Author

Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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. 

For future updates in your inbox on the Biden Administration, subscribe to Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew, where we cover everything from federal politics to local elections.

  • 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.

Cabinet

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

Legislation

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.

News

  • 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

What We’re Reading



Biden’s first 100 days in office

April 30 marks the 100th day of President Joe Biden’s (D) presidency. Here is a round-up of where his administration stands so far.

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 in office since President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) in 1933.

Cabinet

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 before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on April 29. If Lander is confirmed, it will be the first time a presidential science advisor is in the president’s Cabinet.

Biden initially nominated Neera Tanden, the president of Center for American Progress, to serve as OMB director. She withdrew from consideration after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and several key Republicans said they would not support her confirmation. Biden has not yet named a replacement nominee. 

Judicial nominations

Biden nominated 10 individuals to the federal circuit and district courts. Five 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.

Legislation

Eleven bills have become law under the 117th Congress. The Biden administration’s signature legislation so far is the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, to provide economic relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1.9 trillion bill passed without support from any Republican members of Congress.

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.

Approval rating

Ballotpedia is tracking the 30-day average of presidential approval rating polls conducted by a select list of polling organizations and outlets.

President Biden’s approval rating for the 13th week of his term was 52.5%, down 1.9 percentage points from the week before. President Trump’s approval rating at the same point in his term was 41.7%, up 0.6 percentage points from the week before.



Ballotpedia’s Weekly Transition Tracker: April 10-16, 2021

Each week, Ballotpedia is tracking key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration. We will publish two more editions of the Weekly Transition Tracker for the remaining two weeks of Biden’s first 100 days in office.

  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to advance the nomination of Samantha Power for administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development by voice vote on Thursday.

Executive Actions

  • The Biden administration announced several sanctions against Russia on Thursday in response to its cyberattacks and efforts to influence elections. After June 14, U.S. financial institutions will not be able to purchase bonds from or lend to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. Additionally, 10 members of the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., are being expelled, and six Russian tech companies and 32 individuals are being sanctioned.
  • Biden is planning to issue an executive order requiring some federal agencies to consider climate risk assessments in how they regulate industry and lend federal funds, according to Politico.

Other News

  • In an interview on Sunday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Biden “wants to see major action in Congress and real progress by Memorial Day” for the infrastructure bill.
  • Biden announced his intent to nominate Jen Easterly as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Chris Inglis as the newly established national cyber director on Monday. Easterly is a former senior counterterrorism and cybersecurity official who worked in the Obama administration. Inglis is the former deputy director of the National Security Agency.
  • Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) met with a bipartisan group of Congress members to discuss the American Jobs Plan on Monday.
  • Cindy McCain is under consideration for ambassador to the U.N. World Food Programme, which is based in Rome. If nominated, she would be Biden’s first Republican appointee for a position requiring Senate confirmation.
  • Biden announced nominees for two key immigration posts on Monday: Ur Jaddou for director of Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and Chris Magnus for commissioner of Customs and Border Control. Jaddou previously worked at the CIS as the chief counsel during the Obama administration. Magnus is the police chief of border city Tucson, Arizona.
  • Biden sent several previously announced nominations to the Senate, including David Chipman for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Robin Carnahan for administrator of general services.
  • Biden selected Christine Wormuth as his nominee for secretary of the Army. If confirmed, she would be the first woman to hold that position.
  • Biden domestic policy advisor Susan Rice said the Biden administration would not pursue a White House commission on policing. She said, instead, “The Biden-Harris Administration strongly supports the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and is working with Congress to swiftly enact meaningful police reform that brings profound, urgently needed change.”
  • Biden announced on Tuesday that he had selected Robert Santos as his nominee for director of the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Biden is scheduled to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress on April 28, accepting an invitation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday.
  • Biden announced on Wednesday that the U.S. will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. This is after the May 1 deadline the Trump administration set as part of an agreement with the Taliban.
  • The Biden administration will pursue a proposed $23 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) initiated by the Trump administration after the UAE agreed to develop diplomatic relations with Israel.
  • Biden will appear with former President Barack Obama in an hour-long special on NBC to promote COVID-19 vaccinations. To learn more about vaccine distribution by state, click here.
  • Biden announced he had selected Erika Moritsugu as the Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison and deputy assistant to the president.
  • Biden announced nine Senior Foreign Service career members for ambassadorships on Thursday:
    • Larry Edward André, Jr. – Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia
    • Elizabeth Moore Aubin – Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
    • Steven C. Bondy – Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain
    • Maria E. Brewer – Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho
    • Marc Evans Knapper – Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
    • Christopher John Lamora – Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon
    • Tulinabo S. Mushingi – Ambassador to the Republic of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome & Principe
    • Michael Raynor – Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
    • Eugene S. Young – Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo
  • The Biden administration requested the Supreme Court decline to take up a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an all-male military draft. Elizabeth Prelogar, the acting solicitor general, said Congress was reviewing whether women should be required to register for the draft, making consideration of the lawsuit premature.

