President-elect Joe Biden plans to reverse a number of policies enacted by Donald Trump in his first days in office, a memo to the senior employees from his incoming chief of staff Ron Klain revealed, as cited by CNN.
The executive orders and policies Biden is planning to enact shortly after 20 January inauguration include the following:
- Mask mandate: Wearing personal protective equipment would be made mandatory on federal properties and during travel between states for a hundred days, a so-called "100 Day Masking Challenge".
- Return to Paris Agreement: On the first day in the office, the new US president plans to rejoin the 2015 Paris Climate Accord which the US officially left in November 2020. Trump argued that the agreement had put the US at a “permanent disadvantage” and undermined the national economy.
- Reversal of Travel Ban: Biden will reportedly cancel a series of Donald Trump’s executive orders enacted in 2017, which came down in history as “Muslim ban.” The first executive action, aimed at “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, according to its wording, limited a travel to the US of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Later Chad, North Korea, Venezuela, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria and Tanzania were also added to the list, while Iraq was removed.
© REUTERS / Lucas JacksonDemonstrators participate in a protest by the Yemeni community against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., February 2, 2017
- Student Loan Payments: Biden is planning to extend suspension of loan payment for students previously unveiled by President Trump, as well as to continue waiving interest on education loans held by millions of Americans. The current halt measures are expected to expire on 31 January 2021.
- Halt on Evictions: The incoming president is also expected to prolong measures forbidding landlords to evict people living on its property during pandemic. The order first came into force under Trump administration on 4 September 2020.
- COVID-19 Outbreak: Just on the second day in the White House, Biden would reportedly sign orders related to school and business opening during coronavirus pandemic, as well as an expansion of testing.
© REUTERS / MICAH GREENAn employee wearing a protective mask applies makeup at Coastal Grand Mall on Black Friday, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S., November 27, 2020
- Coronavirus Relief Bill: Biden has announced that a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, which he dubbed the “American Rescue Plan,” will become his first legislative initiative after taking office. The bill will potentially include a round of stimulus checks, increased benefits for the unemployed, and $400 billion to speed up the production of vaccines and some other related spending.
- Immigration Policy: In the first months of the Biden administration, he is anticipated to compile and send out to Congress a detailed plan to outline how millions of undocumented migrants currently residing in the US could obtain American citizenship. The future president also claimed in the past that he would cancel Trump’s ‘Migrant Protection Protocols’ which currently prevent Mexican immigrants without the necessary documents from entering the US. This promise has already encouraged thousands of Honduran migrants to travel to the US in large numbers to see whether Biden will fulfil his pledge.
© AP Photo / Sandra SebastianHonduran migrants hoping to reach the U.S. border walk alongside a highway in Chiquimula, Guatemala, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021
- Other Reforms: Biden is expected to introduce legislative changes to the criminal justice system and introduce initiatives to control climate change.
- First Overseas Trip: Although not officially announced yet, it was reported by the Sunday Telegraph that the United Kingdom will become the first country Biden will visit after being inaugurated as America’s 46th president.
Klain, however, acknowledged in the memo that the “full achievement” of these set of policy objectives requires “not just the executive actions the president-elect has promised to take, but also robust Congressional action”.
He argued that Joe Biden’s purported actions will be taken “not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward”.