Joe Biden marks start of presidency with flurry of executive orders

Some orders undo significant actions from Trump administration, including the Paris climate agreement, while others address Covid

Joe Biden has marked the start of his presidency by signing a flurry of executive orders on a suite of issues, including Covid-19, the environment, immigration and ethics.

Some of the executive actions undo significant actions from Donald Trump’s administration, including halting the travel ban from Muslim-majority countries, and ending the declaration of a national emergency used to justify funding construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border.Biden returns US to Paris climate accord hours after becoming presidentRead more

He also signed an order allowing the United States to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and end the Trump administration’s efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census data used to determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

The president also moved quickly to address Covid-19, signing orders to mandate mask wearing and social distancing in federal buildings and lands and to create a position of a Covid-19 response coordinator.

In other moves, Biden also revoked the permit granted for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and instructed all executive agencies to review executive actions that were “damaging to the environment, [or] unsupported by the best available science”. Biden also ordered all executive branch employees to sign an ethics pledge and placed limits on their ability to lobby the government while he is in office. The new president also ordered federal agencies to review equity in their existing policies and come up with a plan in 200 days to address inequality in them.

On his first day in office, Biden signed 17 executive actions – 15 will be executive orders.

As he began signing the orders, Biden, wearing a mask and seated behind the resolute desk said: “I think some of the things we’re going to be doing are bold and vital, and there’s no time to start like today.”

It’s not unusual for an incoming president to take executive action immediately after being sworn into office, a move meant to show the nation that the newly inaugurated president is getting to work. But the breadth and volume of Biden’s immediate executive orders underscore how quickly the new president intends to move in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic and turning the page from the Trump administration.

“These executive actions will make an immediate impact in the lives of so many people in desperate need of help,” Wade Henderson, the interim president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement. “Reversing Trump’s deeply discriminatory Muslim ban, addressing the Covid-19 crisis, preventing evictions and foreclosures, and advancing equity and support for communities of color and other underserved communities are significant early actions that represent an important first step in charting a new direction for our country.”

Kamala Harris swears in Raphael Warnock, Alex Padilla and Jon Ossoff on the floor of the Senate.
Kamala Harris swears in Raphael Warnock, Alex Padilla and Jon Ossoff on the floor of the Senate. Photograph: AP

The flurry of activity from Biden came on the same day that Democrats formally took control of the US Senate as the Rev Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were formally sworn in as the two senators from Georgia. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York, is now the Senate majority leader, while Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, is now the minority leader.

Speaking from the Senate floor Schumer was momentarily breathless, saying: “We have turned the page to a new chapter in the history of our democracy and I am full of hope.”

McConnell, in his first remarks as the minority leader, also focused on a message of unity.

“Our country deserves for both sides, both parties, to find common ground for the common good everywhere we can and disagree respectfully where we must,” he said. “The people intentionally trusted both political parties with significant power to shape our nation’s direction.”

Obama, Clinton and Bush congratulate Biden on presidency – video

He also praised Kamala Harris’ historic achievement after she was sworn in as America’s first female vice-president.

“All citizens can applaud the fact that this new three-word phrase ‘Madam vice-president’ is now a part of our American lexicon,” McConnell said.

Looming on the horizon is the second impeachment trial for Trump, who the US voted to impeach earlier this month. In addition to Covid-19 relief, Democrats are also expected to push legislation dealing with immigration reform and voting rights.

Even though Democrats have a majority of votes in the Senate, they still face significant obstacles to get them through. That’s because Senate rules require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, a procedural move that can be used to halt legislation. Some progressives have called for ending the practice, which would allow Democrats to pursue sweeping legislation without GOP support, but it’s unclear if the party will do that.


Etymology & Historical Origin of the Name Ines

Ines is another variation of Agnes (mainly French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish). The French render the name as Inès while in Spanish the accent mark goes the opposite direction (Inés). The Portuguese write Inês and the English (when used) render the name unaccented or spell it Inez. The name’s original root, Agnes, is the Latinized form of the Greek name Hagnē (Ἁγνὴ), derived from “hagnos” meaning “chaste, pure”. Enduring usage of Agnes/Ines is owed almost entirely to an early 4th century saint, one of the so-called “virgin-martyrs”, Agnes of Rome. St. Agnes holds the distinction of being one of only seven female saints (excluding the Virgin Mary) commemorated in the Canon of the Holy Mass (the other six are: Cecilia, Agatha, Lucy, Perpetua, Felicity and Anastasia). Born to the Roman aristocracy c. 291, Agnes was not only educated and wealthy, but she was also said to be quite beautiful and not without her share of many male admirers. However, the “chaste” Agnes, a girl of about 13, refused to marry anyone, as she had already given herself over to Christ as His bride. One of her rejected suitors angrily turned her into the Roman authorities, essentially “outing” her as a Christian (illegal in the then-pagan Roman Empire), and she was consequently sentenced to death. However, since it was against Roman law to execute a virgin, Agnes was dragged to a brothel in an attempt to deflower her. According to legend, the Holy Spirit interceded and all sorts of miraculous circumstances prevented her rape (she grew hair all over her body, the men were struck blind before they could attack her, and so forth). As with many early saints, a cult grew up around Agnes/Ines in the Middle Ages and so the name spread throughout Christian Europe; a particular favorite among royalty and noblewomen. Adding further dimension to this age-old name is the fact that “agnus” is the Latin word for “lamb” (so you often see St. Agnes depicted with a lamb by her side or in her arms). Inès remains a highly popular name in France and Inés is extremely common in Spain. This cosmopolitan-cool name is also used with a fair amount of regularity in Belgium, Catalonia and Sweden.


The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It’s the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.


Inez has always been the preferred spelling of Ines in the United States. However, today, neither one of these names is on America’s Top 1000 list nor given to even 100 baby girls per year. Similarly, Agnes is no longer on the charts. Still, we feel that Ines is a cosmopolitan name since it continues to be used with much enthusiasm throughout Europe (as well as Latin America). It’s a simple name with a pretty pronunciation and far less harsh than old Agnes. The etymology is probably a little too old-fashioned by today’s standards, but Ines/Agnes will always be a favorite among devout Roman Catholics.

Quick Facts


ORIGIN: French




SIMPLE MEANING: Chaste, pure



Famous People

As a first name, it is used by:

As a middle name: