While the Senate is now at work on passing the COVID relief bill, it’s easy for people to argue that President Biden and Senate Democrats aren’t working at full speed or that what you feel is the most crucial piece of legislation they need to pass while they control the White House and Congress isn’t the top priority before the midterms roll around. It’s important to bear in mind that what President Biden has already done and is acting on from an executive perspective, is just as important as much of that legislation – particularly when it comes to undoing some of the most disastrous policies of the previous administration.
On Monday, the Biden administration finally released $1.3 billion in disaster relief funds for Puerto Rico, while taking restrictions off another $4.9 billion – money that the Trump administration had blocked for nearly two years, despite its inept response to the disaster that was Hurricane Maria and also having allocated $67 billion in funds for the island’s recovery. Even though the hurricane happened nearly four years ago, recovery has been a long road, with Trump only releasing funds when he was up for re-election in October, hoping he could shore up the support of voters in Florida.
This is just one of the many disasters to happen under the previous administration’s watch that we’re only beginning to understand the severity of – and how egregious not only Trump was at responding, but congressional Republicans as well, who were largely complicit as he kept adding restrictions and refusing to release the money. Now the island can begin to rebuild and recover, while potentially preparing for the next big storms. It’s but one example of how consequential elections can be, and why Republicans shouldn’t be trusted with power again any time soon.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making