President Biden’s First Month

A president’s agenda has historically been marked by what he has accomplished in his first 100 days. However, with 17 signed executive actions within the first hours of his presidency, let’s take a look at what Biden has accomplished in his first month.

Saturday, February 20th marks the first full month of Biden’s presidency. Within that time, he has signed over 50 executive actions, including 38 executive orders, already surpassing the previous three presidents. Some have called Biden a “modern FDR” and many of his policies directly reverse those instituted by the Trump administration. In particular, Biden has focused on providing pandemic relief as well as building the infrastructure to supply vaccines to the American public.

Here is a list of some of his most consequential actions within his first 30 days:

Paris Climate AgreementRejoined the Paris Climate Accord, an international agreement aimed at limiting the effects of climate change
Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and AbroadAims to place the climate crisis at the center of national security and foreign policy by:
– Pausing the secretary of the interior from entering new natural gas leases on public lands and offshore waters
– Preparing a national intelligence estimate on the security implications of the climate crisis
– Directing all agencies to develop strategies to integrate climatic considerations into their work internationally
– Establishing the National Climate Task Force
– Committing to clean infrastructure projects
– Committing to environmental justice
– Developing a national emissions reduction target
– Establishing the special presidential envoy for climate on the National Security Council
Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal GovernmentRescinds the 1776 Commission established by Trump which aimed to remove the teaching of slavery and racial injustice in American history classes
Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual OrientationPrevents workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation
Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.Instructs the department of Health and Human Services to issue guidance on ways to improve cultural competency in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and instructs the Department of Justice to partner with AAPI communities to limit, and ultimately prevent hate crimes
Executive Order on Reforming Our Incarceration System to Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention FacilitiesBlocks the renewal of contracts with private prisons
Executive Order on Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in UniformReverses the military ban on transgender Americans
Executive Order on Economic Relief Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.Gives assistance to Americans financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United StatesReverses the Trump administration’s immigration ban on people holding passports from certain Muslim-majority countries
Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and SafetyDirects the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to outline clear guidelines for businesses surrounding COVID-19 safety and requires the administration to enforce established worker health and safety requirements
Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-WearingRequires masks to be worn and social distancing guidelines be followed on federal lands, in federal buildings, and by government contractors for 100 days
Proclamation on the Termination of Emergency With Respect to the Southern Border of the United States and Redirection of Funds Diverted to Border Wall ConstructionEnds the construction of Trump’s Border Wall
Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and PrioritiesReverses Trump’s expansion of ICE*
Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and RecoveryCreates the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to provide equitable aid in pandemic recovery to all
Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at Home and AbroadReverses the “Mexico City Policy” which blocked US funding of foreign NGOs and nonprofits that perform and promote abortions

Joe Biden has begun appointed Cabinet members. Many of his appointees served under the Obama administration and seven of them have been approved, including:

  • Retired General Lloyd Austin (Secretary of Defense), the first African American to ever hold that position
  • Janet Yellen (Secretary of the Treasury), the first woman to be in charge of the Federal Reserve, and now the first woman to run the Treasury Department
  • Pete Buttigieg (Secretary of Transportation), the first openly LGBTQ+ person to ever hold a permanent Cabinet position in United States history

While the mark for Biden’s first 100 Days is fairly far off, he has already made or started to make major changes in terms of COVID-19 response, policies regarding equity and justice, and national climate action.

*Biden has placed a 100-day moratorium on deportations, which has already been opposed by ICE and led to a lawsuit in the state of Texas. On Monday, February 8, ICE deported children to Cuba during a coup in the country. As a federal organization, ICE has historically changed with administrations. Under the Trump presidency, the laws regarding fair treatment and deportations were relaxed, so the organization had more freedom to treat undocumented and documented immigrants with violence and inequity.