President-elect Joe Biden is set to sign multiple executive orders during his first day as president, according to Biden’s incoming chief of staff on Saturday.
Around a dozen executive orders will be signed on Wednesday after the inauguration, including rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, reversing President Donald Trump’s travel ban on 13 countries and extending the pause on student loan payments, Ron Klain noted in a memo to incoming White House staff.
The president-elect will also establish the “100-Day Masking Challenge,” requiring masks be worn on federal property and on interstate travel like planes and trains. Biden will address executive orders on climate change and health care within the first week of his term as president.
“Much more will need to be done to fight COVID-19, build our economy back better, combat systemic racism and inequality, and address the existential threat of the climate crisis,” Klain said in the statement. “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.”
On the campaign trail, Biden vowed to remove Trump’s travel ban and return to the Paris Climate Accords during “day one” of his administration. Among the moves Biden has planned for his first day is the creation of a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, although his immigration policy changes could be more difficult to accomplish.
“Some of it’s gonna depend on the kinda cooperation I can or cannot get from the United States Congress,” Biden acknowledged at the time.
Inauguration Day on Wednesday is expected to look very different from the ceremony in years past. Congress was invited, but only received one guest ticket each per member, Fox News reported. President Trump said he would not attend the event, however, Vice President Mike Pence will likely be there.
The roughly 25,000 National Guard troops descending into Washington is at least two and a half times the number of service members activated for preceding inaugurations.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said the majority of National Guard members will be armed, and units are extensively training on when and how to use force, going through “constant mental repetitions of looking at the map and talking through scenarios with leaders so they understand their task and purpose, they know their routes, they know where they’re friendly, adjacent units are, they have the appropriate frequencies to communicate with their law enforcement partners.”
To McCarthy, the main goal is securing the transfer of power from President Trump to President-elect Biden without any problems.
“This is a national priority. We have to be successful as an institution,”
said McCarthy. “We want to send the message to everyone in the United States and for the rest of the world that we can do this safely and peacefully.”