Biden will complete construction of Trump’s US-Mexico border wall on Wednesday, end the travel ban from some Muslim-majority countries, rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization, and revoke approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, advisers said Tuesday. .
The new president will sign the orders almost immediately after being sworn in on Capitol Hill, moving quickly from his reduced inauguration ceremony to the promulgation of his agenda.
The 15 executive actions are an attempt to essentially rewind the last four years of federal policy with surprising speed. Only two recent presidents signed executive actions on their first day in office, and each signed only one. But Biden, facing the debilitating coronavirus pandemic, intends to demonstrate a sense of urgency and competence that he says has been lacking under his predecessor.
“I think the most important thing to say is that a new day begins tomorrow,” said Jeff Zients, choosing Biden to lead a new office in the White House that will coordinate the federal government’s renewed response to the pandemic.
The orders go far beyond the pandemic. Biden intends to order a review of all Trump regulations and executive actions deemed harmful to the environment or public health. It will order federal agencies to prioritize racial equity and review policies that reinforce systemic racism.
It will revoke a Trump order that sought to exclude noncitizens from the census and order federal employees to make an ethical commitment that commits them to upholding the independence of the Justice Department.
Susan Rice, Biden’s incoming domestic policy adviser, said the new president would also revoke the just released report of Trump’s “1776 Commission” to promote “patriotic education.”
These actions will be followed by dozens more over the next 10 days, attendees said, as Biden seeks to reorient the country without going through a Senate that Democrats control by the narrowest margin.
In particular, the opening actions did not include immediate steps to join the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump abandoned and Biden has vowed to re-implement.
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Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, said that while they were not included in Biden’s Day One orders, the new president will overturn the Pentagon’s ban on transgender Americans from military service in the coming days, as well. like the so-called Mexico City. policy, which prohibits US funding for international organizations that perform or refer women for abortion services.
Psaki said actions to be taken on Wednesday focused on providing “immediate relief” to Americans.
In another effort to signal a return to pre-Trump times, Psaki said he would hold a briefing Wednesday night as a symbol of the administration’s commitment to transparency. The Trump White House had practically abandoned the practice of briefing journalists on a daily basis.
Biden will sign the shares during his first visit to the Oval Office in four years. Since then, the actions of the presidential order have often been marked by clumsy announcements and confusion.
In his early days in office, Trump’s team was forced to rewrite executive orders by court order and it took days for aides to figure out how to use the White House intercom to alert the press to events. Repeatedly canceled plans to promote the new construction programs, dubbed “infrastructure week,” turned into a nationwide auction. Biden’s helpers, on the other hand, aim to show that they are ready for work right from the start.
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Biden’s senior aides, led by Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed and campaign policy chief Stef Feldman, began laying out executive action plans in November, just days after Biden won the presidency and drafting began in December. . The final documents were reviewed by career staff from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in the final weeks before Biden’s swearing-in to ensure they would pass legal review.
Biden’s team was ready to begin assuming the reins of power even before the Marine Band finished their performance of “Hail to the Chief” after the new president was sworn in.
Attendees were supposed to begin entering the White House complex around noon, when Biden officially takes office, to begin overseeing national security roles. The urgency was accelerated by security concerns surrounding the inauguration after the United States Capitol uprising.
COVID-19 restrictions, along with tight security around the opening, were dramatically reducing the number of attendees in Biden’s west wing. Aides, an official said, were asked to pack snacks to eat at their offices due to pandemic protocols.