The First 100 Days: President Biden Takes Office

As 100 days of President Biden’s administration approaches, ABC News Live takes a closer look at the promises Biden made on the campaign trail and the problems he must now confront.
26:52 | 04/14/21

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Transcript for The First 100 Days: President Biden Takes Office
Tonight the first 100 days. They're. Robinette why do you do songs where as president Joseph Biden closes in on that symbolic milestone. Closer look at the promises he made and the problems he must now confront. From the virus and the vaccine. To an economy in need of a lifeline. A democracy. Tested. And a nation divided. With the new flash point of the border and and new calls to address gun violence. And what's next on his agenda. The first 100 days president Biden takes office. Here now from our nation's capital senior Washington reporter Devin Dwyer. Hi everybody I'm Devin Dwyer thanks for streaming with us well for every American president the first hundred days Ari symbolic opening chapter of our honeymoon. Park high stakes political test in for Joseph Biden's past few months have been unlike anything an American president has had to navigate before. In the next half hour we hope to take a closer look at this historic transition all of us are living through. And ask what's in store in the months ahead at the white. Joseph Robinette Biden junior do songs where the forty. Six presidency began in the most extraordinary of circumstances. And the heels of a deadly riot at the pinnacle of democracy in the midst of a global pandemic its claim more than half a million American lives. It is voters Republicans and Democrats remain bitterly divided this is our historic moment. Of crisis and challenge. Unity. Is the path forward for our country wearied of crisis mode many see Biden has given them reason to hope the private. Chris we made our backs and a in this country is a great American story. 150 million vaccine shots an arms in 75 days 14100 dollar stimulus checks in the mail already delivered. A military transgender band lifted construction of the border wall put on hold a return to global alliances sealed on. The message I want the world here today. America. Is back. America is back as promised Biden's presidency has been heavy on empathy my heart crews out to all. All the family members who lost someone in those horrific shootings but so far it's Dan White on bipartisanship. Yesterday Republicans shrugged usher is proposals Democrats rejected. Provisional one. Biden didn't get a single Republican vote on his Covert relief bill and is yet to meet with GOP leader Mitch McConnell. The times we live and make it very difficult for the parties to work together. But the person who's best positioned to do it is depressing it's because he has the bully he's really. Not included Republicans or their ideas. And so I don't give him high marks. Kroll. ABC news has been tracking dozens of Biden's biggest campaign promises that were endorsed by a record number of voters in November. Many have been checked off but most remain works in progress. By any measurement when you look at what he prioritize. He certainly has delivered in his first eighty days and that he had plans for new gun controls LG BT equality voting rights police reform and legal status for dreamers have all been passed in the democratic controlled house. But all face a potential graveyard in the 5050 senate. Without compromise I believe that when you build consensus. You build permanency and policy I think when you look at younger voters millennial voters will become the largest voting bloc in American will continue to agent that system. They hear about climate they care about. Results climate infrastructure health care immigration. You think all of those are dead in the water the filibuster stance I think they are. We can't get any Republicans on board for impeachment after the insurrection. Republicans are not going to be on board in fact they're staking their claim. On challenging him we should be pushing forward but it is Biden who is holding. On infrastructure president Biden faces division within his own party over an ambitious two trillion dollar plan. If you happen vision that I administration has put forward. It's just not not I think he's being true to some principles and then they're then the unexpected crises we begin with breaking news in the Atlanta Georgia area. At least eight people killed in three separate shootings mass shootings rocking more American communities. Provocations by Iran and North Korea raising fears of a clash. It is the first strike ordered by president Biden and make no mistake this was a retaliatory strike and a historic surge of young migrants across the southern border. Creating a humanitarian emergency. In dealing with the border crisis wasn't in your hundred they'd planned and you read the room. The reality is we knew that we were inheriting that crisis and it you didn't handle it well while we're gonna like the Republicans taking advantage of them. For every president is endless list of challenges colliding with sky high public expectations. So far most Americans think Joseph Biden is doing a good job. He had to get a letter grade what would you give I'd give emanates a minus Y a minus what's disappointing Q I think that there needs