One month into his term, Biden aims to move past Trump and gain some momentum of his own.
President Biden’s first month in office has been spent seeking to create an eye of stability amid converging storms — the pandemic, a jobs crisis, a stumbling vaccine rollout, an impeachment trial after an outbreak of political violence — not to mention an actual storm wreaking deadly destruction.
History will judge whether Mr. Biden will have succeeded in delivering the country from these multiple maelstroms. He has already been a very active new president — approaching his job as a kind of national to-do list, compiled by aides like Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff; Jake Sullivan, national security adviser; and Jeffrey D. Zients, the coordinator of the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response.
At times, it has seemed more like an undo list. Mr. Biden’s term began with a burst of executive action, much of it intended to reverse Trump-era policies. He signed 17 orders, proclamations and memorandums on Inauguration Day, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and ending his predecessor’s travel ban on some predominantly Muslim and African countries.
Since the Senate voted to acquit Mr. Trump more than a week ago, Mr. Biden has made a point of publicly steering the nation’s attention away from the former president, pivoting from erasing Mr. Trump’s legacy to building his own.
On Tuesday, he left Washington on official business for the first time as president, for a CNN town hall in Milwaukee. He offered to restart talks with Iran on Thursday, a major step toward restoring the Iran nuclear deal that the Trump administration abandoned. And on Friday, he appeared at his first major international event with a virtual address at the annual Munich Security Conference, and then departed Washington to fly to Kalamazoo, Mich., to tour a Pfizer coronavirus vaccine production site.
His main focus has been the pandemic, and easing its economic pain, an approach that has already elevated his approval ratings to heights, in the 50s and 60s, that Mr. Trump never experienced.
The administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan has been the top priority for Mr. Biden. Using a parliamentary process known as reconciliation, House Democrats are expected to finalize Mr. Biden’s proposal in the coming days.
Speaking at her weekly news conference on Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said the legislation would be ready “for us to vote on sometime at the end of next week, is my hope.”
What Mr. Biden’s second month holds in store is somewhat less clear: Which item on Mr. Biden’s agenda takes second billing after coronavirus relief?