Transition in Context: Flashback to Trump’s First Year in Office

Here’s a look at what President Donald Trump (R) was doing this week during his first year in office.

  • April 12, 2017: The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration was considering developing a nationwide deportation force program.
  • April 13, 2017: Trump signed into law a bill that undid an Obama administration rule prohibiting state and local governments from withholding federal funding for qualified health providers offering family planning services related to contraception and other reproductive issues.
  • April 14, 2017: The Trump White House announced it would not release its visitor logs.
  • April 15, 2017: Tax Day protests were held in Washington, D.C., West Palm Beach, Florida, and other cities calling on Trump to release his personal tax returns. 
  • April 16, 2017: Trump attended an Easter service in Palm Beach, Florida.

Transition in Context: Flashback to Obama’s First Year in Office

Here’s a look at what President Barack Obama (D) was doing this week during his first year in office.

  • April 13, 2009: Obama hosted the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
  • April 14, 2009: Obama delivered remarks on the economy at Georgetown University.
  • April 15, 2009: The Obama administration declined to call China a currency manipulator in a report on international currency practices.
  • April 16, 2009: Obama discussed investing $8 billion in high-speed rail development.
  • April 17, 2009: Obama attended the Summit of the Americas, where he said the United States would seek a new beginning with Cuba.

Transition in Context: Presidential Approval Rating

The following chart compares the presidential approval ratings of Presidents Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) 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.

President Biden’s approval rating for the 11th week of his term was 53.5%, up 1.6 percentage points from the week before. President Trump’s approval rating at the same point in his term was 41%, down 1.3 percentage points from the week before.

Transition in Context: Congressional Approval Rating

The following chart compares congressional approval ratings during the administrations of Presidents Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) 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.

Congress’ approval rating during the 11th week of President Biden’s term was 24.2%, down 0.4 percentage points from the week before. At the same point in President Trump’s term, Congress’ approval rating was 15.8%, down 2.7 percentage points from the week before.

Transition in Context: In Their Words…

Here’s what Democratic and Republican leaders have said about the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court.

  • “With today’s executive order, the Biden Administration has pledged to study potential reforms to the Supreme Court.  This deliberative approach will be led by two highly renowned attorneys and legal scholars – Bob Bauer and Cristina Rodriguez – and I have full faith that they will lead this Commission with an open mind and a commitment to hearing many perspectives. I look forward to the Commission’s report and to discussions about important potential reforms.” – Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee
  • “Of course, this is just another example of the liberal preference for attacking norms and institutions, rather than working within them. When Democrats lose a floor vote, it’s time to change Senate rules. When they lose a presidential election, it’s time to abolish the Electoral College. And when activists’ cases fall flat against the rule of law, it’s time to ignore Justices Ginsburg and Breyer and pack the Supreme Court.” – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
  • “I welcome President Biden’s announcement, but after years of Republicans upending precedent, breaking their own rules, and stealing seats on the Supreme Court in order to use it as a political pawn, we need more than a commission to restore integrity to the court. We need to abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.” – Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
  • “I share Justice Breyer and the late Justice Ginsburg’s view that nine is the right number of seats on the Supreme Court. If every new administration decides they can just pack the courts, there will be no limit to how many seats you could end up with. I think an Executive Branch commission that investigates and analyzes the work of the Supreme Court challenges the balance of power between the Executive and Judicial Branches, and puts the Court in a much more partisan and political place than it should be.” – Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