to be better communication to the American people on what the plan he has to deal with what's happening and that's how -- or what grade would you give. Give them. I feel like. Again that any crisis that he had to deal with right at the outset with room if you had to get a letter grade so far from your point of view. C plus his over arching goal was to bring this country. He's not the greeting will continue for at least three more years and has Biden's political honeymoon in the White House comes to an end. Many wonder where his presidency will go from here. I think I know as much about the subject matter and have this firm where he held positions and capacity understand how the system works is anybody's been present at least. And doom the last fifteen years. At famous expression Harry Truman the buck stops here. Up next we hit the road to the state that St. Joe Biden's primary campaigns South Carolina to hear directly from voters. Where he's meeting expectations wary may be missing the mark. How they're feeling about the direction of the country in two point 41 stay with us. Welcome back as we quickly approach that 100 day milestone for president Biden are due ABC news if source poll finds voters. Are giving him high marks 72%. Approve of Biden's handling of the pandemic 60%. Say they approve of his handling of the economy. But there are warning signs ahead as maturities of Americans say they disapprove of the president's job on immigration. And gun violence to dig deeper into those numbers we hit the road in South Carolina. To hear directly from the voters that saved his campaign after those early primary losses in Iowa and New Hampshire. We began in the heart of South Carolina the capital Columbia. Democratic voters here were critical deceiving Joseph Biden's primary campaign. Now they're looking to him to deliver we need to act not. Tomorrow. Ninth a year from now but to date Lawrence Nathaniel is founder of the group black lives matter South Carolina. Last year he led protests demanding racial justice after the death of George Floyd and win I think something wrong I want it to make it right. So wanted to grow their focus toward her up just to make it right like Nathaniel who supported businessmen Tom's diner in the primary says he's happy with president Biden wants to see more help for low income neighborhoods like this one. Were block lives matter is renovating the church into a community center where you try to do. You'll change of wrinkle for people in this community and showed that labor as a matter is more than just about her. If you have five minutes with president Biden today forty tell. Here people work here there's still hurting and it needs help and then needs to make sure that interest rates are present government. Across town in Colombia's northern suburbs trust in by his handling of the pandemic is growing he came in with a plan. And he's Litton the medical community. More lives doctor felt she'd be the mouthpiece is that him getting up for everybody China. Convince them what's real and what's not so. Retired army major Christopher Berry a lifelong Republican and Mary Beth Barry University professor a lifelong Democrat both voted for Joseph Biden. Do you feel like he's done enough to reach out to Republicans I can deftly say that he's not. Pushed him away. Like president trump do. Mary Beth says she's looking to Biden for passion for solving problems. Emissions she confronted the candidate about during the primary what is your fire because you see Bernie. He seat Elizabeth Warren you see that five air. That's what I'm looking for so as he's shown enough fire in the first hundred days. You know there's so we still little politician stuff that you nice our wish wouldn't happen but overall I think that. He's he's. He seems to be honest and I mean he's getting things done a majority of Americans approve of president Biden's job performance so far. Many of his top priorities be stiff Republican opposition. I think he can Gerber quite a bit Democrats 677 year old retired minister Nina gray are hoping Biden puts up a fight for progressive policies. Like ending the ban on federal funding of abortions. Of course is Catholic faith is against them but. But I have also seen him of being involved he's Intel actually really get it done I hope so you have to help them. But I expressing your point of view I think everybody needs to do that and we all need to find our citizens to voice and engage. We traveled east along I 26 to the city of Orangeburg where tradition has it the road to the White House for Democrats cuts through. You initially backed bill the block zero PM president have you been happy with what you've seen from Joseph Biden so far I have been very happy these presidential. He has given us someone to look Gupta as they dias is solidly. He and his famous mayor Michael Butler the first black mayor and Orangeburg history calls Biden a savior we needed them added take goes through there it's C. And we understood that he would. He would he would be there when they take us across. Is there anything that's disappointed you so far anything in my kind of getting a little nod to I would just gave malignant nodes about the borders. That you know you know. It'd just be mindful of the rooms at the border but in the shadow of the city's monument to confederate war dead. John feet