55 Things We Are Told the 'Whole-of-Government' Is Doing

55 Things We Are Told the 'Whole-of-Government' Is Doing

“Whole-of-government.” It’s one of the Biden administration’s favorite terms, tossed about by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and popping up in presidential speeches.

But its meaning is unclear, and the number of issues the “whole” of the government is said to be working on at any given moment is staggering.

The “whole” of our government appears to be extremely busy — and one could be forgiven for wondering why we have separate departments if all of the government does everything.

The term may just be a fancy way of saying the government is working hard, or that different government departments are working together. One government website explains:

The purpose of the whole-of-government approach is to create a culture that facilitates a shared vision between federal agencies both within [the department] and across all federal departments. Inter and intra-agency coordination and cooperation strengthens departments’ abilities to operate as one system rather than a collection of separate components. It establishes a unified effort between government agencies to maximize all available resources—personnel, funding, and equipment and supplies—in a collaborative effort.

Regardless, here is a list of issues on which the White House has said it is using a “whole-of-government” approach thus far:

1. Advancing “racial equity”: “He also launched a whole-of-government effort to advance racial equity and root out systemic racism from federal programs and institutions.”

2. Fighting coronavirus: “President Biden is putting forward a comprehensive plan to deal with this crisis and launch a whole-of-government COVID-19 response plan that will change the course of the pandemic.”

3. Federal appointments: “They will play an important role as the Biden administration prepares to coordinate a whole-of-government approach to tackle the challenges facing the nation, restore trust in our government, and ensure the federal government — and its many agencies — serves the American people.”

4. Economic relief: “Today, I’m signing an executive order that directs the whole-of-government — a whole-of-government effort to help millions of Americans who are badly hurting.”

5. Climate change: “[A] whole-of-government approach to tackling climate change, creating good-paying, union jobs, and achieving environmental justice.”

6. China policy: “It will require a whole-of-government effort, bipartisan cooperation in Congress, and strong alliances and partnerships.”

7. Texas winter storm: “As of yesterday afternoon, FEMA had already awarded over $9 million in individual assistance grants to Texans. More broadly, we’ve brought the full range of federal resources to bear in a whole-of-government effort.”

8. Vaccination: “The Biden-Harris Administration has launched a comprehensive, whole-of-government effort to get more people vaccinated.”

9. Supply chains: “[T]he President will sign an executive order that takes a whole-of-government approach to securing critical U.S. supply chains.”

10. Canada partnership: “Both leaders will review joint efforts in areas of mutual interest and establish a roadmap for an ambitious and whole-of-government approach.”

11. Migration: “Through a whole-of-government approach, DHS, the State Department, and the Justice Department will collaborate with international partners to safely process, under the strictest COVID-19 parameters, eligible individuals to pursue their cases in the United States.”

12. Microsoft Exchange security problems: “Last week the National Security Council (NSC) established a Unified Coordination Group (UCG), a task force composed of representatives from the FBI, CISA, and ODNI, with support from the NSA, to drive a whole-of-government response to the Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities.”

13. Transgenderism and gender equality: “We’re ready to lead a whole-of-government approach to gender policy that meets this moment.”

14. Small business relief: “And at the same time as the President’s announcement, the administration launched a whole-of-government effort to let small-business owners and lenders know about this opportunity.”

15. Ebola in Africa: “Upon confirmation of the outbreaks, the U.S. Government (USG) implemented a forward-leaning, whole-of-government response to help quickly control and end the outbreaks.”

16. Russia poisoning opposition leader Aleksey Navalny: “The use of any chemical weapon directly violates international legal obligations and norms of civilized conduct. And our actions today fall into a number of categories and reflect a whole-of-government response.”

17. Anti-Asian hate: “To implement the President’s week-one Memorandum combatting AAPI xenophobia, DOJ has established a whole agency initiative to respond to anti-Asian violence.”

18. Science and technology policy: “And so, this task force will be taking the whole-of-government approach to reinstate science across federal agencies and ensure that it is part of how decision making is made.”

19. Offshore wind energy: “President Biden’s whole-of-government approach, [will] position America to lead a clean energy revolution, and create thousands of jobs across the country with the choice to join a union.”

20. Housing: “President Biden remains committed to implementing a whole-of-government approach to addressing the nation’s housing challenges.”

21. SolarWinds hack: “The Biden Administration convened two Unified Coordination Groups (UCGs) to drive a whole of government response to the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange incidents.”

22. Northern Triangle countries: “President Biden has asked Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the Administration’s work on our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle, a testament to the importance this administration places on improving conditions in the region. The Vice President is overseeing a whole-of-government approach.”

23. Organizing unions: “Chaired by Vice-President Kamala Harris and Vice-Chaired by Secretary Marty Walsh, the Task Force will include more than twenty cabinet members and heads of other federal agencies who will take a whole-of-government approach to empower workers.”

24. Laid-off coal miners: “During his first week in office, President Biden established the Interagency Working Group to coordinate an integrated, whole-of-government approach to supporting energy communities.”

