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Biden revokes Trump orders on ‘anarchist’ cities and more

The 46th president has been undoing dozens of Trump orders since taking office.

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden
Image: PA Images

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN on Wednesday formally revoked a series of presidential orders and memorandums signed by Donald Trump, including one that sought to cut funding for cities Mr Trump deemed “anarchist” havens.

Another had mandated that federal buildings should be designed in a classical aesthetic.

Since taking office last month, Mr Biden has revoked dozens of Trump orders and issued dozens more of his own as he has sought to target foundational aspects of Mr Trump’s legacy and promote aspects of his own agenda without going through Congress.

The latest slate of revocations targeted a grab-bag of issues, including a few that Mr Trump signed in his last months in office.

Mr Trump issued a memorandum in September that sought to identify municipal governments that permit “anarchy, violence and destruction in American cities”.

The memorandum followed riots during anti-police and anti-racism protests over George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police. The Justice Department identified New York City, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle as three cities that could have federal funding slashed.

Those cities in turn filed a lawsuit to invalidate the designation and fight off the Trump administration’s efforts to withhold federal dollars.

Seattle city attorney Pete Holmes welcomed the Biden revocation, saying he was “glad to have this nonsense cleared from the decks”.

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Mr Trump, in his “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture” drive, intoned that America’s forefathers “wanted public buildings to inspire the American people and encourage civic virtue”.

The memorandum added that architects should look to “America’s beloved landmark buildings” such as the White House, the US Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Department of the Treasury and the Lincoln Memorial for inspiration.

Another order halted was one Mr Trump issued in the final days of his presidency dubbed the “Ensuring Democratic Accountability in Agency Rulemaking”. It called for limiting the ability of federal agency employees in making regulatory decisions.

Mr Biden also revoked a 2018 order that called for agency heads across the government to review welfare programmes — such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing aid — and strengthening work requirements for certain recipients.

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