On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed a number of executive orders and took a number of other executive actions, many reversing Trump policies. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent actions of January 20, 2021.
1. Halted the United States’ departure from the World Health Organization
2. Continued the existing moratorium on evictions until at least March 31
3. Continued the existing suspension of student loan payments and student loan interest until at least September 30
4. Returned the United States to the Paris climate agreement
5. Rescinded the Keystone XL pipeline’s permits
6. Halted the border wall’s construction
7. Preserved the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA
8. Expanded employment protections from discrimination in the workplace on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation
9. Required masks in federal buildings and federal lands and encouraged state and local officials to mandate masks
On his first full day in office, President Biden laid out his plans for combating the COVID-19 pandemic. He signed orders and actions to accelerate the manufacture and distribution of the vaccine, COVID-19 tests, and masks. He expanded testing capacity and allowed for the sharing of the country’s COVID-19 data. He also required mask wearing on airplanes and other modes of transport and required international travelers to provide proof of a negative test before their arrival.
Many of these actions mark a significant divergence from the Trump administration’s policies. They include more protections for the environment, protections for immigrants, and more. They also delivered on President Biden’s campaign promise to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic immediately. They signify a return to many Obama-era policies, yet many are calling for more progressive change, not just a return to old policies, including Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He called on Twitter to push President Biden and other Democrats in power to enact more progressive policies to prevent Republicans from taking control of Congress after the 2022 midterm election. President Biden made many promises on the campaign trail, and he has begun to deliver on some. In these next weeks and months, the American people may begin to see the fulfillment of these promises.