President Biden commences term with executive orders


Courtesy of CNN

President Biden signs an executive order regarding the Affordable Care Act.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, President Joseph R. Biden was inaugurated into office, where he quickly began to exercise his power of choosing new cabinet members and granting executive orders.

In his Cabinet, he chose people of various races and backgrounds representing the LGBTQ+ community, African Americans, Asian Americans, and overall wanted a White House that “looked more like America.” 

Both people of color and women hold higher positions than ever before in the White House. Former General Lloyd Austin is the first Black Secretary of Defense, and economist Janet Yellen is the first female Secretary of the Treasury.

Dr. Rachel Levine is the first transgender member of the Presidential Cabinet. (Courtesy of The Washington Post)

“One of the biggest actions that President Biden has done that stood out to me so far are the Cabinet nominations that he has made,” said Mr. Billson Rasavongxay, head of the social studies department. “It seems like he has chosen to select individuals that are not only qualified but also representative of a wider demographic than ever before.”

So far, President Biden has published 42 executive orders ranging from reform on the incarceration system to ending Executive Order 13769, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which was enacted under the Trump Administration and banned travel into the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

“Honestly, I don’t know too much about what Biden’s done in office, but a lot of people have been posting about how the Muslim Ban was lifted. So it seems important,” said Daniel Abiles, senior.

Many families in our community have been affected by this ban as well. 

“When President Biden removed the travel ban to many majority Muslim countries, I had more than a few people in my life talk to me about their happiness of that executive action. Their families are no longer going to be kept separate from this ban,” Mr. Rasavongxay said.

President Biden has also granted an executive order on reforming the incarceration system to eliminate the use of privately owned prison systems. 

“We must ensure that our Nation’s incarceration and correctional systems are prioritizing rehabilitation and redemption,” said the executive order. “The Federal Government also has a responsibility to ensure the safe and humane treatment of those in the Federal criminal justice system.”  

On President Biden’s second day in office he signed two executive orders, Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, which canceled the Keystone XL pipeline permit, a permit that allowed a pipe to be built across 1,200 miles from Alberta to Nebraska. Canceling this permit could hurt consumers, as it could cause gas prices to increase, however, it’s good for the environment as the pipeline hurts many animals. The pipeline also lies upon Native American land, and many believed it to be built illegally.

“It kinda sounds like a lose or lose situation. At one hand consumers lose a lot of money, but on the other hand, I think the environment is a lot more important. It’s getting to the point where we can’t reverse the damage that’s been done.” said Maddie Rosenblum, junior.

If you would like more information on President Biden’s 42 executive orders you can visit the White House website.