What Joe Biden plans to do in the first days of his presidency

Executive actions will address coronavirus pandemic, economy, equity and climate

President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

President Joe Biden spent his first day of the presidency signing several executive orders. He’s expected to do more with the stroke of his pen in the next few days, too.

Biden has pledged to take dozens of executive actions meant to address what the administration perceives as four different crises: the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, equity and climate.

The president has also introduced a $1.9-trillion relief package he hopes will pass through Congress quickly.

But with Congress dealing with the looming impeachment trial of Donald Trump and the approval of the new administration’s cabinet, the president will spend his first days focused on executive actions, many of which undo Trump’s policies.

Here’s what Biden has done so far and what he is expected to do in the coming days, based on a review of his campaign statements and a recent memo from Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain, which was obtained by the Associated Press.




  • Directive to agencies to take unspecified immediate action to deliver economic relief from the pandemic.

By Feb. 1

  • Executive actions to strengthen “buy American” provisions.
  • Executive actions to address climate change.
  • First steps to expand access to health care, for low-income women, women of color and other segments of the population.
  • First steps to reunite families still separated at the Mexican border.

Beyond Feb. 1

  • Ensure 100 million vaccines have been given before the end of his first 100 days.
  • Ensure 100 federally supported vaccination centers are up and running in his first month.
  • Expand use of the Defense Production Act to direct the manufacture of critical pandemic supplies.
  • Win passage of a $2 trillion climate package to get the U.S. to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Seek passage of a “Medicare-like public option” to compete alongside private insurance markets for working-age Americans; increase existing premium subsidies.
  • Eliminate certain corporate tax cuts where possible, by executive action, while doubling the levies U.S. firms pay on foreign profits.
  • Make a plan within 100 days to end homelessness.
  • Expand legal immigration slots.
  • Freeze deportations for 100 days, then restore the Obama-era principle of deporting foreigners who are seen as posing a national security threat or who have committed crimes in addition to the crime of illegal entry, thereby pulling back the broad deportation policy of the Trump years.
  • Halt financing of further construction of the wall along the Mexican border.
  • Within 100 days, establish a police oversight commission to combat institutional racism by then.
  • Reinstate federal guidance, issued by Obama and revoked by Trump, to protect transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.
  • Ensure taxes are not raised on anyone making under $400,000.
  • Restore Obama-era rules on campus sexual misconduct and a policy that aimed to cut federal money to for-profit colleges that left students with heavy debt they can’t pay back.
  • Support legislation to make two years of community college free and to make public colleges free for families with incomes below $125,000, with no repayment of student loans required for people who make less than $25,000 a year and, for others, no repayment rate above 5% of discretionary income.
  • Support increasing the national minimum wage to $15.
  • Try to win passage of a plan to spend $700 billion boosting manufacturing and research and development.
  • Establish a commission to study expanding the Supreme Court.

Read more:

Joe Biden’s full inaugural address as the 46th president

Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics

Donald Trump leaves White House for last time, says ‘It’s been a great honor’

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