Biden's First Presidential Actions
Since the inauguration on Jan. 20, President Joe Biden has already passed a number of executive orders to undo some of the work of the previous administration as well as further some goals of his own. On his first day alone, around 14 executive actions were pushed through to begin the change Biden plans on enacting in the country.
Biden’s reversal of multiple Trump administration policies began with a general freeze of the rules being passed during the last days of the past administration, before moving on to specific changes made to laws and policies. One of the most notable changes include an executive order rejoining the Paris Agreement, an international agreement focused on combating global warming.
On the topic of immigration, Biden has repealed harsh laws that cracked down on undocumented immigrants and also stopped funding to the border wall being built on the southern border. He also signed an order that now includes undocumented immigrants in the US census. The travel ban restricting entry into the US from 14 countries, also known as the “Muslim Ban” has been repealed.
During the election and campaigning season, Biden made several promises about what his administration would accomplish to alleviate the COVID crisis in America. So far, Biden has signed executive orders mandating masks on federal property, the creation of an administrative position specifically for COVID, giving support to reopening schools, and an emphasis on expanding accessibility to COVID treatment.
An emphasis was put on executive orders meant to improve racial relations with a commitment to Native American tribal sovereignty and denouncing anti-Asian biases prevalent during the pandemic. Also, a promise to keep officials assessing what can be done to improve racial equality was one of the first orders passed as Biden took office.
During the Trump administration, a point of high controversy was the past administration’s decision to put a transgender military ban in place. On his sixth day in office, Biden repealed the ban to allow transgender Americans to be able to serve in the country’s military once more. In another order towards helping the LGBT community was a ban on discrimination based on sexuality or gender in all federal agencies.
Other notable actions include a pause on student loan payments, cancelling the permit that allowed drilling for the Keystone XL pipeline, and an order to condemn profit from private prisons. The number of orders passed in Biden’s first week as president reflects the change America has undergone politically since November’s election, and the change sure to come as his time as president goes forward.