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Biden using power of executive orders in early days of presidency

Orders have hit on multiple topics, including the pandemic
Joe Biden
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 16:35:50-05

Within hours of taking office, President Joe Biden issued more than a dozen executive orders, memos and proclamations.

Executive action by the president is one of the fastest and most effective way for the federal government to take action.

“The administration wants to be seen as taking swift action on many of the crises that the country currently faces,” said Michael Berry, a political science professor at University of Colorado Denver.

He says we should expect more executive action, but major reforms will have to be signed off by another branch of government.

“When we talk about major kinds of reforms or economic stimulus or investing more in public health, those sorts of investments likely require congressional approval,” said Berry.

Congress controls funding for the federal government, but it can’t act nearly as quickly as the president can.

Some of the areas Biden has issued executive orders in are the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, immigration, the environment and civil rights.

“I think the signal from the administration is that immigration is going to be an important item on their agenda and some of the substance of some of the announcements we’re seeing is they’ve appeared to be taking seriously some of the promises that the Biden-Harris campaign made,” said César Garcia Hernandez, a professor of Law at the University of Denver.

The Biden administration issued multiple orders and memos reinforcing its stance on immigration including reaffirming DACA and halting construction on the boarder wall.

Possibly the most important task of his presidency is reining in the pandemic and increasing vaccine distribution is a key part of that.

“And one of the problems is that if something really boring happens like you don’t have enough caps for your vials. That’s just as bad as if something went wrong in manufacturing of the vaccine itself,” said Govind Persad, also a professor at the University of Denver.

He has been keeping an eye on the new president's response to the pandemic.

That will include using federal resources and making more of a national war time effort to fight the virus.

“One big aspect of this I’m talking about is using federal resources to support states to have high capacity sites for doing vaccinations. This is where the analogy of a war time effort might be interesting,” said Persad.

Congress will have a lot on their plate dealing with a possible impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, leaving a lot of these issues to Biden and the executive branch.