Joe Biden isn’t going to wait to roll back everything good his predecessor did with the power of the pen. His incoming White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, said in a memo to senior staffers this week that the new president will unveil a series of executive orders on day one to tackle everything from the coronavirus pandemic to the so-called Muslim ban. According to Klain, the out-of-the-gate explosion of activity will just be the kickoff for a 10-day surge of executive actions aimed at taking the country backwards.
He didn’t, as you might imagine, frame it in exactly those words.
“These executive actions will deliver relief to the millions of Americans that are struggling in the face of these crises,” Klain said. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward.”
According to Newsmax, “Biden will end Trump’s restriction on immigration to the U.S. from some Muslim-majority countries, move to rejoin the Paris climate accord and mandate mask-wearing on federal property and during interstate travel.”
In addition to those actions, Biden is set to get right to work on providing a path to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens. According to the National Immigration Forum’s Ali Noorani, Biden intends to put these aliens on an eight-year path that will include amnesty from the law, citizenship for DACA participants, and a longer-term plan to make these illegal immigrants full citizens.
In an interview with The New York Times, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel questioned whether there would be Republican support for Biden’s legislative agenda.
“You have a public health crisis, an economic challenge of huge proportions, racial, ethnic strife and political polarization on steroids,” said Emanuel. “These challenges require big, broad strokes. The challenge is whether there’s a partner on the other side to deal with them.”
Unfortunately, whether there is or not, Democrats have a lot of room to pass legislation without a single Republican vote. Bernie Sanders, who will soon ascend to the head of the Senate Budget Committee, has already been publicly salivating over the opportunity to use reconciliation to get bills to Biden’s desk. Under the terms of reconciliation, Democrats would only need a simple majority in the Senate to pass major legislation.
None of what we see on the docket right now is particularly shocking, but it is a reminder that it’s a new day in Washington. A new, expensive, economy-punishing day.