Fundamental Change: 69 Executive Orders and Actions Already Put into Place by Joe Biden (Updated)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to sign a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office just hours after his inauguration on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden became the 46th president of the United States earlier today during the …
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden campaigned on promises to govern by “consensus.” He devoted his Inaugural Address to “unity.” Yet he has issued more executive orders and actions in the first three weeks of his presidency than any president in U.S. history. As the Democrats prepare for the circus side show of impeachment focusing on the past, it’s interesting to look at what he’s already done to change the future.

Jan. 20

1. Memorandum: Regulatory review – This executive action froze many of President Donald Trump’s pending regulatory changes, including a regulation to lower the cost of insulin and epinephrine, which the pharmaceutical industry had opposed.

2. Announcement: COVID-19 proposal – President Biden introduced his controversial $1.9 trillion plan for coronavirus relief, though over $1 trillion of funding from previous proposals approved under President Trump had not yet been spent,

3. Executive Action: Rejoining Paris Climate Agreement – President Biden announced that the U.S. was returning to the agreement, even though the treaty is unfair to the U.S, and the U.S. had lowered emissions after Trump withdrew.

4. Executive Order: ‘Equity’ as Policy Goal – Each federal agency must “assess whether, and to what extent, its programs and policies perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits for people of color and other underserved groups.” (Update: This executive order also abolished President Donald Trump’s order establishing the 1776 Commission.)

5. Executive Order: Ending Trump Travel Bans – The Biden administration referred to the Trump travel bans on terror-prone countries as “discriminatory,” suggesting that they were motivated by anti-Muslim and anti-African prejudice.

6. Executive Order: Federal Mask Mandate – President Biden required everyone to wear masks “in Federal buildings and on Federal lands” — an order that he and his family promptly violated that evening during Inaugural celebrations.

7. Executive Order: Organizing New COVID Response – President Biden reorganized existing coronavirus response within the White House, creating the position of “Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President.”

8. Executive Action: Staying in World Health Organization – President Biden wrote to the United Nations to declare that the U.S. would not be leaving the WHO, despite concerns about China’s dominance and WHO’s failure on COVID.

9. Executive Order: Revoking Trump Immigration Policies – President Biden revoked President Trump’s interior immigration enforcement policy, including an executive order in which Trump had taken on “sanctuary” cities and states.

10. Executive Order: Revoking Trump Regulatory Reforms – President Biden revoked several of President Trump’s executive orders that had been aimed at reducing the number of regulations and streamlining existing federal regulations.

11. Executive Order: Including Illegal Aliens in Census – President Biden directed the Census to count the population of each state “without regard to whether its residents are in lawful immigration status” in redrawing congressional districts.

12. Executive Order: Revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline – President Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. He also issued a moratorium on oil and gas leasing in ANWR and other federal lands as part of a regulatory review.

13. Executive Order: Imposing Transgender Agenda on Women’s Sports – The president declared: “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”

14. Executive Action: Memorandum Promoting More Regulations – The Biden administration called for regulatory review to “ensure that regulatory review serves as a tool to affirmatively promote regulations” rather than discourage them.

15. Executive Order: Ethics Pledge Restricting Lobbying – Though senior members of the administration were deeply involved in lobbying, the pledge restricted administration staff from lobbying for a period of time after they leave.

16. Executive Order: Ending Border Wall Construction – President Biden declared: “It shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall.”

17. Executive Action: Pausing Student Loan Payments – President Biden continued a pause on student loan repayments that President Trump enacted during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as shutdowns kept people from working.

18. Executive Action: Memorandum Deferring Deportation for Liberians – President Biden allowed Liberians who fled civil war in their country to stay in the U.S., though the war ended long ago. President Trump had also extended this status.

19. Executive Action: Memorandum Preserving DACA – President Biden reversed President Trump’s policy, which had declared Obama’s unilateral Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to be a usurpation of Congress’s legislative power.

Jan. 21

20. Executive Order: Mask-wearing on Domestic Transportation – President Biden expanded the mask mandate to forms of domestic transportation that cross state lines, including commercial air travel (where it was mandatory anyway).

21. Executive Order: Plan for More Coronavirus Therapies – In what was largely a reprise of existing policy under President Trump, President Biden ordered the federal government to investigate the best options for treating coronavirus.

22. Executive Order: ‘Data-driven Response’ to COVID – President Biden directed federal agencies to gather data on coronavirus, which they were doing already, but now led by the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator.

