Biden plans dozens of executive orders for early days of presidency
On Biden’s second day in office, he will sign executive actions focused on addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, including ways to help schools and business reopen safely, expand testing, protect workers and establish clearer public health standards. The next day, Biden will direct his Cabinet to work on delivering economic relief to families most affected by the crisis.
In subsequent days, Biden will expand “Buy America provisions,” take action to advance “equity and support communities of color,” begin to reform the criminal justice, expand access to healthcare and work toward reuniting families separated at the border. Klain did not specify what these actions would entail, but the memo follows Biden’s introduction this week of his legislative agenda, which includes a $1.9 trillion relief bill.
Klain conceded much of Biden’s agenda would need the support of Congress, a prospect that improved after Democrats took control of the Senate earlier this month. But any action in Congress is likely to be delayed as the Senate is slated to begin Trump’s second impeachment trial shortly after Biden takes office.
The memo did not include, however, rejoining the World Health Organization — something Biden had previously promised he would do on his first day in office as part of his goal of reengaging with the global community on Covid-19 and other health threats.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from the global health body last year and withheld tens of millions in U.S. funding. Once he enters the White House, Biden can write to the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres directing him to ignore Trump’s actions. But what kind of relationship the U.S. has with WHO under Biden remains to be seen, particularly when it comes to funding the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to struggling countries.
The transition declined to respond to questions about whether Biden would keep his promise to immediately rejoin WHO and restore U.S. funding to the organization.
Alice Miranda Ollstein contributed to this report.