WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to sign four executive actions Tuesday aimed at advancing racial equity as part of his push to use the powers of the presidency to implement parts of his agenda.
The executive actions will direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development to “take steps necessary to redress racially discriminatory federal housing policies that have contributed to wealth inequality for generations,” according to a fact sheet shared by the White House.
The executive actions will also end the Justice Department’s use of private prisons, recommit the federal government to Tribal sovereignty and will take steps to combat discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that has intensified during the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden plans to speak about the executive actions at 2 p.m. ET from the White House’s State Dining Room, according to his daily schedule, and Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to attend.
The White House fact sheet called Tuesday’s actions “just the start,” adding that Biden is “committed to working with Congress to pass bold legislation that advances racial equity, including increasing funding for small businesses, investing in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions, and tripling funding for Title I schools, which serve a majority of low-income students.”
Susan Rice, Biden’s domestic policy adviser who is one of the highest ranking Black aides in the White House, is expected to speak about the executive actions at a White House briefing with press secretary Jen Psaki at 12: 30 p.m ET.
The executive orders Biden signed soon after being sworn in as president last Wednesday included one that directed the federal government to “pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”
Under the order, the White House Domestic Policy Council, led by Rice, will be responsible for coordinating with various federal agencies including the Office of Management and Budget, to advance racial equity proposals. Biden directed OMB to assess “whether underserved communities and their members face systemic barriers in accessing benefits and opportunities available.”
In other news:
- Harris will swear in Janet Yellen at noon as the first female treasury secretary. The Senate confirmed Yellen on Monday evening.
- The Senate will vote on Antony Blinken’s nomination as secretary of state at around noon ET on Tuesday.
- At 2: 30 p.m., all 100 senators will be sworn in for the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. House impeachment managers delivered the single article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday evening.
- Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will both receive their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on Tuesday afternoon.
Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.
Lauren Egan is a reporter for NBC News based in Washington.