WASHINGTON, D.C. (KELO) — Since assuming the Office of the Presidency, Joe Biden has been busy; signing 16 executive orders along with a series of proclamations and memorandums at the time that this article was written.
Many of these actions have been drafted with the intent to reverse the actions of former President Donald Trump, and to address the coronavirus crisis still raging in America from coast to coast.
Here we take a deeper look at the contents of some of these actions.
The first of Biden’s acts was a symbolic one, as he signed a proclamation declaring Jan. 20, 2021 a National Day of Unity, “calling upon the people of our Nation to join together and write the next story of our democracy — an American story of decency and dignity, of love and of healing, and of greatness and of goodness.”
Advancing racial equity — supporting underserved communities:
Biden’s first executive order takes aim at a promise he made to address racial inequality in America.
This order outlines the policy of the Biden administration, stating that “the Federal Government should pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”
Ending discriminatory bans on entry:
Taking aim at former President Trump’s controversial “Muslim travel ban”, this proclamation revokes Executive Order 13780, along with three additional proclamations made by Mr. Trump.
This action prioritizes the resumption of visa processing, and the clearing of backlogged cases.
Mobilizing to combat COVID-19:
Another major promise of Biden’s was a shift in gear when it comes to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
This executive order creates the position of Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President. The order also sets up a process to prepare for future biological and pandemic threats.
Restoring science to tackle the climate crisis:
Targeting yet another long time promise, this order institutes a review of all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar actions taken by agencies between Jan. 20, 2017 and Jan. 20, 2021.
Other goals of the order include restoring national monuments, ensuring air quality and establishing job-creating standards. This is also the order that revokes the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Preventing and combating discrimination:
This order was signed with the intent to stop discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation, outlines the process for enforcement of prohibitions on such discrimination.
The text of this order reads, in part: “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.”
Termination of emergency on the southern border:
“Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution.”
As indicated by the above excerpt, this proclamation stops all funding for the construction of a border wall with Mexico, declaring it unwarranted. In addition to this, the action ends the national emergency declared by the Trump administration in February of 2020, and continued once more by Trump on Jan. 15, 2021.
Preserving and fortifying DACA:
In a memo issued Jan. 20th, Biden reaffirmed support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama era policy enacted to offer protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
The DACA program specifically stipulates that the protections are for individuals who have obeyed the law, and stayed in school or enlisted in the military.
Improving and expanding access to care:
In another action aimed at reigning in the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden signed an order to improve and expand access to care and treatment for the virus.
This order outlines the process for developing therapies, improving health care capacities and improving access to quality and affordable care.
Protecting worker health and safety:
Reflecting Biden’s history of pro-union sentiments, this executive order seeks to ensure that worker health and safety is both a national priority and “a moral imperative”. The order specifies protections from COVID-19 under OSHA.
In addition to these actions, Biden also addressed immigration enforcement, revocations of previous orders concerning Federal regulations, and ethics commitments within the Executive Branch as well as other topics.
You can read through the orders in their entirety by following this link to the White House website.