Here’s what president-elect Joe Biden has planned for his first days in office

By Harriet Piercy

Published Jan 20, 2021 at 09:30 AM

Reading time: 3 minutes

For the last two years, president-elect Joe Biden has been telling America, as well as the rest of the world, what he plans to do on his first day in office, and the rest after that. Well, today is the day Biden! 20 January 2021 marks ‘go’, and to place one of his campaign statements against Donald Trump into a post-election America, the “battle for the soul of the nation” is about to really begin, and we’re hoping he’s as ready as we are to see it. To recap, what are Biden’s plans for his first few days as president, exactly?

COVID-19 response

First up, he’s going to address the not-so-tiny elephant in the room: COVID-19. First, Biden is planning on rejoining the World Health Organisation. Unfortunately (in the short term) this does mean an extension of nationwide restrictions, but positively this also includes restrictions on home evictions and foreclosures.

The president has also promised to continue the pause of student loan payments, and there will be a push for passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 economic relief plan, which will aim to increase vaccine capabilities, assist families needing direct financial support and provide emergency funds for cash-poor small businesses.

Climate change

Biden will also be signing an executive order to formulate a plan to achieve 100 per cent clean energy economy and net zero emissions by 2050. This the first action on his long list of climate change improvements, as Trump was undeniably a bit of an unfriendly boy in his presidential timeshe took himself and the US out of the Paris climate agreement, which is why Biden is planning on shaking some hands and say ‘sorry but can we be friends again?’.

Environment is also on the top of his list, and an executive order “to conserve 30 per cent of America’s lands and waters by 2030” will be made on his first day in office. Further down Biden’s presidency (but still in its first 100 days) he promises to also organise a “climate world summit” in order to push world leaders to tackle climate change more aggressively, especially when it comes to global shipping and aviation emissions. Biden doesn’t need congressional approval for this to go forward either, and the new president has also promised alongside this to pressure China into stopping the subsidising of coal and “outsourcing” pollution.


A bill will be sent to Congress on his first day in office “for legislative immigration reform that will modernise our immigration system,” as promised in his environmental justice plan. All of Biden’s first day decisions may take a while to eventualise, however, change always takes time to occur.

Although not on his immediate first-day to-fix list, Biden also plans to end the so-called ‘Muslim ban’ on travel, which restricts travel and immigration to the US from places like Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and also recently Eritrea, Nigeria, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan and Tanzania.

Transgender rights

Trump’s presidential term resulted in a repeal military ban on transgender rights, but Biden has promised to fix that and instead restore Obama’s guidance for transgender students in schools to align with their safety and gender identity, specifically allowing students to play the sports they pick and use bathrooms according to their own gender identity.

This leads me to America’s hopeful future for education, which Biden highlighted in his victory speech as important. He praised his wife, who is an English professor herself, and added: “For American educators, this is a great day for you all. You are going to have one of your own in the White House.” Jill Biden will also be the first Flotus to have a paid job outside of the White House.

The Equality Act bill is also aiming to be pushed through, which will provide more protections for LGBTQ+ Americans, and Biden has promised that one key effort in updating the ‘Violence Against Women Act’ that Biden as a senator authored in 1994, would be to include greater protection for transgender women.

Joe Biden’s first 100 days

Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the term in 1933, ‘the first 100 days’ have been seen as a vital benchmark as to which the effectiveness of a president is measured against. And after the above list is ticked off, Biden will rely on Congress to approve many of the initiatives that he aims to accomplish in the 100 days after his first. This in itself is no easy task, but here is the rest of Biden’s to-do list which he relies on Congress for the ‘yes, OK Biden you may proceed’.

Economic recovery

Biden’s initiative to “Build Back Better” will begin to take shape in February 2021, following an economic plan that was released during the general election. It involves Americans spending money on American made products, health services and infrastructure updates.

Tax cuts

In order to pay for many of these to-do list items, Biden has stated that he would fight for the repeal of tax cut laws which Trump secured in 2017, and argued that the tax cuts currently in place favour the wealthier Americans.

Guns, violence and racism

Biden has pledged that in his first 100 days he will establish a new police oversight body to address institutional racism, and a bill is also expected to be drawn up to end gun background check ‘loopholes’ and repeal liability protection for gun manufacturers, which would allow US citizens to sue the gun industry if a gun is used in a crime.

The new president has also committed to tackling systemic racism in America, and stated in his victory speech that “At those moments when this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the African-American community stood up again for me… You’ve always had my back and I’ll have yours.”

Overall, we expect Biden to focus on the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, strengthening international relations and improving relationships for the near future, and all we can do is wait and see if Congress approves the rest of his promises.

Keep On Reading

By Charlie Sawyer

Jamaica women’s football team forced to crowdfund in order to attend 2023 Women’s World Cup

By Alma Fabiani

Conspiracy theorists believe Amber Heard’s daughter Oonagh is ex Elon Musk’s love child

By Charlie Sawyer

No, controversial comedian Matt Rife didn’t compare himself to Bin Laden

By Charlie Sawyer

Kim Kardashian reveals that Tristan Thompson has been there for her amid Kanye West divorce

By Charlie Sawyer

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacks Home Secretary Suella Braverman as cabinet reshuffle begins

By Alma Fabiani

CDC warns US doctors of deadly Vibrio vulnificus outbreak as flesh-eating bacteria claims more lives

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

The wrong shoe theory has blown up on TikTok. Here’s how you can apply it to your autumn wardrobe

By Charlie Sawyer

In defence of romanticising your life, even though The Guardian thinks it makes gen Z boring

By Abby Amoakuh

Should the age limit for politicians be 75? Experts weigh in on the rise of gerontocracies

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Meet Kenya’s activists risking their lives to fight their country’s crackdown on LGBTQIA+ rights

By Abby Amoakuh

Kim Kardashian shows up with cameras for jury duty in gang murder case

By Alma Fabiani

How to unlock Netflix’s secret category codes to access hidden films and series genres

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

Skincare who? Scalp treatments and hair care content are gen Z’s new favourite trends

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

To speak or not to speak: Celebrities are facing backlash over Israel-Palestine social media posts

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Thousands of teenage boys identified as top targets of sexting extortion in the US

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Watch this chilling encounter of divers stumbling upon a terrifying doomsday creature

By Charlie Sawyer

Updated release dates for 5 of the most popular TV shows affected by Hollywood writers’ strikes

By Charlie Sawyer

Melania Trump’s recent prenup revamp proves she’s quiet quitting her marriage to Donald Trump

By Charlie Sawyer

How Brittany Broski went from viral Kombucha meme to internet royalty

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Inside the Bibby Stockholm: A complex story of asylum seeker housing and human rights