President-elect Joe Biden plans to address "the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis" in his first ten days

By Claudia Harmata
January 17, 2021 02:00 PM
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President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
| Credit: Maya Harris/Twitter

President-elect Joe Biden has a lot he wants to do in his first 10 days in the White House.

On Saturday, a memo from Biden's Chief of Staff Ron Klain to incoming White House advisers outlined the executive actions that Biden, 78, hopes to make as soon as he assumes the presidency.

"We face four overlapping and compounding crises: the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis. All of these crises demand urgent action," Klain wrote. "In his first ten days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America's place in the world."

Moreover, Biden plans to undo much of President Donald Trump's contentious policies, beginning with "roughly a dozen executive actions" on Inauguration Day.

"President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward," Klain said.

President Donald Trump (left) and former Vice President Joe Biden
| Credit: Shutterstock; Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Among his first day initiatives, the incoming president will ask the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for Americans with federal student loans.

He will also re-join the Paris Agreement and reverse Trump's Muslim Ban.

Addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Biden will launch the "100 Day Masking Challenge" and issue a mask mandate on federal property and interstate travel. He will also extend nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures.

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President-elect Joe Biden
| Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty

In his second day in office, Biden will continue COVID-19 related directives, signing "a number of executive actions to move aggressively to change the course of the COVID-19 crisis and safely re-open schools and businesses, including by taking action to mitigate spread through expanding testing, protecting workers, and establishing clear public health standards."

Biden's 10-day agenda also includes strengthening "Buy American" provisions, as well as overturning Trump's border enforcement policies and "start the difficult but critical work of reuniting families separated at the border," Klain said.

"But by February 1st, America will be moving in the right direction on all four of these challenges — and more — thanks to President-elect Joe Biden's leadership," Klain said, adding, "While the policy objectives in these executive actions are bold, I want to be clear: the legal theory behind them is well-founded and represents a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the President."

Last Thursday, Biden unveiled a proposed stimulus package to combat the economic downturn brought on by the virus which would include $350 billion in state and local aid, $1,400 direct payments to Americans, expanded unemployment benefits and institute a higher federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are scheduled to take their oaths of office on the west front of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 20.