23. Executive Action: Memorandum on Federal Funding to National Guard for COVID – President Biden directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse 100% of the cost to states of using the National Guard in COVID.

24. Executive Order: Supplies for Fighting COVID Through Defense Production Act – President Biden ordered the federal government to review existing medical stockpiles and fill in the gaps by using the Defense Production Act.

25. Executive Order: Requiring ‘Equity’ in Coronavirus Relief and Response – President Biden created the “COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force” to make sure that coronavirus relief and intervention helped promote the goal of “equity.”

26. Executive Order: Creating Conditions for Schools to Reopen – President Biden declared his policy was ” to help create the conditions for safe, in-person learning as quickly as possible,” though schools in many major cities remain closed.

27. Executive Order: Promoting COVID Safety in the Workplace – President Biden directed the Secretary of Labor to ” use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement to promote COVID safety in the workplace.

28. Executive Action: Memorandum to Strengthen Global Response to Pandemic – President Biden declared the U.S. would work with international partners and institutions on COVID, revoking sanctions against rogue regimes if necessary.

29. Executive Order: Creating COVID-19 ‘Testing Board’ – President Biden launched an effort to boost coronavirus testing and tracing, including the creation of a COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board to address bottlenecks in the system.

Jan. 22

30. Executive Order: Promoting Federal Government Help for the Economy – President Biden directed federal agencies to try to help the economy recover from coronavirus, including making relief programs more user-friendly and accessible.

31. Executive Order: Revoking Trump Order to Streamline Federal Workforce – President Biden revoked several of President Trump’s executive orders on the federal workforce and backed a $15/hr minimum wage for federal employees.

Jan. 25

32. Executive Order: Revoking Transgender Military Ban – “[T]here is substantial evidence that allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military does not have any meaningful negative impact on the Armed Forces,” the president said.

33. Executive Order: Buy American (without Trump protections for American workers) – President Biden ordered federal agencies to prioritize American companies in procurement but excluded Trump’s emphasis immigration enforcement.

34. Executive Action: Travel Ban on South Africa – President Biden, who opposed the China travel ban a year before as “hysterical xenophobia,” imposed a travel ban on South Africa, where a new variant of coronavirus was discovered.

Jan. 26

35. Executive Action: Memorandum Banning the Use of ‘China Virus’ – The Biden administration opposed anti-Asian discrimination, “including references to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin.”

36. Executive Action: Memorandum Promoting Consultation with Tribes – President Biden expressed “respect for Tribal sovereignty and self-governance” and “commitment to fulfilling Federal trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations.”

37. Executive Order: Elimination of Private Prisons – As part of efforts to eliminate “systemic racism,” President Biden vowed to eliminate private prisons, though he did not demonstrate that they were connected to racial discrimination.

38. Executive Action: Systemic Racism in Past Federal Housing – President Biden declared that past federal housing policy had been racist, and restored an Obama-era rule considering “disparate impact” to be racial discrimination.

Jan. 27

39. Executive Order: Making Climate Change the Focus of National Security – “It is the policy of my Administration that climate considerations shall be an essential element of United States foreign policy and national security.”

40. Executive Order: Creating President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) – “[I]t is the policy of my Administration to make evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data,” the president said.

41. Executive Action: Memorandum Requiring ‘Evidence-based Decisions’ in Government Policy – President Biden declared: “Scientific findings should never be distorted or influenced by political considerations.”

Jan. 28

42. Executive Order: Expanding Obamacare During Coronavirus – President Biden created a special enrollment period for Obamacare to help those who may have lost their health insurance due to losing jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

43. Executive Action: Restoring U.S. Funding to Overseas Groups Providing Abortion – President Biden reversed a policy against funding groups that provide abortion counseling, calling his measure an effort to protect women’s health care.

Feb. 1

44. Executive Action: Proclamation Maintaining Tariffs on Aluminum from UAE – President Biden reversed President Trump’s decision to remove tariffs on aluminum from the UAE, which had been a reward for peacemaking with Israel.

Feb. 2

45. Executive Action: Memorandum Directing FEMA to Help with COVID – President Biden reaffirmed ongoing efforts and directed the Department of Homeland Security to use FEMA to assist state and local governments with coronavirus.

46. Executive Order: Reversing Public Charge Rule on Immigration – President Biden began reversing President Trump’s enforcement of a long-standing (but ignored) policy against immigrants that would become a burden on the state.

