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January 20, 2021Client Alert

President Biden Day One Executive Actions

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden plans to issue 17 executive actions, including 15 executive actions, on climate change, immigration, COVID-19 response and other issues. Biden will sign the executive orders and memoranda in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon, around 5:15pm EST, his incoming press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. Psaki and other top Biden officials said the first-day actions are only part of what will be a series of moves to undo Trump policies and implement Biden's campaign promises in his first weeks in office.

Here's a look at the 17 actions Biden will take on his first day in office:

COVID-19 Response

 "100 Days Masking Challenge,"

  • Biden is calling for a nationwide face mask and social distancing mandate in federal buildings, on federal lands and contractors. 

Re-Engage with the World Health Organization (WHO)

  • Will stop the Trump administration process of withdrawing from the WHO. Once the United States resumes its engagement with the WHO, the Biden-Harris Administration will work with the WHO and our partners to strengthen and reform the organization, support the COVID-19 health and humanitarian response, and advance global health and health security.

Create The Position of Covid-19 Response Coordinator

  • who will report directly to the President and be responsible for coordinating all elements of the COVID-19 response across government, including managing efforts to produce, supply, and distribute personal protective equipment, vaccines, and tests.

Economic Relief

Extend Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums 

  • President Biden is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consider immediately extending the federal eviction moratorium until at least March 31, 2021, while calling on Congress to provide much needed rental assistance and extend it further. And, he will ask the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to consider extending foreclosure moratoriums for federally guaranteed mortgages and continuing applications for forbearance for federally guaranteed mortgages until at least March 31, 2021. On Tuesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) extended its foreclosure and eviction moratoriums until February 28, 2021. The president-elect will call on the agency to consider extending the foreclosure moratorium further and continue forbearance applications for all loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

Extend Student Loan Pause 

  • President Biden is asking the Department of Education to consider immediately extending the pause on interest and principal payments for direct federal loans until at least September 30, 2021. 

Climate Change

Rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

  • The president will sign the instrument to rejoin the Paris Agreement. The instrument will be deposited with the United Nations today, and the United States will officially become a Party again 30 days later.

Roll Back President Trump’s Environmental Actions in Order to Protect Public Health and the Environment and Restore Science 

  • Today, President Biden will sign an Executive Order that takes critical first steps to address the climate crisis, create good union jobs, and advance environmental justice, while reversing the previous administration’s harmful policies.

The order jumpstarts swift, initial action to tackle the climate crisis by:

  • ´╗┐Revoking, revising, or replacing additional Executive Orders, Presidential Proclamations, Memoranda, and Permits signed over the past 4 years that do not serve the U.S. national interest, including revoking the Presidential permit granted to the Keystone XL pipeline;
  • Directing all executive departments and agencies to immediately review and take appropriate action to address federal regulations and other executive actions taken during the last four years that were harmful to public health, damaging to the environment, unsupported by the best available science, or otherwise not in the national interest, including agency actions identified on the attached list;
  • Directing agencies to consider revising vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards, methane emissions standards, and appliance and building efficiency standards; 
  • Directing the Department of Interior to protect our nation’s treasures by reviewing the boundaries and conditions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bears Ears, Northeast Canyons, and Seamounts Marine National Monuments and placing a temporary moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and
  • Re-establishing the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) and directing the issuance of an interim social cost of GHG schedule to ensure that agencies account for the full costs of GHG emissions, including climate risk, environmental justice and intergenerational equity.

Human Rights

Launch a Whole-of-Government Initiative to Advance Racial Equity 

  • Sign an Executive Order beginning the work of embedding equity across federal policymaking and rooting out systemic racism and other barriers to opportunity from federal programs and institutions. The Executive Order will define equity as the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities, such as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; LGBTQ+ persons; people with disabilities; religious minorities, persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

The president-elect will:

  • Establish that advancing equity for all — including people of color and others who have been historically underserved and marginalized — is the responsibility of the whole of our government;
  • Direct every federal agency to undertake a baseline review of the state of equity within their agency and deliver an action plan within 200 days to address unequal barriers to opportunity in agency policies and programs;
  • Launch a new equitable data working group to ensure that federal data reflects the diversity of America;
  • Task the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with working to more equitably allocate federal resources to empower and invest in communities of color and other underserved communities; 
  • Improve the delivery of government benefits and services to ensure that families of all backgrounds across the country can access opportunity, for example by reducing language access barriers; 
  • Study new methods that federal agencies can use to assess whether proposed policies advance equity;
  • Direct agencies to engage with communities who have been historically underrepresented, underserved, and harmed by federal policies.

