Overview of President-Elect Biden's Policies

Baker Donelson

Baker Donelson

Below is a broad overview of policies for which President-Elect Biden has indicated support (PDF). It is important to note that, while some of these policies fall under the President's executive power, many will require support from Congress in the form of legislative action. Regardless of which party controls the Senate, centrists in both parties will likely play a significantly larger role in which of these policies becomes law. While this list is not comprehensive, it can assist in understanding action this new administration may take in policy areas.

Additionally, as part of the transition, agency review teams have been established. These teams are responsible for understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smooth transfer of power, and preparing for President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris and their cabinet to hit the ground running on Day One.

Overview of President-Elect Biden's Policies

Health Care

  • Expand the Affordable Care Act to include a public option.
  • Lower the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60.
  • Help middle class families by eliminating the 400 percent income cap on tax credit eligibility and lowering the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86 percent of income to 8.5 percent.
  • Administratively reverse the following Trump Administration policies to include:
    • Expansion of short-term plans.
    • Rollback of transgender protections.
    • Medicaid waivers that allow block grants or work requirements.
  • Implement new policies administratively to include:
    • Increasing enrollment in coverage.
    • Lowering costs.
    • Addressing racial disparities.
    • Defending reproductive rights.

Health Care – Pharmaceuticals

  • Provide authority to negotiate drug prices directly with the manufacturers.
  • Limit the drug price increases to the rate of inflation.
  • Tax drug makers whose drug prices increase above rates of inflation.
  • Allow the importation of prescription drugs from other countries if deemed safe.
  • Use external pricing to recommend pricing for drugs that have no competition.

Health Care –
COVID-19 Response/Recovery

  • Established a COVID-19 Task Force on November 9, 2020.
  • Propose an additional emergency COVID-19 economic stimulus package to spur economic growth.
  • Rejoin the World Health Organization.
  • Increase the funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and for state health departments.
  • Restore the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense.
  • Amend the Public Health Service Act to cover all testing, treatment, preventative services and vaccines to address a public health emergency for an infectious disease.
  • Declare no cost-sharing in any public health programs for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.
  • Expand the authority of the National Defense Medical System so that providers are reimbursed for COVID-19 treatment costs not covered by insurance.
  • Create an emergency fund for state and local governments to provide resources for health and economic needs.
  • Increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage by a minimum of 10 percent for all states.
  • Establish a national contact tracing workforce and a pandemic testing board.
  • Commit to $25 billion for treatments and vaccines.
  • Utilize the Defense Production Act authority to boost PPE stockpiling.
  • Increase national testing capacity to 7.5 million tests per week.

Tax – Corporate

  • Raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent.
  • Set minimum corporate taxes for domestic and foreign income.
  • Eliminate the pharmaceutical corporation tax break for advertisement spending.
  • Increase tax incentives for employers offering retirement plans.
  • Impose a minimum 15 percent tax on book income.
  • Increase the tax rate on profits earned by foreign subsidies of U.S. firms to 21 percent.

Tax – Individual

  • Increasing the tax rate to 39.6 percent for those making more than $400,000.
  • Expand the Child Tax Credit as additional support for middle-class tax relief.
  • Increase the tax on capital gains by 39.6 percent for investment income over $1 million.
  • Impose a 12.4 percent Social Security payroll tax on income above $400,000. Currently, payroll taxes only apply to the first $137,700 of an individual's income.
  • Reintroduce limits on itemized deductions.


  • Forgive all undergraduate federal student debt from public colleges for debt holders earning up to $125,000.
  • Invest $50 billion in workforce training.
  • Improve minority career services.
  • Triple Title I funding.
  • Make two years of community college free and make public colleges free for families making under $125,000.
  • Establish a fund for schools serving poor students and plans to invest $70 million in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
  • Enact harsh policies against for-profit colleges and private lenders profiteering from students.


Has a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that includes:

  • Expanding access to broadband.
  • Providing cities with high-quality, zero-emission public transportation options.
  • Achieving carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.
  • Enabling the creation of 1.5 million sustainable homes and housing units.
  • Creating 1 million jobs in the auto industry and increasing the demand for American-made, American-sourced clean vehicles.
  • Updating roads, bridges, and electrical grids.
  • Improving waterways and water pipe replacement.

Environmental Proposals

  • Achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050 with a series of executive orders and support of various legislative actions.
  • Focus a large part of the massive influx of infrastructure funding toward green energy.
  • Rejoin the Paris Climate Accords.
  • Restore certain environmental policies removed under the Trump Administration.
  • Ban offshore oil and gas drilling ventures.


  • Does not support President Trump's Phase One trade agreement with China and will refocus negotiating efforts on pushing back against China's unfair trade practices to include intellectual property theft.
  • Seek cooperation with Chinese officials to address climate change and nuclear nonproliferation.
  • Support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
  • Support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Foreign Policy

  • Strengthen alliances such as NATO.
  • Enact policies holding Russia and China responsible for any election interferences.
  • Reinstate the Iran nuclear agreement.
  • Preserve the Russian arms agreements.
  • Foster a narrower focus for the U.S. military in the Middle East and rebuild relations with local allies.
  • End U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.


  • End military conflicts in the Middle East.
  • Reduce the nuclear reserve.
  • Reduce the Pentagon budget and instate more targeted defense spending to address current and future threats.
  • Consider reversing President Trump's withdrawal of troops from Germany.
  • Administratively reverse several Trump Administration Department of Defense policies and budget impacts to include:
    • Ban on transgender people serving in the military.
    • Budget impacts surrounding the creation of a border wall.

Financial Services

  • Provide real-time payment systems and bank accounts (Fed Accounts) through the Federal Reserve.
  • Provide banking services through the USPS.
  • Create a public credit reporting agency to be used by all federal lending programs.
  • Strengthen the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and has specifically targeted provisions relating to oversight of investing, consumer lending, and credit cards.
  • Support a bankruptcy reform plan that would reduce fees, streamline bankruptcy processes and create a single system utilized by all consumers.

Economic Policies

  • Spend trillions of dollars to create new jobs in clean energy, manufacturing and caregiving.
  • Offer states more support in paying for unemployment benefits.
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  • Create a made-in-America manufacturing plan and pledge to spend $700 billion on American-made products.


  • Restoration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
  • Expand the green card program.
  • Accept additional refugees.
  • Opposes President Trump's border wall.
  • Re-establish the Task Force on New Americans.
  • Increase H-1B visa capacity.


  • Increase spending by $5.4 trillion over the next ten years.
  • Increase revenue by $3.4 trillion by increasing corporate taxes, individual income tax, and payroll tax.
  • This spending will largely focus on infrastructure, education, housing, paid leave, social security, and health care.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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