Biden calls for unity after being sworn in as 46th president of the United States

Biden and Harris have vowed to reverse course on a number of Trump-era policy decisions.

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. (Biden Inaugural Committee/YouTube)

(The Center Square) – Joe Biden took the oath of office Wednesday to become the nation’s 46th president, ending four years of Donald Trump’s administration and marking the beginning of a push for progressive policies in Washington that could have a widespread impact on taxpayers.

“This is America’s day,” Biden said in his first comments after becoming president. “This is democracy’s day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden. Minutes before Biden was sworn in, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath to Kamala Harris, the first Black and first female vice president.

“The American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us,” Biden said in a message of unity after a contentious presidential election in which Trump challenged the vote count in several key swing states.

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words and requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity,” Biden said. “Uniting to fight the foes we face. Anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things.”

Biden has said he wants to scale back some of the tax cuts contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which Trump signed into law and which reduced federal income taxes on individuals and businesses across the country.

In comments shortly after leaving the White House for the last time as president Wednesday, Trump wished the Biden administration well before also taking a shot at his tax policies.

“I hope they don’t raise your taxes, but if they do, I told you so,” Trump said.

Biden and Harris also have vowed to reverse course on a number of other Trump-era policy decisions. That includes rejoining the Paris Climate Accord to combat climate change; ending funding for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and easing other strict immigration enforcement measures; revoking Trump’s permit allowing construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada through the U.S., which would have increased capacity to process billions of barrels of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas; among other new directives.

“This is just the beginning of an energy agenda that will cripple us on so many levels: jobs, cost of living, and opportunity,” Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of Power The Future, writes at RealClearEnergy.org about the Keystone pipeline policy shift. “It will hurt our critical allies in Canada and Europe. It will benefit our enemies, Russia and China. And it will do absolutely nothing for the environment.”

Biden, a Democrat, takes over as Democrats hold control of the U.S. House, and the Senate is evenly divided with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, though Vice President Harris holds the tie-breaking vote in the upper chamber.