(Washington) President Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon signed a series of 17 executive orders, directives and letters that tackle several challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight against climate change.
Executive orders are one way for a president to have an immediate impact on the functioning of the federal government from his early hours in the White House – but they lack the prestige of laws passed by Congress.
During his eight years in power, Barack Obama signed 276 executive orders. Donald Trump has been nearly twice as active on this front, producing 212 in four years in office.
Here is a summary of what was decided by Joe Biden on Wednesday.
President Biden calls on Americans to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing for the next 100 days in the “100 Days of the Mask” challenge. Wearing a face cover becomes mandatory in federal buildings and for federal government employees.
World Health Organization
The United States is ending the process of withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) that Donald Trump launched at the start of the pandemic. Symbol of the new approach, the Dr Anthony Fauci will attend the WHO executive board meeting this week as head of the US delegation.
Unified national response to COVID-19
Joe Biden wants to end the quilt of measures announced by states, and put the federal government at the center of the pandemic response, especially when it comes to managing efforts to produce, supply and distribute protective gear individual, vaccines and tests.
Moratorium on evictions
President Biden has called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to extend the moratorium on tenant evictions until at least March 31, 2021, while calling on Congress to provide rent assistance. He notes that 20% of tenants, as well as one in ten landlords, are behind in their payments.
Suspension of student loans
Millions of student loan holders are unable to repay them due to the pandemic. “President Biden calls on the Department of Education to consider extending the break on interest and principal payments for direct federal loans until at least September 30, 2021,” the White House reports.
Join the Paris Agreement on climate change
Joe Biden has indicated his intention to join the Paris Agreement, an intention which was tabled at the United Nations on Wednesday. The United States will be officially back in the deal within 30 days.
End of the Keystone XL pipeline
President intends to review federal regulations and other executive measures taken during Donald Trump’s presidency “that were harmful to public health and harmful to the environment”, including revocation of permits for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline , which was to be used to transport oil from Alberta to the United States.
Joe Biden has launched an initiative to promote racial equity, including directing each federal agency “to undertake a basic review of the state of equity within its agency and provide a plan of action. within 200 days to remove unequal barriers to opportunity in agency policies and programs ”.
Fin du «Muslim Ban»
The president put an end to the “Muslim Ban”, the executive order signed by Donald Trump in 2017 which banned the arrival of nationals from countries with a Muslim majority, including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Non-citizens and census
Joe Biden has put an end to Donald Trump’s “illegal” order to exclude non-citizens from the census conducted by the federal government.
Protection for migrants who arrived in the United States as minors
Joe Biden offered more protection to some 700,000 people who arrived in the United States as minors. The president “calls on Congress to enact a law guaranteeing permanent status and a pathway to citizenship” for these people.
Repeal of Trump’s Executive Order on Homeland Security
The president signed an executive order revoking an executive order by Trump that imposed harsh and extreme enforcement of immigration laws. “This revocation will allow the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to define civilian immigration law enforcement policies that are consistent with our values and priorities.”
Stop construction of the wall
Joe Biden ordered that construction of the wall along the border with Mexico be halted on Wednesday. “The proclamation orders a review of the legality of the funding methods, and seeks to determine how best to redirect funds that were misappropriated by the previous administration to finance the construction of walls. ”
Protect Liberians who fled the civil war
Joe Biden has pushed back until at least June 2022 the date for the end of an asylum program for Liberians who fled the civil war, a program that has been in existence for 20 years and that Trump wanted to abolish.
End of the 1776 Commission
President Biden reinstated diversity training for federal workers, which Trump had cut. Joe Biden also eliminated the 1776 Commission established by Trump, which changed history by teaching that “the founding of the United States planted the seeds of the end of slavery in the United States.”
Protection against discrimination
President Biden signed an executive order that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace.
New ethics regulations
Joe Biden has tightened the rules of ethics for political appointments within his administration.