Ukraine crisis: Joe Biden announces tougher sanctions on Russia
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President Biden is currently hovering around an all-time low in his polling average, with support from only a minority of Americans. Polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight has him on 41.1 percent approval, up only 1.3 percent from his lowest support margin of 40.4 percent on February 27. Express.co.uk has explored the broken promises that have caused his approval to drop to this point from a promising 55 percent start.
Student loan forgiveness
One of President Biden’s central campaign promises was a progressive change to student loans.
Loans have become insurmountable for many young Americans pursuing higher education, with approximately $1.6 trillion of outstanding debt across 43.4 million borrowers in 2021.
While on the campaign trail, he told supporters that, if elected, he would forgive up to $10,000 of their remaining debt.
There is currently no sign of this pledge becoming a reality as Americans approach the end of loan forbearance, which allowed borrowers to cease payments over the pandemic.
Mr Biden has offered neither a proposal on fulfilling the policy nor specified how much he could forgive.
New domestic terrorism laws
The last few years have seen an uptick in domestic terrorism in the US, highlighted by semi-regular school shootings and a growing far-right presence.
The country has a long list of domestic terrorist movements, both organised and not.
President Biden promised law enforcement new powers for apprehending homegrown terrorists that would “respect free speech and civil liberties”.
His administration has not worked through a new law, instead focussing on strategy.
Gun and ammunition sales regulation
Mr Biden moved to compliment the above law with new restrictions for gun sales.
Under two previous promises, he said he would move to end online firearm and ammunition sales while requiring background checks for those made in person.
So far, however, there is no active legislation for either pledge.
Moves to end online firearms and ammunition sales ended in executive action built to regulate “ghost guns”.
And while his administration has worked to build legislation on the latter pledge, it has stalled as of January 4.
Eliminating cash bail
Progressive support has mounted behind eliminating the US cash bail system.
Under current rules, people spend time in jail pending a hearing regardless of guilt or innocence.
Their only way out is by forking over a cash sum they often do not have, meaning poorer Americans stay in prison even when innocent.
Several states have already moved to ban cash bail, and Mr Biden had previously promised to enact one on a federal level.
But the promise appears to have faded into the background during his first year in office, with no mention made since he became President.
Cannabis legislation in the US is primarily enacted at the state level, and many states have decriminalised the drug locally.
As the product of blossoming momentum, 27 states have moved towards decriminalising cannabis in some form.
Once again, Mr Biden has promised to follow them at a federal level.
The President has barely mentioned the policy since taking office, with no indication of consideration.
Possession laws in the US are unusually punitive, often landing people convicted for possession in prison for one year and two or three following further infractions.
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