Biden's 100 days: Where some of the president's early executive orders stand now

Written by on April 30, 2021


There have been many large moments from President Joe Biden’s election win over Donald Trump to his 100th full day in workplace. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Since taking workplace, President Joe Biden has signed 40 govt orders addressing points spanning the continued coronavirus pandemic to worldwide affairs, labor and voting rights and the setting.

Whereas lots of the orders both reversed the actions of former President Donald Trump, or made administrative adjustments he’d promised on the marketing campaign path, others have had extra consequential impacts. 

Many orders signed in his first hours as president overturned the earlier administration. With these, he:

  • Prohibited office discrimination within the federal authorities primarily based on sexual orientation and gender id;
  • Revoked Trump’s 2017 Inside Enforcement Government Order, which broadened the classes of undocumented immigrants topic for removing, restarted the Safe Communities program and supported the federal 287(g) deportation program; 
  • Canceled the allow for the Keystone XL pipeline to maneuver oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, rescinding Trump’s approval of a undertaking lengthy criticized by environmentalists.
  • Ended development of Trump’s signature wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

The chief order is among the most expansive powers on the president’s disposal in policymaking, with the flexibility to direct the huge govt department towards any variety of duties. Its use has change into more and more frequent over the previous few many years as partisan gridlock has seen lawmakers in Congress cede extra energy to the manager department.

Watch: Harris, Pelosi make joint Congress speech historic

But there are each authorized and logistical limits to the power of the manager order in making change; some packages could also be overturned in courtroom on authorized or procedural grounds. And the way an govt order is in the end carried out might also not essentially be how a president envisioned.

Listed here are a handful of orders Biden has enacted in his first 100 days, and the place they went after being signed on the Resolute Desk.

Learn extra: Here are all the executive orders President Joe Biden has signed so far

Strengthen ‘Purchase American’ guidelines

Jan. 25: One in every of Biden’s first govt orders was a directive enforcing stricter “Buy American” policies for federal businesses. Most U.S. businesses are already speculated to focus spending on American companies, however a sequence of contract loopholes prevented that from being the norm.

The thrust of the manager order is anticipated to be integrated into the president’s $2.three trillion infrastructure bundle, which might couple large federal spending with preferences for domestic manufacturing, amongst different labor and environmental necessities. Some authorities accountability organizations are skeptical of the general impression the order may have.

“There’s already an entire bunch of issues on the books; the query has at all times been enforcement,” stated Scott Amey, normal counsel for the Venture on Authorities Oversight, a watchdog group that tracks authorities spending. “It actually simply includes the businesses doing what they’re speculated to do,” he stated.

The Biden coverage additionally differs barely from a June 2019 govt order equally enacted within the Trump period that was formally applied on Jan. 19, 2021.

Loopholes in federal regulation allowed merchandise to be stamped “Made in America” for functions of federal procurement even when barely 51% of the supplies used to supply them are domestically made. Biden’s rule raises that to 55%, for many merchandise.

Administration officers argue Biden’s order goes a lot additional in specificity, equivalent to making a Made in America Workplace inside the Workplace of Administration and Price range and making proposed waivers and justifications publicly out there on the Common Providers Administration web site.

In the course of the first assembly of the Cupboard in April, Biden advised his secretaries to take a “laborious take a look at their company’s spending” and focus extra on shopping for American-made items and providers. It’s unclear, nevertheless, whether or not the White Home has already enacted many of those coverage adjustments, particularly because the OMB nonetheless lacks a director.

Finish Justice Division contracts with personal prisons

Jan. 26: In January, the president ordered the Justice Department to not renew any federal contracts with personal prisons.

Round 14,000 of 152,000 federal inmates are housed in personal prisons. The federal Bureau of Prisons was already within the strategy of downsizing its contracts with personal contractors due to  falling jail inmate populations.

As such, the order will be thought of “largely symbolic,” in response to Jonathan Simon, a professor of regulation on the College of California, Berkeley, who has studied the results of mass incarceration on communities within the U.S.

“The order excludes immigration detention contracts, which far exceed using personal prisons for extraordinary federal prisoners,” Simon famous. “Total, fewer than 10% of individuals imprisoned for state or federal crimes are in privately run prisons, and most of these are state prisoners.”

Help to these struggling for meals

Feb. 2: In February, Biden ordered the Federal Emergency Administration Company to cowl 100% of the prices to states and native governments for packages partnering with eating places and nonprofit teams which can be making ready meals for soup kitchens and meals pantries.

The order additionally directed the administration to ship out greater than $1 billion in assist by the Supplemental Vitamin Help Program, along with its annual price range and different dietary supplements through the pandemic.

The executive order was modeled after the FEED Act – laws launched in Could 2020 that may have given elevated funding to FEMA to deal with meals help packages throughout the nation – and in the end rolled into the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion stimulus bundle.

“I can say that I’ve heard from a lot of Feeding America meals banks that that flexibility has been vital to offering pandemic-related assist to native communities,” stated  Vince Corridor, chief authorities relations officer at Feeding America, the nation’s largest community of meals banks.

Meals banks have acquired vital federal assist all through the pandemic; Corridor additionally praised the administration for different packages, together with the Division of Agriculture’s choice to increase Pandemic Digital Profit Switch for households with youngsters by the following faculty 12 months.

