Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden has promised that a lot will get done on “day one” of his potential administration — a federal mask mandate coming at the head of those things Biden believes he can unilaterally order.
“On day one, I’ll sign an executive order to require masks everywhere I can,” Biden tweeted earlier this month.
On day one, I’ll sign an executive order to require masks everywhere I can. pic.twitter.com/ixUbTwHhPk
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 9, 2020
“I’m absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better,” Biden announced on Dec. 8, according to The Independent.
“My first 100 days, I’m going to ask for a masking plan. Everyone for the first 100 days of my administration to wear a mask.”
Biden said this edict would be enforced wherever possible “under the law,” which would include interstate travel, federal buildings and other areas controlled by the federal government.
“I think the issue of a nationwide mandate is going to be tricky,” the chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health officials, Dr. Marcus Plescia, told CNN. “With a lot of these public health laws and regulations, we really depend on social enforcement.”
“It’s very hard to implement public-health measures, because it requires a lot of buy-in,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a Center for Health Security senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University. “I think what [Biden] has to use is the moral authority of the presidency and the moral authority of all the scientists behind him.”
I’m burning every mask I own if Joe Biden gets into office and tries making me wear this thing for another 100 days.
— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) December 17, 2020
Hey creepy Joe Biden this is what I think of your Mask Mandate. pic.twitter.com/uIyW0T5ZJm
— sammywalker77 (@bigkidd77) December 18, 2020
But a federal mask mandate is just the beginning of Biden’s day one list.
“Some of it’s going to depend on the kind of cooperation I can or cannot get from the United States Congress,” Biden has said, according to Fox News.
For example, Biden promised in October 2019 to overhaul tax law to raise taxes on wealthy Americans, which would require Congress to act.
On day one, Joe Biden will move to:
✅ Eliminate the Trump tax cut for the super-wealthy
✅ Eliminate the unjustified loopholes in our tax code
✅ Use that money to invest in America’s future#DemDebate
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 16, 2019
He also plans to send Congress a bill that would create a “clear roadmap” to citizenship for illegal immigrants, particularly those brought to this country as children and covered by the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Here’s my promise to you: On day one, I’ll send a bill to Congress that creates a clear roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers and 11 million undocumented people who are already strengthening our nation. It’s long overdue.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 18, 2020
Congress, however, has debated a variety of related bills during both the Obama and Trump administrations without ever passing any of them.
Biden might be able to move faster on his proposal to alter what’s known as the Migrant Protection Protocols that do not allow immigrants to enter the U.S. until their court hearings run their course, along with his pledge to reverse the Trump administration’s rules limiting asylum requests.
On day one, I will eliminate President Trump’s decision to limit asylum and undo his executive orders that eliminated Obama-Biden enforcement priorities on national security and public safety.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 22, 2019
Likewise, he says he will be able to use his executive order authority to reverse the ban imposed by President Donald Trump on travel to the U.S. from several countries that Trump identified as likely sources of potential terrorist activity.
“The Trump administration’s anti-Muslim bias hurts our economy, betrays our values, and can serve as a powerful terrorist recruiting tool,” Biden’s campaign website claims. “Prohibiting Muslims from entering the country is morally wrong, and there is no intelligence or evidence that suggests it makes our nation more secure. It is yet another abuse of power by the Trump administration designed to target primarily Black and Brown immigrants. Biden will immediately rescind the ‘Muslim bans.’”
If he takes office, the presumptive president-elect can begin to fulfill his additional promise of rejoining the Paris climate accords, but that process needs to involve the cooperation of other nations to allow the United States back into the agreement.
However, a potential President Biden would be able to act in the overall sphere of climate change through his promise to use executive authority to implement new fuel economy standards and re-implement the Clean Air Act.
According to the Biden-Harris campaign website, “Joe’s climate and environmental justice proposal will make a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years, leveraging additional private sector and state and local investments to total more than $5 trillion.”