captain Butler praised Biden for his decency Alex is still in prison bag containing. To do what you doing. Feel old principles and being that we've stood for. And make a mayor could become greater. As we near the Carolina coast we stopped in the city of North Charleston. We met quite he would agree gaps in at a local school stockpiling food clothing and hygiene products for children and families. Now that the Indian make his stay in is in full swing. A has really highlighted the necessity. As far as what kids are missing in lacking line. And then their parents do the best they can but of course they have to Wear it in providing. They have a job we'd act writer processing unemployment claims yet every day hundreds of claims a week as must be gut wrenching it's painful. It's painful we first met quality inner amount of the Asia at a forum for democratic candidates last year Audi and agrees. From both expressed reservations. About jewel Biden. I'm OK Rick what he's putting in place. Bernie was the person that act felt like had a plan to hit the road and I feel like wave. Joseph Biden what's happened more so is. Everybody's so concerned with what's happening with Kobe. And what needs to happen with Kobe that everything else is pushed back this. And watch he is spending her final weeks in college intern with the nonprofit Charleston promise neighborhood. He says she hopes Biden doesn't take her community support for granted you're two minutes with the president today. What would you tell. I would tell him that if there was some kind of way that he did. Make it's who South Carolina it's actually seen. The disparities and the poverty rate and everything that's needed and necessary I feel like it would dean. Monumental to Mike meaning into the people who I'm advocating Boyer comeback. Yes. As we pulled into historic downtown Charleston we passed mother Emanuel AME church. Where Tony fifteen a white supremacists shot and killed nine people at a Bible study. Days before a visit the US house passed a bill to close the so called Charleston back front check loophole. When they were checking. The whose record. And and they had just a lot more days then my wife was still being. Reverend Anthony Thompson's wife my robe was murdered by a roof was able to obtain a gun after a delay in his background check. Reverend Thomson and his son Anthony Thompson junior had been pleading with Republicans. To join with president Biden to strengthen the law. Wendy. Couldn't be you'll thank. NB wood shop in real life. Neil best friend you know you just don't know how I feel until it happens to use a lot of wheat for to have been to. Anybody close to you please citing do something about it. The Thompson say they have deep faith and Biden to bridge political divides. Both deeply moved by his compassion after the Charleston massacre in commitment to keeping his word when we talk about criminal justice reform. You know I think these it here is an important particularly the African American community the black community because we have been impacted by these things and so for him coming out. Already addressing those issues. I think that's very important in that that this fixes leadership faith. Then doesn't that is not a coming by action these days. And Biden faith assuming did you ask president Biden about that yeah I did do my question is. What is your faith. How would you usual phrase. In making decisions foundation. Have you seen faith for himself or he just passed you know one point nine trillion dollar stimulus bill into mall. Investment into it that's that's faith communities and sing and Paribas and the needs of the people yeah. Behind reverend Constance church a place of reflection memorial garden constructed by the community in memory of my work. It's here Thompson says that reflects a divisions in America and the need for forgiveness. People are trying to find. Oh lead to. Give peace. From their burdens and he just don't know how to do what to do. They think tank is going to be due thing do Rivera is moving thing and do it but it never happened just get worse we as people. As a nation. You know have to get past. All the things that happened. In the past you like slavery. You know money racism discrimination segregation. Up further forgiveness and healing will begin in our families. And take hold in our politics. Our thanks to all those voters in South Carolina for their hospitality. And for sharing their views with us well up next we'll take a closer look at the early days that this administration. From the inside with our path breaking team of correspondents. Here in the west wing stay with us. Welcome back the White House transition from Donald Trump to Joseph Biden has been a case study. In political contrast from that or it executive actions to be historic transformation of the cabinet and that stunning change in tone. Our team and have written correspondence is heading for proceeds to at all. Recently sat down to discuss what it all means. I'm not look gas Macinnis saint Maria did you guys in. Ovary you are now right it's nice to see you yeah. The thing we virtual sites carnahan's but Mary you did some time at the trump White House also you were on capitol until you have. An apt Biden administration White House almost every day since he took office who covered his campaign. What is the biggest difference