March 3, 2021

President Biden begins work in the Oval Office

President Biden and Vice President Harris have already begun to break ground in the White House.

President Biden signing executive orders at the White House on Friday.Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were inaugurated on Jan. 20.  Neither of them wasted any time breaking ground on pushing new policies and vying for change. President Biden signed  17 executive orders on his first day in office.

Here is some of what Biden has accomplished so far.

COVID-19

Biden instituted a mask mandate that requires everyone on federal grounds to wear a mask. While this seems like a small step, Biden’s “100 Day Mask Challenge,” encourages everyone to wear a mask.  The executive order can’t enforce mask-wearing in states but Biden’s administration hopes it will urge Governors and state officials to do the same.

President Biden also made good on his claims to cancel President Trump’s plans to withdraw the US from the World Health Organization. The withdrawal was set to take place on July 6., but Biden’s plans have put a stop to the process.  Biden also announced that Dr. Faucci would serve as the Head of the U.S. delegation.

Economy

President Biden ordered an extension of the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until the end of March. He also extended President Trump’s pause on student loan payments until the end of September.

Climate Change

Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement designed to combat climate change. President Trump had withdrawn from the Paris Agreement back in 2017. Biden ran on the promise to rejoin the agreement as part of his campaign and wasted no time.

He also withdrew the permit that allowed the use of Keystone XL Pipelines.

Immigration

President Biden ended the travel ban that targeted Muslim countries. Biden also ordered a pause on the border wall that the Trump administration was working to complete.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals also saw a small victory as Biden made plans to secure the program created when he was Vice President. President Biden is communicating with Homeland Security to preserve the program but no decision has been made.

Equality and Race

Biden revoked Trump’s 1776 commission. This rule was designed to negate the 1619 project. Trump had hoped the 1776 commission would become a basis for a new school curriculum. However, the commission was mocked for its victimization of the US as well as the role it played in downplaying the horrors of slavery.

Biden also created an executive order that requires federal agencies to complete an equity assessment. Agencies will report back in 200 days with their finding in order to fix issues holding back underprivileged communities.

President Biden has already begun to break ground and deliver on his campaign promises. However, not everything can happen overnight.

Vice President Kamala Harris has also begun work in her new role as Vice President.  Harris swore in Raphael Warnock (D) and Jon Offsoff (D), the winners of Georgia’s runoff election, into the Senate. She also swore in her replacement, Alex Padilla (D) who is California’s first Latino senator.

The President and Vice President have already begun shaping their era of American history but this is only the beginning.

 

Edited by Ryan Sylvia and Maddie Torres

Featured photo courtesy of Anna Moneymaker (The New York Times)

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