Biden Administration’s First Actions

The first 100 days of the Biden Administration begin today with actions that may impact the Public Sector Workforce.

white houseImmediately after his inauguration, President Biden issued 17 executive orders and statements covering his top priorities for the first 100 days in office, including a national COVID-19 pandemic response, racial equity and diversity actions, economic relief efforts, and climate crisis initiatives.

For the next 10 days, each day will feature a different focus of the administration. Today’s actions focus on addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by:

  • Establishing a White House team tasked with launching and coordinating a fast and equitable national vaccination program.
  • Restoring the Global Health Security and Biodefense unit at the National Security Council, which will “complete a review of and recommend actions to the President concerning emerging domestic and global biological risks and national biopreparedness policies.”
  • Implementing a Federal mask mandate requiring federal employees, contractors, and any individual in Federal buildings and lands to “wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.”
  • Encouraging mask usage nationally by having “Health and Human Services (HHS), including through the Director of CDC, shall engage, as appropriate, with State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials, as well as business, union, academic, and other community leaders, regarding mask-wearing and other public health measures, with the goal of maximizing public compliance with, and addressing any obstacles to, mask-wearing and other public health best practices identified by CDC.”
  • Notifying the United Nations that the United States will not withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO) and will continue to participate in “advancing global health and health security.”

Some other key orders and statements issued yesterday, January 20, also include:

  • Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities, included in the executive order is a comprehensive definition of equity.
  • Directing every Federal agency to “undertake a review of the state of equity within their agency and deliver an action plan within 200 days to address unequal barriers to opportunity in agency policies and programs.”
  • Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.
  • Revoking Executive Order 13950 of September 22, 2020 (Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping), which limited diversity and inclusion training in the workplace, and within 60 days requiring impacted agencies to review, identify, and consider suspending or revising any action supporting the previous order.
  • Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.
  • Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, a global effort to combat climate change by committing to reduce fossil fuel use.

President Biden is also issuing a regulatory freeze until a review by the incoming administration, a standard practice for any new administration. Over the next few weeks, President Biden is also expected to roll back the schedule F executive order issued by the previous administration and restore collective bargaining rights to federal employees.

To review the executive orders and statements as they are issued please see the following White House websites:

White House Presidential Actions

White House Statements

Find us on social media!

Subscribe to the HR Bulletin