Ballotpedia’s Weekly Transition Tracker: April 24-30, 2021

Each week, Ballotpedia has tracked key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration. This is the final edition of the Weekly Transition Tracker to mark the final week of Biden’s first 100 days in office. 

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  • The Senate confirmed Samantha Power to be administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development on Apr. 28 by a vote of 68-26.
  • On Apr. 27, the Senate confirmed the following three nominees:
    • Colin Kahl for under secretary of defense for policy by a vote of 49-45.
    • Janet McCabe for deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by a vote of 52-42.
    • Jason Miller for deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget by a vote of 81-13.
  • The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a confirmation hearing for Eric Lander for director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy on Apr. 29.

The Biden administration’s first 100 days

Apr. 29 marked the 100th day of Joe Biden’s (D) presidency. Here is a round-up of facts and figures about Biden’s executive actions, Cabinet confirmations, judicial nominations, legislation, tie-breaking votes, and approval rating.

Executive Actions

Biden has issued: 

  • 42 executive orders,
  • 14 presidential memoranda,
  • 49 proclamations, and 
  • 10 notices. 

Biden’s 42 executive orders are the most from a first-term president in his first 100 days since President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) in 1933.


Twenty-one of Biden’s 23 Cabinet members have been confirmed.

The two outstanding Cabinet positions are the directors of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Eric Lander, Biden’s nominee for OSTP director, had his confirmation hearing on Apr. 29. If Lander is confirmed, it will be the first time a presidential science advisor is in the Cabinet.

Biden initially nominated Neera Tanden, the president of Center for American Progress, to serve as OMB director. She withdrew from consideration in March. Biden has not yet named a replacement nominee. Shalanda Young is the acting director of the OMB.

Judicial nominations

Biden nominated 13 individuals to the federal circuit and district courts. Eight of the nominees are awaiting committee hearings. The other five are awaiting a committee vote. Biden also nominated a judge to the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.

Three of the nominees were announced on Thursday:

  • David Estudillo for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington;
  • Tana Lin for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington; and
  • Christine O’Hearn for United States District Court for the District of New Jersey


Eleven bills have become law in the 117th Congress. The largest of those is the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law on March 11. 

Tie-breaking votes

Vice President Kamala Harris (D) has cast four tie-breaking votes in the U.S. Senate. Two of the votes related to a budget resolution and one to the American Rescue Plan Act. The fourth vote was to discharge the nomination of Colin Kahl for under secretary of defense for policy.

There have been 272 tie-breaking votes cast since 1789 by vice presidents. Mike Pence (R) cast 13 during his tenure. Biden was one of 12 vice presidents to never cast a tie-breaking vote.

Approval rating

The following chart compares the presidential approval ratings of Biden and President Donald Trump (R) on a week-over-week basis. This number is taken from the 30-day average of polls conducted by a select list of polling organizations and outlets. Click here to read the list of polling organizations used.

Biden’s approval rating for the 13th week of his term was 52.5%, down 1.9 percentage points from the week before.

Presidential Address

Biden delivered his first public address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. Since 1977, a new president’s first address has typically been called an annual message rather than a State of the Union.

Presidents may deliver an address to a joint session of Congress to highlight a particular policy issue or major event, such as President George W. Bush’s (R) address on Sept. 20, 2001, about the war on terrorism.

These addresses typically have a scheduled response from the opposition party. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) delivered the Republican Party’s response to Biden’s address. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) delivered the response for the Working Families Party.

Click here to see their speeches and read transcripts of their remarks.


  • The Biden administration announced the details of the American Families Plan on Wednesday. Its provisions include the following initiatives:
    • Offer two free years of community college for millions of students;
    • Provide universal, free pre-K;
    • Decrease college costs for low- and middle-income students at certain institutions, including historically back colleges and universities;
    • Prohibit people earning under 150% of the state median income from paying more than 7% of their income on childcare for children under 5;
    • Provide paid family and medical leave; and
    • Make the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit permanent.
  • The White House said on Wednesday that the U.S. would deliver $100 million worth of medical supplies to India, which is facing a renewed outbreak of the coronavirus.
  • Biden promoted the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan at a car rally near Atlanta on Thursday.
  • The White House announced on Thursday that South Korea President Moon Jae-in will meet with Biden in Washington, D.C., on May 21.
  • NPR reported that the Biden administration was drafting an executive order on investigations into cyber attacks and standards for software development.
  • The Biden administration will seek to ban menthol cigarettes—a third of all cigarettes sold in the U.S.—according to The Wall Street Journal

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