Just a week in office, and President Biden is making some big decisions, including planning to end the federal use of private prisons. Keep scrolling to find out more...
The past week has seen a huge shift for the US.
With Donald Trump leaving the White House and Joe Biden sworn in as the President of the United States.
Combined with the Democrats gaining control of the Senate, some big change are underway.
In fact, just a week after he was sworn in, President Biden has already made some big decisions.
Clearly, he is wasting no time putting his mark firmly upon our country.
Biden has been busy dismantling a whole array of Trump-era regulations.
He reportedly wasted no time removing Trump's diet coke button from the Oval Office
Mere hours after his inauguration ceremony, Biden fulfilled one of his top campaign promises by pledging to put the U.S. back in the Paris Agreement on climate change - an international pact aimed at curbing emissions that cause global warming.
Trump famously withdrew from the agreement in 2017, citing costs to American taxpayers.
He also clamped down on the country's COVID-19 response.
Biden signed an executive order which created the position of COVID-19 response coordinator, who will advise the president and oversee the distribution of vaccines, tests, and other supplies.
An executive order requiring mask-wearing on federal property was also signed.
Then the Democrats introduced a bill proposing to more than double the US minimum wage by 2025.
If passed, the "Raise the Wage Act" would initially see the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour increased to $9.50.
Following that, increases would gradually happen until the wage reaches $15 in 2025.
A version of the bill was passed back in 2019, but it was never voted upon in the then Republican controlled Senate.
And as for the country's ongoing racial division?
Well, Biden has already got to work on putting the pieces back together.
He first signed an executive order to promote racial equity.
Biden ordered his government to conduct equity assessments of its agencies and reallocate resources to "advance equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality."
He then reversed Trump's infamous ban on U.S. entry from majority-Muslim countries.
Biden's proclamation reversed Trump's policy that barred entry to the U.S. for refugees and residents from 7 predominantly Muslim countries and orders plans within forty-five days for resuming visa processing.
Then he brought back the plans for the face of Harriet Tubman to be put on the new $20 bill design.
Now, this would be a huge move for not only Black history, but for all Black people across America.
Known as the "Moses of her people," Harriet Tubman was enslaved, escaped, and helped others gain their freedom as a "conductor" of the Underground Railroad.
via: Getty Images
To this day, she remains a poignant figure in the slavery abolishment movement, and a true hero among the Black community.
And now the latest move?
President Biden is aiming to end the use of private prisons for federal use.
Biden is instructing the Justice Department to not renew contracts with private prisons.
It comes as part of an executive order focused on racial equity.
The order will see the Justice Department phase out its contracts with privately-operated criminal detention facilities which have been said to contribute to America's mass incarceration problem.
Prior to signing the orders, President Biden said, "this is the first step to stop corporations from profiting off incarceration that is less humane and less safe as the studies show"
"This is just the beginning of my administration's plan to address systemic problems in our criminal justice system."
He also noted that the government had to "change its whole approach" to racial inequalities.
As per AP, he added, "We must change now. I know it's going to take time, but I know we can do it. And I firmly believe the nation is ready to change. But government has to change as well."
The orders come after the President promised to make racial equity a central part of his presidency.
Particularly, as last year saw nationwide protests centred around police brutality.
Biden has also faced pressures to fulfil campaign promises.
Yet another turning point.
Clearly, Biden is paving the way to a new era for America.
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