Current Events

As of 2-16-17, Trump has signed 25 executive orders/memorandums. Here are the highlights:

  •  Jan. 20th: His first official act in office, this order declares Trump’s intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. This act is considered Obama’s biggest accomplishment in office, although many Republicans, including Trump, want to see it replaced by something else.  
  •         Jan. 23rd: This memorandum signals Trump’s intent to withdraw from the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), a trade deal aimed to lower tariffs for 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, excluding China.
  •         Jan. 24th: Trump signed three memoranda set to expand oil pipelines in the United States, a move cheered by pipeline proponents but decried by environmentalists and many Native American tribes.
  •         Jan. 27th: The order that has by far attracted the most attention. This order has three parts: first, it halts the refugee program for 120 days to improve vetting process, and caps refugee admission to 50,000 per year; second, it temporarily bans people from the countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days; and third, it bans Syrians from entering indefinitely until he decides otherwise. This order has generated a huge public uproar, with tens of thousands protesting the ruling in various cities and airports across the country.  Many have labeled this move by Trump to be xenophobic and racist (All of the above countries are Muslim-majority). The administration has responded by claiming that religion was not a deciding factor. They also said they had gotten the list of countries to ban from the Obama administration; travel restrictions on these countries have already been in place for some time. Whatever the case, this order was declared unconstitutional by a Seattle federal judge who has blocked this order nationwide. The Trump administration is expected to release a revised edition of this order soon.
  •         Jan. 30th: A symbol of Trump’s opposition to regulation, this executive order states that for every one regulation the executive branch proposes, two more must be eliminated. It also caps spending for new regulations in 2017 at $0.
  •         Feb. 3rd: Executive Order directs Secretary of Treasury to review existing financial regulations. Among the regulations in question is the landmark Dodd-Frank bill, aimed at reducing risk in the financial system. The Secretary has 120 days to report back to the President.
  •         Feb. 3rd: Trump gives a memorandum that directs the Labor Secretary to review the “fiduciary rule”, a rule that forces financial advisors to act in the best interests of their clients.

While this does seem like a very action-packed start to the Presidency, it is worth noting that all of these actions are executive orders. For those wondering what executive orders actually are, they are official documents signed by the President that declares government policy and giving instructions to different agencies. They cannot reverse a law that has been passed by Congress, so their scope is limited and they have less power than they are sometimes advertised.

Categories: Current Events

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