My1sttoday: These are the executive orders President Biden has signed so far. Joe 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 46th president Biden 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.
Executive order establishing the position of coordinator of the COVID-19 response
Biden signed an executive order establishing the officer of 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, interstate travel
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. The order also mandates face coverings for interstate travel.
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 Trump.
Trump said last year the U.S. would leave the body due to complaints over its response ot 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 to 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 0 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 particularly 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 former President 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 Muslim majority 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 approving Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) 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 (TPS).
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 (DPC) 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 (OMB) 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.