President-elect Joe Biden is bracing for a busy first 10 days as the next commander in chief, according to his future White House chief of staff.
Ron Klain, who is returning to the role after serving as Biden’s chief staffer when he was vice president, foreshadowed Biden’s priorities Saturday after he will be inaugurated on Wednesday.
In a memo to incoming senior staff that was shared with reporters, Klain outlined how Biden would sign a series of executive orders, presidential memoranda, and directives to Cabinet agencies addressing the coronavirus pandemic, the strained economy, climate change, and racial unrest.
“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,” Klain wrote.
Klain added, “While the policy objectives in these executive actions are bold, I want to be clear: the legal theory behind them is well-founded and represents a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the president.”
On Inauguration Day, Klain indicated that Biden would sign actions rejoining the United States to the Paris Agreement and reserving Trump’s so-called Muslim ban, and Biden would also be working to continue pauses on federal student loan payments and nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures. Biden will also launch his “100-Day Masking Challenge.”
On Thursday, Biden will sign actions aimed at safely reopening schools and businesses through more testing, programs supporting workers, and setting out clear public health guidelines, Klain wrote. The following day, Biden’s measures will focus more on economic relief for middle-class families.
The next week after that, Biden will then broaden his economic action to roll out parts of his “Made in All of America Plan,” according to the memo. He’ll then target racial injustice, including criminal justice reform, before looking at environmental, healthcare, immigration, and border issues.
“President-elect Biden will demonstrate that America is back and take action to restore America’s place in the world,” Klain wrote.
Biden unveiled his $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” on Thursday. The ambitious proposal has already encountered resistance from congressional Republicans. Biden has signaled he would prefer to pass the measure, the third such COVID-19 relief package, through regular order, meaning every vote will count.
Biden followed a prime-time address Thursday with a separate pitch on Friday for his $400 billion ask regarding virus-related initiatives. His framework includes funding a national vaccination scheme, expanding testing capabilities, and employing 100,000 public healthcare workers to administer shots, test patients, and conduct contact tracing.
On Saturday, Klain reiterated that Biden would release his “Build Back Better Plan” in February during his first address to a joint session of Congress. He wrote that the future president would also push for legislation covering voting rights, the minimum wage, and combating violence against women.