What executive orders has President Joe Biden signed?

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Marcus Parekh
·3 min read
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joe biden executive orders signed reverse trump policies president - Tom Brenner/Reuters
joe biden executive orders signed reverse trump policies president - Tom Brenner/Reuters

President Joe Biden launched his administration with a bang, heading to the Oval Office to sign a record 17 executive actions on day one.

Whereas most newly inaugurated presidents choose to start their tenure with a glamourous celebration and ball, Biden headed straight for the Oval Office and begin unpicking the legacy of his predecessor Donald Trump.

On his third day in the job, he signed a pile of orders aimed at fighting America's food crisis.

Below is a list of all the orders Biden signed to kick off his administration.

Wednesday January 20

Census

All undocumented residents of the US must be counted in the census and apportionment of Congressional representatives.

Coronavirus

The '100 Days Masking Challenge' requests that every American wear a mask for the next 100 days to combat the pandemic. The order also legally mandates social distancing and the wearing of masks on federal property and urges local government to follow suit.

Dr Anthony Fauci address the World Health Organisation of the state of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US on Joe Biden's first full day in office - Christopher Black/WHO /Reuters
Dr Anthony Fauci address the World Health Organisation of the state of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US on Joe Biden's first full day in office - Christopher Black/WHO /Reuters

The US will rejoin the World Health Organisation, with Dr Anthony Fauci tasked with leading the delegation.

A position of Covid-19 Response Coordinator has been created, who will be tasked with the management and production of medical equipment and Covid vaccines.

Economy

Those struggling to pay rent and mortgages have been given relief, extending a nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until at least March 31.

He extended the nationwide pause on student loan repayments until September 30.

Environment

The US has been signed back up to the Paris Climate Accords, which the US will official rejoin in 30 days.

US President Joe Biden signed a raft of executive orders to launch his administration, including a decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord - Jim Watson/AFP
US President Joe Biden signed a raft of executive orders to launch his administration, including a decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord - Jim Watson/AFP

The Keystone XL pipeline has been cancelled. The order also demanded a review and reversal on more than 100 Trump environment-related policies.

Equality

Trump's 1776 Commission report has been rescinded, which called for a more patriotic syllabus in schools.

Workplace discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation will also be legally prevented.

Ethics

All appointees to the executive branch of government must sign a pledge barring them from acting in personal interest and requiring them to uphold the independence of the Department of Justice.

Immigration

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act hsa been strengthened, which the Trump administration had sought to defund. DACA provides legal protection for children born in the US but who's parents are undocumented.

The so-called 'Muslim travel ban' has ended.

President Biden immediately cut all funding to Trump's border wall - Mandel Ngan/AFP
President Biden immediately cut all funding to Trump's border wall - Mandel Ngan/AFP

All future construction of Trump's border wall has been stopped by terminating the national emergency declaration Trump signed to get funding. However, the order does not contain any provisions to remove the existing wall.

The expansion of immigration enforcement brought in by Trump has been scaled back.

Liberians with safe haven in the US will receive an extension to the deferral on deportations until 30 June 2022. The order also provided them with work authorisation.

Regulation

Trump's regulatory approval process has been undone. The order also requires the director for the Office of Management and Budget to develop recommendations to modernise the regulatory review.

Friday January 22

Food crisis

On his third day in the job the new president issued executive orders increasing sustenance assistance, speeding up stimulus payments, and laying the groundwork for a $15 minimum wage for government workers and contractors.

Mr Biden's orders boosted an existing welfare payout, giving a family with three children an extra $100 every two months to supplement grocery shopping.

Other measures included asking the Treasury to hasten stimulus payments of up to $600 per person that were already approved under Donald Trump.