Biden revokes Trump exec orders on visas, regulatory authority

February 25, 2021: Joe Biden revoked several Trump-era executive orders on immigration, regulatory authority, and other issues.

President Joe Biden (D) and his team have been preparing for the transition between presidential administrations since the election, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.

In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden administration.

  • One Cabinet-level committee hearing is scheduled Thursday: The Finance Senate Committee is holding a hearing for Katherine Tai for U.S. trade representative.
  • The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions is also holding a hearing for Vivek Murthy for surgeon general on Thursday. This is not a Cabinet-level position.
  • The Senate will vote on the nomination of Jennifer Granholm for secretary of energy on Thursday. The Senate will also vote on whether to invoke cloture on the nomination of Miguel Cardona for secretary of education.
  • The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship advanced Isabel Guzman’s nomination for administrator of the Small Business Administration by a vote of 15-5.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said he would support Debra Haaland’s nomination for secretary of the interior, indicating she could have enough support to be confirmed along party lines, according to The New York Times.
  • When asked about the postponement of committee votes on Neera Tanden’s nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on Wednesday, “It didn’t look like she had the votes.”


  • Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that lifted a ban on certain types of immigrant visas, revoking an executive order by President Donald Trump (R). Biden also revoked Trump executive orders on agency rulemaking, government review of certain welfare programs, and the architecture of federal buildings.
  • Biden announced his nominees to fill three vacancies on the nine-member U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors on Wednesday: Anton Hajjar, Amber McReynolds, and Ron Stroman. The other six members include four Republicans and two Democrats. If the Senate confirms Biden’s nominees, Democrats will have enough votes to remove Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee.   

Transition in Context

The following chart compares the pace of Senate confirmations for the main Cabinet members—the 15 agency heads in the presidential line of succession—following the inaugurations of Presidents Barack Obama (D) and Joe Biden (D). It does not include Cabinet-rank officials that vary by administration.

Five weeks after their respective inaugurations, Biden had 7 of these secretaries confirmed and Obama had 12. A thirteenth Obama Cabinet member—Secretary of Defense Robert Gates—was held over from the Bush administration.

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