As is typical for incoming presidents, Biden signed several executive orders and actions his first hours in office.  Some of these include:

  • A very routine and expected freeze of all regulations with a future effective date, pending review by his administration over the next 60 days, and revocation of six executive orders from the previous administration
  • Immediately recommitting to the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Addressing several climate initiatives, including establishment of an Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline permit
  • Requiring masks of federal workers and of federal contractors and other individuals interacting with the federal workforce, and to require masks, social distancing, and adherence to other CDC public health guidelines of all individuals in federal buildings and on federal lands
  • Requiring masks in all forms of public transportation, domestic and international
  • Requiring OSHA to publish more robust worker health and safety protections within the next two weeks
  • Creating within the executive branch the position of Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID-19 Response Coordinator) who will chair a new COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board, and the position of Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response…these positions will be charged with a strong federal response to the pandemic, vaccines, data, and worldwide partnerships
  • Creating within HHS a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force “for mitigating the health inequities caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and for preventing such inequities in the future”
  • Renewed enforcement of prohibitions on sex discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Prioritize modernization of the regulatory review process
  • Ethical oaths of executive agency appointees, including bans on lobbying gifts, revolving door situations, and golden parachutes
  • Proclaiming an end to the emergency with respect to our southern border and redirecting border wall funds
  • Protections for DACA and Liberians
  • Continuing the pause on federal student loan payments with interest held at 0%
  • An executive order invoking the Defense Production Act to rapidly supply identified needs for PPE, testing, vaccines, and other medical supplies.  President Trump had invoked this act shortly after declaring a national emergency in March 2020 to rapidly manufacture ventilators and other medical supplies.

His team has also put together a 200-page national strategy document for addressing the pandemic, and talking points on the purpose of the executive orders aimed at economic relief.

IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.

This material should not be considered as a substitute for legal, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.

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