Biden Wastes No Time
Updated: Feb 2, 2021
In just his first few days in office, President Joe Biden has kept his word by passing various regulations and reversing the actions of the Trump administration. According to CNN, Biden has “taken 33 executive actions” in the just the first six days of his presidency, twelve of which directly reversed the previous policies Trump put into place.
On January 20th, the day he was inaugurated, Biden passed a total of seventeen regulations addressing various matters including immigration, the environment, Coronavirus, equity, ethics, and the economy.
He carried out five executive actions related to immigration on that first day. One was the much-anticipated halting of the construction of the border wall, which he did “by terminating the national emergency declaration used to fund it” said CNN reporters. According to CNN, President Biden also undid “Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement within the United States.”
Biden took another step in achieving further equality by passing a policy that prevents workplace discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Furthermore, on January 25th, he reversed the Trump administration’s ban prohibiting transgender individuals from serving in the military.
Three days earlier, on January 22nd, President Biden reversed another one of Trump’s former policies that paves the way for the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. According to a 2019 BLS report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Among those paid by the hour, 392,000 workers earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.2 million had wages below the federal minimum.” Therefore, if the minimum wage was to be raised, it would positively impact the lives of over a million Americans.
Biden’s stance on the death penalty significantly differs from that of former president Donald Trump. According to the TIME newsletter, “Joe Biden is the first president in U.S. history to openly campaign on abolishing the death penalty and win.” In contrast, the Trump administration oversaw 13 state-sanctioned murders while in power, which is “the most federal civilian executions since 1896,” wrote TIME reporter Madeleine Carlisle. Additionally, Carlisle writes that six of those executions took place after Biden was elected, but when Trump still had executive power, which is “the most executions during a presidential transition period in U.S. history.”
More recently, on January 28th, Biden took a step towards addressing the environmental crisis the world is currently facing. He passed a regulation that puts climate change at the forefront of US foreign policy, as well as launches “the development of a new emissions reduction target” according to CNN. This environmental action followed his previous decision he made eight days earlier to rejoin the Paris climate accord.
On Thursday, Biden took a firm stance on an extremely partisan issue: abortion. He signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday to reverse restrictions on abortion access previously imposed by Trump. During the signing ceremony Biden told reporters that this will “reverse [his] predecessor's attack on women's health access.”
These regulations and reversals of the Trump administration’s former policies are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what President Biden still plans to accomplish. We will see what he does next.