Hours after preaching unity in his inaugural address, President Biden took unilateral action via executive orders on some of the more divisive issues in American politics. How far did he go and what can be done without Congress’ approval?
While settling into the Oval Office on his first day in the White House, President Joe Biden signed a raft of executive orders to reverse executive actions taken by his predecessor.
- Biden’s press secretary bragged the more than a dozen executive orders are more than “Biden’s four predecessors combined” according to Axios.
- One of these orders was to rescind the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, approved by Trump, which will result in the elimination of 1,000 union jobs according to the pipeline company’s president. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the move “an insult.”
- Biden also pulled back efforts by the Trump administration to promote patriotic education, created by the 1776 Commission, an effort to combat the factually inaccurate and historically illiterate New York Times’ 1619 Project that sought to emphasize slavery as the underpinning of American history.
- One of the less impactful orders was to require masks and social distancing on federal property to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
- Construction of a barrier on America’s border with Mexico was also halted via Biden’s signature.
- Biden’s executive orders on his first day included the extension of student loan relief (permitted by last year’s CARES Act) and taking steps to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.
- In a rundown of the orders Biden signed, Vox wrote about how limited in scope those related to the coronavirus pandemic are, saying more significant action will require congressional assistance.
- The New York Times’ reporting opened with Biden’s actions as “a full-scale assault on his predecessor’s legacy.”
- While discussing immigration-related executive orders and the fate of immigration legislation in Congress, NPR noted much of what Democrats are pushing contain no provisions Republicans would need included for their approval.
- Newsmax reported on Senate Republicans’ pushback on Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, quoting Montana Senator Steve Daines as saying “At the very least, I urge President Biden to do what the Obama administration refused to do and submit the Paris Agreement to the Senate for consideration as required under the Constitution.”
- A RedState contributor criticized one Biden order that reversed the Trump administration policy regarding third-party settlement agreements in civil litigation, and cited an instance in which the Obama Administration forced Gibson Guitars, a private company, to pay $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, another private entity not involved in the litigation.
- The Federalist highlighted the multiple efforts by the Biden Administration to reestablish federal funding for a wide range of programs that promote and pay for abortions in America and around the globe.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021