Economic Policy Brief #107

Biden’s Economic Executive Orders

Rosalind Gottfried        

February 1, 2021


In addition to his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, now being debated in Congress, President Biden has signed  a number of Executive Orders  affecting the  well-being of struggling Americans.

These included a request that the Department of Education further suspend student loan payments to alleviate the burden on debt carrying graduates.  He also requested the suspension of evictions and foreclosures on 44 million rental units across the country.

.  A group of Covid-19 related Executive Orders included  creating a Covid-19 response coordinator position; invoking the Defense Production Act to fill supply shortfalls; providing for FEMA reimbursement for National Guard costs; establishing a pandemic testing board and expanding testing; bolstering access to treatment and care for the virus; improve collection and analysis of pandemic related data; mounting a more effective vaccinating campaign; providing guidance for the safe re-opening of schools; establishing an OSHA guide for worker safety; establishing a covid-19 Health Equity Task Force; and tightening Buy American rules for government COVID-related  procurements.  Addition Executive Orders called for  an end to the Justice department’s utilization of private prisons and restored the collective bargaining rights of federal workers.


Biden has made use of Executive Orders to pass what can be done through this mechanism. However Executive Orders do not allow for the funding of new programs; that is the responsibility of Congress to approve. So the President is now  pushing for a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief program and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to start the process of  Budget Reconciliation that would allow for the Bill to pass with a split 50-50 vote with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie and casting the deciding vote..  House leadership is also moving to pass the Bill through a budget reconciliation process.

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