TOPLINE After President Joe Biden was sworn into office, his administration immediately began undoing his Trump’s policies and beefing up the federal government’s response to the coronavirus through a slew of executive actions and orders.
- Biden issued a mask and social distancing mandate on all federal lands for federal employees and contractors.
- The Biden administration extended eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until March 31 and will continue to suspend student loan repayments until September.
- Biden rejoined the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accord, both of which Donald Trump exited during his presidency.
- Through an executive action, Biden revoked permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline and put a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, moves hailed by environmental and indigenous activists.
- Biden revoked Trump’s attempt to exclude non-citizens from being counted in the U.S. Census, which affects representation in Congress and the allocation of federal grant money.
- Biden reversed Trump’s travel ban from several Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, and told the State Department to start allowing visa applications from these countries again.
- Biden ended the National Emergency Declaration that allowed the Trump administration to divert money from the Pentagon to construct the border wall.
- Biden sent a sweeping immigration reform bill to Congress that includes an eight-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and immediate green cards for DREAMers.
- Biden reversed Trump’s ban on diversity training at federal agencies and federal contractors.
- The 1776 Commission, the Trump’s administration’s rebuttal of the New York Times 1619 Project, was dismantled and the website was immediately taken down.
- Michael Pack, who oversaw Voice Of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty as CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, resigned Wednesday at the request of the incoming Biden administration.
- The Biden administration asked National Labor Relations Board general counsel Peter Robb, a Trump-appointee, to resign, Bloomberg Law reported.
Right-wing pundits questioned Biden’s vow to unify the country amid the flurry of executive orders. Biden’s actions don’t “add much oomph to his ‘unity’ message,” GOP Strategist Karl Rove said in a Fox News interview.
Republican lawmakers took aim at Biden’s priorities. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), an outspoken supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline, said Biden was costing 10,000 blue-collar jobs and making the U.S. “less energy secure.”
GOP Biden’s immigration plan sparked immediate criticism from GOP members of Congress. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
The official White House website, WhiteHouse.gov, also got some new accessibility changes. The new site has dark mode and a toggle to make the font larger.
-by Rachel Sandler, Forbes Staff