Assuming nobody shows up to burn down Capitol Hill on Wednesday (still a big assumption, I know), Joe Biden’s team, leading with Ron Klain, is trumpeting a “blitz” of executive orders that the incoming president plans to sign on the day of his inauguration, with many more to come over the course of the first ten days. Many of these plans went almost unmentioned during Joe’s basement campaign, while others received a bit of air time, but are going much further than what he mentioned on the campaign trail. Should we be taking the time to point out that Biden frequently complained about Donald Trump’s use of executive orders to “bypass Congress,” after having nothing bad to say about Barack Obama doing the same thing when Uncle Joe was the veep? Of course. But what’s the point, really? “It’s clever when we do it but it’s evil when they do it” is standard fare in American politics.
The Associated Press has compiled a list of the promises (or threats, depending on your point of view) that the incoming Biden administration is making. Here are some of the lowlights.
Biden will immediately end the travel ban imposed on “several Muslim-majority countries.” He’s not saying which ones yet, but Biden is obviously going to try to reheat the “Muslim ban” talk while ignoring the large number of terrorists who seek to enter our country from particular areas. At the same time, some of those countries are currently being overwhelmed with COVID outbreaks, but I suppose we’re supposed to ignore that for now.
Further, he will (somehow) create an “8-year path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally.” That’s right. Amnesty. You didn’t hear Joe going that far on the campaign trail. And in case you’re wondering, he’s not just talking about the “dreamers” here. We know that because Klain specified that there would be “a faster track” for those who qualified for DACA. So does this mean that Joe Biden plans to effectively “abolish ICE” now? After all, what’s the point in having an immigration enforcement agency if nobody can be deported and everyone winds up winning the citizenship lottery after violating our laws?
Face Mask Mandate
As you will recall, Biden never came out and said he would issue a mask mandate during the primary or the general election debates. But then, after he was declared the winner, he said he would issue a federal mandate. So now, even as we’re vaccinating people by the millions and supposedly easing our way out of the pandemic, Joe Biden will issue an executive order requiring the wearing of face masks “on federal property and during interstate travel.”
Keep in mind that “federal property” includes a lot more than just the District of Columbia. It includes every federal courthouse and administrative building in the country. And what sort of “interstate travel” is he talking about? Does this mean it will be a federal rule that you have to wear a mask in your car while crossing state lines? Yeah. Just try enforcing that one, Joe. This is a joke and I won’t be complying, I can assure you.
On day one, Biden is promising to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. We’ve beaten this topic to death here over the years, but nothing much has really changed. The Paris Agreement is a treaty in all but name. Treaties are supposed to be approved by the Senate. Obama never should have signed onto it and Biden’s willingness to lock our country into subservience to some global cabal of eco-warriors using nothing more than “the pen and the phone” is an insult. We saw Democrats using the courts to challenge any number of Trump’s executive orders over the past four years. Republicans need to adopt the same tactic from day one and get an injunction against this decision before Biden has had time to change the drapes in the Oval Office.
Debt Forgiveness, Etc.
Some additional executive orders will include an extension to the federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures along with a renewal of the “pause on student loan payments.” We’ve covered the eviction crisis here extensively, not just from the perspective of renters but the crushing damage these mandates have done to landlords. Biden is probably going to wind up putting a significant portion of the mom and pop, small business landlords into bankruptcy. (Some of them are already there or close to it.)
As far as the student loan situation goes, I’ve never been clear on how the federal government can push its snout into the private sector banking industry without action by Congress. Giving the chief executive the power to do this with no legislative oversight seems as if it can’t be constitutional. And yet, it turned out to be another power that seemed to be handed over on a silver platter using the pandemic as an excuse. This is another order that needs to be hit with a court injunction before it takes root.
Later in the first ten days, Klain promised that Biden would sign executive orders relating to “criminal justice reform.” Hoo boy. They aren’t offering any specifics yet, but you can all guess where this is going. Despite having denied supporting either defunding or abolishing the police prior to the election, it’s obvious that Status Quo Joe will have the cops in his sights early in his administration. But has he made any mention of executive orders designed to stem the surge in violent crime in cities around the nation? Nope. You haven’t heard a peep about that, and you’re not likely to in the near future.
Welcome to the Biden presidency. This probably wouldn’t be a bad time to stock up on guns, ammunition and supplies if you haven’t done so already. The era of the federal government prioritizing law and order ends at noon on Wednesday.