you've seen so far I mean besides the fact that we are just back briefings are back you know you slowly feel the white house press room kind of coming to life again. But it really has surprised me just how control they are I mean especially having covered the Biden campaign they've found a way. You know for us to go up to Delaware to sit in that those socially distant circles to have press conference is pretty much. Once a week and I think I expected that. Level of transparency and openness to continue answering those restrictions they're doing in the name of Covert right face that they're trying to keep the president protected and safe and yet access has significantly limited we just finally have that first press conference. Can they continue to keep the president. Not doing a press conference for. Months on again is not six outstrip. I think there held by the fact that they're doing those daily press briefings they're putting health officials out I mean he can't just like pretend you didn't hear a question for the board the helicopter or pretend he didn't hear the question the Oval Office and does not talk to reporters for weeks at a time helping you keep that a long. Curing you weren't there with meat packed into that little Booth in the White House and we we sit in almost every day. To me one of the biggest differences is the lack of tweets race and how we sort of have been like polygamy would often yet I know auction they'd Shockey so yeah there's a fat. What's one of the biggest changes that you see between the two I think that Sanong tweak feeling like where I'm constantly picking up my phone assuming there's going to be a tweet and now there's never been anything from president biting on Twitter that has sent me running percent any of us scrambling. Data peace or do something so that's been under house and change for us one of the things that it. I think often the media was criticized for fairly or not under the trump administration was not focusing as much on policy and focusing on lot on the drama because there was always so much drama males. What the policy side of this has surprised you I was surprised how quickly they moved on climate. Engine and screen energy stuff you know right away we desperately needy unified national response. To the climate Kursk's because there is a climate crisis we signed no hesitation tale. To stop the Keystone Pipeline that's controversial that's like of Joseph Biden who supported big union jobs like making a very clean line in the sand. We summer you know secretary bridge as talking about the need for. Electric vehicle charging stations like that is up that isn't so weighing that is not apologetic that as a move until the last in a big way. They are crushing us with policy which is a good thing for Americans hitting people asking a what's it like to cover this White House the act the expectation is. So and so boring it's not mean there are constantly doing anything British officials blame where so yeah land and people are very surprised you know friends who don't live in Washington are like war that you must be twittering your thumbs in the middle had a look at another and I think this 730 because they had a very clear plan of what they want into do you and I they're not -- eating from that Angela hunt. I think your point there's a danger in nineteen yes your plane know this better than anyone having just come back from the border. Things happen at some there's a crisis at the border right hung in the president wants to be out talking about infrastructure. At some point. That starts to look like perhaps you know you're being a little tone deaf if you're not able to quickly pivot to the crisis of the day yeah I was surprised at that first press conference today here the president asked point blank if guns was essentially going to be the top priority given these two shootings that they had just. The country had just experienced and he basically shifted and said no it's going to be infrastructure which I think a lot of progressives on capitol publicly we what label we how are you not going to do guns with this is the time to do that. But Goodyear Capitol Hill flats back on. Bring us. And incumbents is yeah comfortable let's talk about the winds here for them because certainly Covert relief is going to be in the big it is the big father of the in their cap right this is the wind that they wanted and it's the when that they got. Is it a win. If they didn't get any Republican support and they got not I did promise to work across the aisle it they will say leading come in promising to unite Washington promised to unite the country. Yes and now. So they say it's a win because Republican voter support it. The problem is what is doing this alone mean going forward you can only do things just with a democratic support and only go so far. Right so to really get big ticket items Dunn is going to have to find a way to work with Republicans yet when your entire inaugural addresses on bipartisanship and unifying the country hard sell that what. The idea of infrastructure. As always evolved. To meet the aspirations of the American people and their needs. And it's evolving again today. Infrastructure. Is this. Their next win can they actually do it there are tangible things that will happen if this money gets past that bridge in Saint Louis will get re dealt the