What We’re Reading



Biden plans exec order on climate-related financial risk

April 16, 2021: President Joe Biden (D) is planning to issue an executive order on climate-related financial risk.

Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration.

This is the last daily edition of The Transition Tracker. We will publish weekly editions each Friday for the remaining two weeks of Biden’s first 100 days in office.

  • The Senate Foreeign Relations Committee voted to advance the nomination of Samantha Power for administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development by voice vote.

News

  • Biden is planning to issue an executive order requiring some federal agencies to consider climate risk assessments in how they regulate industry and lend federal funds, according to Politico.
  • Biden announced nine Senior Foreign Service career members for ambassadorships on Thursday:
    • Larry Edward André, Jr. – Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia
    • Elizabeth Moore Aubin – Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
    • Steven C. Bondy – Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain
    • Maria E. Brewer – Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho
    • Marc Evans Knapper – Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
    • Christopher John Lamora – Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon
    • Tulinabo S. Mushingi – Ambassador to the Republic of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome & Principe
    • Michael Raynor – Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
    • Eugene S. Young – Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo
  • The Biden administration requested the Supreme Court decline to take up a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an all-male military draft. Elizabeth Prelogar, the acting solicitor general, said Congress was reviewing whether women should be required to register for the draft, making consideration of the lawsuit premature.

Transition in Context: In Their Words…

Here’s what Democratic and Republican leaders have said about the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court.

  • “With today’s executive order, the Biden Administration has pledged to study potential reforms to the Supreme Court.  This deliberative approach will be led by two highly renowned attorneys and legal scholars – Bob Bauer and Cristina Rodriguez – and I have full faith that they will lead this Commission with an open mind and a commitment to hearing many perspectives. I look forward to the Commission’s report and to discussions about important potential reforms.” – Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee
  • “Of course, this is just another example of the liberal preference for attacking norms and institutions, rather than working within them. When Democrats lose a floor vote, it’s time to change Senate rules. When they lose a presidential election, it’s time to abolish the Electoral College. And when activists’ cases fall flat against the rule of law, it’s time to ignore Justices Ginsburg and Breyer and pack the Supreme Court.” – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
  • “I welcome President Biden’s announcement, but after years of Republicans upending precedent, breaking their own rules, and stealing seats on the Supreme Court in order to use it as a political pawn, we need more than a commission to restore integrity to the court. We need to abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.” – Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
  • “I share Justice Breyer and the late Justice Ginsburg’s view that nine is the right number of seats on the Supreme Court. If every new administration decides they can just pack the courts, there will be no limit to how many seats you could end up with. I think an Executive Branch commission that investigates and analyzes the work of the Supreme Court challenges the balance of power between the Executive and Judicial Branches, and puts the Court in a much more partisan and political place than it should be.” – Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

What We’re Reading



Biden admin announces sanctions, expulsions against Russia

April 15, 2021: The Biden administration announced several sanctions against Russia on Thursday in response to its cyberattacks and efforts to influence elections. 

Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration.

We will publish The Transition Tracker daily through April 16, followed by weekly editions each Friday for the remaining two weeks of Biden’s first 100 days in office.

  • The following committee hearings are scheduled on Thursday:
    • The Senate Finance Committee is holding confirmation hearings for Andrea Palm for deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
    • The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions is holding a confirmation hearing for James Kvaal for under secretary of education.
    • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on the nomination of Samantha Power for administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

News

  • The Biden administration announced several sanctions against Russia on Thursday in response to its cyberattacks and efforts to influence elections. After June 14, U.S. financial institutions will not be able to purchase bonds from or lend to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. Additionally, 10 members of the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., are being expelled, and six Russian tech companies and 32 individuals are being sanctioned.
  • Biden announced he had selected Erika Moritsugu as the Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison and deputy assistant to the president.

