Joe Biden has been formally recognized by Congress as the next U.S. president early Thursday 7th January 2021, ending months of failed challenges and objections by his predecessor, Donald Trump, that exploded into violence at the U.S. Capitol. It is worth noting that former President Donald Trump said in a statement there would be an “orderly transition” of power to Biden on Jan. 20, noting that he continued to “disagree with the outcome of the election”, which may have sparked the violence and outrage during the certification ceremony at the U.S Capitol.
It appears that this could prove to be a game-changer for Joe Biden as democrats would control both chambers of Congress as well as the White House, not witnessed since the initial two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. As you may recall, former President Barack Obama pushed through a major economic recovery package and a signature health care plan “Obamacare” that improved insurance coverage for millions of Americans, especially those with pre-existing conditions. It is worth remembering that the very day President Trump was sworn in, Jan. 20, 2017, he signed an executive order instructing administration officials “to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act, while Congress got ready to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature health law.
The 2017 Republican-backed tax overhaul legislation reduced the penalty for not having insurance to $0. However, getting rid of the penalty for skipping insurance turned out to be more harmful than helpful against the entire ACA in the courts, via the Texas v. Azar lawsuit. Back in 2012, the ACA had been upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, as the penalty was essentially a tax, and Congress is allowed to create a new tax. Recently, Judge Reed C. O’Connor in Texas ruled that now that the penalty for not having insurance is $0, the law no longer met that Constitutional test, thus rendering it unconstitutional. As of now, a decision from the appeals court is still expected.
The Blue Mandate
It is to be expected that President Joe Biden will agree on a tough line on China. It appears that popular opinion has gradually shifted against China in recent years with both legislators and the general public wanting fairer trade policies, enhanced security, and a stronger emphasis on human rights.
US intelligence officials believe that Huawei is linked to the Chinese military and Communist Party, thus presenting presents a security threat. Recently, the US barred companies that use American technology from selling chips to Huawei, effectively cutting off the company’s supply of essential semiconductors. The US has also pressured allies to prevent Huawei from supplying components for their 5G networks which seems to follow Europe’s growing distrust in Huawei.
Upon taking office, President Joe Biden will need to decide whether to overturn recent Trump administration actions which include delisting Chinese telecommunications companies on the New York Stock Exchange: China Telecom Corp. Limited, China Mobile Limited, and China Unicom Hong Kong Limited, banning transactions with Chinese-connected apps, including the WeChat Pay and Alipay payment platform, and blacklisting China’s largest computer chip maker, based on alleged links with the Chinese military, and other firms.