CHN: President Biden Signs Dozens of Executive Actions Affecting Human Needs Priorities
President Biden signed dozens of executive orders, memoranda, and directives on the first few days of his presidency. Some of the actions President Biden and his administration took related to human needs include:
- COVID-19 pandemic: establishing a 200-page national response plan to the pandemic; prioritizing protecting worker health and safety; making sure schools can reopen safely, including by reimbursing schools for eligible costs related to reopening; urging all Americans to wear masks for 100 days; mandating mask use on public transportation and federal property; reviving a global health unit in the National Security Council to oversee pandemic response; boosting production of PPE.
- Economic security: extending the federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through March; extending a freeze on federal student loan payments and interest through September; increasing the Pandemic EBT food assistance benefit by 15 percent to help struggling families provide food for their children during school closures; asking the USDA to extend the 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits; providing guidance to states to increase SNAP emergency benefits for those who need it most; restoring collective bargaining rights to federal employees; setting the stage to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for federal contractors; directing FEMA to pay 100% of the costs to move people experiencing homelessness and living in group shelters to hotels and motels through September.
- Immigration: repealing the travel ban on people from several primarily Muslim nations; preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; halting construction on the border wall; revoking Trump’s order that excluded undocumented immigrants from the 2020 census count and congressional apportionment; pausing deportations for certain noncitizens for 100 days.
- Equity: ordering the government to establish administration-wide policies to promote racial equity across the U.S.; pushing equity in vaccinations, access to PPE, and other COVID-19 responses; repealing the ban on transgender people from serving in the military. Biden is expected to sign additional orders addressing additional racial equity issues on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
- Climate change: rejoining the Paris climate accord, canceling the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Additional actions on climate change, health care, immigration, equity, international affairs, national security and more are expected in the coming days and weeks.