The moment he was inaugurated, immediate changes made by Biden made headlines across the country. These are many of the controversial issues and topics that were shunned and ridiculed by the former administration. Americans can finally breathe a sigh of relief that these concerns have finally reached government policies. It seems clear that Biden has been working even pre-term readying multiple Executive Orders. These orders were made not only to overturn many of the previous administration’s directives but also to redirect government efforts to the current pandemic.
Here are some (yes, only some) of immediate changes made by Biden that can make you smile:
Rejoining the Paris Climate Change Agreement
This is one of the first Executive Orders that was signed after he was inaugurated. Americans were divided by the former administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Now, the US is part of the Paris agreement once again. The US is one of the largest sources of emissions in the world.
Requiring Masks on any government or federal property
One thing we get from a non-mask wearing President is non-mask wearing citizens. It is not a violation of anyone’s rights to wear a mask in public. Biden has signed an Executive order requiring mask-wearing on any government property and public transportation.
Improving COVID-19 Response
On his second day as President, a huge chunk of the Executive Orders that were passed focused on COVID-19 response. This includes a data-driven response to the illness, and even increasing support for those hit hardest by COVID-19. He has also increased access to public health supply chains like personal protective equipment and tests. He has also encouraged employers to promote safety in the workplace through mask-wearing.
Resumed visa processing for refugees and residents from several formerly “banned” countries
The former administration has released a policy tagging several countries, not only in Muslim-majority regions but also from Southeast Asia, as “potentially terrorist countries”. This policy has barred refugees and citizens from these countries. Biden has effectively reversed this policy and allows the resumption of visa processing for these countries.
Overturning Trump’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants in census
It was Trump’s original plan to exclude undocumented immigrants in the 2020 census. Biden has signed an Executive Order overturning this directive.
Canceling the Keystone XL Permit
Biden has made it clear that the focus of his administration is climate change. With this, he has revoked the Keystone XL Pipeline permit that will be cutting through Indigenous lands.
Terminated construction and funding of Trump-era border wall
At a time when many Americans are jobless because of the severe economic effects of the pandemic, it is about time that funding and attention are redirected to what is more important – the health of the Americans. Not only has Biden terminated the construction but he has also pulled all funding for this “Trump Wall”.
Unemployment insurance for people affected by COVID-19
This focuses particularly on people who refuse to work because of the pandemic. The Executive Order strongly reiterates the rights of workers to refuse work that could negatively impact their health. People who wish to stay home and refuse work may still claim unemployment insurance.
Economic relief for COVID-19
Although this Executive Order is still in its vague phase, it is President Biden’s directive for ALL departments and agencies to identify any possible actions they can do to work with the current economic crisis that has resulted from the pandemic.