I’ll be the first one to proclaim my disdain for President Donald Trump and everything he stands for. But as we all saw January 20th, he is actually our fucking president. That was a massive punch in the stomach for many of us, but here we are.
It seems like everyday there are countless headlines dripping with details of what Trump has been up to, and why we should be afraid of it. I was one of the women psyched to ‘stick it to the man’ once and for all and have our first lady president, but then Trump happened. So naturally, I want to hate everything he does.
But I am also not stupid, so I also understand that if he fails, we all fail. And because of this, I think it’s important we all understand exactly what he’s doing, why he’s doing it, and then make our own unbiased opinions on whether we like it, even if we hate him. After all, we’ve got the guy for the next what…4 years? Having said that, here’s my quick guide to the more significant executive actions our new President has been taking these last four months, and some key background information on said actions.
I’ve identified 6 categories that I think depict where Trump has concentrated his efforts since he took office: Immigration/ Foreign Affairs, National Security, Economic Regulations, Healthcare, Education, and Environmental Affairs.
Let’s begin with what he’s done to tackle the economy.
Suspended Mortgage FHA Insurance Rate Cut (January 20)
On the same day he took office, Trump suspended a scheduled insurance rate cut backed by the FHA, and popular amongst first time homeowners, and those with low credit scores. Although this may have left a lot of unhappy first time home owner hopefuls, the FHA did need a government bailout in 2013. A rise in risky mortgage insurance could mean a potential loss for taxpayers if these were to default.
Federal Regulations on Business (January 30)
At the end of January, Trump signed an executive order stating that from then on, for every new regulation passed on small and large business, two existing regulations must be repealed.
Wall Street Regulation (February 3)
In February, Trump signed an executive order aimed at rolling back some of the rules set in place by the Wall Street Dodd-Frank Reform and the Consumer Protection Act.
The reforms came were put in place by the Obama Administration in response to the financial crisis of 2008. The lengthy reform set up various agencies to overlook the banking system and decrease some risks in the financial system.
Money Managers (February 3)
Trump directed the labor department to review some regulations set by Obama regarding financial managers. The regulations prevented financial managers from acting against the best interest of their clients when handling their retirement accounts.
Anti Corruption Repeal (February 14)
Trump signed House Joint Resolution 41, repealing regulations set by Dodd-Frank requiring energy companies to disclose royalties and funding from any foreign or domestic governments. The increased transparency was set in place by the Obama Administration to discourage corrupt practices within major energy and mining industries.
Regulatory Reform (February 24)
Trump signed an executive order asking federal agencies to comb through their departments and find regulations that discourage job creation, are outdated, our overreaching or are downright unnecessary. The order sets up regulations reform officer in each federal agency charged with figuring out which regulations need to be repealed.
Budget Proposal (March 16)
On March 16th, Trump submitted a budget proposal to the House of Representatives. His budget represents cuts in almost every area of government funding including health, housing, education but increases in funding for the defense and homeland security.
Immigration/ Foreign Affairs
Withdraws from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (January 23)
In January, Trump issued a memorandum withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The partnership was as a trade deal with Asia that Trump thinks kills too many U.S. jobs, while others feel withdrawing from the deal may unnecessarily fester relations with important allies.
Increased Border Security (January 25)
Trump signed an executive order intended to prepare federal agencies for the “immediate construction” of a wall across the United States/ Mexican border. Some view taking such drastic action as an unnecessary and ill-willed attack against Mexican immigrants.
Immigration Enforcement (January 25)
On the same day as the border security order, Trump signed another order stripping Federal Grant Money from sanctuary cities and simultaneously ordering the hire of more immigration officers. Sanctuary cities are cities that welcome refugees and illegal immigrants.
This particular order caused uproar in Miami, Florida. The mayor there decided to uphold the order, removing Miami as a Sanctuary City. This would mean that Miami jails would now detain individuals that have been flagged by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
In the past, Miami officials would not detain individuals waiting for deportation for more than 2 days. Some protesters felt this move was solely about caving into Trump and collecting Federal money. Supporters of the order contest however, it only targets criminals, and not law abiding immigrants.
Travel Ban (Take 1) (January 27)
Trump’s first stab at a travel ban included increased security checks for individuals seeking visas into the United States. The order called for a suspension in the issuance of visas to individuals from particular nations identified as threats to national security.
