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Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday calling for agencies within the government to improve their websites to deliver a better customer experience.

Why it matters: Navigating government websites or services can be a fraught and frustrating process for people, especially in moments of need.

Driving the news: The executive order, details of which were released ahead of the signing, identifies 36 customer improvement commitments to be made across 17 federal agencies, with a focus on key milestones for government interaction, such as turning 65 years old or having a child. The changes include:

  • Giving tax filers the option to schedule a call-back from IRS customer support.
  • Allowing Americans to renew passports online.
  • Allowing retirees to claim benefits online.

What they're saying: "We looked at the points of greatest friction for people with their government — filing taxes, applying for Social Security benefits, waiting in TSA lines, and focused on ways to reduce that friction," Neera Tanden, senior advisor to the president, said in a call with reporters.

What's next: The White House expects the agencies to make the changes in the coming months, with all of them implemented within one year, Jason Miller, deputy director for management at OMB said.

  • Miller said the upgrades were designed with agencies' capabilities in mind, but the U.S. Digital Service, the government's tech specialist task force, will also play a role.

Go deeper

Biden signs law allowing Capitol Police chief to call in National Guard

U.S. Capitol Police officers detain protesters outside of the House chamber on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

President Biden signed a law Wednesday authorizing the Capitol Police chief to directly request assistance from federal agencies in cases of emergency.

Why it matters: The move expedites a process that previously hindered the federal response to the Capitol riot.

Updated 15 mins ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.