President Joe Biden told Congress Monday he will rescind a move by former President Donald Trump to cut nearly $30 billion in funding to multiple federal agencies.
In a letter Biden wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden said he intends to withdraw 73 proposed rescissions that were set to take funding from multiple federal agencies. The agencies included the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, the Treasury, as well as the African Development Foundation, the Commission of Fine Arts, and others.
Former President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Congress six days before he left office saying he was cutting $27.4 billion in “wasteful spending” in the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill that was passed in December.
In a press conference in December, Trump slammed the package, which was tied to the government spending bill. Trump criticized lawmakers for spending millions on other countries while giving its own citizens $600 stimulus checks and called for an increase of stimulus checks to $2,000.
The move follows dozens of executive orders and changes to Trump policies, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, halting the building of the Mexico-U.S. border wall, and rescinding Trump’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries.
In his first week alone, Biden signed more than 35 executive orders dealing with healthcare, climate change, federal contracts with independent prisons, racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans, and other issues.
President Biden also has a wave of actions for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but is waiting for Alejandro Mayorkas to be confirmed as DHS Secretary, which Republicans tried to stall with a filibuster that House majority Speaker Chuck Schumer broke through.
Several GOP lawmakers are concerned about Mayorkas overseeing Biden’s immigration policies, which are expected to be less harsh than Trump’s policies and provide a pathway to citizenship.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) requested Mayorkas sit before the Senate Judiciary Committee in addition to his hearing before the Homeland Security Committee.
“The Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction over matters relating to immigration and nationality … For this reason, all members of the committee should have the opportunity to hear from Mr. Mayorkas directly, and to publicly discuss with him his plans with respect to the Department’s immigration components and functions,” a letter from the senators said making their request.
Mayorkas was the first filibuster of a Biden appointed nominee, which included Gen. Lloyd Austin, Biden’s pick for Defense Secretary, who needed a special waiver to serve. DHS has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was ousted in spring 2019.