WASHINGTON (WLBT) - President Joe Biden wasted little time signing things into law on his first day in office.
Many of his moves were designed to reverse policies enacted by President Trump, taking issues related to climate change, COVID-19 and immigration among other things.
Biden signed more than a dozen executive orders, memorandums and directives on his first day, marking a swift change from previous administrations. Only two recent presidents signed executive actions on their first day in office — and each signed just one.
“There’s no time to start like today,” Biden said in his first comments to reporters as president.
This executive order calls for the government to pursue a a comprehensive plan to advance equity, civil rights, racial justice and equal opportunity.
The goal is to create a system of fair and impartial treatment to those who have been underserved, including: Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.
Another executive order requires masks be worn on federal property.
It also encourages all Americans to wear masks and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC.
Biden also shared the grief many have over the deadly virus during his inauguration speech. Four hundred lights were shined to represent the 400,000 people who have died as a result of the pandemic.
“Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights into the darkness ... and remember all who we lost,” Biden said.
A second coronavirus-related executive order calls for a response on combatting COVID-19 in Mississippi. It establishes a COVID-19 Response Coordinator that reports directly to the president and supports a timely and effective delivery of vaccines to Americans.
This executive order strips an order done by Trump in 2017. That order stripped federal money from sanctuary cities and deport any undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.
It was later declared unconstitutional by a judge in late 2017.
This is another order stripping back executive orders enacted by Trump. It revokes executive orders 13771, 13777, 13875, 13891, 13892 and 13893 which were signed in regards to federal regulation.
“This order revokes harmful policies and directives that threaten to frustrate the Federal Government’s ability to confront these problems (coronavirus, economic recovery, racial justice and climate change), and empowers agencies to use appropriate regulatory tools to achieve these goals,” the order states.
This order calls for non-citizens to be includes in the Census.
“At no point since our Nation’s Founding has a person’s immigration status alone served as a basis for excluding that person from the total population count used in apportionment,” the order states.
This is another reversal of a Trump policy that excluded undocumented immigrants from being counted toward the 2020 Census apportionment base.
Among other things, this order revoked the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The 1,700-mile (2,735-kilometer) pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
“The Permit is hereby revoked,” Biden’s executive order says. “Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”
The pipeline has been a source of controversy for more than a decade and was a top priority of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who raised the issue during his first phone call with Biden in November. Trudeau expressed disappointment over the revocation.
The order also strips away a number of executive orders carried out by Trump that were deemed harmful to the environment.
This order prohibits any practice of discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Adults should be able to earn a living and pursue a vocation knowing that they will not be fired, demoted, or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes,” the order reads.
Other actions were carried out without the use of an executive order, which include:
- Extending a nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until at least March 31
- Extending the pause on student loan payments and interest until at least September 30
- Revoking Trump’s ‘patriotic education’ report
- Stopping withdrawal from World Health Organization
- Fortifies DACA
- Reverses Trump’s restrictions on U.S. entry for Muslim-majority countries