President Biden’s first year marked by executive action, frustration

Ava Wittman, Co-Copy/Co-News Editor

With the constant fluidity of the world, only exacerbated with an ongoing pandemic, the 2020 elections may seem far in the rearview mirror. President Joe Biden has held office for over a year now, so let’s take a look at some of what he’s done so far. 


January 2021 – Action against COVID-19

In quite literally the first few days of his presidency, Biden began signing executive orders to take action against COVID. These actions included rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO), requiring masks on federal properties and setting up a COVID center that reported directly to the President. Biden also made moves to alleviate financial stress exacerbated by COVID in the beginning of his presidency by continuing both the halting of federal evictions until March and pausing student loan collections until September. 


January 2021 – Starts strong on climate change 

Biden immediately began work on making climate change a large part of his platform. He rejoined the Paris Accord and signed an executive order to make climate change a larger part of foreign policy.


January 2021 – Overturns ban on transgender citizens joining the military

The title pretty much sums it up entirely here; early in his presidency, Biden overturned President Trump’s ban on allowing trasngender citizens to participate in the United States Army. 


March 2021 – A time aimed at equity 

In March of his presidency, Biden signed two executive orders aimed at increasing equality in one way or another. One of these was aimed at guaranteeing education spaces free from discrimination, and the other was a policy aimed at finding ways to increase gender equality in the workplace throughout the United States. 


April 2021 – A court for the court 

Biden implemented a sort of council that will be working on the weighing of Supreme Court reforms. Although this court will not be overseeing the Supreme Court, they will be providing reports on the main arguments for and against the reform of the Court. 


May 2021 – The CCSO 

Biden formed the Climate Change Support Office (CCSO) as a temporary office tasked with aiding the State Department in climate change-related issues, such as engaging diplomats in the issues, ensuring climate change is more greatly incorporated into foreign policy and encouraging other nations to participate in combating climate change. 


August 2021 – Clean Car Legislation 

Somewhat of a surprise to many, Biden issued an executive order stating a goal that 50 percent of all vehicles on our roads will be zero emissions vehicles by 2050.


September 2021 – Vaccination requirements

Biden signed another executive order stating that federal employees, as of September, would be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. That order has since been struck down by a federal court.

While these are just a few of the executive orders that gained a lot of attention throughout Biden’s first year, it is in no way an exhaustive list. Additionally, while many of these are viewed as positive accomplishments by the media, Biden has also faced criticism for what he did not do, or more specifically, what he said he would do and didn’t. Some of Biden’s success in the 2020 presidential election was attributed to his promise to reunite the parties and unify United States politics, and many believe he has fallen short.