airport in to peek a Kansas will get fixed. So this isn't very big deal out there and with similar to what they did with the co but plan the White House is going to be selling this out there. Unlikely Republicans are gonna budge they're not gonna scale this down the White House is saying. Be my Memorial Day like to see that by summer. But this is going to be months of infrastructure so. Around so much of what they've been able to do in this first hundred days actually more than any administration in modern history Wright is through executive Warner. Is that a win what are they pulling what are the successes on the front I think came quickly reversed. A lot of what the former administration had done we saw that was a big push in that executive order bullets was rolling back the rolling back and the environmental protections consumer protections. Putting the country back on the global stage no reentry the World Health Organization the pair's climate accord that I kind of what America is back internationally. I just to you know things that I think over time we'll have a pretty big impact on American life. You know I think that they know there's a limit felt you can't actually just write your way in the Oval Office to. Meaningful change analyze these big ticket items but right now I think that they're trying to show their values. With those executive orders. OK let's quickly go around. Around a table here and and talk about what their biggest challenges are coming up now on you mentioned immigration. That would certainly be at the top of my list certainly be it the lack of infrastructure that they would get they've got in places and administration handle these unaccompanied minors. Is definitely a big big problem for them minute and I think it will rear its head com 20/20 two from the mid terms rate. What do you they see is the biggest challenges right now. Things like tackling racial justice that's going to be a big problem for that you know it's come up especially as we've been seeing the show open trial play out. He promised on day want to take action and he hasn't. And they say well they're sort of taking his holistic approach everything they do is viewed through the lens of racial justice and climate change and these other issues. You've a lot of people who voted for you especially remember black voters. Who delivered at the White House to Joseph Biden are going to be demanding action on us I think. Getting Eric throughout his it's just this sounds vague but we all can feel it after Kobe. Is inequality and income and equality you know this last year we had so many people. Unemployed for months for a long time it is so hard to get back on your feet if you'll had to. Actually go and get food from a food bank for the first time in your family's life I think that as a come out of this pandemic there's this sense of OK we have to figure out how to come as pandemic together as a country and right now it still feels like a lot of her in an a lot at a big gap. Mean education is schools I think it's a big thing ending the year the president has through the cove a plan put. A lot of money toward reopening schools and addressing school safety also I think the part about not just getting schools reopened but addressing kind of following that they'd massive inequality. They're gonna really be held accountable over the next couple of years and that's are all really great. Points I have a surprise very quick lightning round for US. You didn't cat we didn't see a foreign trip in the first hundred days. Perhaps given vaccinations we might see one in the next 100 days. Where will the first foreign trip be and where would you like it today. I think you'll be England there's a summit that he has said that he'll go to use and maybe that's it where I would like it to be is came to tack on a trip to Ireland on the back and then he gives his family's from tanning may know from my family is soon to do little pub crop. A presidential pub crawl and really just seeing. I did think parents are and I think you're gonna see something you know in in Europe maybe in the observatory talking you know. Trying to reach out again rebuild some relationships that with European allies I mean I would take. A trip to Fiji but that's another thing convenient stop over but I don't know flight schedules of chain along quite puzzling array it. There I don't know I think that probably obvious stop it's like. India something that's looking at modern technology how to fight climate change on a global level cast a shelves some kind of big. Big pushed back to China has so he's until crashes of the initiative between your wedding trip won't go my dream should I. I've never again that was incredible and I would think potentially this and not be foreign but close to a border trip there may be hope Apatow over on the other side and where would like him to go. I'm here with parents are. Thomas or think that there's seeking to yes some day this has been yeah thank you so much I I wish you sleep in the next hundred days and it includes a little bit of vacation and think you all for watching instrument with. Apps haven't. Thanks to Cecilia Vega and the entire team covering the White House. ABC news live. And thanks for streaming would us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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