Biden's first full day in office

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 9:48 PM ET, Thu January 21, 2021
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8:45 a.m. ET, January 21, 2021

In a post-inauguration DC, security unlikely to return to pre-riot form 

From CNN's Peter Nickeas and Elle Kaufman 

As crews in Washington, DC, started dismantling some security fencing within hours of President Joe Biden's inauguration, it remained clear that security in the nation's capital will likely never return to its pre-insurrection form.

It's unclear what security changes, if any, made across Washington in preparation for the inauguration will remain permanent, or to what degree President Joe Biden's upcoming address to a joint session of Congress and potential impeachment proceedings will be considered in security planning.

Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, has said the US Capitol complex "will never be the same."

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Tuesday that there would be a "new posture" in the district, but also noted she didn't want "fences and armed troops in our city any longer than they need to be."

In a tweet Wednesday, the mayor's chief of staff said crews will begin breaking down fencing on major streets in "earnest" starting that evening and the process would take 36 hours. The time frame for removing the fencing was set to coincide with the lifting of the city's pause on an indoor dining ban. The ban is scheduled to end at 5 p.m. ET Friday.

The unprecedented number of soldiers, federal law enforcement officers, police officers and protective infrastructure in the nation's capital for the inauguration was triggered by a rally-turned-riot on Jan. 6. After the rally, thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol with hundreds or more overrunning the Capitol Police officers protecting it, all in an effort to overturn the presidential election results.

More than 20,000 soldiers were deployed to Washington for Biden's inauguration, and more than 6,000 National Guard soldiers will remain beyond that.

A federal official familiar with the National Guard deployments said the current plan is for many guard units depart Thursday. Some more regional ones may stay through the weekend.

"And that number can go up or down depending on the lead federal agency requirements or federal law enforcement requests," said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. "But really after the inauguration, we'll look at the conditions and the environment and the mission set that we're asked to perform. And if that is below the number of personnel that we have, then we'll start identifying those folks to get them home as quickly as possible."

At the Capitol, Durbin predicted there could be metal detectors at entrances to each legislative chamber and some "enhanced" perimeter of the building.

"We're reaching a point where it is — if we have to fear that some members will bring firearms on the floor or visitors will, then we have to take extra precautions," he said.

Durbin said he hasn't spoken to new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer about placing metal detectors in front of the Senate chamber and it would be his decision.

As for now, portions of the District remain largely on lockdown. Four of the bridges inbound to the city are closed until Thursday morning. The National Mall, the city's central park, is closed, covered in flags to represent the American citizens who cannot be there in person due to the security measures and Covid-19 restrictions.

CNN’s Ryan Nobles, Ali Zaslav, Phil Mattingly, Josh Campbell and Aileen Graef contributed to this report.

8:01 a.m. ET, January 21, 2021

Biden's White House is hitting the ground running with "themed days"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

In addition to executive actions and memoranda President Biden signed today, the Biden administration has an ambitious slate of additional actions for the first 10 days in office, many of which will roll back key policies established by his predecessor. 

Starting Thursday, each day through the end of the month, with the exception of this weekend, will center around a specific theme, with a set of corresponding actions and directives, according to a draft of a calendar document sent to administration allies and viewed by CNN.  

Here are the themes: 

  • Jan. 20: Inauguration and four Crises
  • Jan. 21: Covid
  • Jan. 22: Economic Relief
  • Jan. 23-24: Weekend
  • Jan. 25: Buy America
  • Jan. 26: Equity
  • Jan. 27: Climate
  • Jan. 28: Health Care
  • Jan. 29: Immigration
  • Jan. 30-31: Weekend
  • February: Restoring America’s Place in the World

This Thursday, the theme of the first full day of the Biden presidency will be about coronavirus. There will be six executive orders and one presidential policy directive.

The executive orders include things like a review of supply chain, additional data collection and transparency, and support for additional Covid-19 treatment research and supply. A presidential policy directive will call on agencies to “strengthen efforts to combat COVID-19 globally and strengthen global pandemic preparedness.” 

Then on Friday, the “Economic Relief” day, there will be two executive orders.

One directs agency action on Medicaid, Pell grants, SNAP benefits and unemployment insurance. The second executive order will restore collective bargaining rights to federal employees and initiates action to roll back former President Trump’s Schedule F executive order – which gave the Office of Management and Budget and federal agencies leeway to reclassify key roles.