Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden signed a number of executive orders and directives in his first few days in office impacting the economy, immigration, the pandemic response and more.
Biden signed an executive order requiring social distancing and wearing of masks on all federal properties and by federal employees. The Biden administration also reinstated ties with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Biden’s pandemic plan calls for the establishing of a coronavirus testing board, expanding vaccine and testing availability, reopening schools in the next 100 days, and provide 100 million vaccine doses by the end of April. To achieve these vaccine goals, Biden’s plan includes the erecting of vaccine centers at stadiums and community centers and will utilize federal personnel to aid in administering vaccines to the public.
Biden’s executive orders extended a federal moratorium on evictions through March 2021. Biden is also calling on the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs to extend the foreclosure moratoriums for their federally backed mortgages. There are more than 11 million mortgages guaranteed by the VA, Department of Agriculture and HUD that would be extended.
Biden also has directed the Department of Education to study continuation of the pause on federal student loan interest and principal payments through the end of September 2021. The Department of Education is expected to issue orders in the coming days implementing this request.
Biden has strengthened the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program through his first executive orders. The order calls on Congress to grant permanent status and a path to citizenship to all “Dreamers” part of the DACA program.
Biden also ended the travel ban that restricted travel and immigration to the United States from mostly Muslim countries in the middle east.
Additionally, the Biden administration will end the national emergency declared by the Trump administration. This emergency had been used by the previous administration to redirect money to the construction of the southern border wall.
Biden’s executive order enables the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.
Further, Biden revoked permits for the Keystone XL pipeline and reversed decisions to allow land development in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah and at the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine national monuments in New England.
Biden has ordered individuals in his administration to sign an ethics pledge including “to uphold the independence of the Department of Justice.”
Biden will end the 1776 Commission which had pursued controversial changes to education curriculums Biden also revoked an executive order that had limited the ability of federal agencies, contractors and other institutions to hold diversity and inclusion training. Finally, one of Biden’s executive orders reinforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to strengthen workplace discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. At agencies, this broadens the federal protections against sex discrimination to include LGBTQ Americans.
Virtus Law, PLLC continues to monitor changes in this area and will continue to post relevant updates to this website.