Biden’s Term Begins with a Flurry of Activity
By Ty Brown
President Biden’s time in office began with the traditional inaugural address. In his address, the President reaffirmed American democracy, called for unity, and described the challenges his administration faces. He also signaled his intention to reengage the United States with the world and lead by the power of example. President Biden appointed acting cabinet members to run the executive branch while the members of the cabinet are confirmed by the Senate, with the acting cabinet made up mainly of career government officials with years of experience at the agencies they are temporarily leading.
Executive action taken by President Biden on the day of his inauguration for immigration include ordering the executive branch to preserve and fortify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), redirecting funds away from border wall construction and ending the previous administration’s declaration of emergency, revoking immigration enforcement related executive orders from the previous administration, and reaffirming that apportionment should reflect every state’s full population regardless of immigration status. Other executive actions include continuing the pause on federal student loan payments alongside keeping the interest rate at zero percent, ordering the review of policy across the executive branch to ensure that it does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and expanding the regulatory powers of executive agencies. Finally, President Biden signed an executive order organizing the federal pandemic response both domestically and internationally.
President Biden also sent a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations to have the United States rejoin the World Health Organization and issued a statement in order to have the United States rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. On the climate front, Biden also canceled the permit of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and temporarily stopped oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This list represents a sample, not the entirety, of the executive action taken by the current administration on its first day. A flurry of executive actions is common for the first day of a presidency, especially following the presidency of a member of the other party.
Ty Brown is a freshman from the suburbs of Seattle studying political science.