Joe Biden’s top aide said Saturday the incoming president would sign about a dozen executive orders on his first day in the office, including rejoining the Paris climate accord and ending the travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries.
“All of these crises demand urgent action,” his incoming chief of staff Ron Klain said in a memo to the new White House senior staff, adding that Biden will sign these orders after he is sworn in on Wednesday.
“In his first ten days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain added.
Biden rolled out his first legislative priority this week, announcing a $1.9 trillion package to revive the economy through new stimulus payments and other aid and plans a blitz to accelerate America’s stumbling Covid vaccine rollout effort.
What challenges does Biden face?
The president-elect is taking over a country in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. Daily deaths from Covid-19 are in their thousands and almost 400,000 have lost their lives.
On top of the virus raging, the country is reeling from recent political violence.
The theme for Mr Biden’s inauguration will be “America United” with the president-elect focusing on healing political divisions. Vice-President Mike Pence is expected to attend the ceremony, though Mr Trump has said he will not.
Mr Biden will be sworn in exactly two weeks after the violent riots at the US Capitol on 6 January which aimed to thwart his election victory.
Even by inauguration standards, the security presence in Washington DC for Wednesday’s ceremony is extraordinary.
Miles of streets have been blocked off with concrete barriers and metal fences, with more than 20,000 National Guard expected to deploy. The FBI has warned of more possible violence and armed marches planned by pro-Trump supporters.
The tough security measures follow a week in which Donald Trump became the first US president to be impeached twice. Mr. Trump will now face a Senate trial on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” for the US Capitol violence.