US President-elect Joe Biden is set to issue a flurry of executive orders following his inauguration at noon on Wednesday as well as legislation that will quickly begin working its way through Congress on pandemic relief, immigration and much more.
A top priority for the 46th US president will be securing congressional approval for his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to revive the economy and administer 100 million vaccines by his 100th day in office.
Biden has promised on Day One to extend a pause on evictions and foreclosures, as well as federal student loan payments; move to have the US rejoin the World Health Organization and Paris climate accord; overturn a travel ban on those from several Muslim-majority countries; order agencies to begin reuniting families separated at the border; and mandate mask-wearing on federal property.
According to a memo released by incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, the new president will also take quick action on what the Biden administration sees as the four main challenges the United States is facing. “We face four overlapping and compounding crises: the Covid-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis,” Klain wrote.
“In his first ten days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain added.
Here’s what to expect from his first 100 days at the White House.
Biden has described America’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout as “a dismal failure thus far” and vowed to “move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated”. He has set his administration a goal of 100 million shots by the end of his first 100 days as president.
Biden has pledged to have 100 vaccination centres supported by federal emergency management personnel up and running during his first month in the White House. He will also ask Americans to commit to 100 days of mask-wearing from his first day on the job.
The incoming president has said he will use the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine supplies and ensure the pandemic is under control for most public schools to reopen nationwide by his 100th day in office.
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The Democrat’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal involves providing $1,400 direct payments to Americans to prop up the virus-hammered economy. Touting his plan, Biden said “the return on these investment in jobs, racial equity will prevent long-term economic damage, and the benefits will far surpass the cost”.
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Biden has also pledged to wipe out corporate tax cuts where possible, while doubling the levies US firms pay on foreign profits. Another flagship policy includes hiking the hourly minimum wage to $15, double the current amount.
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- WHO, Paris accord and Iran
Other Day One pledges include moving to rejoin the World Health Organization and the Paris climate accord, which Trump withdrew from. Biden is also expected to begin the process of rejoining a landmark international agreement designed to curtail Iran’s nuclear programme.
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- Climate and the environment
Biden has announced executive action on his first day in office to formulate a plan to achieve 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050. He will also enact an executive order “to conserve 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030” in line with other “30% by 2030” pledges made by 50 countries at a One Planet Summit in Paris earlier this month.
Biden is also expected to reverse President Donald Trump’s rollback of some 100 public health and environmental rules that the Obama administration instituted.
Biden’s busy Day One schedule includes the creation of task forces on homelessness and reuniting immigrant parents with children separated at the US-Mexico border. The incoming president has pledged to provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants who came to the US illegally as children. He has also vowed to overturn the Trump administration’s travel ban on those from several majority-Muslim countries.
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- Discrimination, gun control
Biden has vowed to repeal a transgender military ban enacted by his predecessor and restore Obama-era guidance for transgender students in schools, saying this will protect “students’ access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity”.
He has also pledged to create a police oversight commission to combat institutional racism by the end of his first 100 days.
The incoming administration also plans to send bills to Congress seeking to mandate stricter background checks for gun buyers and scrap liability protections for firearm manufacturers.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)