President Joe Biden promised unity, both on the campaign trail and from the stage during his inauguration, but his agenda may take a lopsided toll on poorer Americans and those who live in more rural areas.
Through a series of 42 executive orders, Biden has already pushed through a number of agenda items, some of which catered to certain constituency groups but may be more damaging to others. (RELATED: Experts Say Biden’s Week One Climate Actions Are Already Killing Jobs)
The order that has received the most attention was the one that put an end to the Keystone XL Pipeline, which immediately terminated some 1000 jobs and eliminated 10,000 more planned jobs.
Joe Biden’s Keystone XL decision destroyed:
–> 11,000 U.S. jobs
–> 8,000 union jobs
–> $1.6 billion in wages
Meanwhile, communist China is projected to build 2 large coal plants a month for the next 12 years.#BejingBiden
— Lance Gooden (@Lancegooden) January 23, 2021
Biden’s special envoy on climate change, former Secretary of State John Kerry, responded to concerns about those lost jobs by suggesting that building solar panels or taking other green energy jobs would be a “better choice.” (RELATED: John Kerry: Fossil Fuel Workers Who Lose Their Jobs Will Have ‘Better Choice’ To Go Make Solar Panels)
John Kerry—who flies in private jets, owned a 76-foot yacht and several mansions—has the carbon footprint of a small nation.
Yet he tells energy workers to “make solar panels” when the Biden administration kills their jobs. pic.twitter.com/QhK2FVykxU
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) January 27, 2021
Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy argued that some of those jobs hadn’t yet materialized, and for people who had already lost jobs because of Biden’s agenda, the promise of a future job did nothing to pay the present bills.
.@BillCassidy nailing why canceling Keystone XL is so harmful:
“If you’ve lost a job that is putting food on your table now, it’s cold comfort to know that years from now perhaps in a different state with a different training within which you have there will be another job.” pic.twitter.com/WbgdoRD18e
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) January 27, 2021
Another executive order froze new permits for the natural gas extraction process known as fracking, a move which many viewed as a de facto ban that would ultimately undermine American energy independence.
Fracking and natural gas are responsible for American energy independence and lower emissions. The Biden Administrations shortsighted executive actions will have dire consequences on communities like Houston. pic.twitter.com/JNlj5SERSa
— Wesley Hunt (@WesleyHuntTX) January 31, 2021
In addition to the executive orders, Biden does plan to push some of his agenda through in upcoming legislation like his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. Democrats have already suggested that legislation, which includes a federal minimum wage hike to $15 per hour, be pushed through without Republican support with the aid of budget reconciliation. (RELATED: ‘The Devil Is In The Details’: Bernie Sanders Defends ‘Reconciliation’ After Attacking GOP For Using It)
Politico: Sen. Bernie Sanders, who chairs the budget committee, wants to use reconciliation to push through a $15 minimum wage as part of Biden’s coronavirus proposal.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 27, 2021
As Sen. Cassidy noted during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has predicted such a minimum wage hike would cost millions of jobs — and he also claimed that the Democrats had not reached out to Republicans to find a bipartisan solution, calling the “the beginning of the bad faith.”
A $15 minimum wage could also price small businesses out of the market, especially in rural areas where only larger corporations and chain stores would have the ability to absorb the added cost of labor. (RELATED: Corporations That Support The $15 Minimum Wage Can Afford It. Here’s Who Can’t)
Other Biden agenda items — such as his immigration policy that ends former President Donald Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy and would provide a path to citizenship for many who are already in the country illegally — could make it more difficult particularly for Black Americans to get jobs.