Transition in Context: Congressional Approval Rating

The following chart compares congressional approval ratings during the administrations of Presidents Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) 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.

Congress’ approval rating during the 11th week of President Biden’s term was 24.2%, down 0.4 percentage points from the week before. At the same point in President Trump’s term, Congress’ approval rating was 15.8%, down 2.7 percentage points from the week before.

What We’re Reading



Two Cabinet-level positions remain unfilled in Biden admin

All 15 of President Joe Biden’s (D) main Cabinet secretary nominees were confirmed 61 days after he took office.

At this point in President Barack Obama’s (D) presidency—82 days after his inauguration—he still had one vacant secretary post for the Department of Health and Human Services. President Donald Trump (R) had two: the secretaries of agriculture and labor.

In addition to the main 15 Cabinet secretaries, Biden has selected eight more positions requiring Senate confirmation to be Cabinet-level in his administration. Two of those positions are still un: director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Biden initially nominated Neera Tanden, the president of Center for American Progress, to serve as OMB director. She faced two hearings before the Senate committees on budget and homeland security and governmental affairs but never received a committee vote.

Two weeks after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and several key Republicans—Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah)—said they would not support her confirmation, Tanden withdrew from consideration on March 2, 2021. Biden has not yet named a replacement nominee. OMB Deputy Director Shalanda Young is the acting director of the agency.

Biden formally nominated Eric Lander for OSTP director on Jan. 20. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has not yet scheduled his confirmation hearing. If Lander is confirmed, it will be the first time a presidential science advisor is in the president’s Cabinet.

Additional Reading:



Biden announces nominee for ATF director, executive actions on gun violence

April 8, 2021: President Joe Biden (D) is expected to issue several executive actions on gun violence and announce David Chipman as his nominee to lead the ATF.

Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration.

  • There are no committee hearings scheduled Thursday. The Senate stands adjourned until April 12 for a full session.

News

  • Biden is expected to issue several executive actions on gun violence Thursday related to the purchase of unregistered firearms assembled at home, which the White House called ghost guns; the regulation of pistol-stabilizing braces; model legislation for red flag laws; community violence interventions; and an annual report on firearms trafficking.
  • Biden is also expected to announce David Chipman as his nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Chipman is an explosives expert and former ATF agent.
  • The White House is vetting Amos Hochstein as a potential special envoy to halt the Nord Stream 2, the Russia-Germany gas pipeline project. Hochstein was a special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs in the Obama administration.

Transition in Context: Congressional Approval Rating

The following chart compares congressional approval ratings during the administrations of Presidents Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) 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.

Congress’ approval rating during the tenth week of President Biden’s term was 24.6%, down 1.9 percentage points from the week before. At the same point in President Trump’s term, Congress’ approval rating was 18.5%, down 1.8 percentage points from the week before.

What We’re Reading



Biden selects Robin Carnahan for GSA administrator

April 7, 2021: President Joe Biden (D) selected Robin Carnahan as his nominee for administrator of the General Services Administration.

Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration.

  • There are no committee hearings scheduled Wednesday. The Senate stands adjourned until April 12 for a full session.

News

  • Biden announced on Tuesday that he would nominate Robin Carnahan (D) to serve as the administrator of the General Services Administration. Carnahan is a former Missouri secretary of state, serving from 2005 to 2013.
  • Tennessee and Kentucky filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration regarding tax provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act. The complaint says the tax provisions prohibit states that receive federal aid under the law from lowering taxes for several years, constituting a federal overreach.
  • Biden will promote the American Jobs Plan during remarks at the White House on Wednesday. His administration is also conducting outreach to governors and mayors and making local TV appearances to support the plan.
  • Jill Biden is announcing details of her Joining Forces initiative on Wednesday, which will include expanding job opportunities for military spouses and access to mental health services.

