Establish response coordinators: This group isn’t just responsible for ensuring proper distribution of personal protective equipment, tests and vaccines. They are also charged with ensuring the federal government reduces racial disparities. Read more »
Mobilizing a Global Response to Combat Covid-19 on 20 Jan 2021
Improve data collection: This is part of Biden’s efforts to coordinate an equitable response to the pandemic and future public health crises.
Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to Covid-19 and Future Public Health Threats on 21 Jan 2021
Establish a taskforce: The taskforce within the Department of Health and Human Services is charged specifically with looking at the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on communities of color. Read more »
Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery on 21 Jan 2021
Limit or suspend entry into the US: Among the countries Biden is limiting entry from are Brazil, South Africa and parts of Europe – all regions with high Covid rates.
Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Non-Immigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease
on 25 Jan 2021
Covid-19 relief and support
Help local communities house people who are homeless: Biden ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) to fully reimburse municipalities for their spending on housing people who are homeless. Under Trump, Fema was not fully reimbursing municipalities.
Memorandum on Maximizing Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on 2 Feb 2021
Address the economic fallout: This instructs agencies to use data to improve access to federal programs that provide pandemic assistance.
Executive Order on Economic Relief Related to the Covid-19 Pandemic on 22 Jan 2021
Support studies and assist local areas experiencing a surge of cases: Biden wants to support research that uses clinical trials that include underrepresented people, looks at how the pandemic affects rural areas, and studies the long-term affects of Covid.
Executive Order on Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatments for Covid-19 on 21 Jan 2021
Coordinate supplies and treatments: This includes everything from personal protective equipment to test and vaccines.
Executive Order on a Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain on 21 Jan 2021
Create a Covid testing board to expand testing capacity and access: Biden wants to explore the possibility to manufacturing tests in the US as part of an effort to increase capacity.
Executive Order on Establishing the Covid-19 Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for Covid-19 and Other Biological Threats on 21 Jan 2021
Expand support to states: Biden directes federal agencies to fully reimburse states for costs associated with the national guard and Fema to prevent spread of the virus.
Memorandum to Extend Federal Support to Governors’ Use of the National Guard to Respond to Covid-19 and to Increase Reimbursement and Other Assistance Provided to States on 21 Jan 2021
Guidance on safely opening schools: Biden released a plan to safely reopen elementary and secondary schools. Much of his actions are recommendations rather than any rules, which speaks to the broader challenges of tackling problems in an American education system that stresses local control.
Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers on 21 Jan 2021
Covid-19 worker protections
Require masks on domestic transport: This includes airports, on international flights and on.
Executive Order on Promoting Covid-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel on 21 Jan 2021
Protect federal workers: Among other things, it allows federal workers to work remotely when possible and required use of face covering by workers, contractors and visitors.
Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce on 22 Jan 2021
Require masks on all federal lands and buildings: This applies to employees and contractors and also requires social distancing.
Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing on 20 Jan 2021
Set stronger worker standards: Biden instructs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) to revise Covid safety recommendations. The order also includes a national program to step up enforcement on workplaces that put workers at risk.
Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety on 21 Jan 2021
Reunify families separated at the US-Mexico border: Biden establishes a taskforce to reunify the hundreds of families who were separated at the border say they still have not reunited.
Executive Order on the Establishment of Interagency Taskforce on the Reunification of Families on 2 Feb 2021
Review of Trump immigration policies around the migration surge from Central America: Biden ordered agencies to identify the underlying causes of surge in migration from Central America, review the process by which people can seek refugee resettlement in the US, and revamp the process by which people can seek asylum at the US border.
Executive Order on Creating a Comprehensive Regional Framework to Address the Causes of Migration, to Manage Migration Throughout North and Central America, and to Provide Safe and Orderly Processing of Asylum Seekers at the United States Border on 2 Feb 2021
Review rules that might make it hard for people to access the legal immigration process: This executive order may make it easier for international students to obtain student visas and for those on work visas to obtain permanent residency.
Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans
on 2 Feb 2021
Reverse Trump’s attempt to defund “sanctuary cities”: Biden reversed an order Trump signed after five days in office that said cities and jurisdictions refusing to comply with federal enforcement standards – commonly called sanctuary cities – would not be eligible for federal grants. The executive order was deemed unconstitutional later that year in 2016.
Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities on 20 Jan 2021
End construction of the border wall: Building a border wall on the southern border was one of Trump’s key campaign promises and his primary strategy to keep undocumented immigrants from crossing into the US. Biden redirected money for the wall to other projects.
Proclamation on the Termination of Emergency With Respect to the Southern Border of the United States and Redirection of Funds Diverted to Border Wall Construction on 20 Jan 2021
Reaffirm protections for people brought to the US as children without documents: Trump attempted to end legal protections for people who were brought to the US as children without documents, a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca). The decision was embroiled in legal challenges and eventually rejected by the supreme court. Biden’s order underlines the administration’s support for the program, which allows people who were brought to the US as children without legal documents to temporarily get work visas and be protected from deportation.
Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) on 20 Jan 2021
Extend a program that protected Liberians immigrants: About 4,000 Liberian immigrants were protected under a program known as Deferred Enforced Departure. Biden extended this program. Read more »
Reinstating Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians on 20 Jan 2021
End Trump’s travel ban: Biden’s action instructs the state department to restart visa processing for the countries affected by the bans Trump announced in his first week, and to develop a proposal to remedy harms caused by the bans, including those who had visas denied. It also allows for increased screening and vetting of travelers through information sharing with foreign governments.
Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States
on 20 Jan 2021
Rejoin the Paris climate agreement: The agreement commits the US to international carbon emissions goals. Trump withdrew the US, making it one of three nations outside of the pact, contending that the agreement “undermines” the US economy.
Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad on 27 Jan 2021
Reverse an array of Trump policies: This includes the Trump administration efforts to weaken car emissions standards, energy efficiency standards and rules that help industries at the expense of the environment.
Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis on 20 Jan 2021
Reverse an order that restricted diversity and inclusion training for federal agencies: Trump issued an executive order restricting these trainings. Biden reverses that and directs agencies to assess whether their actions create or exacerbate any barriers for people based on, among other things, race, gender identity and disability.
Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government on 20 Jan 2021
Reaffirm that LGBTQ+ people are protected from sex discrimination: Notably Biden called on all federal agencies to enforce a US supreme court decision from last year that expanded the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as gender identity – with language that explicitly referenced the arena of high school and college sports. Read more »
Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation on 20 Jan 2021
Reverse order banning transgender people from the military: Trump announced a ban of transgender people serving in the military via Twitter in 2017.
Executive Order on Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform on 26 Jan 2021
Reaffirm tribal sovereignty: The federal government has violated treaty promises to sovereign tribal nations for more than two centuries. The Trump administration pushed several policies that further infringed on sovereignty, such as opening up huge swaths of land for drilling and claiming ownership of minerals on tribal land. Biden has instructed federal agencies to come up with plans on how to implement executive orders issued by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama on consulting tribal officials in the development of federal policies that have implications for tribes.
Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships on 26 Jan 2021
Condemn xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in their Covid-19 response: Trump referred to coronavirus as the “China virus” because the virus originated in China. This was followed up a noticeable uptick in violence towards Asian Americans. This memorandum acknowledges the federal government’s role in furthering the xenophobia against Asian Americans and directs agencies to ensure their communications don’t further the anti-Asian sentiments that Trump stoked.
Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States on 26 Jan 2021
End use of private prisons for federal inmates: Biden orders the attorney general not to renew contracts with privately operated prisons which are often accused of profiting from a racist criminal justice system.
Executive Order on Reforming Our Incarceration System to Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities on 26 Jan 2021
Restore federal support for reproductive health program: Biden reverses a Trump rule banning the use of federal funds on domestic and international programs that provide abortion services and counseling to women. It was seen as a rule targeting Planned Parenthood specifically. This executive order is the first step to restoring that support.
Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad on 28 Jan 2021
Reverse anti-fair housing policies repealed by Trump: The Obama administration ramped up enforcement of the 1968 Fair Housing Act – a law that prevents discriminatory housing practices. Among other things, the law says the federal government has a duty to “affirmatively further” fair housing, which activists have long said the federal government failed to do. To fulfill these requirements, Obama took steps to help local communities ensure non-discriminatory housing practices. Trump repealed these rules and assuaged suburban voters by saying he was pushing low-income housing out of their neighborhoods. This memo directs a review of Trump’s rules and is the first step to getting the Obama-era fair housing projects back on track.
Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies on 26 Jan 2021
Reinstate aluminum tariffs: Trump signed an executive order on his last day removing aluminum tariffs on imports from the United Arab Emirates. Biden’s reversal is seen as a move to protect domestic producers.
A Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United States
on 1 Feb 2021
Postpone regulations: Biden is directing federal agencies to postpone sending any regulations to the Federal Register until someone he appoints can review the regulation.
Regulatory Freeze Pending Review on 20 Jan 2021
Procure US goods when possible: This is a step to support American producers who may be undercut by international competitors.
Executive Order on Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers on 25 Jan 2021
Executive Order on Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal Regulation on 20 Jan 2021
Elevate president’s council of advisers on science and technology: Biden made the director of Office of Science and Technology Policy to a cabinet-level position. He nominated life scientists Eric Lander to the role, which now requires Senate confirmation.
Executive Order on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on 27 Jan 2021
Reaffirm that policies should be informed by science: Biden is pledging to not let policy preferences skew scientific findings.
Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking on 27 Jan 2021
Direct the modernizing of monetary regulations: This directs the federal government to make monetary policy with consideration to non-economic factors like public health and racial justice.
Modernizing Regulatory Review on 20 Jan 2021
Ethical guidelines for executive branch appointees: Among Biden’s first “good government” actions was to pledge that rules would be put in place to ensure executive appointees are free from conflicts of interest – a response to several Trump appointees having personal financial interests in their policy decisions.
Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel on 20 Jan 2021
Reopen healthcare enrollment: Normally Americans can only enroll in the Affordable Care Act at the end of each year. Trump shortened the enrollment period. Biden reopened enrollment to allow more people to sign up.
Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act on 28 Jan 2021
Count undocumented immigrants in apportionment: Trump wanted the Census Bureau to exclude undocumented immigrants when calculating how many seats each state should get in Congress. The supreme court refused to take up the case on whether that was unconstitutional. Biden directs the Census Bureau to count undocumented immigrants.
Executive Order on Ensuring a Lawful and Accurate Enumeration and Apportionment Pursuant to the Decennial Census on 21 Jan 2021