These are the executive orders Biden has signed so far


President Biden wasted no time implementing his agenda and turning the page from the Trump years after he was inaugurated Wednesday, signing a slew of executive actions with more on the way.

The new president signed 17 executive orders and other directives on the first day of his presidency in what administration officials have said is an initial wave of actions Biden will take in his first 10 days in office.

Below is a list of all the executive actions Biden has taken thus far.

DAY ONE

Executive order establishing the position of coordinator of the COVID-19 response

Biden signed an executive order establishing the position of coordinator of the COVID-19 response and counselor to the president, known as the COVID-19 response coordinator.

Jeff Zients will fill that role in a move Democrats and other Trump critics said was a long overdue step in bolstering the federal response to the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 Response Coordinator shall report directly to the President; advise and assist the President and executive departments and agencies (agencies) in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic; coordinate all elements of the COVID-19 response; and perform such duties as the President may otherwise direct,” the order reads.

Executive order on mask-wearing on federal property

Biden is mandating that people wear masks on federal property and socially distance in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

He does not have the authority to issue a mask mandate nationally but said Wednesday he is taking the authority to require one where he can. 

Executive order reversing U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO)

Biden signed an executive order reversing the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO that was triggered by former President Trump.

Trump said last year the U.S. would leave the body due to complaints over its response to the coronavirus, but withdrawal takes a year to go into effect and would not have formally occurred until July.

“The WHO plays a crucial role in the world’s fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as well as countless other threats to global health and health security.  The United States will continue to be a full participant and a global leader in confronting such threats and advancing global health and health security,” Biden wrote in a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. 

Executive order extending moratorium on evictions and foreclosures

The Department of Agriculture will extend a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures to the end of March in an effort to help struggling families during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“USDA recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an almost unprecedented housing affordability crisis in the United States,” the Agriculture Department said in a statement.

Executive order extending pause on student loan payments

The Education Department will extend a pause on federal student loan payments and collections through the end of September, per an executive order from Biden. Interest rates for such payments will also be kept at zero percent.

Biden has vowed to cancel up to $10,000 in student debt per person, though progressives have lobbied him to up that amount to $50,000.

Executive order rejoining the Paris Climate Accords

Biden signed an executive order putting the U.S. back in the Paris climate accords, fulfilling a top campaign promise that was a key part of his plan to combat climate change.

The international treaty, from which Trump withdrew the U.S., sets goals for nations to limit their carbon emissions to “limit global warming to well below” 2 degrees Celsius.

Executive order revoking permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and stopping oil and pausing gas leasing at Arctic refuge

Biden signed an executive order scrapping a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, the controversial 1,200-mile structure that carried oil from Canada to the U.S., and placing a temporary pause on oil and gas leasing activities at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Climate activists have panned both projects, saying the Keystone pipeline would carry oil made from tar sands — whose production is carbon intensive — over sacred indigenous lands and the leasing in the refuge could endanger grizzly bears, polar bears, gray wolves and more than 200 species of birds.

But the Keystone decision in particular was quickly slammed by Republicans and some business groups, likely foreshadowing an initial battle for the Biden administration.

Proclamation cutting off funding for the border wall

Biden signed a proclamation Thursday terminating funding for the border wall that was being built under Trump.

The move revoked the emergency proclamation that sped construction of a wall on the Mexican border, the building of which was a top promise from the Trump administration and one of its most divisive immigration moves.

Memorandum strengthening the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program

Biden issued a memorandum to the Justice and Homeland Security departments strengthening the Obama-era DACA program that was a top target of the Trump administration.

The memorandum allows the government to accept new applications for the DACA program and orders the two agencies to “take all actions … consistent with applicable law, to preserve and fortify DACA.”

The program protects immigrants brought to the country illegally as minors from deportation.

Executive order ending Trump’s travel ban

Biden signed an executive order ending the Trump administration’s controversial travel ban, which barred admissions into the country from several majority-Muslim countries. 

Scrapping the ban was another campaign promise after Trump’s move came under an avalanche of criticism from Democrats who said the prohibition on entry was Islamophobic. 

Executive order mandating undocumented immigrants be counted in the census

Undocumented immigrants will be counted in the decennial population count, according to another executive order.

Trump had pushed to strike immigrants in the country without authorization from the count, but he faced a flood of court challenges. 

Executive order to revoke Trump’s strict immigration policies

Biden issued an executive order revoking an order under the Trump administration that pushed broad efforts to find and deport undocumented immigrants.

Memorandum reinstating deportation protections for Liberian immigrants 

Biden sent another memorandum to the departments of State and Homeland Security reinstating deportation protections for some Liberian immigrants. 