In this Executive Order, the president-elect will also rescind the Trump Administration’s 1776 Commission. And, he will revoke former President Trump’s damaging executive order limiting the ability of federal government agencies, contractors and even some grantees from implementing important and needed diversity and inclusion training.

Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

  • All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. The Biden-Harris Administration will prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • To begin this work, President Biden will sign an Executive Order that builds on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020) and ensures that the federal government interprets Title VII of the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This Order will also direct agencies to take all lawful steps to make sure that federal anti-discrimination statutes that cover sex discrimination prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ persons.

Count Non-U.S. Citizens in Census Again

  • Sign an Executive Order to revoke the prior Administration’s orders setting out an unlawful plan to exclude noncitizens from the census and apportionment of Congressional representatives. President-elect Biden will ensure that the Census Bureau has time to complete an accurate population count for each state. He will then present to Congress an apportionment that is fair and accurate so federal resources are efficiently and fairly distributed for the next decade.

Immigration

Dreamers Program

  • President Biden, in this executive order, calls on Congress to grant permanent status and a path to citizenship to Dreamers — almost a million undocumented young people who were brought to the country as children and shielded from deportation by President Obama. The Trump administration challenged the law but the Supreme Court upheld it. 

Muslim Ban

  • Sign an Executive Action putting an end to the Muslim Ban. It repeals Proclamations 9645 and 9983, which restrict entry into the United States from primarily Muslim and African countries, and instructs the State Department to restart visa processing for affected countries and to swiftly develop a proposal to restore fairness and remedy the harms caused by the bans, especially for individuals stuck in the waiver process and those who had immigrant visas denied.

Repeal of Trump Interior Enforcement Executive Order

  • Sign an Executive Order revoking a Trump Executive Order that directed harsh and extreme immigration enforcement. This revocation will allow the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to set civil immigration enforcement policies that best protect the American people and are in line with our values and priorities.

Stop Border Wall Construction 

  • By proclamation, President Biden will today declare an immediate termination of the national emergency declaration that was used as a pretext to justify some of the funding diversions for the wall. The proclamation directs an immediate pause in wall construction projects to allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used, and to determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior Administration to fund wall construction. 

Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians Presidential Memorandum

  • Sign a Presidential Memorandum to extend until June 30, 2022 the long-standing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) designation for Liberians. Liberians with DED will also have their work authorization extended. This PM also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that Citizen Immigration Services facilitates ease of application and timely adjudication for Liberians applying for residency by the Liberian Relief and Fairness Act. 

Ensuring the Federal Government Works for The American People

Executive Branch Personnel Ethics Executive Order

  • Sign an Executive Order to restore and maintain public trust in government, and ensure that we are a government for the people. The president-elect is ordering every appointee in the executive branch to sign an ethics pledge.

Regulatory Process Executive Order and Presidential Memorandum 

  • Regulations are an important tool for the federal government to address the crises facing the nation. The Trump Administration unnecessarily hamstrung this critical tool by creating arbitrary obstacles to regulatory action. Today, the president-elect will issue a Presidential Memorandum withdrawing the Trump Administration's regulatory process executive orders to remove those needless obstacles to regulating in the public's interest. And, the president-elect will direct the Director of the OMB to develop recommendations for improving and modernizing regulatory review. These recommendations will create a process to advance regulations that promote public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations. 

Today, the White House Chief of Staff will also issue a regulatory freeze memo that will pause any new regulations from moving forward and give the incoming Administration an opportunity to review any regulations that the Trump Administration tried to finalize in its last days. The memo directs all agencies to confer with the Director of OMB before renewing any regulatory activity. This action will allow the Biden Administration to prevent any detrimental so-called "midnight regulations" from taking effect, while ensuring that urgent measures in the public's interest can proceed.

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