ST PAUL, Minn. — With a new president, there is a lot of focus on the first 100 days. But with President-elect Joe Biden, "urgent action" will start in the first 10 days.
On Saturday, incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain sent a memo to incoming White House senior staff on the first 10 days of the administration. The memo said urgent action will be taken on four crises: the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis.
"Usually presidents do issue a few executive orders coming in on the first day or two, but all accounts are that the number and the scope of these orders is going to be far different than we've really seen perhaps since Franklin Delano Roosevelt came into office," said David Schultz, a political science professor at Hamline University. "The estimates are he may have two, three dozen executive orders anywhere on issues from putting the U.S. back into the World Health Organization, the Paris environmental accords, to a whole bunch of executive orders on environmental and sort of health policy."
On Inauguration Day, President-elect Biden plans to sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises previously mentioned. That includes moving to rejoin the Paris Agreement, ending the travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries and sending an immigration reform bill to Congress on his first day in office.
As expected, the pandemic will be a top priority.
Biden will launch a "100 Day Masking Challenge" by issuing a mask mandate on federal property and inter-state travel. Biden will also ask the Department of Education to continue the pause on student loan payments and extend restrictions on evictions and foreclosures.
On his second day in office, Biden is planning to sign a number of executive actions aimed at reopening schools and businesses, including expanding testing and clearer public health standards.
"President-elect Biden made it clear during the campaign... he's said that if you want to fix the economy, you've got to take care of the pandemic first," Schultz said.
In the week that follows, Biden will begin working to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The memo also mentions taking "significant early actions to advance equity and support communities of color and other under-served communities."
"So what we're really going to see is within just a matter of a few days, an incredible amount of action by the president," Schultz said.
Biden also plans to sign executive actions to address the climate crisis.
"A lot of people who voted for him really voted for him because they care intensely about the environment and they saw Donald Trump as somebody who was opposed to regular environmental legislation who seemed to be in denial about climate change. So Biden is going to take some very quick steps, immediate steps, to executive order but also wants to lay out a legislative path to address these issues," Schultz explained.
Biden is proposing a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that includes $1,400 direct payments to Americans. The president-elect has also promised to carry out 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days as president.