President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris climate accord hours after his inauguration at the White House in January 2021. In June, he filed a moratorium on oil drilling in Alaska, reversing a decision by Donald Trump. Joe Biden also passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which notably provides for an investment of nearly 400 billion US dollars in infrastructure and green energy. It is the largest measure ever passed in the United States to deal with climate change.
The United States ended 2022 with growth of more than 2% and with a very low unemployment rate. This post-pandemic rebound was accompanied by a historic surge in inflation. But prices calmed down in early 2023, seeming to confirm Joe Biden’s scenario of a “soft” landing. The president has also offered support during the pandemic, passed major investments in infrastructure, advanced industries and energy transition, in addition to a reduction in the price of drugs and tax reform.
Faced with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Joe Biden was the architect of the Western response, with sanctions and military aid. He went so far as to convince Sweden and Finland to join NATO. Joe Biden has also decided to stand up to China, brutally if necessary. The Americans have established with the United Kingdom and Australia a program of nuclear-powered submarines, intended to stand up to China in the Pacific.
The president signed into law in December 2022 a law to protect same-sex marriage across the country. He also succeeded in passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in June 2022. This law provides 750 million US dollars for preventive measures related to firearms, such as background checks for young people. In March 2023, Joe Biden signed an executive order to strengthen certain provisions of this law. Although limited, it is the first advancement in gun control in the United States for 30 years.
Already the oldest American president at 80, Joe Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term in the White House. Two recent medical checkups concluded that he was “in good health”. But his demeanor is more cautious, his speech sometimes muddled, and his moments of confusion undermine his credibility. An apparent weakness that the Republican opposition seizes on to question his mental acumen. A first test will take place during the 2024 election campaign, which risks being more demanding than that of 2020, in the midst of a pandemic.
Despite Joe Biden’s overall solid record, only 26% of Americans and 47% of Democrats want him to enter the electoral race in April 2023, according to a poll by the Associated Press and the NORC Public Affairs Research Center . Last February, 43% of American voters approved of it. According to a December 2022 Reuters-Ipsos poll, 85% of Republicans disapproved of his action and 76% of Democrats approved of him. This low popularity within his own country has been dubbed the “Biden paradox” by American studies professor Françoise Coste on RTS.
The American president has put an end to the construction of the wall that Donald Trump wanted on the border with Mexico, but the arrivals of migrants continue without his having succeeded in reforming the immigration system. In a program signed in January, Joe Biden authorized the arrival of 360,000 people from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua, while maintaining the hard – and controversial – line at the border.
Any escalation with Beijing, for example around Taiwan, before the presidential election would upset Joe Biden’s campaign. There are many other threats as well, such as North Korea’s aggressiveness and Iran’s nuclear program. In a dystopian video released on Tuesday, Republicans visualized what they think four more years of Biden’s presidency would look like: bombs on Taiwan, looted stores and hordes of migrants at borders.