Joe Biden Plans Day of Executive Action: Trump Policies to be Axed as Obama Programs Restored

US President-elect Joe Biden speaks at the Queen Theater on January 6, 2021, in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

The oldest president to take the oath, Joe Biden plans a frantic first day in power once his ceremonial swearing in is completed Wednesday. Some 17 executive actions and orders are ready for his initial hours in the Oval Office, designed to tackle everything from climate change to global poverty, all while he cancels the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

“We’re going to act. On Day One, we’re going to act to get COVID under control,” Biden,78,  previously boasted, however now he has added climate, immigration, border controls, the U.S. census, and broad regulatory changes to his first agenda.

A “100 Days Masking Challenge,” calling for a compulsory nationwide face mask and social distancing mandate in federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors, is expected to be near the top of the list:


Biden will sign the executive actions in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday night.

“In the coming days and weeks we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the President-elect’s promises to the American people, including revoking the ban on military service by transgender Americans, and reversing the Mexico City policy,” Psaki said in a statement.

The specific text of the executive orders and actions is not yet available, promises have been made that there would be more to come, building on commitments already made since his election win:

“The Biden administration is going to have a very different approach to regional migration,” incoming White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said, adding there will be a “special emphasis” to address the “root causes of migration in the region.”

Biden is specifically set to “preserve and fortify” the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows people who came to the United States as children to request deferred immigration enforcement and work authorization for a renewal period of two years.

As for the census, Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday to revoke the Trump administration’s plan to exclude non-citizens from the census and apportionment of congressional representatives. Biden’s move will also ensure the Census Bureau “has time” to complete “an accurate population count” for each state, which he will then present to Congress.

Biden will also sign an executive order that revoking Trump’s previous order that directed immigration enforcement.

The Biden team said the move will allow for the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to set “civil immigration enforcement policies that best protect the American people” and that are “in line with our values and priorities.”

Biden also will take immediate action to re-engage with the World Health Organization, after Trump’s decision to withdraw in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

By contrast, Donald Trump on his first day in office in 2017 signed a single executive order to begin rolling back the Affordable Care Act.

He signed four more orders and eight presidential memoranda in his first week, according to a review of the Federal Register conducted by ABC News. By the 100 day mark, Trump had signed 33 executive orders.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: [email protected]


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