The new US president Joe Biden signed a number of decrees immediately upon arrival at the White House with which he wants to undo his predecessor’s policies. They were waiting for him in the Oval Office.
Biden began by instituting a masking requirement for visitors to federal buildings. This was followed by a decree ordering the re-entry of the United States to the Paris climate agreement.
The new president said he would go straight to work because there is no time to waste:
He also withdrew presidential permission for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the US and took steps to end the ban on travel to the US from certain Muslim countries.
Letter from Trump
The new president also signed a decree to support a program to prevent the expulsion of immigrants who came to the US as children. He also ended the state of emergency that released money for the border wall with Mexico. In total, Biden signed fifteen decrees.
Biden also found a letter from Trump on his desk. Biden declined to share what his predecessor had written to him, but said Trump had shown himself to be particularly generous.
Call allies, Trudeau first
After signing the decrees, Biden sworn in a number of officials via video link and the first press briefing followed. In it, Bidens press spokesman Jen Psaki emphasized that under the new US president, “truth and transparency” must return to the White House press room.
Psaki said Biden will be calling a number of US allies in the coming days. The first is Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada. That conversation is scheduled for Friday.
It will likely be about Biden’s decision to scrap the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Trudeau said today that he was disappointed with that decision.