President Joe Biden signed three documents in the President’s Room at the U.S. Capitol shortly after his swearing-in ceremony, his first official act as the 46th president.
Biden signed the Inauguration Day Proclamation and documents for nominations to Cabinet and sub-Cabinet administration positions.
The signings were part of his campaign promise to reverse many of former President Donald Trump’s actions over the past four years by signing a series of executive orders on his first day in office.
In a statement Wednesday, Biden’s transition team said some of those issues include addressing the coronavirus crisis, immigration and climate change.
Almost immediately after taking the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol, aides said Biden would end the ban on travel from some Muslim-majority countries, halt construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization.
Transition team officials also said Biden would order federal agencies to review policies that reinforce systemic racism, require the federal government not to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation and revoke a Trump order to exclude non-citizens from the U.S. Census.
Biden also plans to fulfill his campaign promise to help financially distressed Americans cope with effects of the coronavirus pandemic. He will extend a federal freeze on evictions and ask federal agencies to extend a suspension on foreclosures on federally guaranteed mortgages.
The new president will also provide relief to students with large education loans by continuing a suspension on federal student loan interest and principal payments for the next eight months.
Aides said Biden would take dozens of other executive actions in the next 10 days, as he seeks to quickly redirect the country without waiting for congressional approval.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would revoke the Defense Department’s ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces as well as a policy that prohibits U.S. funding for international groups that perform abortions or help women get abortion services.
Only two recent presidents signed executive orders on their first day in office, and each signed just one. But aides said as Biden faces a worsening coronavirus pandemic, he is determined to act with a sense of urgency.