“That may be a actually breathtaking step at assuaging baby starvation, particularly at a time after we can see a lightweight on the finish of the tunnel however we don’t know after we’ll get there,” Hill stated. “The president is guaranteeing that we’ll protect that wanted flexibility.”

In the course of the pandemic, Congress expanded federal assist to anti-hunger packages a number of occasions whereas federal businesses elevated flexibility in distributing funds. The Division of Agriculture, as an illustration, elevated flexibility across the Particular Supplemental Vitamin Program for Ladies, Infants and Youngsters program, on prime of higher federal assist to high school lunch packages and SNAP advantages.

The Biden administration has doubled down on these efforts, which charities have praised.

“The Biden administration has been clear that they’re all for addressing the steep enhance in all sorts of starvation, however baby starvation, particularly, is a precedence. I feel within the Trump administration, there was typically a priority that we heard expressed from USDA about households getting an excessive amount of in federal assist – ‘How can we get assist to individuals with out them getting this different supply of funding?'” stated Lisa Davis, senior vp of No Child Hungry.

Anti-hunger teams have referred to as on lawmakers in Washington to go additional.

“The well being disaster will probably be resolved a lot quicker than the financial disaster,” Hill warned. “It took 10 years for us to maneuver previous the results of the 2008 monetary disaster and far of that was misplaced in a 12 months with this pandemic. We have to act now to fulfill the wants locally when COVID is now not the entrance web page of the paper.”

Finish ‘household separation’ coverage

Feb. 2: One in every of Biden’s main coverage reversals from the Trump administration was enacted when he rescinded a policy separating youngsters arriving on the US-Mexico border from their dad and mom.

The method of reuniting households, nevertheless, has typically been sluggish. Data monitoring down the place youngsters had been despatched to be housed are lacking in most cases, leaving administration officers to trace down probably 5,500 separated households with little highway map. By early April, the administration had not reunited any migrant families whereas the working group deliberates on a path ahead.

Regardless of ending the coverage, unaccompanied minors are also still arriving at the border in giant numbers, leaving the administration to scramble to deal with hundreds of kids.

Associated: Joe Biden’s immigration agenda overshadowed by migrant challenges in first 100 days

Impose sanctions on Myanmar navy personnel and property

Feb. 11: A February navy coup in Myanmar introduced swift backlash from the White Home and shut U.S. allies, who levied harsh sanctions focused at navy elites and companies tied to the armed forces.

Biden signed an executive order specifically targeting sure members of Myanmar’s navy, in addition to high-ranking personnel and their households. In March, the U.S. froze greater than $1 billion in property belonging to high-ranking navy officers, according to Reuters.

On April 21, Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced additional sanctions focusing on two high-revenue companies, the Myanma Timber Enterprise and Myanmar Pearl Enterprise, as additional punishment for the navy coup.

International relations: Spying, poisoning, attempted election meddling: Russia tensions escalate with the US

Directs federal authorities to assist voting rights

March 7: The president unveiled an govt order “Promoting Access to Voting” on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a serious turning level within the civil rights motion, and evoked requires racial justice in his declaration.

The order instructs federal businesses to develop voter registration and election data on their web sites; decide methods to assist enhance voter registration nationally; replace federal voting data websites; and develop voting entry for federal workers.

The order successfully marshals the federal equipment as a useful resource to residents registering to vote at a time when questions of voting entry and safety dominate the nationwide dialog.

“We applauded these efforts however they’re restricted in what they’re going to ship,” stated Robert Brandon, president of the Honest Elections Heart.

Whereas mobilizing federal assets towards voter training and registration is a big transfer by the president, “it pales compared with what states are speculated to do,” by laws just like the Nationwide Voter Registration Act, Brandon contended.

That 1993 law stipulates that states and different our bodies that settle for federal funding are required to distribute voter registration data by businesses any time an eligible voter is available in contact with an company, equivalent to on the Division of Motor Autos or in faculties. Brandon believes the Justice Division ought to sue states that aren’t in compliance.

“One of many values of the president’s govt order is that he’s instructing all these businesses to offer a automobile to precise registration,” Brandon stated. “The Justice Division has additionally historically had a job to play in imposing federal voter legal guidelines … it will be important that the administration not lose sight of that.”

Create a fee to check the Supreme Courtroom

April 9: Biden signed an govt order making a presidential commission that will study the Supreme Court and its position in American authorities and society. The 35-person bipartisan group of authorized specialists will “present an evaluation of the principal arguments within the up to date public debate for and towards Supreme Courtroom reform,” in response to the White Home.

For the reason that early levels of his presidential marketing campaign, Biden has been dogged by questions on increasing or in any other case reforming the Supreme Courtroom, which has seen a rightward ideological shift.

Strain from progressives: Biden unveils commission to study changes at Supreme Court

Progressives have referred to as on the White Home to develop the variety of justices on the courtroom to rebalance its ideological make-up, a transfer that conservatives have lambasted as a flagrant energy seize they’d finally return in variety.

The commission may have a six-month deadline to launch its findings and will not bind the White Home to motion.

In October, Biden stated he was “not a fan of court-packing.” A number of Democratic senators have additionally expressed opposition to the thought, that means that such a transfer is unlikely to occur in the mean time.

The fee has thus been criticized as a type of dodge by the White Home, which desires to have interaction with requires reform and anxieties across the excessive courtroom’s ideological opposition, however not pursue any efforts which may be politically dangerous or damaging to the establishment.

Comply with Matthew Brown on-line @mrbrownsir.


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