President-Elect Joe Biden was just sworn in as the next president of the U.S. Although inauguration day looks very different than it has in the past (with fewer events in order to comply with social distancing and increased security), Biden still has ambitious plans for his first day. He plans to sign a slew of executive orders as soon as the inauguration ceremonies are over to roll back a variety of policies from the Trump Administration. Here’s what you need to know about the orders.
Extended Eviction Moratorium
There is currently an eviction and foreclosure moratorium in the U.S., but it will expire at the end of January. Biden plans to extend it via executive order, and may also announce more rental assistance. The rental assistance funding in the stimulus bill signed into law on December 27th hasn’t been distributed to states yet, so Biden’s order may also include plans to get the money to states and cities. We don’t know yet how long the moratorium will be extended for, but we’ll keep you updated.
Biden will announce a mask mandate on all federal property. Currently, there is no federal mask mandate in the U.S., although many states and regional governments do have mask laws. Biden will also encourage Americans to commit to wearing masks in all public spaces until cases begin to trend down or vaccination rates increase.
An End to the Muslim Ban
One of the most controversial policies of the Trump administration was the ban on refugees and visitors from some Muslim-majority countries. Although the ban bounced back and forth in court for years and was repeatedly struck down by various court systems, it ultimately kept many refugees from areas like Syria and Iraq from entering the U.S. when it was upheld by the Supreme Court. Biden plans to reverse it by executive order.
Re-entry to the Paris Climate Accords
The Paris Climate Accords are one of the largest diplomatic agreements in history. In total, 189 countries have signed the Accords, which are an agreement between countries to help manage the climate crisis through various strategies. The language of the Accords was partially developed by Barack Obama. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords in 2017, and it has been a top priority for the Biden administration to re-enter them and commit to bringing U.S. emissions down.
Student Loan Relief
Student loan reform was a cornerstone of Biden’s campaign, and he plans to take immediate action to address student loan payments during the current crisis. The federal student loan deferment expires at the end of January, so Biden’s order will extend it. Federal student loan payments will be paused (so payments will not be required) and loans will not accrue interest. It’s unclear if the order will impact private student loans, or how long the deferment will last.
Conclusion: Biden’s Administration Will Take Action on Day 1
Biden’s administration plans on taking action to enact campaign policies and reverse the Trump Administration’s actions in his first hours in office. Biden's first day is likely to be a flurry of news. We will keep you updated on the Skip app and on our blog about how Biden's policy changes impact stimulus funding and other aid.