News and Commentary

Here’s What Each Of Biden’s 42 Executive Orders Will Actually Do
US President Joe Biden signs an Executive Order reversing Trump era ban on Transgender serving in the military while in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 25, 2021.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking with George Stephanopolous — former White House Communications Director under Bill Clinton — on October 15, 2020, Joe Biden described the use of executive orders as dictatorial.

“I have this strange notion. We are a democracy. Some of my Republican friends and some of my Democratic friends even say: well if you can’t get the votes, by executive order you’re going to do something, things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator.”

Biden also added, “We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”’

However, in his first seven days in office, President Biden signed more executive orders than President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, and President Barack Obama averaged per year. In less than two weeks, Biden has “already issued nearly as many executive action as Trump and Obama did in the same period, combined.”

Here is a list explaining what each of Biden’s 42 executive orders — all signed within 12 days of his Inauguration — actually mean:

  • ‘Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.’ Directs federal agencies to look to expand access to Obamacare, with the long-term goal of achieving socialized medicine.
  • ‘Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad.’ Rescinds the “Mexico City Policy,” providing U.S. taxpayer funding for foreign abortions.
  • ‘Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.’ Ceases “new oil and natural gas leases on public lands [and] in offshore waters,” thereby destroying energy jobs.
  • ‘Executive Order on Establishing President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.’ Reestablishes the “President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.”
  • ‘Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking.’ Commits to making “evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data.” 
  • ‘Paris Climate Agreement.’ Rejoins the Paris climate accord.
  • ‘Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.’ Cancels the Keystone XL pipeline, destroying more energy jobs.
  • ‘Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.’ Rescinds the 1776 Commission, and embraces the Black Lives Matter and 1619 Project narrative.
  • ‘Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.’ Prevents workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and promotes transgender access to restrooms, locker rooms, and school sports.
  • ‘Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.’ Directs Department of Health and Human Services to investigate ways to improve “cultural competency, language access and sensitivity toward AAPIs” as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 response.
  • ‘Executive Order on Reforming Our Incarceration System to Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities.’ Calls for the end of private prisons.
  • Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies.’ Directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development to “review” the Trump administration’s policy impact on “fair housing.”
  • ‘Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships.’ Calls for federal agencies to “engage in regular, robust and meaningful consultation with Tribal governments.”
  • ‘Executive Order on Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform.’ Ends “transgender ban” in the military, which will restore the ability for transgender service members to receive taxpayer-funded medical services for the “transition process.” 
  • ‘Executive Order on Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers.’ Continues existing policies and attitudes regarding “Buy American” rules.
  • ‘Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce.’ First step in attempting to enforce a national $15 minimum wage.
  • ‘Executive Order on Economic Relief Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.’Calls for assistance to those who are struggling to buy food, missed out on stimulus checks or are unemployed.” No funding is provided, and the order simply directs federal agencies to “promptly identify actions they can take within existing authorities to address the current economic crisis.”
  • ‘Pausing Federal Student Loan Payments.’ Extends the pause on student loan repayments and interest for those with federal student loans until at least September 30.
  • ‘Extend Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums.’ Extends the existing nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until at least March 31.
  • ‘Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Non-Immigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease.’ Enforces a travel ban on countries including Brazil, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.
  • ‘Memorandum to Extend Federal Support to Governors’ Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 and to Increase Reimbursement and Other Assistance Provided to States.’ Expands federal reimbursement to states for the federal use of the National Guard.
  • ‘Executive Order on a Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain.’ Substantively empty order which “directs immediate actions to secure supplies necessary for responding to the pandemic,” which simply calls for reviews and assessments.
  • ‘Executive Order on Establishing the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID-19 and Other Biological Threats.’ Looks to expand testing capabilities through a federal vaccination strategy.
  • ‘Executive Order on Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatments for COVID-19.’ Calls for the development of a plan for studying intervention methods and therapeutics regarding COVID-19.
  • ‘Executive Order on Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 and Future High-Consequence Public Health Threats.‘ Calls for all executive departments and agencies to “facilitate the gathering, sharing, and publication of COVID-19-related data.”
  • ‘Create more vaccination sites.’ Instructs FEMA to create more federal vaccination centers.
  • ‘Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers.’ Calls for guidance regarding the reopening and operation of schools, child care providers and higher education institutions.
  • ‘Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety.’ Requests workplace guidance regarding COVID-19.
  • ‘Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.’ Requires masks to be worn in airports and on certain other modes of transportation. International travelers must provide proof of negative COVID-19 test before entering the US.
  • ‘Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery.’ Citing that “people of color experience systemic and structural racism in many facets of our society and are more likely to become sick and die from COVID-19,” calls for the prioritization of “health equity.”
  • ‘National Security Directive on United States Global Leadership to Strengthen the International COVID-19 Response and to Advance Global Health Security and Biological Preparedness.’ Meaningless platitude, promising to “treat epidemic and pandemic preparedness, health security, and global health as top national security priorities, and will work with other nations to combat COVID-19 and seek to create a world that is safe and secure from biological threats.”
  • ‘Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing.’ Launches a “100 Days Masking Challenge,” and requires masking and physical distancing in federal buildings.
  • ‘Letter to His Excellency António Guterres.’ Addresses “His Excellency” Guterres — a Portuguese socialist and the Secretary-General of the United Nations — and stops the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization, and places Dr. Anthony Fauci as the head of the delegation to the WHO. 
  • ‘Executive Order on Organizing and Mobilizing the United States Government to Provide a Unified and Effective Response to Combat COVID-19 and to Provide United States Leadership on Global Health and Security.’ Creates one job, the position of COVID-19 response coordinator, who will report directly to Biden and manage vaccine production and distribution efforts.
  • ‘Executive Order on Ensuring a Lawful and Accurate Enumeration and Apportionment Pursuant to the Decennial Census.’ Requires that non-citizens (both legal and illegal) must be included in the census and appointment of congressional representatives.
  • ‘Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.’ Strengthens the DACA program.
  • ‘Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.’ Reverses the Trump administration’s travel restrictions imposed on countries from which travelers could not be adequately investigated or screened.
  • ‘Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities.’ Reverses Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement.
  • ‘Proclamation on the Termination of Emergency With Respect to the Southern Border of the United States and Redirection of Funds Diverted to Border Wall Construction.’ Stops the construction of the border wall between the US and Mexico.
  • ‘Reinstating Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians.’ Extends deferrals of deportation and work authorizations for Liberians with a haven in the United States until June 30, 2022.
  • ‘Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel.’ 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.
  • ‘Modernizing Regulatory Review.’ Calls for the development of recommendations to modernize regulatory review.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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