Biden Signs Flurry of Executive Orders on First Day in Office, Reversing Many Trump Policies

Among his first official acts as the newly sworn-in president of the United States, Joe Biden tweeted from the @POTUS account.

“There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face,” he wrote. “That’s why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work.”

On arrival, Biden signed the first several of a bevy of executive orders that kick off critical initiatives and reverse policies of the Trump administration, many of which have been subject to litigation in Bay Area courts.

Among the orders are several relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, including a directive that will require masks on federal property and launching a ”100 Day Masking Challenge” that urges Americans to wear masks in that time period.

A number of orders seek to reverse Trump administration policies or actions on the international stage, including stopping the country's exit from the World Health Organization and rejoining the Paris climate accord.

Several of the orders reverse policies that were subject to extended litigation in federal and state courts, including a directive on the census that overturns Trump’s declaration that the policy of the country is “to exclude from the [census] apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status ... to the maximum extent feasible.”

Another is intended to stop further construction of the Southern border wall by rescinding the national emergency declaration that the Trump administration relied on to justify use of federal funds to build it.

One of the orders will extinguish the Trump-imposed restrictions on entry to the country from passport holders of seven Muslim-majority countries.

Among the other orders is the cancellation of approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and the reversal of many Trump administration actions on the environment.

The orders will also enhance protections of undocumented individuals who first entered the country as children—so called “Dreamers”—and expand protections against discrimination at work on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification.

Executive orders are issued by the president to instruct the executive branch of government, including its departments and agencies, as to administration policies or provide direction on how those policies should be carried out.

An executive order is not a law—only Congress can create a law. Rather, it’s a direction as to how executive branch power is to be used in a certain area.

Recent presidents have made frequent use of executive orders. President Trump issued 212 executive orders, according to the Federal Register, somewhat less than his immediate predecessors (Barack Obama 276; George W. Bush 291, Bill Clinton 254) though each of those presidents served two terms and Trump only one.

Executive orders signed in the first few days of a presidency tend to reflect the incoming president’s positions on hot-button issues.

Early executive orders issued by Obama included directives on the ethical responsibilities of executive branch personnel, the manner of conducting interrogation of inmates, and the intended closure of Guantanamo Bay detention facilities.

President Trump’s first executive orders announced a policy of seeking repeal of Obamacare, enhancing security along the southern border, and restricting entry to the country of individuals from enumerated foreign countries—the so-called “Muslim ban.”

Just as the executive power of the U.S. is constrained by the powers delegated in the Constitution to Congress and the Judiciary, executive orders are limited in scope.

The courts have frequently been called upon to determine if executive orders are lawful. During the Trump years, litigation challenging his executive orders was common and the courts decided a number of cases relating to those orders, including cases relating to the Muslim ban, the building of the border wall, the census and the Affordable Care Act.

Executive orders alone will not resolve all the issues. In order to fully achieve the goals identified in many of the orders, Biden will need Congress to pass legislation, including a budget that appropriates funds sufficient to implement the priorities.

19 Comments

  1. > One of the orders will extinguish the Trump-imposed restrictions on entry to the country from passport holders of seven Muslim-majority countries.

    But, it was NOT a ban on “Muslims” or “Muslim-majority countries” as the corrupt, mendacious corporate urban oligarchy’s media so often reported.

    It was a ban on counties that supplied lots of terrorists.

    So now, the Joe Gas-lighter regime is opening the borders wide open to terrorists, so long as they’re wearing masks.

  2. Women’s sports are now gone as we’ve know them.
    Poor young women can’t catch a break powerful from old white guys in D.C.

  3. Market is down is a bit of an overreaction, but it will likely go down further because of COVID and the long term economic damage it has made.

    It would still be bad even if Trump was still in the White House.

    “Not my President”?

    Actually he IS your President whether you like it or not. Just like when Trump was president, Obama was president, G. W. Bush was president, or Clinton, or G.H.W. Bush, or Reagan or Carter.

    This TRIBALISM is so toxic, that it is likely to result in more “domestic” terrorism

  4. First there has been a lot of SPECUATION that the “flag burning” in Denver was from “Anti-Fa” or “Left-Wing” groups, when so far not one news report has even identified the “protestors” that burned the flag. This is nothing but assuming facts with no evidence. There were 2 arrests made but so far no identification of the background of those arrested. And otherwise, no other damage was reported, so let’s compare it to Portland

    So you think the attack on a Democratic Parity office was done by Anti-Biden protestors, and you cannot really think that the “Left-Wing” group did that? If you are saying that the Biden team is a “Left-Wing” supported presidency. No, this was a “Right-Wing” property damage attack. And 8 people were arrested, but I cannot tell you what “group” they are part of yet. There are a lot of people claiming it was a “Left-Wing” group, but it really looks like it was done by ANARCHISTS. If anything is well proven, ANARCHISTS are not part of any “Right-Wing” or “Left-Wing” groups, but they may be closer to “Libertarianism” given that they want in effect no government at all.

    In fact the website, Libertarianism.org makes this argument seen here (https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/anarchism-libertarianism-two-sides-same-coin). Now, I cannot claim that Libertarianism is either “Left-Wing” or “Right-Wing”. BUT that shows that there is a 3rd DIMENSION in politics, and the reality is that “Left-Right” analysis is only 2 dimensional in other world just a line. REAL politics is 3 dimensional and thus you have 3 axis and anyone can be anywhere in 3 dimensional space, it is not constrained either in any specific “Cube”

    It is just much easier to sell a 2 dimensional landscape because it is simple, BUT not accurate. Time to understand the real world, and stop trying to incite violence

  5. > It is just much easier to sell a 2 dimensional landscape because it is simple, BUT not accurate.

    I totally agree.

    Strange to hear something like this coming from you.

    You seem to be the poster child for “Biden good, Trump bad” binary thinking.

  6. Biden signs EO to roll more Troops into Syria, its like we are back in 2014 already, should run out of bombs again next year

  7. Work90,

    It’s infinite, there are no limits, so you cannot determine its shape at all. Since infinity has no thresholds.

    SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE,

    Since Biden just took office, so far I have nothing to attack him with. Believe me if he does something stupid, I will call him on it.

    SJ Kulak,

    I think we have plenty of munitions, practically enough to use conventional bombs of every square 10 meters of that country.

    We shall see what goes wrong or right, but to try to give a grade in less than 1 week is not appropriate. He traditionally has a 100 day “honeymoon”, right?

  8. Well, I left Palo Alto in 2001 as the Towers were a falling. I miss the camaraderie in the ethnic makeup in the South Bay, the food too. Nevada is home now, but too many whites, and it took a while to adjust.
    So what else have I missed?
    The hoards of people?
    The insane traffic?
    The lack of empty space?
    The black film on everything?
    The constant roar of suburban sounds?
    You decide, but the election in 2020 was a farce and work is afoot to make the necessary corrections, peacefully. And that virus thing is a non-issue to me in the sparse rural settings.
    Stay well in the Valley of Hearts Delight. Do they still make the chips there?

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