Foreign nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen were barred from entering the United States for 90 days, refugees were barred for at least 120 days, and refugees from Syria were barred indefinitely. Many people felt this order was anti-muslim, while supporters of the ban felt the countries identified were reasonable terrorist-abetting cities.
Foreign Crime Fighting (February 9)
Trump signed an executive order prioritizing the prosecution of common foreign-based crime such as drug trafficking and human trafficking.
Travel Ban Revised (March 6th)
After a Federal judge and appellate court rejected Trump’s initial travel ban, he issued a revised version which excluded Iraq from the list of barred nations, amongst a few other changes. Another change is the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, which was cut down to 120 days in the revised version.
Unlike the first ban, previously issued visas remain valid and it also gives more people time to prepare, unlike the first ban which took effect immediately, and left thousands stranded at airports.
Another key difference is that the ban is not an absolute ban, and waivers will be granted to people who can prove their entry into the nation is in the best interest of the United States. Let’s be honest, the differences in the two versions are not too stark.
Although some Trump supporters might categorize some of the Immigration actions mentioned above as also falling under “National Security” for clarity sakes, and due to my need to help you cut through the bullshit, I’ve only listed actions under National Security that are directly related to tackling criminal activity within the United States.
Military Assessment (January 27)
As a way to reach “peace through strength” Trump signed an executive order to assess the current state of the American Armed Forces and its nuclear capabilities with the goal to reinforce them. This action coincides directly with the budget proposal Trump would sign on March 16th, calling for more federal funding to the military.
Added the CIA to the National Security Council (January 30)
Trump added the CIA to the National Security Council.
Police Protection (February 9)
In response to increased attacks on law enforcement, Trump ordered a review of the current legislation aimed at protecting police officers. The goal of the assessment would be to create laws that better protect police officers and deter attacks.
Crime Reduction (February 9)
In February, Trump directed Jess Sessions, his appointed Attorney General, to create a task force aimed at sharing intel between law enforcement agencies. This task force would not only aid in the sharing of information, they would help create strategies and recommend best practices to ensure the safety of americans.
Trump Takes First Steps to Repeal Affordable Care Act (January 20)
On his first day in office, Trump took his first steps toward dissolving Obama’s Affordable Care Act. He signed an executive order proclaiming his intention to ease the economic burden imposed by Obamacare, and his intention to create a system that creates better options for patients. Trump care is in the works. Update: Trump care was pulled after it failed to rally enough support in the House of Representatives.
Abortion (January 23)
Trump issued a memorandum reinstating a rule that bars federal funding from reaching organizations and charities that offer guidance or information on abortions. Ever heard of Planned Parenthood? Yeah...
Oil Pipeline (January 24)
In late January Trump reignited the issues of the completion of the Dakota Access and building of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. Some key things to note about this controversy: The Obama administration had halted these projects, the completion of the Dakota Access could potentially harm the drinking water of some Native American Tribes, could mean many farmer lose their land due to eminent domain, and Trump own stock in Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Stream Protection Repeal (February 16)
Trump signed House Joint Resolution 38 dissolving an environmental rule set by the Obama Administration that protected waterways from waste from coal mining. Trump argues this rule seriously disabled American Mining.
Clean Water Act (February 28)
Trump called a review of an Obama-era regulation that increased the bodies of water under environmental protection.
Women in Science (February 28)
Trump signed 2 bills aimed at supporting women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics:
Inspiring the Next Women Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers and Explorers Act
Protecting Women in Entrepreneurship Act
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (February 28)
Trump signed an executive order moving the initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities to be moved from the Department of Education to the White House to promote excellence. Those who opposed the order, felt the move does not inspire anything but a photo opportunity.
So, as much as we love to hate Trump, he has been keeping with his campaign promises. Whether we agreed with his campaign or not, he seems to be pretty active about keeping the promises he made throughout the election process. One thing's for sure, Trump is hellbent on repealing Obamacare and scaling back on regulations imposed on small and large business. And although I'm still not a fan, there are actually a few things he has done that a Trump skeptic like myself can actually look at and be like... ok, not bad. I still scoff at about 70% of what I mentioned up there, but I do admit that I'm not as completely appalled by every action he has taken.
Sources for Further Reading: