If, as it is now widely assumed, President Trump’s courage failed him, his intrinsic Boomer civic nationalism won out over his genuine patriotism, and he failed to seize the historic opportunity that lay before him, it appears much of the good work he accomplished over the last four years will be rapidly undone.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris arrive at the Capitol to make history: New president is minutes away from being sworn in as former presidents mount display of unity after Donald Trump snubbing him and flying to Florida.
After becoming president, Biden will immediately begin work on signing at least 15 executive orders he promised would take priority from the moment he entered the White House.
END THE ‘MUSLIM BAN’
‘A priority for Biden is nixing the ban on those traveling to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries – one of Trump’s first orders as president, which was dubbed the ‘Muslim travel ban.’
While Biden plans to reverse the order, his administration vows to improve screening of visitors by strengthening information sharing with foreign governments.
HALT THE WALL
During Trump’s presidency, more than 400 miles of border wall have been built, whether that be new portions of the wall or improvements to existing fencing.
Biden will immediately halt ongoing construction of the wall, but will need to review active contracts and how that money could potentially be redirected.
So far, $15 billion in taxpayer dollars have been allocated for more than 700 miles of border wall. It is still unclear how many miles are under contract and what penalties the government would have to pay if they were canceled now.
DACA IS BACK
His orders also seek to fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, a signature effort during the Obama administration that provided hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation and a pathway to citizenship.
Biden’s team has repeatedly promised to take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously and implement more strict public health measures they claim will stop the spread of the disease.
Biden is mandating mask wearing and social distancing in all federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors. He is also challenging Americans to wear a face covering for the first 100 days of his administration.
He also shared in unveiling his coronavirus team that his goal is to distribute and administer 100 million shots in his first 100 days as president.
EVICTIONS, FORECLOSURES STAYED AND STUDENT LOAN PAUSE
On Day One, Biden also plans to extend a moratorium on foreclosures and extend the pause on federal student loan payments, both initiatives started by Trump and extended a few times already in the midst of the pandemic.
BACK INTO WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
During Trump presidency, he withdrew from several foreign organizations and pacts, which Biden plans to reenter – including the World Health Organization.
The president withdrew from the World Health Organization in 2020 after accusing it of incompetence in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He also claimed it caved to Chinese pressure over COVID-19 and lamented the U.S. helped fund the group too much.
Biden’s incoming White House coronavirus coordinate Jeff Zients announced top infectious disease experts at National Institute of Health, Dr. Anthony Fauci, will deliver a speech Thursday to the WHO.
In the speech as the new head of the U.S. delegation to WHO, Fauci, who often sparred with Trump over the last year, will lay out how Biden’s administration plans to work with the group on reforms.
BACK INTO PARIS ACCORD
Trump also withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, lamenting it wasn’t fair that the U.S. was funding much of the program aimed at cutting global fossil fuel emissions while other countries, like China, contribute much more to these emissions.
Biden will sign an executive order to rejoin the Paris climate accord, fulfilling a campaign pledge to get back into the global climate pact on Day One.
It will take 30 days for the U.S. to officially be back in.
CANCEL KEYSTONE XL
In an effort to roll back more of Trump’s climate-related orders, Biden will also revoke a presidential permit for the Keystone XL oil and gas pipeline.
BAN ON ARCTIC DRILLING IS BACK AND EMISSIONS STANDARDS ARE REVIEWED
He also plans to implement a temporary moratorium on new oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and review Trump’s freeze on vehicle and emission standards.
NATIONAL MONUMENTS ROLLBACK FROZEN
The incoming president also wants to set in motion an evaluation of Trump’s cut in protections for some national monuments.
CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON ALL DECISIONS
Federal agencies under Biden’s presidency will also be issued a new requirement to consider the impact that fossil field emissions have on climate change and how that will affect disadvantaged communities and future generations.
A pointed order will compel federal employees to take an ethics pledge that commits them to upholding the independence of the Justice Department.
CENSUS: EVERYONE WILL BE COUNTED
He will revoke a Trump order that sought to exclude noncitizens from the census.
RACE AND ENVIRONMENT MARCHING ORDERS
Biden will order a review of all Trump regulations and executive actions that are deemed damaging to the environment or public health.
He will order federal agencies to prioritize racial equity and review policies that reenforce systemic racism.
It’s hard to comprehend that President Trump is willing to allow all of this to happen to the people about whom he obviously cares so much, and to the nation that he loves. He still has 17 minutes left, but at this point, it’s hard to blame anyone who believes his courage failed him in the end.
UPDATE: Joe Biden has been officially sworn in by John Roberts. However, Washington DC is still occupied by troops. Focus on the material possibilities, not the superficial ceremonies. In other words, as always, wait 48 hours before reaching any conclusions.
UPDATE: Just a random thought. It’s unlikely, but it is going to be extremely amusing if “10 days of darkness” turns out to be a reference to how long Biden is permitted to pretend he is President. I always thought that was more likely than a reference to a communications blackout or show trials.