The White House announced on Friday that it was revoking half a dozen of Trump’s orders and amending the one aimed at placing federal bureaucrats under tighter control of elected officials.
Among the orders on the chopping block were two that would have rebuilt historic monuments that Democrats and social justice activists sought to destroy and replace, as well as establish a “National Garden of American Heroes,” celebrating a range of figures from first President George Washington to civil rights activist Martin Luther King.
“My Administration will not abide an assault on our collective national memory,” Trump had declared, describing the statues under attack “not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn.”
Also nixed were Trump’s June 2020 announcement of harsh penalties for rioters destroying monuments; his famous May 2020 order seeking to counter online censorship; the December 2020 order mandating a rebranding of US foreign aid; and the January 2021 order seeking to shield Americans from “over-criminalization” of government regulations.
“In the interest of fairness, Federal criminal law should be clearly written so that all Americans can understand what is prohibited and act accordingly,” Trump had written in that one. Biden apparently believes otherwise.
Biden also overturned Trump’s edict barring entry into the US to immigrants lacking health insurance, enacted early in the Covid-19 pandemic, decreeing that “unrestricted entry into the US of noncitizen immigrants based solely on the reasons articulated in Proclamation 9945 is not detrimental to the interests of the US.”
While no explanation was given for the revocations, the amendments that apply to federal bureaucrats went into great detail. Biden abolished the “Schedule F” category Trump had created, seeking to get the near-untouchable Civil Service under control after spending his entire term dealing with “resistance” from within. The changes were in keeping with Biden’s promise from December to rebuild the “hollowed-out” bureaucracy, which he praised for “incredible strength” that would help him and Vice President Kamala Harris rule.
Friday’s measures put the total count of Biden’s executive orders at 45 in his first four months in office – more than any other president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Trump’s decree about harsher punishments for vandalizing monuments seemed to be effective, as widespread destruction of statues by social justice activists across the US abruptly stopped in its wake. Others were more or less dead letter – notably the one about online censorship, which did nothing to stop Big Tech from censoring people over questioning the official narrative about the 2020 election, including Trump himself while he was still in office.
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