Biden’s Plan for Day #1: Reverse all of Trump’s Achievements
President Joe Biden on his first day in office signed 17 executive orders and memorandums to reverse “the gravest damages” of the Trump Administration and restore Obama-era policies.
“There’s no time to start like today,” Biden told reporters as he signed the first page of a large stack. “I’m going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people.”
In fact, one of his first priorities was to reverse Trump’s immigration agenda, including an immediate halt on Border Wall construction. Ironically, Biden made the announcement as thousands of Honduran migrants head north towards the United States (read more here).
Another top priority was to rejoin the World Health Organization (despite its allegiance to China) and cement Dr. Anthony Fauci as head of the US delegation. President Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, a global pact created during the Obama years to fight climate change.
“[Biden] will sign a broad executive order that takes steps that are imperative to address our climate crisis and will create good union jobs and advance environmental justice,” said Gina McCarthy, Biden’s top climate adviser. This includes canceling the Keystone XL pipeline project, strengthening emissions standards, and reversing more than 100 of Trump’s actions on the environment.
Additional objectives include:
- A social distancing and face mask mandate for all federal employees
- The creation of a COVID team that reports directly to the president
- The prohibition of workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and also gender identity
- A continued paused on student loan payments, foreclosures, and also evictions
- The elimination of Trump’s “1776 Commission”
- The restoration of federal employees’ collective bargaining rights
- Requirements for companies to purchase goods made in the US
- A push to eliminate private prisons
- A review of protected federal properties that were reduced in size/opened to commercial use during the Trump Administration
- The suspension of oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Student debt, the military, and immigration
By the end of January, President Biden is also expected to ask Congress to forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt per person. He also plans to revoke the ban on military service by transgender individuals and reverse the Mexico City policy (which prohibits foreign aid from going to any organization that provides abortions).
“The president-elect has also promised to root out systemic racism from our institutions,” adds Susan Rice, incoming director of the Domestic Policy Council. In her new role, Rice will lead the Biden Administration’s efforts to promote racial equity. She will also focus on the advancement of other minority groups including LGBTQ individuals and people with disabilities.
“We will have for the first time an expert team dedicated to equity, broadly defined, and to racial justice…The order will also direct the [Office of Management of Budget] to begin the work of more equitably allocating federal resources to empower communities that have been underserved.”