Joe Biden will set out to quickly reverse some of Donald Trump’s most controversial policies with a series of management actions within 10 days of his inauguration on Wednesday.
As Washington prepares for the most unorthodox inauguration in modern US history – with Mr Trump facing a Senate Accused trial and pandemic forcing reduced event – Mr Biden plans immediate actions to tackle the pandemic and other crises after he is sworn in.
Ron Klain, the new White House chief of staff, said Mr Biden would focus his inaugural address on a message of unity and the need to quickly implement policies to deal with the significant crises facing the country. .
“It’s a message to get things done,” Klain told CNN on Sunday. “He is going to come back to the White House after giving that speech on Capitol Hill and take immediate action. . . to move this country forward.
As Mr Biden prepares to enter the White House, Washington has grown significantly security to prevent the kind of violence that occurred when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on January 6.
The Pentagon has approved the deployment of 25,000 National Guard troops to work with the Capitol Police, the FBI and the Secret Service. Many buildings in downtown Washington have been closed and the National Mall, which runs from Congress to the Lincoln Memorial, has been closed. While security is still tight for major presidential events, the scene in the capital looked like a war zone.
State capitals across the United States were also bracing for possible violence in the coming days following FBI warnings. In Michigan, where pro-Trump supporters plotted last year to kidnap the Democratic governor Gretchen whitmer, the National Guard has deployed Humvees outside the Statehouse in preparation for the expected protests in the capital in Lansing.
As of Sunday morning, however, few had arrived in the state capital for a planned protest.
In a note, Mr Klain said early actions would focus on combating the pandemic and the economic recovery, the climate crisis and the problem of racial inequity in America. He said Mr. Biden would revoke the travel ban for Muslims that Mr. Trump put in place four years ago. He will also propose legislation that would pave the way for citizenship for the 11 million immigrants who live illegally in America.
Speaking as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the US economy and the number of Americans killed by the virus approaches 400,000, Mr Klain said Mr Biden will expand restrictions on deportations and foreclosures to protect Americans who are unable to pay their rent or mortgage.
Mr Biden will take office as the Senate prepares to try Mr Trump after the House impeached him for inciting the insurgency that resulted in the deaths of five people. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House, did not say when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate, a move necessary to trigger the start of the trial in the upper house.
Mr Klain said he hoped senators would balance the demands of the trial with the need to hold hearings to approve cabinet secretaries and other high-level appointments that require Senate confirmation.
“I hope that the leadership of the Senate, on a bipartisan basis, will find a way to move forward in all of their responsibilities,” he said. “This impeachment trial is one of them. . . but getting people into government and taking action against the coronavirus is another.
Mr Klain said Mr Biden would work hard to strike deals with Republicans, while acknowledging that a large group of GOP lawmakers, including several senators, had opposed certification of his election victory.
“The American people. . . elected an equally divided Senate, they elected a tightly divided Congress, ”Klain said. “We’re going to have to find ways for Democrats and Republicans to get things done.”
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