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John Podesta Biden's first 100 days were a complete success. Here's how to make the next 100 even better.

The president is doing the job Americans elected him to do and getting this country back on track. Now, we all need to look to the future together.
President Joe Biden speaks to a joint session of Congress on April 28, 2021.
President Joe Biden speaks to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.Doug Mills / The New York Times via AP, Pool

A lot has happened in the past 100 days of the Biden presidency.

On Day One, among other things, the president rejoined the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization.

In his first 50 days, he proposed and signed into law the American Rescue Plan, which has brought help and support to millions of Americans around the country at the most challenging of times.

Just eight days later — and 42 days before the president’s original goal — the U.S. had administered more than 100 million Covid-19 vaccination doses since the inauguration; it has now administered over 200 million doses.

The president has also proposed the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan to build our country back better than before and bolster its foundations, allowing for all American families to thrive.

Biden and his team must start putting into place the type of policies that can bring about long-term, equitable and sustainable growth in America.

This is what American government looks like at its best: It delivers.

A government, after all, is not and should not be measured by its grandstanding or political posturing, but by the good it brings and the opportunities it provides to all the people it serves. A good government gets things done; it ensures that our country is on a path to a stronger and brighter future.

All of this fits the description of the Biden administration so far.

Take the American Rescue Plan: It has been a lightning bolt in revitalizing our economy and our way of life. It’s why Kathryn Vaughn, a pre-kindergarten teacher in Tennessee, is safer teaching at school: Because of the ARP, her school got the money to upgrade its ventilation and water systems. (The law also subsidized internet access for schools like hers as well as public libraries.)

Now is the time to go big and lay the foundations for a just, equitable and sustainable future.

Biden's ARP is why Jennifer Tinsley, the owner of a small beauty store in Georgia, was able to keep her workers employed and her business open: She received support through the plan's Paycheck Protection Program and the Advanced Emergency Injury Damage Loan provisions.

And that law, which was passed in Biden's first 50 days in office, is why Jayne Ballentine, a single mother in South Carolina, is able to work part time as a hairdresser while getting her associate’s degree in social work: The money she received from the ARP child tax credit has alleviated her financial pressures. Plus, as a result of other provisions in the new law, she now also qualifies for food assistance, meaning she doesn’t have to worry about how to put food on the table for herself and her son.

This is what an effective government looks like, delivering for the people it was elected to serve.

But now is not the time for the country to let its foot off the gas. This has to be just the beginning. Biden and his team must shift their focus from the short term, and start putting into place the type of policies that can bring about long-term, equitable and sustainable growth in America.

A government, after all, is not and should not be measured by its grandstanding or political posturing, but by the good it does for people.

That’s where proposals like the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan come into play, and they are long overdue.

The need for economic revitalization and comprehensive action predates the pandemic. After all, in 2019,there was a smaller percentage of Americans living in middle-income households than in 1971.

In the past decade, there have been, on average, a dozen climate disasters per year in the U.S. where losses for each exceeded $1 billion — twice the amount in the previous decade. In the past three years alone, the cumulative cost of those disasters has been nearly $250 billion. Neither number even gets at the lives lost or the livelihoods destroyed.

Federal spending on infrastructure has essentially stagnated since 1980, leaving state and local governments to pick up the tab. Spending onwater and transportation infrastructure, in particular, has dropped off a cliff since 2010.

The pandemic amplified many of the economic and infrastructure failings that already existed. Now is our chance to right those long-standing wrongs.

As of 2018, that has meant an estimated 6.1 million lead service lines — pipes that connect a water main to a building’s plumbing — are still in use across the country. In the wake of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, which disproportionately affected Black families, there is no overstating the danger lead piping presents. Americans should have clean water.

They should also have clean air and a safe living environment.

The pandemic amplified many of the economic and infrastructure failings that already existed. Now is our chance to right those long-standing wrongs.

Many of the provisions outlined in the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan are provisions that we at the Center for American Progress have long called for: transportation and water investment; more resilient and cleaner infrastructure; and enhancing the child tax credit to promote economic mobility and reduce child poverty.

We still need to think bigger.

This month, the president tweeted: “Two hundred years ago trains weren’t ‘traditional infrastructure’ either — until America made the choice to lay the tracks.” Infrastructure must reflect the time we live in. Today, that means broadband, it means clean energy, and it means electric vehicles.

Now is the time to go big and lay the foundations for a just, equitable and sustainable future.

The immediate results of a democratic election have been delivered to millions of Americans in the past 100 days. Now this democracy must continue to deliver the foundations for a bright and dynamic future.