Veterans’ Administration (VA), including $1B to forgive veteran medical debt
  • $3 billion to address mental health and substance abuse
  • Prohibited discrimination against LGBTQ patients

Judiciary

  • Confirmed 42 lifetime federal judges (the most in 40 years), 13 circuit court judges, and 29 district court judges
  • Named first openly LBGTQ woman to sit on an appeals court, first Muslim American federal judge, and record number of black women and public defenders

Environment

  • Committed $100 million for environmental justice initiatives, $1.1 billion for Everglades restoration, $100 million for environmental justice initiatives
  • Signed a 30-gigawatt offshore wind plan that includes the largest ever offshore wind lease sale in NY and NJ, offshore wind lease sales in California, expedited offshore wind projects, $3 billion in Dept. of Energy loans for offshore wind projects, and $230 million in offshore wind port infrastructure
  • Established a solar plan to slash in half the cost of solar by 2030, including $128 million in funding to lower costs and improve solar technology
  • Forged a multi-agency partnership to expedite clean energy projects on federal land
  • Instructed Dept. of Energy to strengthen appliance efficiency rules
  • Finalized the rule to prevent cutting corners on efficiency standards
  • Finalized the rule to expedite appliance efficiency standards
  • Repealed a federal architecture executive order making sustainable federal buildings harder to build
  • Reversed size cuts and restored protections to Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments

Pandemic Relief

  • Extended the public health emergency through at least April 15, 2022
  • $50 billion in funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for COVID disaster relief that includes vaccine funding and states’ reimbursement for COVID costs, retroactively to March 2020
  • Committed $47.8 billion for testing, $1.75 billion for COVID genome sequencing, $8.5 billion to CDC for vaccines, $7.6 billion to state and local health departments, $7.6 billion to community health centers
  • Administered over 500 million vaccine shots through 90,000 free vaccination sites
  • Raised federal reimbursement from $23 to $40 per shot for vaccine sites
  • Deployed 6000 troops for initial vaccination
  • Provided cash incentives, free rides, and free childcare for the initial vaccination drive
  • Donated 400 million vaccines internationally, committed 1.2 billion
  • Contributed $2 billion to COVAX for global vaccinations
  • Funded expansion of vaccine manufacturing in India and South Africa
  • Implemented vaccine mandate for federal employees, contractors, and employees at healthcare providers that receive Medicare/Medicaid funding.
  • Implemented vaccine/test mandate for large businesses (SC struck down)
  • Invoked DPA for testing, vaccine, PPE manufacturing
  • Implemented a federal mask mandate for federal buildings, federal employees, and public transportation
  • Implemented test requirement for international travel
  • Implemented joint FDA-NIH expedited process to approve at home tests more quickly
  • Required over 20,000 free federal testing sites
  • Provided 8 at-home tests per month to be reimbursed by insurance
  • Secured one billion at-home tests to be available for free by mail and 50 million at-home tests available free at community health centers
  • Secured 25 million high-quality reusable masks for low-income residents in early 2021 and 400 million free N95 masks at pharmacies and health centers
  • Deployed military medical teams to assist overburdened hospitals
  • Rejoined the World Health Organization (WHO)

LGBTQ

  • Ended the ban on transgender soldiers in the military
  • Reversed the Trump administration limits on the Bostock ruling and fully enforced it
  • Prohibited discrimination against LGBTQ patients in healthcare
  • Prohibited discrimination against LGBTQ families in housing under the Fair Housing Act
  • Prohibited discrimination against LGBTQ people in the financial system to access loans or credit
  • Declared the Justice Department (DOJ) will enforce Title IX that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in education.
  • Revoked the ban on federal diversity training
  • Instructed the VA to review its policies to remove barriers to care for transgender veterans
  • Confirmed the first Senate LGBTQ cabinet secretary
  • Extended birthright citizenship to children of same-sex couples born abroad
  • Permitted the State Department to allow non-binary Americans to use an “X” gender designation on passports

Criminal Justice

  • Banned new contracts with private prisons for criminal prisons
  • Re-established the Justice Department’s use of police department consent degrees
  • Investigated police department pattern and practice in Phoenix, Louisville, and Minneapolis
  • Banned chokeholds and limited no-knock raids among federal law enforcement

Civil Rights

  • Banned modern-day redlining
  • Doubled DOJ Civil Rights Division staff
  • Increased percentage of federal contract for small disadvantaged businesses from 5% to 15% ($100B in additional contracts over 5 years)
  • Sued TX and GA over voting laws
  • Sued TX over abortion law
  • Sued GA over prison abuse
  • Signed law making Juneteenth a federal holiday
  • Signed an executive order to use the federal government to improve voting access through federal programs and departments.
  • Signed the COVID-19 Hate Crime Act making more resources available to support hate crime reporting
  • Signed an executive order for diversity in the federal workplace
  • Increased federal employment opportunities for the previously incarcerated

For a complete list, visit the website What Biden Has Done.

While there is more–lot more–to do and should have been done, Democrats have done more for the American people in 12 months than republicans have the past 40 years.

But if we just listened to the corporate for-profit media, we would assume Democrats are bumbling around the halls of the Capitol trying to find the exits.

In their cause to avoid being accused of having a “liberal bias,” the media could be repeating the mistakes of 2016.

Image credit: Colin Lloyd via Unsplash

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.