In his early hours as president, Joe Biden will aim to strike at the heart of President Donald Trump’s political legacy, signing a series of executive actions that overturn his predecessor’s orders on immigration, climate change and the management of the pandemic.
Biden to end construction of Trump’s border wall on Wednesday, end travel bans from certain Muslim-majority countries, join the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization, and revoke approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, aides said Tuesday. The new president will sign the orders almost immediately after taking the oath on Capitol Hill, quickly moving from his uncluttered inauguration ceremony to the promulgation of his program.
The 15 Executive Actions are an attempt to essentially rewind the last four years of federal politics with striking speed. Only two recent presidents signed executive actions on their first day in office – and each signed only one. But Biden, faced with the debilitating coronavirus pandemic, intends to demonstrate a sense of urgency and competence that he says was lacking under his predecessor.
“I think the most important thing to say is that tomorrow begins a new day,” said Jeff Zients, Biden’s choice to lead a new White House office that will coordinate the federal government’s reshuffled response to the pandemic.
Orders go way beyond the pandemic. Biden intends to order a review of all regulations and executive actions by Trump found to be harmful to the environment or to public health. It will order federal agencies to prioritize racial equity and review policies that reinforce systemic racism. He will revoke a Trump order that sought to exclude non-citizens from the census and order federal employees to make an ethical pledge that commits them to upholding the independence of the Department of Justice.
Susan Rice, Biden’s new domestic policy adviser, said the new president would also revoke the just released report of Trump’s “1776 Commission” to promote “patriotic education.”
Those actions will be followed by dozens more over the next 10 days, aides said, as Biden seeks to redirect the country without having to go through a Senate that Democrats control by the narrowest margin.
Notably, the opening actions did not include immediate steps to join the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has abandoned and which Biden has pledged to revive. Jen Psaki, the new White House press secretary, said that although they were not included in Biden’s first day orders, the new president will revoke the Pentagon’s ban on military service in the coming days. to transgender Americans as well as to so-called Mexico City. policy, which prohibits US funding to international organizations that perform or refer women to abortion services.
Psaki said measures to be taken on Wednesday focused on providing “immediate support” to Americans.
In another effort to signal a return to the pre-Trump era, Psaki said she would hold a press briefing on Wednesday evening as a sign of the administration’s commitment to transparency. Trump’s White House had all but abandoned the practice of briefing reporters on a daily basis.
Biden will sign the shares on his first visit to the Oval Office in four years. Since then, the actions of the presidential order have often been marked by clumsy announcements and confusion. During their early days in office, Trump’s team was forced to rewrite executive orders by court order, and aides took days to figure out how to use the White House intercom to alert the press to the events. . The repeatedly canceled plans to hype new construction programs – dubbed “infrastructure week” – have become a national punchline. Biden’s assistants, on the other hand, aim to demonstrate they’re ready to get the job done right off the bat.
Biden’s top aides, led by Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed and campaign policy chief Stef Feldman, began crafting executive action plans in November, just days after Biden won. presidency and that drafting began in December. The final documents were reviewed by career staff in the Justice Department’s legal counsel’s office in the last few weeks before Biden’s swearing-in to ensure they would pass the legal rally.
Biden’s team was expected to begin assuming the reins of power even before the Marine Band finished their rendition of “Hail to the Chief” after the new president was sworn in.
Aides was scheduled to start entering the White House compound around midday – when Biden officially takes office – to begin overseeing national security roles. The emergency was accelerated by security concerns around the Inauguration following the U.S. Capitol uprising.
Covid-19 restrictions, along with tight security surrounding the inauguration, drastically reduced the number of aides in Biden’s west wing. Helpers, an official said, have been ordered to take snacks to eat to their offices due to pandemic protocols.