Transition in Context: Presidential Approval Rating

The following chart compares the presidential approval ratings of Presidents Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) 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.

President Biden’s approval rating for the tenth week of his term was 51.9%, down 1.3 percentage points from the week before. President Trump’s approval rating at the same point in his term was 42.3%, down 2.3 percentage points from the week before.

What We’re Reading



Manchin opposes Biden corporate tax rate increase

April 6, 2021: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said that he opposed President Joe Biden’s (D) proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%

Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration.

  • There are no committee hearings scheduled Tuesday. The Senate stands adjourned until April 12 for a full session.

News

  • The Senate parliamentarian ruled on Monday that a revised budget resolution can use the reconciliation process, which would allow the Senate to pass spending legislation by a simple majority vote rather than 60 votes.
  • Biden is expected on Tuesday to move up the deadline for all adults to be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine from May 1 to April 19. For more information about vaccine distribution and eligibility by state, click here.
  • The Open Society Foundations are planning to spend $20 million to promote Biden’s infrastructure and social welfare proposals. Axios reported that spending on the campaign could reach $100 million.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said on Monday that he opposed Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, preferring instead 25%. “If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere. So we’re going to have some leverage here. And it’s more than just me. … There’s six or seven other Democrats that feel very strongly about this,” Manchin said.

Transition in Context: Flashback to Obama’s First Year in Office

Here’s a look at what President Barack Obama (D) was doing this week during his first year in office.

  • April 6, 2009: Obama addressed the Turkish parliament in Ankara as part of his first overseas trip as president.
  • April 7, 2009: Obama visited troops at Camp Victory near Baghdad, Iraq.
  • April 8, 2009: Obama was expected to make a supplemental request of $83 billion to help continue to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September.
  • April 9, 2009: Obama hosted a Passover Seder at the White House.
  • April 10, 2009: Obama met with financial regulators to discuss the health of 19 of the biggest U.S. banks.

What We’re Reading



13 states sue Biden admin over ARPA tax rule

Recommended subject line: 13 states sue Biden admin over ARPA tax rule

April 1, 2021: Thirteen states, led by Republican attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia, sued the Biden administration regarding a tax provision in the American Rescue Plan Act.

Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking key presidential appointments, executive actions, and policy developments from the Biden administration.

  • There are no committee hearings scheduled Thursday. The Senate stands adjourned until April 12 for a full session.

News

  • Thirteen states, led by Republican attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia, sued the Biden administration on Wednesday regarding a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act that prohibits states from using federal aid to offset tax cuts. The other states involved in the lawsuit aree Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement regarding this issue last week, “Nothing in the Act prevents States from enacting a broad variety of tax cuts. It simply provides that funding received under the Act may not be used to offset a reduction in net tax revenue resulting from certain changes in state law.”
  • Biden issued several proclamations on Wednesday acknowledging monthly awareness programs related to the justice system, cancer, organ donation, child abuse prevention, sexual assault prevention, financial education, transgender visibility, and labor organizing.
  • NPR reported that the Biden administration was considering revamping the asylum system to process cases more quickly. Under this plan, some asylum cases from the southern border would be processed by the Department of Homeland Security rather than the Department of Justice. 
  • The Biden administration ended Trump-era restrictions on transgender servicemembers. Troops will be allowed to serve under their self-identified gender and receive medical treatments related to transitioning.
  • Biden is convening his first in-person Cabinet meeting on Thursday. The meeting will focus on the American Jobs Plan and the federal response to COVID-19. Shalanda Young, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, will attend the meeting along with other confirmed Cabinet members.

Transition in Context: Congressional Approval Rating

The following chart compares congressional approval ratings during the administrations of Presidents Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) 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.

Congress’ approval rating during the ninth week of President Biden’s term was 26.5%, about the same as the week before. At the same point in President Trump’s term, Congress’ approval rating was 20.4%, down 1.7 percentage points from the week before.

What We’re Reading