President Joe Biden began signing his first executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday (Picture: AP)
Biden, 77, wasted no time at all in acting to scrap a raft of measures brought in by the Trump administration since 2016. As he sat in the oval office for the first time and with one swipe of a pen, the President moved to scrap nine of his predecessor’s most high-profile policies.
Within his first few hours as President, Biden re-joined the Paris climate accord and halted America’s departure from the World Health Organization (WHO). He also reversed Trump’s harsh immigration law, ending the ban he brought in on travel from some Muslim-majority countries.
The 46th president has also pulled the plug on funding for Trump’s divisive border wall, an executive order that is one of 17 that Biden has introduced during his first two days in office.
President Joe Biden has signed a total of 17 executive orders so far (Picture: Reuters)
Joe Biden pictured with US First Lady Jill Biden as he is sworn in as the 46th US President by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (Picture: Getty Images/AFP)
‘There’s no time to start like today’, Biden said as he began putting his stamp on America.
The President added: ‘I’m going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people.’
He’s also brought in eight completely new policies including a mask mandate and new measures to help the economy and control the coronavirus.
But that’s not all, Biden has apparently pledged to dedicate each day in January to bringing in new policies aimed at helping America recover from the pandemic, reports CNN. They include a drive to encourage people to ‘buy American’, which will be followed by efforts in February to ‘restore America’s place in the world’ with new policies aimed at bolstering the economy.
Full list of Joe Biden’s 17 executive actions
A ‘100 day masking challenge’ – Asking US citizens to wear masks for 100 days. People will also be required to wear masks and maintain physical distancing in federal buildings and on federal lands.
Registration with WHO – Halt the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization, with Dr Anthony Fauci leading the US’ delegation to WHO.
Employ a Covid expert – Create a ‘Covid-19 Response Coordinator’ role, reporting directly to Biden. The person will manage efforts to produce and distribute vaccines and medical equipment.
Covid housing protection – Extend the existing nationwide suspension on evictions and foreclosures until at least March 31.
Support for students – Extend the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for Americans with federal student loans until at least September 30.
The President has reversed nine of his predecessor Donald Trump’s policies (Picture: Reuters)
Climate change – Re-join the Paris climate accord, a process that will be completed by the end of February. Cancel the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Government regulation – Biden will also direct government agencies to review and reverse more than 100 Trump actions that effect the environment.
Racial equality – Dissolve the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission which sought to end alternative teaching of American history, and direct agencies to review their actions to ensure racial equity.
Gender equality and inclusion – Prevent workplace discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity. Requires non-citizens to be included in the census.
Protection for vulnerable minors – Strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy after Trump’s administration worked to undo protections for undocumented people brought into the country as children.
Open up the borders – Undo the Trump’s restrictions on US entry for passport holders from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Former President Donald Trump spoke to supporters at Joint Base Andrews before boarding Air Force One for his last time as President on January 20 (Picture: Getty Images)
Immigration reform – Reverse Trump’s crackdown on immigration enforcement within the US.
Halt Trump’s border wall – Pull the plug on construction of the border wall by terminating the national emergency declaration used to fund it.
Humanitarian support – Extend the deferral of deportation and work authorizations for people from Liberia who have a safe haven in the United States until at least June 30, 2022.
Government accountability – Order executive appointees to sign an ethics pledge that bans them from acting in personal interest and requires them to uphold the independence of the Department of Justice.
Public transparency – Direct the office of Management and Budget (OMB) director to come up with recommendations to modernize regulatory review.
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Joe Biden inauguration 2021
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office during the inauguration ceremony today.
During the ceremony, Biden delivered a speech outline his vision for his term as president.
You can follow all the updates on our Inauguration Day live blog.
Here are the latest updates from January 20: