Joe Biden will sign 15 executive actions after he is sworn in as United States president on Wednesday, aides said, undoing policies put in place by outgoing President Donald Trump and making his first moves on the pandemic and climate change.
To address the “crises” of the pandemic, the economy, climate change and racial inequity, Biden will sign the executive orders and memorandums in the Oval Office in the afternoon, and ask agencies to take steps in two additional areas, said incoming Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
The actions include a mask mandate on federal property and for federal employees, an order to establish a new White House office coordinating response to the coronavirus, and halting the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organisation.
Biden will also begin the process of re-entering the Paris climate accord and issue a sweeping order tackling climate change, including revoking the presidential permit granted to the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Among a raft of orders addressing immigration, Biden will revoke Trump’s emergency declaration that helped fund the construction of a border wall and end a travel ban on some majority-Muslim countries.
The Day One plans were just the start of a flurry of executive actions Biden would take soon after taking office, Psaki added.
“In the coming days and weeks we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the President-elect’s promises to the American people,” said Psaki. Further actions will include revoking the ban on military service by transgender Americans, and reversing a policy that blocks US funding for programs overseas linked to abortion.
On the economic front, Biden will ask the Centres for Disease Control to extend moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures until the end of March, and the Department of Education to suspend student loan payments until the end of September.