Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
January 20, 2021

With over 400,000 Americans dead from COVID-19 and downtown Washington turned into a vacant armed camp, President Donald J. Trump walked out of the White House for the last time this morning ending a calamitous presidency, but not before granting pardons to 73 individuals and commuting the sentences of an additional 70 individuals.

President elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will arrive at the Capitol at 10:30 a.m., and Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in at noon.  Run of show:

  • 11:45 a.m.: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office.
  • Noon: President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
  • 12:15 p.m.: President Joe Biden will deliver his inaugural address, in which he will lay “out his vision to beat the virus, build back better, and bring the country together.”
  • 1:15 p.m.: The Joint Task Force-National Capital Region will host a Pass in Review ceremony.
  • 2 p.m.: Biden, Harris, first lady Jill Biden, second gentleman Douglas Emhoff as well as three former presidential couples are scheduled to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. They will honor “men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our common values.”
  • 3:15 p.m.: The virtual “Parade Across America” begins.
  • 5:15 p.m.: Biden will sign executive orders.
  • 7 p.m.: A virtual program on “AAPI Inaugural Ball: Breaking Barriers” will air, followed an hour later by the virtual program on “We Are One.”
  • 7 p.m.:  Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, will give her first briefing at 7 p.m.
  • 8:30 p.m.: Biden and deliver remarks during “Celebrating America,” a prime-time program hosted by actor Tom Hanks.
  • 9:30 p.m.: A virtual program on “Latino Inaugural 2021: Inheritance, Resilience, and Promise” that features singers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

The president elect will sign a mix of 15 executive orders (Summary Attached), memoranda, directives and letters from the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon after he is sworn in as president reversing some of President Trump’s signature policy initiatives and setting the tone for the new administration’s focus on COVID-19, the economy, climate change and racial justice.  Also included are plans to issue a national mask-wearing “challenge,” stop the construction of the Southern border wall, revoke the so-called “Muslim ban,” and rejoin both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

This afternoon, Senator-designate Alex Padilla (California) and both Georgia Senators-elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock will be sworn into the Senate.  Senator Chuck Schumer (D- New York) will formally become majority leader on Wednesday afternoon, wielding an effective 51-50 majority after his new Democratic senators are sworn in and Kamala Harris becomes vice president and Senate tie-breaker.  The Senate will then adopt resolutions thanking and designating Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) as President pro tempore emeritus and electing Senator Leahy (D-Vermont) as President pro tempore. At that time, Senator Leahy will be sworn in as President pro tempore. Then, the Senate is expected to adopt resolutions notifying the House and the President that Senator Leahy is President pro tempore, followed by adoption of resolutions appointing the Secretaries for the Majority and Minority.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Leader Schumer failed to reach a deal on Tuesday on organizing a 50-50 Senate as a fight over the filibuster drags out.  Talks will continue.

The House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business, with first votes at 3:00 p.m.  On Thursday, the House will consider H.R. 335 – Legal exception necessary to appoint Lloyd J. Austin III as President-elect Biden’s Secretary of Defense.