Biden sends 15 executive orders and 2 actions on Day One

President Biden sat down in the Oval Office hours after his inauguration on Wednesday and got straight to work, signing 15 executive orders and 2 actions a clear signal of the Day One change in U.S. policy.

"I'm going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people," said President Biden.

Addressing the COVID pandemic, the president's orders included making masks mandatory on federal property, rejoining the World Health Organization, and creating a national COVID-19 Coordinator.

Other immediate actions included re-entering the Paris Climate Accord and halting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The president also ordered an end to funding for the construction of the southern border wall and an end to bans on travel from Muslim-majority countries.

On the economy, Biden extended a pause on student loan repayments until the end of September and a moratorium on evictions.

"They are important, but, we are gonna need legislation for a lot of the things we're gonna do," Biden said. 

The president got that legislative ball rolling, by immediately signing and sending an immigration reform plan to Congress.

The new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at the first press briefing that the President will begin calls with foreign leaders Friday, starting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"His early calls will be with partners and allies. He feels it's important to rebuild those relationships," said Psaki.

That signals a change in foreign policy that was welcomed by many world leaders.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is ready to resume ties, severed by the Trump administration involving the Iran Nuclear Deal.

"If they go back and fulfill their commitments, we'll fulfill ours," said Rouhani.

Professor Henry Brady, dean of UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, said that Biden's 36 years of experience in the Senate and eight years as vice president will let him hit the ground running.

"Joe Biden doesn't have to learn. He's been there, he's been vice-president, he's been in the Oval Office, and it's pretty clear he feels very confident in his position," said Brady.

Biden enters office with Democrats in control of the House and the Senate, but he will likely face opposition from a divided Republican party.

"It's true Congress is very polarized and so it's going to be tougher now, but this is a remarkable moment. After January 6th, I think there are people in congress who are saying to themselves, I think it's time to get some things done," said Brady.

The tone, at least on Day One, conciliatory and civil.

"We have no choice but to try to work together every day," said the new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

"Our country deserves for both sides, both parties to find common ground," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or