President Joe Biden – Executive Orders

Joe Biden

By: T. Jeffersonian

In the first three days of his Administration, President Joe Biden has enacted 30 Executive Orders.  What is an Executive Order? Executive Orders are signed, written, and published directives from the President of the United States that manages operations of the federal government.  Executive Orders have the force of law because they are codified under Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which is the formal collection of all of the rules and regulations issued by the executive branch and other federal agencies.

Executive orders are not Congressional legislation; they require no approval from Congress, and Congress cannot simply overturn them.  Congress can however pass legislation that might make it difficult, or even impossible, to carry out the Executive Order, such as removing funding.  Because Executive Orders are not Congressional legislation, only a sitting U.S. President may overturn an existing Executive Order by issuing another Executive Order to do so.

Again, in three days, President Biden issued 30 Executive Orders.  Those 30 Executive Orders bin into seven categories:  Economics, Environment, Coronavirus, Equality, Ethics, Census, and Immigration.  10 of the 30 Executive Orders reserve Donald Trump’s policies. This is all what was expected in Biden’s first 100 days.

The 10 Executive Orders reversing Trump policies are as follows:
  1. Economics.  Directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director to develop recommendations to modernize regulatory review and undoes Trump’s regulatory approval process.
  2. Immigration.  Halts construction of the border wall by terminating the national emergency declaration used to fund it.
  3. Immigration.  Undoes Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement within the United States.
  4. Immigration.  Reverses the Trump administration’s restrictions on United States entry for passport holders from seven Muslim-majority countries.
  5. Census.  Requires non-citizens to be included in the Census and apportionment of Congressional representatives.
  6. Equality.  Rescinds the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, directs agencies to review their actions to ensure racial equity.
  7. Environment.  Cancels the Keystone XL pipeline and directs agencies to review and reverse more than 100 Trump actions on the environment.
  8. Environment.  Rejoins the Paris Climate Accord, a process that will take 30 days.
  9. Coronavirus.  Stops the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO), with Dr. Anthony Fauci becoming the head of the delegation to the WHO.
  10. Economy.  Restores collective bargaining power and worker protections for federal workers, and lays the foundation for $15 minimum wage.
The remaining 20 Executive Orders are new directives:
  1. Economic.  Calls for assistance to those who are struggling to buy food, missed out on stimulus checks or are unemployed.
  2. Coronavirus.  Accelerates manufacturing and delivery of supplies for vaccination, testing and Personal Protective Equipment.
  3. Directs the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to expand reimbursement to states to fully cover the cost for National Guard personnel and emergency supplies.
  4. Coronavirus.  Establishes the Pandemic Testing Board to expand U.S. Coronavirus testing capacity.
  5. Coronavirus.  Establishes a preclinical program to boost development of therapeutics in response to pandemic threats.
  6. Coronavirus. Enhances the nation’s collection, production, sharing and analysis of Coronavirus data.
  7. Coronavirus.  Directs FEMA to create federally-supported community vaccination centers.
  8. Coronavirus.  Directs the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide guidance for safely reopening and operating schools, childcare providers and institutions of higher education.
  9. Coronavirus.  Calls on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to release clear guidance on Covid-19, decide whether to establish emergency temporary standards, and directs OSHA to enforce worker health and safety requirements.
  10. Coronavirus.  Requires mask wearing in airports and on certain modes of transportation, including many trains, airplanes, maritime vessels and intercity buses. International travelers must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to coming to the United States.
  11. Coronavirus. Creates the Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force to help ensure an equitable pandemic response and recovery.
  12. Coronavirus. A presidential directive to restore America’s leadership, support the international pandemic response effort, promote resilience for future threats and advance global health security and the Global Health Security Agenda.
  13. Coronavirus. Launches a “100 Days Masking Challenge” asking Americans to wear masks for 100 days. Requires masks and physical distancing in federal buildings, on federal lands and by government contractors, and urges states and local governments to do the same.
  14. Coronavirus. Creates the position of Covid-19 Response Coordinator, reporting directly to Biden and managing efforts to produce and distribute vaccines and medical equipment.
  15. Economy. Extends the existing nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until at least March 31, 2021.
  16. Economy. Extends the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for Americans with federal student loans until at least September 30, 2021.
  17. Equality. Prevents workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  18. Immigration. Fortifies Deferred Actions on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or “Dreamers” after Trump’s efforts to undo protections for undocumented people brought into the country as children.
  19. Immigration. Extends deferrals of deportation and work authorizations for Liberians with a safe haven in the United States until June 30, 2022.
  20. Ethics. Requires Executive Branch appointees to sign an ethics pledge barring them from acting in personal interest and requiring them to uphold the independence of the Department of Justice.
Summary:

President Biden’s Coronavirus Executive Orders appear to be ok. The majority of them will require additional federal funding.  Some of Biden’s Economic Executive Orders alleviate Coronavirus induced suffering, while others mobilize his political base and appeal to the far left-wing of his party. 

The Environmental Executive Orders will drive up the costs of oil and gasoline which will hurt the economy. Eventually many states will raise gasoline taxes to account for lost operating revenues.  As much as we wish that we could snap our fingers today and be 100% renewable, clean energy tomorrow, we are very far from that.  There is no Defense Production Act associated with solar panels, windmills, Hydrogen fuel cells, and nuclear power.  In order to be legally compliant long-term, these developments will all have to paid for by corporations and their wealthy owners who are all expecting to be taxed at a much higher level.  The wealthy who own the businesses will transfer their costs into the costs of their products and services.  Now buyers are paying not only more for gas, but also a higher cost for the replacement product whose sticker price accounts for Research and Development done by the corporation.  In the end, all direct costs and all indirect costs, comes back to the consumer who is also the tax payer.

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