Biden Sets Record for Executive Orders in First 6 Days in Office

January 26, 2021 Updated: January 26, 2021

President Joe Biden has issued a flurry of executive orders, actions, proclamations, memorandums, and agency directives in his first six days in office—including 28 executive orders—more than any other U.S. president in recorded history in the same timeframe, according to the American Presidency Project, with records going back to 1953.

Biden’s bevy of measures include reversals of some of the policies of his predecessor, such as halting funding for the construction of former President Donald Trump’s signature border wall and canceling the Keystone XL pipeline project that Trump revived after its axing by former President Barack Obama.

They also include pandemic related actions, such as imposing a mask mandate on federal property; reinstating travel restrictions on non-U.S. citizens traveling from Brazil, South Africa, and much of Europe; and ramping up government-wide coordination of the pandemic response by establishing a new position at the White House—that of a CCP virus response coordination tsar.

Biden’s day-one actions include a number of memorandums: freezing approval of rules passed in the final days of the Trump presidency; directing the head of the Office of Budget and Management to oversee an effort to revamp the regulatory review process; blocking the deportation of Liberian refugees living in the United States; and strengthening the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as children from deportation.

Executive orders Biden signed on the first day of his presidency include rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change; promoting racial equity; requiring mask-wearing on federal property; coordinating a government-wide response to the pandemic; reversing policies on immigration enforcement; scrapping a number of Trump’s regulatory restrictions on federal agencies; ordering illegal immigrants to be incorporated into the census; axing the Keystone XL pipeline project; banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation; requiring all government appointees to sign an ethics pledge prohibiting their engagement in lobbying for at least two years after leaving the government; and pausing federal student loan payments.

Proclamations Biden signed on day one include reversing a Trump-era ban on entry of people from a number of predominantly Muslim countries and halting funding for construction of a wall on the southern border of the United States.

Other actions Biden has taken in the six days since assuming office include executive orders mandating mask-wearing on all forms of public transportation and at airports; expanding access to COVID-19 treatments; supporting the use of the National Guard in assisting with the pandemic response; and establishing a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus testing board that will coordinate national efforts to ramp up testing.

Biden’s most recent actions include an executive order repealing the transgender military ban; a proclamation reimposing travel restrictions on non-U.S. citizens coming from Brazil, South Africa, and much of Europe; and an executive order seeking to bolster American-made goods by tightening rules on federal procurement.

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