WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden hit the ground running on his first day in office.
Biden signed 15 executive orders and two agency actions on Wednesday evening. The new president’s actions were aimed at reversing several of former President Donald Trump’s policies, including the pandemic response, the environment, anti-immigration policies, diversity and economic recovery.
“There’s no time to start like today,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office.
President Joe Biden signs executive orders targeting Trump policies on immigration, climate change, racial equity and the coronavirus pandemic. #Inauguration https://t.co/Hb0SEaiVJe— The Associated Press (@AP) January 20, 2021
Here are Biden’s executive actions from his first day:
- An executive order requiring that people wear masks and maintain social distancing on federal property.
- The launch of a “100 Days Masking Challenge” to encourage Americans to wear masks.
Wearing masks isn't a partisan issue — it's a patriotic act that can save countless lives. That's why I signed an executive order today issuing a mask mandate on federal property. It's time to mask up, America.— President Biden (@POTUS) January 21, 2021
- The reversal of Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the World Health Organization. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, will lead the American delegation, CNN reported.
- An executive order that creates the position of COVID-19 response coordinator and restores the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, a team in charge of the pandemic response, within the National Security Council.
- An executive order to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. The moratorium for evictions will be extended until at least March 31.
- Extended the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for Americans with federal student loans until at least Sept. 30. “These are emergency measures that will help to make sure that no American is put in the place of having to make the decision to pay their student loan payment or put food on the table in the short term and will help to provide some near-term relief,” Brian Deese, the new director of the White House National Economic Council, told The Washington Post.
- An “instrument” that will allow the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change within 30 days. The executive order fulfilled a campaign promise and represented a stark rebuke of Trump’s “America First” approach, the Post reported. Trump officially withdrew the nation from the Paris agreement on Nov. 4.
Today, President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. pic.twitter.com/V4fVV2i2jZ— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 21, 2021
- An executive order with the aim of “embedding equity across federal policymaking and rooting out systemic racism and other barriers to opportunity from federal programs and institutions.” This order will also disband the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which released a report on Monday that historians said distorted the role of slavery in the U.S.
- An executive order reversing an order that excluded undocumented immigrants from the Census. The order now requires non-citizens to be included in the Census and the apportionment of congressional representatives.
- A memorandum directing officials to “preserve and fortify” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The memo strengthens DACA after Trump’s efforts to undo protections for undocumented people who were brought into the country as children.
Biden issues his executive order on DACA:— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) January 21, 2021
"The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall take all actions he deems appropriate, consistent with applicable law, to preserve and fortify DACA." pic.twitter.com/6D2PKIV8ow
- An executive action repealing two proclamations, informally known as the “Muslim ban” that restricted entry into the U.S. from majority-Muslim countries. Biden directed the State Department to restart visa processing for individuals from the affected countries, The New York Times reported. The president also asked the agency to develop ways to address the harm caused to those who were prevented from coming to the United States because of the ban.
- An executive order revoking Trump’s “harsh and extreme immigration enforcement” and directing agencies to set immigration policies more “in line” with the Biden administration’s “values and priorities.”
- A proclamation that will pause the construction of the border wall with Mexico and determine how to best divert those funds elsewhere. The order includes an “immediate termination” of the national emergency declaration that allowed the Trump administration to redirect billions of dollars to the wall, the Times reported.
- A memorandum to extend a designation allowing Liberians who have been in the United States for a long time to remain. The order would block the deportation of Liberians who have been living in the United States.
- An executive order directing the government to interpret the Civil Rights Act as prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, sex and national origin.
- An executive order enacting new ethics rules for government officials. The rules will require executive branch appointees to sign an ethics pledge, barring them from acting in their personal interest.
- An executive order reversing “regulatory process executive orders” enacted by the Trump administration. Directs OMB director to develop recommendations to modernize regulatory review and reverses Trump’s regulatory approval process.
Biden is expected to sign more executive orders relating to the coronavirus on Thursday and economic relief on Friday, the Post reported. A “Buy American” action is expected Monday, and an order addressing racial equity issues will follow Tuesday.
Cox Media Group