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We Did It Joe: A Recap of President Biden’s Day One Actions

Throughout his campaign for the presidency, Joe Biden made many promises to the American people on what actions he planned to take on his first day in office, Jan. 20. Specifically, the many executive orders he planned to pass to, as stated by the White House communication director Kate Bedingfield, “roll back some of the most egregious moves of the Trump administration.” The 17 executive orders he planned to sign on his first evening in office span all areas of U.S. life; from COVID-19 to climate change. Biden certainly planned to make very significant and, many would argue, important changes to the country. 

[bf_image id="qcc6jy-1gvmv4-e4nr4p"] In his inaugural address, Biden described key areas he plans on working on in his presidency. These included climate change, social inequality, coronavirus, America’s reputation on the global stage, and threats to truth and democratic values. On the official POTUS Twitter, he released the following statement in regards to his work on day one, “There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face… today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families."

And that he did. Within hours of his presidency, Biden sat down to sign the large stack of 17 executive orders waiting in the Oval Office, more than any modern president has on the first day of his term and nine of which directly reverse specific policies passed by the Trump administration. 

As outlined in the New York Times article, Biden began with the COVID-19 pandemic; by intentionally choosing this order first, Biden firmly set the tone of his administration as one that listens to science and measures to stop the spread of the virus. Biden issued a federal mask mandate that would require masks and social distancing on all federal property as well as interstate travel. He also created a Coronavirus-response coordinator position to help with vaccine rollouts, followed by canceling the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO.

This was followed by orders that will directly help Biden’s pledge to address climate change and environmental issues. The executive orders Biden signed put the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Agreement and canceled the Keystone XL pipeline permit, these both overturned policies of the past administration. 

Biden also tackled economic issues such as pausing student loan payments until Sep. 30 and extending the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until Mar. 31.  [bf_image id="7g76bw9bfbws4hrq7qzwwcx"]

The cry for social justice has been incredibly loud and persistent throughout 2020, with demands for equality and reform being the most prominent among those cries. The Biden administration has begun to answer these concerns by rescinding the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, according to USA Today. This calls upon every federal agency to reexamine their equity efforts for sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination and requiring federal employees to sign an ethics pledge. 

Finally, Biden addressed the issues regarding immigration. First by halting the construction of Trump’s border wall; then reversing Trump’s ban on travel from Muslim-majority countries; preserving DACA protections, including noncitizens to be counted in the census; and extending deportation and work authorization deferrals until June 2022. 

To finish his signing spree, Biden directed the Office of Management and Budget director “to develop recommendations to modernize regulatory review and und[o] Trump’s regulatory approval process.” 

Off to an enthusiastic and ambitious start, the Biden administration is not stopping yet. Biden has outlined his larger-scale plans for the next 100 days. An impressive feat if he can manage it; reforming the asylum system, creating a clear pathway to citizenship, overhauling the police system, comprehensive criminal justice reform, and repairing alliances with other nations are all on the agenda.

We will have to wait and see what the outcomes of Biden’s executive actions and reforms are for the country. While he is off to a notable start, there is still a very long way to go to create the America that Biden has envisioned and promised up to this point. If his first day is any indication, we can expect many more bold actions from President Biden over the next four years.

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Hello, my name is Rachel Loring, I am a junior at FSU majoring in English and Family and Child Sciences. I have a huge love and passion for writing, I use writing as a way to express myself, interpret my feelings, and make sense of the world around me. I am so incredibly honored and excited to be a writer for Hercampus and hope to bring more attention to things that inspire, challenge, and fascinate me.
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