@ 2024 Advocate Channel.
All Rights reserved

Has President Biden Followed Through on His Campaign Promises?

President Joe Biden
Patrick Semansky/AP
President Joe Biden speaks about his economic agenda at International Union of Operating Engineers Local 77's training facility earlier this month in Accokeek, Maryland.

Here's a look at how Biden's accomplishments stack up to the campaign promises he made in 2020.

(CNN) — President Joe Biden's three-minute video announcing his reelection bid Tuesday was his official ask to voters for another four years in office. Yet the video made almost no mention, at least in the voiceover, of what he's done in office so far.

Yes, there were images of infrastructure projects funded by the law he signed and footage of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom he named to the Supreme Court.

But overwhelmingly his message was one of warning: that Republicans stand ready to repeal rights and inflict damage if allowed to return to the White House.

Even if that's his principal argument, Biden will still be forced to account for his first-term record over the course of the next 18 months.

Here is a look at how his accomplishments stack up to the campaign promises he made in 2020.

It's the economy

Nothing is likely to determine Biden's chances of reelection more than how Americans feel about the economy. It's consistently voters' top issue, and one on which they give Biden mixed marks. "Our economic plan is working," he told a union conference Tuesday. "We now have to finish the job."

Promise: Create millions of jobs in manufacturing, caregiving and other industries.

Record: As of this month, the economy had created more than 12 million jobs, in part due to a post-Covid bounce back. Over the past 12 months, the labor market has seen a net gain of more than 4.1 million jobs, averaging 345,417 jobs gained, per month, helping drop the unemployment rate to decades-low levels. The strong labor market, however, has been accompanied by high inflation — which has weighed on Biden's approval rating.

Promise: Roll back Trump tax cuts

Record: Biden fell short of repealing Trump-era tax cuts after failing to gain enough support for key elements of his tax plan, like raising the corporate tax rate to 29 percent. Biden's latest budget includes steps that would reverse some of the Trump tax policy, but it's only a proposal and isn't likely to pass in Congress.

Beating Covid-19

Biden's 2020 campaign was overwhelmingly informed by Covid, both in how it hampered his ability to hold rallies and in the ability to contrast his leadership style with then-President Donald Trump.

Promise: Return to sense of normality, including reopening schools safely after extended closures during the pandemic

Record: The country has mostly returned to normal, though new variant waves in 2021 and 2022 did prolong the process. Most schools are now returned to in-person learning. A longstanding Covid national emergency declaration is set to end in May. And while more than 1,000 people are still dying from Covid per week, that is a sharp decline from pandemic-era highs.

Promise: 100 million Covid shots in his first 100 days in office

Record: Biden met his goal well ahead of schedule. But uptake on boosters, particularly later doses, remains low.

Promise: Pass Covid relief, including stimulus checks, school funding and money for vaccines and testing

Record: The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was passed in March 2021, though not with the bipartisan support Biden hoped for.

Climate concerns

Biden has worked to bolster his standing among progressives through his climate agenda. His Inflation Reduction Act included major investments in clean energy. But he drew major blowback for decisions on oil and gas drilling.

Promise: Pull back a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and rejoin the Paris climate accord

Record: On his first day in office, Biden canceled the Keystone permit and began the process of rejoining the Paris agreement.

Promise: Ban new oil and gas permitting on public land and water

Record: While he has protected millions of acres from drilling, Biden did approve the Willow Project, one of the largest oil projects on public land.

Social safety net

Biden entered office proposing the most dramatic expansion of the US social safety net in decades, though must of his efforts have been stymied — including by members of his own party.

Promise: Cancel at least $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower

Record: Biden unveiled a plan to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student debt, but the program was challenged up to the Supreme Court, which will issue a decision in the coming months.

Promise: Universal pre-K and free community college

Record: Both were included in Biden's initial Build Back Better proposal, but were among the many items stripped out when the bill eventually passed as the "Inflation Reduction Act."

'America's back'

Biden used his long record in American foreign policy as a selling point on the campaign trail, vowing to restore the United States' reputation abroad and repair broken alliances.

Promise: End "forever war" in Afghanistan

Record: Biden ordered the complete withdrawal of American troops by August 2021, but the process of ending the war was chaotic and included a deadly terror attack outside the Kabul airport that killed 13 US troops.

Promise: Return to the Iran nuclear deal

Record: Months of negotiations between the US, Europeans and Iran stalled, and US officials say finding a way to reenter the deal is no longer a priority.

Promise: Restore American standing among US allies

Record: Biden has rallied the G7 and NATO to support Ukraine after it was invaded by Russia, but an isolationist strain in the Republican Party has led to questions about how durable his commitments can be.

Domestic policies

Biden vowed to reverse a number of Trump-era policies while also pledging to pressure Congress to take steps on gun control and immigration.

Promise: Appoint the first black woman to the US Supreme Court

Record: Following the resignation of Justice Stephen Breyer, Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Black woman, as his replacement. She was confirmed in April 2022.

Promise: Enact universal background checks though new legislation

Record: Biden has signed executive orders expanding background checks and signed into law tougher checks on younger buyers, but gaps on background checks remain.

Promise: Work to codify into law the abortion protections of Roe v. Wade

Record: Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court last year, and Biden hasn't been successful in convincing lawmakers to pass new abortion protections into law.

Promise: Restore US as safe-haven for refugees and asylum seekers

Record: Biden has maintained Trump-era policies allowing for the quick expulsion of migrants, and a new policy makes it difficult for migrants to apply for asylum at the southern border.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

From our sponsors

From our partners

Top Stories

Kevin Liptak