President-elect Joe Biden plans to take immediate executive action to turn the page on the Trump era after his inauguration speech this week, chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday after laying out Biden’s plan for his first days office.
Biden is planning a 10-day blitz of executive action on what his administration is calling the “four crises” facing the country — Covid-19, the economic downturn, racial injustice and climate change.
“He’s going to come back to the White House after giving that speech at the Capitol and take some immediate actions to start to move this country forward,” Klain told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
Biden is set to officially take office on Wednesday at noon ET. Klain said Biden’s inaugural address would be “a message of moving this country forward, a message of unity, a message of getting things done.”
Klain elaborated on Biden’s plans for his first days in a memorandum issued to incoming White House staff, sent on Saturday, titled “Overview of First Ten Days,” which was provided to NBC News.
“We face four overlapping and compounding crises: the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis,” Klain wrote in the memo.
“In his first ten days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain added.
The executive actions come in multiple forms, including executive orders, presidential memoranda, and directives to Cabinet agencies.
Among the first actions Biden will take on Wednesday include rejoining the Paris climate change agreement and reversing President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which applies to several Muslim-majority countries. Biden will also require masks on federal property and interstate travel and take action to extend eviction and foreclosure restrictions.
On Thursday, Biden will sign executive actions related to reopening schools and businesses, and Friday he will “direct his Cabinet agencies to take immediate action to deliver economic relief to working families bearing the brunt of this crisis,” according to the memo.
The following week, according to the memo, Biden will take “significant early actions to advance equity and support communities of color and other underserved communities.”
Biden will also take action to address climate change, expand access to health care, and “restore dignity to our immigration system and our border policies” that week, according to the memo.
The memorandum is sparse on details and notes that Biden is spacing out the executive actions to highlight the activity.
It also notes that while the goals behind the executive actions are “bold,” they are bolstered by “well-founded” legal theory and represent “a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the President.”
Klain wrote in the memo that legislation will be needed for the administration’s more ambitious agenda items, including immigration reform and boosting the federal minimum wage.
Biden unveiled his $1.9 billion Covid-19 relief agenda on Thursday, which calls for measures to help the country combat the public health crisis as well as new injections of cash to help stimulate the economy. The plan would also increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Democrats control the House of Representatives and will soon take control of the Senate, following the defeat of two Republicans in runoff Senate races in Georgia earlier this month. But Klain said on Sunday that given Democrats’ narrow majorities, the Biden team will push to gain GOP support for its plans.
Democrats hold 222 seats in the House compared to the GOP’s 212, and the parties will evenly divide the Senate 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to cast tie breaking votes.
“We are going to try to work hard with people in both parties,” Klain said on CNN.
“The American people voted in November, and they voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden, no question, but they elected an evenly divided Senate, they elected a closely divided Congress, we are going to have to find ways for Democrats and Republicans to get things done,” he added.
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