The Biden Administration: 48 Months Overturned in 48 Hours


Danielle O’Brien, Staff

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Biden pictured with a stack of executive orders on his desk within hours of his inauguration. 

As the 46th President of the United States was inaugurated this past Wednesday, Jan. 20, former President Trump’s legacy — already quite controversial — began to crumble, not only throughout the Oval Office, but also through executive orders overturning previous ones conducted under the Trump administration. As of Jan. 27, President Biden has instituted thirty-three executive orders, ten of which directly reverse the executive orders instituted by the Trump administration. The executive orders cover topics from environmental issues, immigration, and the economy, to the ongoing pandemic. It is important, not only to review these orders, but to understand what they command in their power as well.

Environmentally,President Biden has reentered the United States into the Paris Climate Accord, which the Trump Administration  considered too costly . Furthermore, the President has halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which posed a clear environmental threat to the Antarctic. 

Immigration wise, President Biden has lifted the “Muslism-ban” which has restricted the traveling of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. Furthermore, President Biden has undone former President Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement through programs such as 297 (g) and universal victim techniques employed by ICE. President Biden has also ended the national emergency financial funding used to construct the southern border wall and has extended deferrals for Liberian-immigrants threatened with deportation and work permits until June of next year. Finally, he has reinstated DACA as a program undocummented citizens can now re-apply to. 

Economically, the president has enforced a pause on the payments of student loans and the accruing interest for said loans, implemented holds on bill collectors from enforcing evictions foreclosures until at least March 31 supported food banks and the unemployed, and finally has officially laid the foundation for a $15 minimum wage as well as protecting federal workers. 

Related to the pandemic, President Biden has signed orders to create federally-supported community vaccination centers, established the Pandemic-testing board, put into place a preclinical program to boost the development of therapeutics, expanded the federal financial support for states to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, accelerated the distribution of vaccines through manufacturing and development, reentered the U.S into the World Health Organization, enhanced the communication of data of COVID-19, and most notably, enforced a mask mandate on federal property. President Biden has already set goals to accomplish within his first 100 days related to the pandemic, such as administering 100 million vaccines. This goal seems plausible to the CDC considering vaccinations have increased to over 1.3 million per day compared to a 900,000 a day average under the Trump administration.

There are many more executive orders to be included in this long list such as: making the national census inclusive of undoccumented Americans, enforcing prevention of workplace discrimination, requiring appointees of the executive branch to sign an ethics pledge and even overturning the Trump administration’s ban on transgender Americans enlisting in the military. 

With most of these executive orders put in place within the first 48 hours of Biden’s inauguration, in overturning the last 48 months, the future of the Biden administration seems to hold a lot of potential. Addressing the economy, the pandemic, crucial environmental issues, racial injustice issues and overall Biden’s plan for “healing this country” are the main priorities set by the Biden administration, which it has already started to act on. This list of executive orders is only expected to increase within the upcoming days. The Biden administration will have plenty of trials and tribulations to overcome in its path with the looming global pandemic, and now with the second impeachment trial of  former President Trump consuming the Senate. Nevertheless, it seems the administration will tackle these issues with a fast pace as exemplified through President Biden’s first 48 hours, hinting to an underlying theme of getting right to work within the new administration.

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