47. Executive Order: Addressing ‘Root Causes’ of Migration from Central America – President Biden vowed to work with “El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (the “Northern Triangle”) to address the root causes of migration.”

48. Executive Order: Task Force to Reunite Families – President Biden created the “Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families,” to help children apprehended at the border (the policy presumes they arrived with “families”).

Feb. 4

49. Executive Order: Expanding Refugee Program for Impact of Climate Change – President Biden expanded U.S. refugee programs, including the future “resettlement of individuals displaced directly or indirectly from climate change.”

50. Executive Action: Memorandum on ‘Revitalizing’ Foreign Service – President Biden offered an effective paean to the “Deep State,” praising the “remarkable professionals and patriots … “whose expertise has too often been sidelined.”

51. Executive Action: Memorandum Restructuring National Security Council – President Biden issued guidelines for the structuring of the National Security Council, which President Trump had streamlined.

52. Executive Action: Memorandum Promoting ‘LGBTQI’ Rights Worldwide – President Biden ordered a global effort to decriminalize homosexuality, an existing policy under President Trump. (The new “I” is for “intersex.”)

Feb. 11

53. Executive Action: Terminating Southern Border Emergency – President Biden wrote to Congress to inform it that he had ended the national emergency on the southern border, ending the construction of President Trump’s border wall.

54. Executive Action: Extending National Emergency in Libya –  President Biden wrote to Congress to extend the national emergency regarding Libya — a war dating to the first term of the Obama-Biden administration — by a year.

55. Executive Action: National Emergency on Burma Coup – President Biden wrote to Congress to inform it that he had ordered various actions blocking economic activity relating to Burma in response to the recent military coup there.

Feb. 14

56. Executive Order: Establishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships  President Biden took a page from George W. Bush’s book and linked faith-based organizations with service delivery.

Feb. 16

57. Executive Action: Reversing the “Remain in Mexico” Policy for Asylum Applicants. Despite an agreement forged by Trump with Mexico, Biden announced that asylum applicants would soon be able to await adjudication in the U.S.

58. Executive Action: Forbearance and Foreclosure Protections for Homeowners. President Biden extended a program to protect homeowners, begun under the Trump administration, that was set to have expired in March.

Feb. 17

59. Executive Order: Revoking Trump’s Order on Apprenticeships. Trump signed an order with bipartisan support to address a skills gap by letting industries train apprentices. Unions opposed it and wanted more government control.

Feb. 24

60. Executive Action: Continuing the National Emergency Regarding Cuba and Maritime Traffic. President Biden continued a 25-year-old national emergency relating to Cuba — despite Obama-Biden’s past effort at “normalization.”

61. Executive Order: America’s Supply Chains. President Biden directed government departments to study the U.S. supply chains on batteries, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, rare earths, and other materials manufactured in China.

62. Executive Order: Revoking Several Trump Executive Orders. President Biden revoked a slew of Trump-era executive orders, from orders involving the financial system, to orders dealing with the widespread riots of 2020.

63. Executive Action: Revoking Proclamation Restricting Immigration During Coronavirus for Economic Reasons. President Biden revoked Trump’s proclamation limiting immigration during America’s recovery from the pandemic.

Mar. 3

64. Executive Actions: Continuing National Emergencies on Global Hot Spots. Biden sent letters to Congress notifying the legislature that he was keeping national emergency status in place on Zimbabwe, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

65. Executive Action: Interim Strategic Guidance Document. The Biden administration issued a new national security document that described “nationalist and nativist trends,” “misinformation,” and “systemic racism” as a security threats.

Mar. 5

66. Executive Action: Continuing National Emergency on Iran. Despite its apparent desperation to restart talks with Iran on a nuclear deal, the Biden administration advised Congress that it was maintaining an emergency regarding Iran.

Mar. 7

67. Executive Order: “Promoting Access to Voting.” Biden’s executive order directed federal agencies to encourage voter registration, including for vote-by-mail, and encouraged agencies to “combat misinformation,” enacting H.R. 1 by fiat.

Mar. 8

68. Executive Order: Education and Sex/Sexuality/Gender Discrimination. Biden directed the Department of Education to ensure non-discrimination in the above categories, and to review the state of regulations on campus sexual misconduct.

69. Executive Order: White House Gender Policy Council. Biden created a committee to “coordinate Federal Government efforts to advance gender equity and equality” and to counteract what it described as “systemic biases and discrimination.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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