Future White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain released a memo Saturday detailing President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to make good on his campaign promises in the first few hours of his presidency.
The memo, sent to incoming senior staff and obtained by The New York Times, states that Biden will address the “four crises” facing the nation: Covid-19, the economy, the climate and racial inequity. The actions expand on the Biden campaign’s message of “build back better” and claim to “reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration” while moving the country forward.
On Inauguration Day, Biden will sign twelve executive orders that directly respond to these four “crises,” with additional directives spread out over a ten-day period. Included in this group are plans to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, reverse the so-called “Muslim Ban” restricting travel from certain countries, extend the pause on student loan payments and continue current restrictions on foreclosures and evictions.
The first day of Biden’s presidency will also mark the beginning of the “100 Day Masking Challenge,” with a mask mandate taking effect for people traveling between states and visiting federal property.
On the second day of his administration, Biden will sign executive actions specifically aimed at the Covid-19 pandemic, including plans to “safely re-open schools and businesses,” expand testing, provide protection to workers and establish “clear public health standards.” The following day, the administration will attempt to take action to address the financial burden on working families who have been economically hurt by the pandemic.
The memo details Biden’s upcoming agenda, which will including demonstrating support for minority and underserved communities, reforming the criminal justice system, and addressing the climate crisis. The president-elect will also “take first steps to expand access to health care,” with a focus on specifically including low-income women and women of color. In addition, Klain says Biden will begin the “difficult but critical work” of reuniting families who have been separated at the United States-Mexico border.
The incoming administration may face pressure from outside groups who supported Biden’s campaign specifically because of initiatives he promised to champion in the early days of his presidency. Klain’s memo includes an implied response to this, as it clarifies that the list of orders is “not exhaustive” and “not comprehensive,” leaving room for more action in the future.
It also puts responsibility on Congress, stating that elected representatives must be willing to do their part. Klain calls on “robust Congressional action” to ensure “full achievement” of the Biden-Harris administration’s policies.
The memo concludes with the statement that, in his first ten days in office, Biden will show the world that “America is back.”
Charlotte Pence Bond is an author, speaker, podcast host, and proud military spouse. She is a candidate for a Masters of Theological Studies degree at Harvard Divinity School, where her studies focus on religion, literature, and culture. She is the daughter of Vice President Mike Pence.