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Day 1


Biden has been president for less than 12 hours and we’ve already seen major and material policy changes:

Mr. Biden signed 15 executive orders and two executive actions on his first day in office, far more than any of his modern predecessors, none of whom signed more than one. President Trump signed an order on his inauguration day aimed at reversing the Affordable Care Act, while Barack Obama didn’t sign any on Jan. 20, 2009. Bill Clinton signed an ethics order on his first day. All of them signed additional orders during their first week in office.

Mr. Biden’s orders cover domestic and international matters, including ceasing Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization and rejoining the Paris climate accord. “These are two early steps to advance the president’s ambition to re-engage in the world,” said incoming national-security adviser Jake Sullivan.


Another executive order Wednesday creates an office of White House Covid-19 response, headed by Jeffrey Zients, Mr. Biden’s coronavirus czar, which will work with federal agencies and report directly to the president. Goals include securing more protective equipment for workers, increasing testing and vaccinations and reopening schools.

Mr. Biden also called for extending the federal eviction moratorium until at least March 31 and the pause on interest and principal payments for direct federal loans until at least Sept. 30.

Broader action to speed up vaccine distribution and help the economy, including additional direct payments to many Americans, will require congressional approval—and Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief proposal has already drawn objections from some Republicans as too broad and expensive.

The so-called Muslim ban was one of Mr. Trump’s earliest actions, and Mr. Biden campaigned on ending it. He will direct the State Department to restart visa processing for affected countries and to quickly address cases of people stuck in a waiver process or denied visas.

Mr. Trump said the ban, which he campaigned on, was needed to protect against a terror risk.

Also on immigration, Mr. Biden stopped construction of the wall along the border with Mexico, one of Mr. Trump’s signature policies, deeming it a waste of money, though the portion that has been completed will remain standing. He will terminate a national emergency declaration used to divert money intended for other purposes to the wall. Mr. Biden will also shore up the Obama-era program that shielded younger undocumented immigrants from deportation.

He extended protections against deportation for Liberians in the U.S., according to officials, and reversed Mr. Trump’s plan to exclude noncitizens from the census count used to apportion Congressional representatives.

Keystone — over. Muslim ban — ending. Racist census manipulation — done. And that’s not all.

The thing about “not me, us” is that it is accurate. And the new Chairman of the Budget Committee understands this even if some of his Extremely Online supporters do not.

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