Jan 20, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC -- Earlier today, Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris were inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America and 49th Vice President of the United States of America, respectively.
The ceremony took place on the west front of the U.S. Capitol with few attending in-person due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and security threats following the violent attacks that occurred there exactly two weeks ago. Millions joined in virtually.
In President Biden’s address, he called for unity and pledged to be “a president for all Americans.”
“This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge,” Biden said. “And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail.”
The newly minted Biden Administration is already well at work, with the president issuing a barrage of executive orders this afternoon with plans to continue issuing dozens of executive orders before month’s end. A sampling of those orders includes rejoining the Paris climate agreement, and instituting a mask mandate on federal property and during interstate travel, among other coronavirus-related executive measures.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate began confirmation hearings for some of President Biden’s nominees who require Senate confirmation, including Janet Yellen for treasury secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas for secretary of homeland security, Avril Haines for director of national intelligence, Antony Blinken for secretary of state, and Lloyd Austin for secretary of defense. Transportation Secretary-designate Pete Buttigieg will testify Thursday. The timing of full Senate consideration of these nominees has not been announced. The Senate Agriculture Committee has yet to schedule a hearing for Agriculture Secretary-designate and former Secretary, Tom Vilsack.
“President Biden quickly embarked on an aggressive agenda focused on stabilizing the economy and tackling many other issues amidst the ongoing pandemic,” said Ben Mosely, USA Rice vice president of government affairs. “The U.S. rice industry is well positioned to help this Administration on a host of their initiatives, and particularly with regard to climate change we expect the Administration to see the rice industry as part of the solution, not part of the problem.”