President Joe Biden formally revoked a series of presidential orders and memoranda on Wednesday signed by Donald Trump, including one that sought to cut funding for several cities the 45th president considered “anarchist” havens and another demanding that federal buildings be designed in a classic aesthetic.
Since taking office last month, Biden has revoked dozens of Trump orders and issued dozens more as he seeks to target fundamental aspects of Trump’s legacy and promote aspects of its own agenda without going through Congress.
The latest list of revocations targeted a range of issues, including a few that Trump signed in his final months in office.
Trump released a memorandum in September that sought to identify city governments that enable “lawlessness, violence, and destruction in American cities.” The memorandum followed riots during anti-police and anti-racism protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The Justice Department has identified New York, Portland, Oregon and Seattle as three cities whose federal funding could be reduced.
These cities in turn sued to invalidate the designation. and fight the Trump administration’s efforts to withhold federal dollars.
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes welcomed Biden’s removal, saying he was “glad to have this nonsense wiped off the decks.”
Trump in his “Promoting Fine Federal Civic Architecture” said that America’s ancestors “intended public buildings to inspire the American people and encourage civic virtue.” The memorandum added that architects should look to “America’s beloved iconic buildings” such as the White House, US Capitol, Supreme Court, Treasury Department and Lincoln Memorial for inspiration.
Another discontinued order was one issued by Trump in the final days of his presidency, dubbed “Ensuring Democratic Accountability in Agency Rulemaking.” He called for limiting the ability of federal agency employees to make regulatory decisions.
Biden also revoked a 2018 order that called on agency heads across government to review social protection programs — such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance — and strengthen work requirements for some beneficiaries.
Associated Press writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.