Building Back Better: One year of Biden Administration

By Ajay Bhutoria

One year ago, we turned a page and started writing the next chapter of American history with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris swearing into office. After four difficult years, I felt the same glimmer of hope that so many Americans felt.

Biden took his oath of office in the wake of a tumultuous 2020 presidential race and a deadly Capitol insurrection, not to mention the still-raging coronavirus pandemic coupled with a weakened economy. The President and the Vice President have battled for the American people ever since.

Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016. Like millions of Americans, I was also looking for a leader who could lead America out of Chaos. America was in crisis on many fronts, be it economic, international relations, racial injustice, health care, or hate crimes. Every morning, a new calamity unfolded in America. While the country was being degraded, all we wanted was a relief.

To get rid of Donald Trump, I believed in Joe Biden as our future President and became his staunchest supporter from day one. I recall being in Philadelphia for the “Biden- 2020 Campaign” Kickoff, knocking on doors in -20 degrees in Iowa, and Nevada.

A shot in the arm

The President initiated a historic vaccination initiative that resulted in about 75 percent of individuals being completely immunized this year. Now, millions of teens and children have been immunized, and millions more are getting booster doses. The President narrowed the racial gap in adult COVID vaccines. 96 percent of schools are open. These actions have saved and continue to save lives. President Biden has assured all Americans Free Covid-19 Tests and Face Masks. The Biden Administration created COVIDTests.gov to allow Americans to request free at-home quick tests. The website launch was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, with users praising its simplicity, speed, and ease of use.

Strengthening economy

President Biden has added 6.4 million jobs in one year, the highest ever. Weekly unemployment claims are near a level that has not been seen since 1969.  For the first time in 20 years, the US economy has expanded faster than that of China.

President Biden strengthened the US economy by enacting Buy American measures. To help American manufacturing, he established the first Made in America Office. His Made in America Executive Order will help in promoting good-paying union jobs and domestic manufacturing and supply networks.

Building back a better USA

President Biden got the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed – the most impactful legislative agenda for a President in the first year. The American Rescue Plan reduced child poverty to historic lows and reduced unemployment to 3.9 percent two years quicker than expected. In addition to creating employment, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act improves transportation and is a key first step towards a sustainable energy future.

USA, the global leader

President Biden reestablished global alliances and concluded America’s longest conflict. For the first time in a generation, Americans are not deployed overseas in an ongoing war. More than any other country, the US provided and delivered approximately 400 million immunizations to developing nations.

The India-US relationship became stronger, closer, and tighter with PM Modi and President Biden meeting at the White House and both the countries committing to a shared responsibility to “uphold democratic values” and their “joint commitment to diversity.” The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, is an informal coalition of India, the US, Japan, and Australia committed to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific, that is poised for growth.

President Biden reentered the Paris Agreement, reinstating US leadership at the global climate summit. He tripled electric vehicle output in a year.

Celebrating Diversity  

President Biden is the first president since Reagan to get all his initial picks for the statutory cabinet confirmed, and the first president ever to have a cabinet that truly looks like America with half female and majority non-white members.

His administration is the most diverse in history, and he is honored to serve with Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black and South Asian American elected Vice President, and 15 percent of all agency appointees who are Asian-Americans (AA), and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI). The President has taken other steps to promote diversity within the government.

65 or more Indian-Americans have been appointed to the key leadership positions in the Biden administration.

AA and NHPI-owned small businesses have grown thanks to President Biden. PPE Funds helped South Asian business owners survive during difficult times. He is revamping our immigration system to be more fair, humanitarian, and orderly, including for AA and NHPI immigrants and new Americans, and supportive of H1B visa workers, eliminating green card processing delays.

We are stronger together, and America is growing under President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. America’s finest days are ahead of us both domestically and globally. Together they will continue to build a great nation for our generations to come.

(Writer is an author and a Silicon Valley tech executive. He is also Deputy National Finance Chair for the Democratic Party.)

Image courtesy of (Image Courtesy: NPR)

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