Published January 20th, 2021 at 9:16 AM
Above image credit: Joe Biden during the final debate with President Donald Trump on Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tenn. (Jim Bourg-Pool | Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden early Wednesday unveiled the list of executive orders, memos and directives he will make when he assumes the presidency later in the day, reversing Trump administration actions and laying out new policies of his own.
“These actions are bold, begin the work of following through on President-elect Biden’s promises to the American people, and, importantly, fall within the constitutional role for the president,” the transition team said in a statement.
According to the transition team, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will:
- Ask the American people to mask up for 100 days in a “100 days masking challenge” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They will require masks and social distancing in all federal buildings and on all federal lands.
- Create the position of a COVID-19 response coordinator, reporting directly to the president.
- Cease the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization, which has been coordinating the global response to COVID-19, and begin taking part in WHO meetings and other actions.
- Ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the federal eviction moratorium until at least March 31 and call on Congress to provide more rental assistance. They will ask the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to “consider extending foreclosure moratoriums for federally guaranteed mortgages and continuing applications for forbearance for federally guaranteed mortgages until at least March 31.”
- Ask the Department of Education to extend the pause on interest and principal payments for federal direct student loans until at least Sept. 30.
- Sign the document to rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and deposit it with the United Nations on Wednesday.
- Direct federal agencies to review actions taken during the Trump administration that were harmful to public health, damaging to the environment and not in the public interest.
- Direct agencies to consider revising vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards.
- Direct the Department of Interior to review the boundaries and conditions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bears Ears, Northeast Canyons, and Seamounts Marine National Monuments and placing a temporary moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Revoke the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Embed the concept of equity across the government by defining it as the “consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities, such as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; LGBTQ+ persons; people with disabilities; religious minorities, persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”
- Direct federal agencies to review the state of equity in their departments and deliver action plans; launch a new data working group to make sure that federal data reflects American diversity; task the budget office with working for more equitable allocation of federal resources; and more.
- Reverse Trump administration orders that excluded undocumented immigrants from census counts.
- Sign a presidential memo supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and call on Congress to take action to pass laws for permanent status for Dreamers.
- End the restriction on entry into the United States of people from primarily Muslim and African nations.
- Stop construction of the border wall by terminating a national emergency declaration that was used by President Donald Trump to continue its funding.
- Sign an order aimed at prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Order every appointee in the executive branch to sign an ethics pledge.
- Issue an order that pauses any new Trump regulations from moving forward so they can be reviewed.
Jane Norman is the Washington bureau chief of States Newsroom. This story first appeared on the Missouri Independent, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering state government, politics and policy.