On day one, Joe Biden will sign actions on COVID-19 crisis, racial equity: Incoming White House Chief of Staff

Biden will ask the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan repayments for Americans with federal student loans, and will and re-join the Paris Agreement, Ron Klein said

The Associated Press January 17, 2021 07:42:48 IST
On day one, Joe Biden will sign actions on COVID-19 crisis, racial equity: Incoming White House Chief of Staff

File image of US president-elect Joe Biden. AP

Washington: On the first day of his presidency, Joe Biden would sign roughly a dozen actions on four overlapping and compounding crises that the US is facing -- the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis – the incoming White House Chief of Staff said.

“President-elect Biden is assuming the presidency in a moment of profound crisis for our nation. We face four overlapping and compounding crises: the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis,” the incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein said Saturday in a memorandum to the incoming White House Senior Staff.

All of these crises demand urgent action. 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, he wrote in the memorandum dated 16 January.

“On Inauguration Day, President-elect Biden will sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises, restore humanity to our immigration system, and make government function for the people,” Klein said.

As previously announced, he will ask the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for millions of Americans with federal student loans, re-join the Paris Agreement, and reverse the Muslim Ban, he wrote.

Biden will launch his “100 Day Masking Challenge” by issuing a mask mandate on federal property and inter-state travel — part of a critical effort to begin to bend the curve on COVID. “And, we will take action to extend nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures and provide more than 25 million Americans greater stability, instead of living on the edge every month,” he said.

The next day, on 21 January, Biden will sign a number of executive actions to move aggressively to change the course of the COVID-19 crisis and safely re-open schools and businesses, including by taking action to mitigate spread through expanding testing, protecting workers, and establishing clear public health standards.

On 22 January, the president-elect will direct his Cabinet agencies to take immediate action to deliver economic relief to working families bearing the brunt of this crisis.

Klein said that between 25 January and 1 February, the president-elect will sign additional executive actions, memoranda and Cabinet directives. The president-elect will fulfil his promises to strengthen Buy American provisions so the future of America is made in America.

He will take significant early actions to advance equity and support communities of colour and other underserved communities. He will take action to begin fulfilling campaign promises related to reforming the criminal justice system.

Biden will sign additional executive actions to address the climate crisis with the urgency the science demands and ensure that science guides the administration’s decision making, Klein said.

He will take first steps to expand access to health care - including for low-income women and women of colour.

“He will fulfill his promises to restore dignity to our immigration system and our border policies, and start the difficult but critical work of reuniting families separated at the border. And, President-elect Biden will demonstrate that America is back and take action to restore America’s place in the world,” Klein said.

During the campaign, he said, Biden pledged to take immediate action to start addressing these crises and build back better.

As president, he will keep those promises and sign dozens of executive orders, presidential memoranda, and directives to Cabinet agencies in fulfilment of the promises he made.

These executive actions will deliver relief to the millions of Americans who are struggling in the face of these crises. “Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward,” he asserted.

These actions will change the course of COVID-19 , combat climate change, promote racial equity and support other underserved communities, and rebuild the economy in ways that strengthen the backbone of the country — the working men and women who built the nation, Klein wrote.

“While the policy objectives in these executive actions are bold, I want to be clear: the legal theory behind them is well-founded and represents a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the President,’ the memorandum said.

Full achievement of the Biden-Harris Administration’s policy objectives requires not just the executive actions the president-elect has promised to take, but also robust Congressional action, Klein noted.

“The president-elect made the case for his first major legislative proposal earlier this week, and will continue to advance legislative solutions to critical problems, such as in the immigration bill he will send to Congress on his first day in office; the build back better recovery proposal to create millions of good-paying union jobs that he will unveil in the coming weeks; and his ongoing support for legislation related to voting rights, the minimum wage, combatting violence against women, and more,” he wrote.

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