Biden’s Executive Orders Cause Debate

Tyler Chrenka, Staff Writer

In his first week as the President of the United States, Joe Biden signed 33 executive orders, actions and memorandums to combat COVID-19 and dismantle former President Trump’s policies. 

Eight of the executive orders concern social inequities and the climate crisis— two of the biggest topics on the Democratic Party’s agenda. These include banning discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, reaffirming DACA and canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, according to CNN. 

“Some of the executive orders that I will be signing today are going to help change the course of the COVID crisis, are going to combat climate change in a way we haven’t done so far and advance racial equity and support for our underserved communities…” Biden said before signing 17 of the orders on Jan. 20. “These are just starting points. These are just executive actions. They are important, but we will need legislation for a lot of the things we are going to do.” 

Because of the Biden administration’s quick action on the current crises in the U.S., junior Mia Hou believes that normal life will resume sooner than expected. 

“Biden’s swift action to increase vaccinations as well as make advancements in social justice, like undoing the transgender military ban, shows that we are finally getting out of the Trump-era that set our country back many years,” Hou said. “I mean, he rejoined the Paris climate accord on his first day in office; it just makes me happy and optimistic seeing things getting done so quickly.” 

In addition to orders concerning social inequities, the climate and COVID-19, Biden took action to help the economic crisis by signing orders that expand unemployment insurance and provide money for those who missed stimulus checks or are unemployed, according to CNN. Biden said that more than 900,000 American’s filed for unemployment during the week of Jan. 16, 2021. This crisis, he said, is “only deepening.” 

Despite Biden’s efforts to combat the problem, senior Jackson Budwell says that some of Biden’s non-economic orders are making things worse.

“So far, Biden has only killed jobs. Namely, he killed the Keystone pipeline, which will cost roughly 10k jobs. He also froze new grants of drilling rights on federal land and froze an oil reserve in Alaska, which will cost jobs,” Budwell said. “Overall, the Biden administration has cost the United States many jobs and worsened the crisis.”