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Yahoo Finance Spotlight: Day one of Joe Biden's presidency

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Yahoo Finance's Chief Political Correspondent Jessica Smith explains what to expect on President-elect Joe Biden's first day in office, and takes a look at what he's promised to do on day one of his presidency.

Video Transcript


JESSICA SMITH: On the campaign trail, Joe Biden sold himself as the experienced leader who could tackle the country's biggest problems without delay.

JOE BIDEN: We need someone to take office this time around who on day one can stand on the world stage, command the respect of world leaders from Putin to our allies, and know exactly what has to be done to get this country back on track.

JESSICA SMITH: As President-elect, he put together his cabinet with the same goal in mind.

JOE BIDEN: Today's nominees are ready on day one, which is essential, because we literally have no time to waste.

JESSICA SMITH: The next president has made it clear what his top priority must be the moment he walks into the White House.

JOE BIDEN: On day one, we're going to put our plan to control this virus into action. It will start with my signing an order on day one to require masks where I can under the law.

JESSICA SMITH: Fighting COVID-19 is not the only thing on Biden's immediate to-do list. He made a slew of promises over the past two years.

JOE BIDEN: I will end the Muslim ban on day one. On day one, I'm going to send Congress a bill, immigration reform.

JESSICA SMITH: Many of Biden's first actions will be undoing President Trump's. On day one, he says he'll start reversing Trump's asylum policies.

JOE BIDEN: I'm going to work purposefully, diligently and responsibly to roll back Trump's restrictions, starting on day one.

JESSICA SMITH: He promises to re-engage the World Health Organization after Trump started cutting ties in the midst of a pandemic. Biden says he'll immediately rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, while signing executive orders to reduce emissions. And he's committed to reuniting families torn apart at the border.

JOE BIDEN: Immediately on day one I'm setting up a special commission. We're going to find those kids and we're going to reunite them with their parents.

JESSICA SMITH: But he can't follow through with all of his campaign promises alone. On his first day, he's vowed to move to raise taxes on the wealthy and push to restore the Voting Rights Act. For those things, he'll need help from Congress, and possibly a tie-breaking vote from his vice president. And as he takes office, the soon to be Democratic Senate, will be getting ready for an impeachment trial. In Washington, I'm Jessica Smith.