As President Biden closes out his third full week in office, many Americans—those who voted for him and those who didn’t—are waiting on edge for his legislative priorities to emerge.
Most of us have our own views on what they should be, and given the vast diversity of our country, these ideas cross a wide spectrum of thought. In a recent poll, Fast Company collected responses from one specific group: 206 business leaders who are part of the Fast Company Impact Council or executives of companies on our Most Innovative Companies lists.
Here’s what tops their lists:
- Substantially expanding federal support for COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and personal protective equipment: A majority, 51%, said this should be the top priority. As we enter our second year of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 450,000 lives lost, there’s no part of the United States that the virus hasn’t infected.
- Increasing spending and regulation to improve the environment and reduce climate change: As a new generation of activists is making clear, climate change is one of the most urgent concerns for our future. Nearly half, or 47%, of respondents said the administration should focus on climate legislation. Outside Capitol Hill, many business leaders themselves are driving revolutionary initiatives to improve our environment, from young startups hoping to change the world to corporate behemoths with the biggest carbon footprints.
- Enacting a major COVID-19 relief bill that includes aid for businesses and individuals substantially hurt by the economic effects of COVID-19: Unemployment reports over the last year have painted a grim picture of the U.S. economy, and with more shutdowns due to winter COVID-19 surges, many businesses and workers are still hurting. Delivering relief for them was named a priority by 44% of respondents.
- Addressing concerns about race and policing by establishing a national police oversight commission: In 2020, much of the country reckoned with racial inequality after stories of police brutality flooded the news, prompting waves of Black Lives Matter protests. A broken system is not fixed in a day, or in a year, but 25% of respondents believe the work should start at the federal level.
- Increasing spending on the nation’s infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and airports: First-class infrastructure is both essential to the continued success of a functioning city, and also a display of a country’s status at the forefront of technological innovation. For 24% of respondents, better infrastructure was a main goal.
- Enacting federal legislation to ensure everyone has health insurance coverage: Many policymakers have lobbied for universal health coverage over the years, yet it still eludes our government. It’s an issue 24% of respondents want the Biden administration to take on.
Most of the respondents in our survey indicated that they voted for Biden in the election, and the majority say they feel “very” or “somewhat” confident in the current state of the U.S. economy.