President Biden’s actions on day one are aimed at accelerating US pandemic response, reversing immigration policies, returning to Paris climate accords, promoting diversity to restore federal efforts, and economic recovery.
US President Joe Biden moved swiftly, acting hours after his inauguration, signed 17 executive orders to reverse former President Donald Trump administration’s policies. Biden signed 17 executive orders, memorandums, and proclamations from the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon. Biden’s actions on day one are aimed to sweep aside Trump’s pandemic response, reversing immigration policies, returning to Paris climate accords, promoting diversity to restore federal efforts, and promoting economic recovery.
Following are the measures:
- Biden signed an order to appoint Jeffery D Zients as the official Covid-19 response coordinator who will report to the president, to “aggressively” gear up the US response to the coronavirus pandemic. The order will also restore the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which was previously disbanded by Trump.
- Biden is also reinstating ties with the World Health Organization and Dr Anthony S Fauci will be appointed as the head of the US delegation to the organization’s executive board and will resume role with a meeting this week. Last year, the Trump administration had decided to withdraw the country’s membership and funding.
- Biden also signed a mandate that requires social distancing and wearing masks on all federal property by all federal employees. He is also starting a “100 days masking challenge” to encourage Americans to wear masks and state and local officials to implement public measures to prevent the virus.
- Biden plans to continue a pause on federal student loan interest and principal payments through the end of September.
- Biden extended a federal moratorium on evictions and has requested agencies, including the Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and Housing and Urban Development Departments, to prolong a moratorium on foreclosures on federally guaranteed mortgages enacted as a response to the pandemic until March-end.
- Biden plans to send a bill to Congress to revamp immigration policies and give millions of undocumented migrants living in the country an eight-year path to citizenship.
- He ended the Muslim ban which blocked travel to the United States from several predominantly Muslim and African countries and directed the State Department to restart visa processing for individuals from the affected countries.
- He halted the construction of Trump’s border wall with Mexico.
- Biden signed an executive order to re-enter the United States in the Paris climate accords and the nation will officially rejoin 30 days from now.
- He will also reverse Trump decisions including revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, to ease emissions and efficiency standards, undoing decisions to slash the size of numerous national monuments, and enforcing a temporary moratorium on oil and natural gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
- Biden revoked Trump’s executive order limiting the ability of federal agencies, contractors, and other institutions to promote diversity and inclusion training.
- He designated head of his Domestic Policy Council Susan E Rice as the leader of a “robust, interagency” effort requiring all federal agencies to make “rooting out systemic racism” central to their work.
- Another order reinforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that enforces that the federal government does not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Biden ordered all of his appointees in the executive branch to sign an ethics pledge.
Biden has also put a freeze on all new regulations put in motion by the previous administration to provide time to his administration to evaluate which ones to take forward.