The memorandum approved deferred enforced departure for Liberians. Recipients of the deferral will be able to live and work in the U.S., similar to those protected under a temporary protected status.

Executive order to promote racial equity

Biden is ordering his government to establish administration-wide policies to promote racial equity across the U.S.

The president used an executive order to direct his Domestic Policy Council to “coordinate efforts to embed equity principles, policies, and approaches across the Federal Government.” 

“This will include efforts to remove systemic barriers to and provide equal access to opportunities and benefits, identify communities the Federal Government has underserved, and develop policies designed to advance equity for those communities,” the order reads.

The order also scraps Trump’s controversial 1776 Commission.

Executive order barring discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation

One of the Wednesday executive orders mandated that government agency heads take stock of policies and regulations from their departments that prevent discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

They will then be empowered to, in consultation with the attorney general, implement any policy that would further that effort in the first 100 days or rescind any rules that they believe would enable discrimination.

“Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love,” the order reads.

Executive order requiring ethics pledge for government appointees

All government appointees will have to sign an ethics pledge, according to one of the new executive orders.

The pledge institutes a prohibition on accepting gifts from registered lobbyists, lobbying for two years after leaving government or lobbying for any foreign government.

“I commit to ethical choices of post-Government employment that do not raise the appearance that I have used my Government service for private gain, including by using confidential information acquired and relationships established for the benefit of future clients,” the executive order reads. 

Memorandum “modernizing” regulatory review

Biden issued a memorandum ordering the director of the Office of Management and Budget to work with other officials to produce “a set of recommendations for improving and modernizing regulatory review.”

“These recommendations should provide concrete suggestions on how the regulatory review process can promote public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations,” the memorandum reads. 

The memorandum also issues a freeze on new regulations implemented at the end of the Trump administration to process which ones the new White House will pursue.

DAY TWO:

Executive order mandating masks on various modes of transportation

Biden signed an executive order mandating mask-wearing on public transportation including in airports, on airplanes and on trains. It follows the order mandating face coverings on federal property.

Major U.S. airlines and companies like Amtrak have already required masks for passengers to get on their flights and trains.

Executive order to bolster access to treatments for COVID-19

Another coronavirus-related executive order directs the secretary of Health and Human Services to support research into "the most promising treatments for COVID-19 and future high-consequence public health threats."

It also directs the government to "provide targeted surge assistance to critical care and long-term care facilities," which have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

Executive order to boost reliance on data in the administration's coronavirus response

Another executive order on COVID-19 outlines efforts to increase the sharing of data within the administration as it puts its coronavirus plan into effect.

One aspect of the plan will direct several government departments to appoint a "senior official to serve as their agency’s lead to work on COVID-19" who will then "take steps to make data relevant to high-consequence public health threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, publicly available and accessible."

Memorandum to support states' use of the National Guard to respond to the coronavirus

Biden sent a memorandum to the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security ordering them to boost federal support for National Guard deployments, including directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to "fund 100 percent of the cost of activities associated with all mission assignments for the use of the National Guard...to respond to COVID-19."

Executive order on ensuring strength of national supply chain

Biden directed various government departments to "review the availability of critical materials, treatments, and supplies needed to combat COVID-19" and send him a report.

It also empowers them to "take appropriate action using all available legal authorities, including the Defense Production Act, to fill" any shortfalls they find.

Executive order to work to mitigate inequities caused or exacerbated by COVID-19

Another executive order directs the creation of a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force that would be made up of officials from the Department of Health and Human services and outside experts to address systemic inequalities that existed before or have broken open during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Addressing this devastating toll is both a moral imperative and pragmatic policy. It is impossible to change the course of the pandemic without tackling it in the hardest-hit communities," the order reads.

Executive order directing guidance to state and local governments on how to reopen schools

The Education Department is being directed to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide "evidence-based guidance to assist States and elementary and secondary schools in deciding whether and how to reopen, and how to remain open, for in-person learning; and in safely conducting in-person learning."

"Addressing this devastating toll is both a moral imperative and pragmatic policy. It is impossible to change the course of the pandemic without tackling it in the hardest-hit communities."

Executive order to boost protections for workers in the workplace

The Labor Department is being directed to issue new guidance to employers on how to boost workplace safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

It also directs the agency to determine if any new emergency temporary standards must be implemented regarding mask-wearing and to issue them by March 15 if they are deemed necessary.

Executive order to create coronavirus testing board
 
Biden is creating a "COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board" that will be chaired by Zients that will focus on coordinating "efforts to promote COVID-19 diagnostic, screening, and surveillance testing."
 
It will also make recommendations to Biden on how to prioritize federal aid to state, local, tribal and territorial governments to expand access to testing.

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