We have already started 2021 off with Capitol riots, our Commander in Chief getting Impeached for the SECOND time, and Inauguration Day. Yes, President Biden is now the 46th president of the United States of America. And as the current president, he has already started signing executive orders. Quite a lot, actually. Oh boy, here we go.
The most basic question to ask at the moment is, “What is an executive order?” Well, here’s your answer. An executive order is just like what it sounds like. Orders produced by the President, head of the executive branch- that are generally directed to, and govern actions, by Government officials and agencies. Okay, maybe it’s not what it sounds like. To clarify, it’s a rule or order issued by the president to an executive branch of the government and having the force of law. Executive Orders are issued by the White House and are used to direct the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. It states mandatory requirements for the Executive Branch and has the effect of law. Here’s an example of an executive order. ( Or two, or three)
Some of the most notable executive orders in the past include President Franklin D Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 ( February 19, 1942), which authorized the mass internment of Japanese Americans during WWII; President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order 9981, which abolished racial segregation in the U.S. military; and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10730, which dispatched federal troops to protect the civil rights of the Little Rock Nine during the integration of Little Rock’s Central High School.
So far, as of today, President Biden has signed 30 executive orders. So, I’m going to list the top 5 which I think are the most important. This is for two reasons. One, it’s a better idea to point out the most important and key ones rather than all. Two, I don’t have enough energy to write about all 30.
Executive Order on Organizing and Mobilizing the United States Government to Provide a Unified and Effective Response to Combat COVID-19 and to Provide United States Leadership on Global Health and Security
Section 1 ( Purpose):
” The Federal Government must act swiftly and aggressively to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To that end, this order creates the position of Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President and takes other steps to organize the White House and activities of the Federal Government to combat COVID-19 and prepare for future biological and pandemic threats.” – White House
Section 2: ( Organizing the White House to Combat COVID-19. COVID-19 Response Coordinator)
Reason: One word to sum up 2020 is, Coronavirus. When we look back to 2020, we will forever remember what the pandemic did to our lives. There were huge numbers of deaths, and every day there were more cases reported than the last. Seeing how bad the virus was this time, the one next time will very much be much, much worse. We need to make sure we have some sort of firm plan and strategy for next time so that we don’t go through something worse.
2. Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing
Section 1 ( Policy):
“It is the policy of my Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing… Put simply, masks and other public health measures reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when communities make widespread use of such measures, and thus save lives.” – White House
Section 3: ( Encouraging Masking across America)
Reason: Even though a vaccine is out, we must still wear masks to protect ourselves from the pandemic. Even though it shouldn’t be forced, it should be HIGHLY encouraged. Hopefully, if we encourage people to do so, they will agree to wear masks. They should still have an option on whether they want to or not, but encouraging helps as well. Especially now. Now that we are slowly, very slowly, fighting back against the virus, we shouldn’t stop what safety measures we were doing.
3. Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities
Section 1 ( Policy):
“Immigrants have helped strengthen America’s families, communities, businesses and workforce, and economy, infusing the United States with creativity, energy, and ingenuity. The task of enforcing the immigration laws is complex and requires setting priorities to best serve the national interest. The policy of my Administration is to protect national and border security, address the humanitarian challenges at the southern border, and ensure public health and safety. We must also adhere to due process of law as we safeguard the dignity and well-being of all families and communities. My Administration will reset the policies and practices for enforcing civil immigration laws to align enforcement with these values and priorities. ” – White House
Reason: America is like a Melting pot. ( I think of crayons when I hear this.) America is America because immigrants from all around the world come together, sharing just a little bit of their culture, their style, their flavor, and blending it with other cultures. Everything comes together, and you have America. It’s where a small crayon shaving from each country gets added to this melting pot to create something truly amazing. Without it, it doesn’t feel right. Immigrants shouldn’t be treated harshly when they come. They should feel safe when coming and not threatened or worried that something would happen to them.
4. Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers
Section 1 ( Policy):
“ Every student in America deserves a high-quality education in a safe environment. This promise, which was already out of reach for too many, has been further threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. School and higher education administrators, educators, faculty, child care providers, custodians, and other staff, and families have gone above and beyond to support children’s and students’ learning and meet their needs during this crisis… However, leadership and support from the Federal Government are needed. Two principles should guide the Federal Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis with respect to schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and higher education institutions. First, the health and safety of children, students, educators, families, and communities is paramount. Second, every student in the United States should have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, during and beyond the pandemic.”- White House
Reason: When the topic of reopening schools first came up, the president decided to hand it over to the state governors and let them decide. The state governors then decide to give it to school districts. They both passed down such an important thing to school districts, and let them decide what they want to do. It may be a pro, but I feel that it’s more like a con. If the federal government had taken this matter into its own hands from the beginning, it wouldn’t have been a problem now. Cases of COVID are popping up in schools, one after the other, and I think it would have been better if the federal government had originally taken this into their own hands instead of handing it down, twice.
5. Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act
Section 1 ( Policy):
“ In the 10 years since its enactment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has reduced the number of uninsured Americans by more than 20 million, extended critical consumer protections to more than 100 million people, and strengthened and improved the Nation’s healthcare system. At the same time, millions of people who are potentially eligible for coverage under the ACA or other laws remain uninsured, and obtaining insurance benefits is more difficult than necessary. For these reasons, it is the policy of my Administration to protect and strengthen Medicaid and the ACA and to make high-quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every American.” – White House
Section 2 ( Special Enrollment Period):
“The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered historic public health and economic crisis. In January of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading, the Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency. In March of 2020, the President declared a national emergency. Although almost a year has passed, the emergency continues — over 5 million Americans have contracted the disease in January 2021, and thousands are dying every week. Over 30 million Americans remain uninsured, preventing many from obtaining necessary health services and treatment…”
Reason: The ACA has helped many in the past ( not too long ago) for people who were in need of medical help and were uninsured. It helped reduce the number ( of uninsured Americans) by more than 20 million and was taken out. It’s a good thing that it will be reinstated and strengthened at this time, for COVID patients that are uninsured. Many, many Americans ( 30 mill. +) do not get the medical treatment and necessary health services required for COVID, simply because they are uninsured. I think it will help to reduce the number of Americans dying from COVID if they get treated even without insurance. Yes, there will be more cases, but at least they will be treated and given the necessary health services to help them.
I am truly sorry for posting this a week late. It just took a while to make sure I had everything in order and I had the right sources to update me and so on. I had to cut down the number of executive orders mentioned to save time, but I have linked a MarketWatch link with a list of key executive orders and a link from the White House with a list of the presidential actions and more details on it. ( I have also added the link for each order listed after the first section.) I hope you are well, bye!