25. Carbon emissions: “And as part of reentering the Paris Agreement, the President launched a whole-of-government process that was organized through his Climate Task Force to establish the 2030 emissions target.”

26. Puerto Rico: “And these actions are the latest in an ongoing, whole-of-government effort to support the island’s recovery and renewal.”

27. Colonial Pipeline: “With Colonial Pipeline’s — as part of — as the President outlined just yesterday, since the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline last Friday, we’ve had a whole-of-government response across the administration to help get the pipeline back online and mitigate any supply shortages.”

28. Drug abuse: “In just the first 100 days, the Office of National Drug Control Policy released the Biden-Harris Administration’s first-year drug policy priorities, setting an agenda that emphasizes a whole-of-government approach to reducing overdoses and saving lives.”

29. Rental assistance: “Through a whole-of-government approach, we are working to ensure that rental assistance gets to those that need it the most.”

30. Climate “resilience“: “Today, President Biden continued to act through a whole-of-government approach in support of climate resilience goals.”

31. Financial risk of climate change: “The Executive Order requires the National Climate Advisor and the Director of the National Economic Council to develop, within 120 days, a comprehensive government-wide climate-risk strategy to identify and disclose climate-related financial risk to government programs, assets, and liabilities.”

32. Welfare fraud: “Together with the Office of Management and Budget, this team will bring a whole-of-government approach to develop recommendations to help stop these criminal syndicates before they can prey on relief funds that belong to the American people.

33. Vaccines for South Korea: “As was noted when the President hosted — hosted the South Koreans here just a few weeks ago, this was done in order to ensure the safety and readiness of U.S. and ROK military forces. And today, thanks to a whole-of-government effort, we are delivering on that promise.”

34. LGBTQ+ equality: “Launching a Whole-Of-Government Initiative to Advance Equity and Justice for Underserved Communities, Including LGBTQ+ Communities.”

35. Housing discrimination: “This is but one proposed program of many from the Biden-Harris Administration, which is taking a whole-of-government approach to addressing our country’s long history of racial injustice.”

36. Voting rights: “This order directed federal agencies, in a whole-of-government effort, to expand access to voter registration and election information.”

37. Gender-based violence: “This plan will establish a whole-of-government approach to preventing and addressing gender-based violence (GBV) domestically and globally, with significant input from civil society.”

38. Minority contractors: “President Biden announced a whole-of-government effort to increase the share of federal contracts going to small disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent over the next five years.”

39. Discrimination in federal hiring: “This Executive Order establishes an ambitious, whole-of-government initiative that will take a systematic approach to embedding DEIA in Federal hiring and employment practices.”

40. Heat wave: “Biden Administration Mounts Whole-of-Government Response to Address Extreme Heat Impacting Nearly Half of U.S. and Boosting Climate Resilience.”

41. Gun violence: “That’s why his administration is moving decisively to act with a whole-of-government approach.”

42. Ransomware: “We have coordinated these efforts, regularly convening an interagency task force that drives coordinated whole-of-government action to counter ransomware.”

43. Economic competition: “Also, today, the President will sign an executive order that will direct a historic whole-of-government effort to promote competition in the American economy.”

44. Microchip shortage: “It’s an issue that we’ve been working on across the whole of government, and the actions that I outlined with respect to the Department of Transportation is one element of it.”

45. Domestic procurement: “President Biden signed Executive Order 14005, Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers, launching a whole-of-government initiative to strengthen the use of federal procurement to support American manufacturing.”

46. Equity in “clean energy“: “Justice40 is a whole-of-government effort to ensure that Federal agencies work with states, Tribes, and local communities to make good on President Biden’s promise to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities.”

47. “Clean” cars: “More than a deployment target, it is a goal to leverage once-in-generation investments and a whole-of-government effort to lift up the American autoworker and strengthen American leadership in clean cars and trucks.”

48. Afghan allies immigrating: “This is a whole-of-government, 24/7, worldwide effort, as you all can imagine, and we intend to meet the President’s goals.”

49. Manufacturing: “Through targeted public investment and strategic public procurement, the Administration is undertaking a whole-of-government effort to jumpstart American industry by investing in strategic industries, while providing more opportunities for workers and firms, large and small, in every region of the country—including historically disadvantaged businesses.”

50. Border security: “This administration launched a whole-of-government effort in January to responsibly manage the border and put in place immigration systems that align with our values.”

51. “Build Back Better“: “Additionally, agency leadership shared updates on the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to deliver the President’s vision to build back better.”

52. Texas abortion law: “Hence, I am directing that Council and the Office of the White House Counsel to launch a whole-of-government effort to respond to this decision.”

53. Delta variant: “At the same time, our whole-of-government effort to respond to help states with Delta outbreaks continues.”

54: Floods: “Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Senior Climate Counselor Cass Sunstein, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Associate Director for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Science Candace Vahlsing co-led the first meeting, which is part of the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to building flood resilience.”

55. Hurricane Ida: “And, you know, the whole-of-government effort is ready to get to work. I can’t think of any time where the federal, state, and local folks have worked together more closely and in advance of an obvious significant natural disaster.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Joel B. Pollak