In his first hours as president, Joe Biden is set to roll back some of the most controversial decisions of his predecessor and to address the coronavirus pandemic.
A 10-day blitz of executive actions is then expected as Mr Biden moves to redirect the country in the wake of Donald Trump‘s presidency, without waiting for Congress.
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Ron Klain, his incoming chief of staff, listed some of the main changes that will come in:
• End restrictions on immigration to the US from some Muslim-majority countries
• Move to rejoin the Paris climate accord
• Make mask-wearing compulsory on federal property and during interstate travel
• Extend the pause on student loan payments
• Extend actions meant to prevent evictions and foreclosures for those struggling during the pandemic
• Introduce a directive to speed up the reuniting of families separated at the US-Mexico border
“These executive actions will deliver relief to the millions of Americans that are struggling in the face of these crises,” Mr Klain said in the memo.
“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.”
“Full achievement” of Mr Biden’s goals will require Congress to act, Mr Klain wrote, including the $1.9trn (£1.46trn) virus relief bill he outlined on Thursday.
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Mr Klain said Mr Biden would also propose a comprehensive immigration reform bill to lawmakers on his first day in office.
On Thursday, the new president’s second day in office, Mr Biden is also expected to sign orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak aimed at reopening schools and businesses and expanding virus testing.
More actions will be added, Mr Klain said, once they clear legal review.
Incoming presidents traditionally move swiftly to sign an array of executive actions when they take office.
Mr Trump did the same, but he found many of his orders challenged and even rejected by courts.
Mr Klain maintained that Mr Biden should not suffer similar issues, saying “the legal theory behind them is well-founded and represents a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the president”.