WASHINGTON – In his early hours as president, Joe Biden plans to take executive action to reverse some of his predecessor’s most controversial decisions and address the rampant coronavirus pandemic, his new chief of staff said on Saturday.
The opening salvo would usher in a 10-day flash of executive action as Biden tries to reroute the country quickly after Donald Trump’s presidency without waiting for Congress.
On Wednesday, after his inauguration, Biden will end Trump’s restrictions on immigration to the US from some Muslim-majority countries; Step to re-accession to the Paris Climate Agreement; and mandate the wearing of masks on federal property and during interstate travel. These are among about a dozen actions Biden will take on his first day at the White House, his new chief of staff Ron Klain said in a memo to senior officials.
Other measures include extending the student loan payment hiatus and taking measures to prevent evictions and foreclosures for those struggling during the pandemic.
“These executive actions will bring relief to the millions of Americans struggling to face these crises,” Klain said in the memo.
Important laws are waiting
“Completely achieving” Biden’s goals requires Congress to act, Klain said, including passing the $ 1.9 trillion virus relief bill that the president-elect outlined Thursday. Klain said Biden will also propose a comprehensive immigration reform bill to lawmakers on his first day in office.
The next day, Thursday, Klain said Biden would sign orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak aimed at reopening schools and businesses and expanding virus testing. The following day, Friday, measures will be taken to provide economic relief for those suffering from the economic costs of the pandemic.
The following week, Klain said Biden would take action on criminal justice reform, climate change and immigration – including a policy to expedite the reunification of families separated on the U.S.-Mexico border under Trump’s policy .
More measures will be added, Klain said once they complete the legal review.
Traditionally, new presidents are quick to sign a series of executive acts when they take office. Trump did the same, but found many of his orders challenged and even rejected by the courts.