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President Biden Revokes Trump Administration’s Executive Orders

On February 26, President Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14018, which revoked a number of EOs and Declarations issued during the Trump Administration.  The orders revoked include:

  • Executive Order 13772—Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System.  This EO outlined the Trump Administration’s financial regulatory principles and required the Department of Treasury to review the Financial Stability Oversight Council, established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
  • Executive Order 13828—Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility.  This action taken by the Trump Administration required secretaries of several agencies to review federal assistance programs to determine whether adding work requirements would help achieve program objectives.
  • Memorandum of January 29, 2020—Delegation of Certain Authority Under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.  Under this memorandum, President Trump gave the Secretary of Defense the authority to prevent Department of Defense employees from unionizing.
  • Executive Order 13924—Regulatory Relief To Support Economic Recovery.  The revocation of this  EO will likely ease numerous burdens upon federal agencies.  The EO was promoted as calling on federal agencies to provide regulatory flexibilities to promote job creation and economic growth and provide regulatory relief to businesses as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The EO was accompanied by a far-reaching memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) which set forth numerous principles and requirements regarding, among other things, agency enforcement and adjudication and requirements that agency heads revise their procedures and practice to be in accordance with them.  The memorandum instructed on imposition of liabilities, transparency, discovery and adjudication, penalties, and the duration of consent orders, among other topics.  The result was a significant effort by agencies to attempt to comply with the EO and the OMB.  For example, the Department of Health and Human Services solicited comments on more than 300 agency actions.  The Biden Administration’s revocation of EO 13924 presumably means that the OMB memorandum would be revoked, along with changes to rules and practices that agencies had to implement. 
  • Memorandum of September 2, 2020—Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds That Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities.  This memorandum directed the Department of Justice to identify “anarchist jurisdictions” and OMB to direct heads of agencies to restrict federal grants to those jurisdictions.
  • Executive Order 13967—Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture.  This EO required that new federal buildings in Washington, DC and federal buildings outside of the city carrying a budget of more than $50 million be designed in accordance with neoclassical style.
  • Executive Order 13979—Insuring Democratic Accountability in Agency Rulemaking.  Under this EO, federal career employees were prohibited from issuing rules that have the force of law.

The Biden Administration has also issued EOs to create resilient supply chains, require facemasks in federal buildings, improve access to COIVD-19 care, rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, and pause border wall construction.  President Biden is expected to continue to issue EOs to reverse controversial Trump Administration policies and facilitate the economic recovery from COVID-19.  Administrative agencies were significantly altering existing practices and policies, curtailing activities, and assuming new burdens before initiating actions through a combination of EOs and OMB memos, such as with the now revoked EO 13294.  It is likely that, with these changes to EO and OMB oversight and confirmation of new agency leadership, we will see more regular agency activity resume, including potentially increased rulemaking, enforcement, and guidance development.

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