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The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Cleaning house: Looking at President Biden’s first two weeks in office

By Max Strongman
Opinions Editor

January 20, 2021 marked a paradigm shift not only in the Executive Branch, but also across American politics—an ideological leap grander than a transfer of power. With President Joe Biden now formally inaugurated president, here are some featured policy initiatives and personnel.


  1. Covid-19 Relief and Economic Recovery: President Biden believes that controlling the pandemic is central to economic recovery. As such, he has formed a COVID-19 Advisory Board, a team of experts in public health and policy who will help advise and inform the President’s administration and their subsequent response to the crisis. He also hopes to push for a COVID-19 Congressional relief, calling for additional stimulus.
  1. Racial Justice: The President’s “Build Back Better” plan calls for a whole slew of racial justice reforms, including: increased affordable housing for minorities, public/private investment in minority-owned businesses, and infrastructure and clean energy investments in minority communities. President Biden is also encouraging Congress to press forward with police reform, vouching for the House of Representatives’ bill “Justice in Policing Act.”

Attorney General: the head of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), serving as the chief lawyer for the United States federal government.

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Merrick Garland

President Biden’s Choice for Attorney General

Merrick Garland is surely a name that rings a bell. He was former President Obama’s nominee to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court in March of 2016. Senate Republicans, in the majority at the time, were responsible for confirming (using their advice and consent power) Obama’s pick. The Senate’s then-majority leader, Mitch McConnell, led the Congressional Republican effort in refusing to hold a hearing, much less an actual vote on Garland’s nomination to the high court.

Garland has been on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1993, when appointed by former President Bill Clinton. Judge Garland eventually rose to Chief Judge of that same appellate court, serving in such a position from 2013 up to his 2020 nomination to become Attorney General by President Joe Biden.

Ambassador to the United Nations: the leader of the United States delegation to the United Nations assembly; often works in coordination with the Secretary of State.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield

President Biden’s Pick for Ambassador to the United Nations

Linda Thomas-Greenfield has devoted much of her life to foreign service. Before serving as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2013 till 2017, she has held many other foreign postings. Between working for the United States Mission to the United Nations in Pakistan or Kenya, and becoming Ambassador to Liberia, Thomas-Greenfield has had her fair share of experience with diplomacy.

            Until November of 2020, Thomas-Greenfield was senior vice-president at Albright Stonebridge Group, a business global strategy group run by Madeleine Albright, a former US Secretary of State. As of right now, Thomas-Greenfield is on leave from the group, preparing for her role as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Secretary of the Interior: this position is in charge the department responsible for maintaining and conserving all federal lands and parks; this includes all sorts of natural resources associated with those lands.

Deb Haaland

President Biden’s Pick for Secretary of the Interior

Deb Haaland’s political career has been filled with ‘firsts.’ In 2014, she became the first Native American woman to lead a state party. Later, in 2018, she was one of two Native American women elected to Congress—ever. When she was sworn-in around January 2019, Deb Haaland wore traditional Pueblo dress, moccasins, and necklaces.

If confirmed by the Senate, she would not only be the first Native American to run the Department of the Interior, but also the first Native American Cabinet Secretary in all of United States history.

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Cleaning house: Looking at President Biden’s first two weeks in office