Biden to Sign Executive Orders to Boost Covid-19 Aid, Expand Worker Protections x

Biden to Sign Executive Orders to Boost Covid-19 Aid, Expand Worker Protections x

Steps aimed at distributing stimulus checks, increasing food assistance, reversing Trump moves on federal workers

WASHINGTON—President Biden will sign a pair of executive orders Friday to strengthen the federal safety net, boost economic relief and enhance worker protections, as the U.S. continues to recover from the pandemic-induced recession.

Mr. Biden will direct agencies across the government to take immediate steps to enhance federal benefits, such as expanding food assistance, improving distribution of stimulus checks and clarifying that workers may refuse jobs with unsafe working conditions and still qualify for unemployment benefits, administration officials said Thursday.

A White House spokeswoman said the administration expects action to be taken in the coming days.

Mr. Biden also intends to issue a second order that would advance Democratic priorities favorable to workers. It would restore collective bargaining power for federal workers, revoke an order from former President Donald Trump that exempted some federal positions from competitive hiring procedures and civil-service protections, and direct agencies to start planning for a $15 minimum wage for federal workers and contractors.