Climate, Covid-19, immigration … Barely installed in the White House, Joe Biden made the United States operate a 180-degree turn, revisiting the most emblematic decisions of the Trump years. With several strokes of the pen, the new president buried the “America First” of his predecessor: a few hours were enough for America to reinstate the Paris agreement on climate change, find the World Health Organization and suspend construction of the wall on the Mexican border.
Departure with a fanfare
This departure with fanfare was planned for a long time, and well orchestrated. About fifteen decrees awaited Joe Biden in the Oval Office when he arrived at the White House on Wednesday, January 20, ready to be initialed in front of the television cameras. With a clear message: unilateralism, withdrawal into oneself and flippancy – on the health of the planet as well as that of Americans – will no longer have their place in Washington for the next four years. The mask, so mocked by Donald Trump, is now mandatory for federal employees, and visitors requesting their services.
→ READ. Joe Biden takes oath and changes the tone of the United States
And this is just the beginning: other decrees, especially on Covid-19, a priority of priorities, are ready, assure the advisers of the Democratic president, a sign of Joe Biden’s determination to strike the minds of Americans, and the world. « This recourse to decrees is indicative of the gap that separates these two administrations, in particular on issues such as immigration and the environment, and therefore of the desire, in Joe Biden, to erase the action of his predecessor, notes a European diplomat stationed in Washington. But it also says a lot about the ineffectiveness of Donald Trump, whose legacy is essentially the result of decrees, not legislative reforms. “
To implement his program, Donald Trump had indeed favored this tool in the service of the executive power, to the detriment of the law. This is how the most significant measures of his presidency were adopted – including the ban on entry into the United States for nationals of predominantly Muslim countries, also lifted by Joe Biden. With the exception of a tax cut, the legislative record of the former head of state, now based in Florida, is extremely poor. “A decree has the great advantage, for the Head of State, of not requiring the approval of parliamentarians. But this strength is also its fragility: a decree can be erased… by another ”, continues the diplomat.
The President of All Americans
Quick on the bottom since his arrival at the White House, the former number 2 of Barack Obama has not neglected the form: he knows that he has little chance of succeeding if he does not succeed, as he says, to “Lower the temperature” in a land plagued by discord and division.
Since taking the oath, he has not failed in his public speeches to address everyone and reach out – where his predecessor spoke to his supporters and clenched his fist. “I will be a president for all Americans, he declared Wednesday, January 20 from the steps of the Capitol. And I promise that I will fight as hard for those who didn’t support me as I do for those who did. “
→ INVESTIGATION. United States: reconciling the country, mission almost impossible for Joe Biden
For now, the state of grace continues, commensurate with the disgrace of Donald Trump, who left Washington at the lowest in the polls. Two-thirds of Americans hail Joe Biden’s attitude during this particularly tense and difficult period of transition. Not enough to move the new tenant of the White House who, at 78, is aware of the fickleness of public opinion. Nor the virulence of its new adversary, the Covid-19, which has never been so deadly in the United States as since the start of the year.
Iconic first steps from Biden
Joe Biden has already signed 17 presidential decrees including:
The return of the United States to the Paris agreement on the climate;
The return of the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO);
Keystone XL pipeline construction project halted between Canada and the United States, launched in 2008, canceled for the first time by Barack Obama for environmental reasons then put back on track by Donald Trump;
Stopping the construction of the wall between the United States and Mexico;
Cancellation of the migration decree prohibiting nationals of predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.