OUT FRONT: Trump Put His Pen to Extreme Use in First Ten Days
Originally published on OUTFRONTMagazine.com on Jan. 30 2017
It has been an action-packed — and exhausting — 11 days.
Immediately following his inauguration, President Trump made several steps to bring his campaign’s drawing board to life by signing a number of executive orders and memoranda. To fill you in, here is the sparknotes clipboard of America’s fine presidency to date.
→ Only hours after the ceremony, Judicial Branch pages were removed from the White House website, including the civil rights, queer rights, climate change, and military family support pages.
→ The first step towards repealing Obamacare were taken. This executive order cannot change the law, but is the move in manipulating regulations and financial effects on health care providers and individual benefits. Trump’s plan to replace the current Affordable Care Act remains someplace off in the abyss, but plans are certainly underway.
→ Trump signed several memoranda, orders which are less aggressive than the executive order, but still throw a dent into major political issues. The first order cuts government funding from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide abortion health care services. This consequently reinstates the “global gag rule,” blocking funding for family planning organizations including, but not exclusive to, Planned Parenthood.
→ Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade deal.
→ Trump fulfilled a hiring freeze for federal workers (excluding the military) in effort to cut government payrolls.
→ The president spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding a US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This action emphasizes Israel as an exclusive Jewish state, where many Palestinians feel their capital is being taken from them.
→ Expedited reports and evaluations regarding the environment and the inconceivable issue of climate change. These results will later determine how spending is elicited. Congress will have to approve a new spending bill before moving forward with dramatic action, but this executive order will likely hurry the process.
→ Trump signed memoranda moving forward with the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipeline, specifically with use of all US products. These orders work immediately against the Obama administration’s final series of action to protect these environmentally harmful projects.
→ Construction of a 1,900-mile long wall along the southern border. And of course, the order indicates that Mexico use federal funds to initiate the project. Furthermore, a flock of 5,000 border protection officers will increase efforts of halting entrance and deporting undocumented immigrants.
→ In spirit of the former, the president also signed for 10,000 additional immigration officers to tackle deportation within cities. This aims to increase deportation of undocumented immigrants, specifically within “sanctuary cities”. Many cities in Colorado identify as sanctuary cities as to refuse government pressure to reject undocumented citizens. The order will work to combat this resistance by threatening and withholding government funding.
→ Drain the swamp, as promised on his once flailing platform, is really happening. The first step will put a ban on Washington officials from lobbying for foreign governments. Officials must pledge to cut ties with former clients for 2 years.
→ Moving toward promised solutions against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the president signed a memorandum order to plan a major ISIS defeat. The order requests a written plan within 30 days.
→ To top off Day 10, Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, after she refused to defend a Muslim ban. Ms. Yates has already been replaced with Mr. Dana J. Boente, attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who pledges to valiantly support the president and the laws which govern our country.
Photo courtesy of Steve Brashear