Biden to immediately reverse Trump's policies on climate, coronavirus
On his day one as United States President, Joe Biden will issue a series of executive orders, reversing outgoing President Donald Trump's policies on immigration, climate change, and the coronavirus. Biden will be signing 15 executive orders hours after taking the oath of office on Wednesday. Notably, only two recent Presidents have issued executive actions on their first day, and each only signed one.
Trump's border wall, Muslim-majority country ban among first actions
Biden will sign 15 executive orders to end the construction of Trump's border wall, end the ban on travel from some Muslim-majority countries, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization, and revoke the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, his aides said on Tuesday. The orders will also include a 100-day mask mandate to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Policies on environment, racism also a priority
Biden intends to reverse Trump's policies deemed damaging to the environment or public health. He will also order federal agencies to prioritize racial equity and review policies reinforcing systemic racism. He will reverse a Trump order that excluded noncitizens from the census. The report of Trump's "1776 Commission" to promote "patriotic education" will also be revoked, Biden's incoming domestic policy adviser Susan Rice said.
More executive orders to follow in coming days
The day-one orders do not include rejoining the Iran nuclear accord. However, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki said more orders are to follow in the coming days, including a reversal of the Pentagon's ban on military service by transgender Americans. The Mexico City policy will also be reversed. The policy had banned US funding for international organizations giving access to abortion services.
Planning for executive actions started in November
Biden senior aides, led by deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed and campaign policy chief Stef Feldman, had started prepping for the immediate executive actions back in November when the Presidential elections were held. Drafting for these actions had reportedly commenced in December. In recent weeks, the final documents were reviewed by career staff at the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.
Biden to take oath today; Trump to skip inauguration
Biden will be taking oath as President on Wednesday around noon local time or 10:30 pm IST, taking over from Republican Donald Trump. Breaking tradition, Trump will not be attending his successor's inauguration, becoming the first President in over a century and a half to do so, and the fourth President in history. Instead, Trump will hold a farewell ceremony for himself.