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5 Ways Trump Has Dramatically Changed Our Government

by Countable | 9.13.17

What’s the story?

The daily news cycle tends to focus on easily explained, ‘big ticket’ political issues. From that perspective, the Trump administration has yet to score a major political ‘win’ except for the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been very successful in their goal of reforming the federal government.

Here are just a few ways that the Trump administration has drastically changed the direction of the United States government:

1. Environmental policy and regulations

The obvious item here is the president’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, but that was proceeded by the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan, which was designed to regulate power plant emissions. Under Scott Pruitt the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also begun the process of rescinding the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, which protects smaller waterways from pollution and has rolled back a ban on coal mining on public lands. Finally, the administration has been using buyouts to reduce the federal workforce. Following a recent round of buyouts and retirements, the EPA has reached lower staffing levels than any time since the Reagan era.

2. Criminal Justice

Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions the Department of Justice has retreated from consent decree agreements overseeing police misconduct in cities across the country, encouraged a return to mandatory minimums, strengthened the federal government’s powers to seize civilian’s assets, and lifted restrictions on military hardware going to local police.

3. Civil Rights

First via Twitter and then via a presidential memorandum President Trump banned transgender individuals from the military. The president also rolled back protections for transgender students. The Department of Justice filed court briefs arguing that discrimination based on sexual orientation was not covered under Section VII, and supporting the case of a bakery that refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. The administration also recently abandoned an equal pay rule, focused on data collection to combat the gender pay gap.

4. Financial sector

Though the administration cannot undo the Dodd-Frank Act, put in place after the economic collapse in 2008 to regulate banks and protect consumers, without the help of Congress, the administration has taken steps to review the Act in order to assess regulator’s authority. They also this week took steps towards rolling back a fiduciary rule focused on protecting investors from advice that benefits financial advisors.

5. Immigration

There’s no massive border wall yet, and aspects of President’s Trump’s travel ban are still held up in court, but the administration’s actions have still greatly affected immigration. In addition to repealing DACA, the Department of Homeland Security has rescinded prioritization protections against deportation of non-criminal undocumented immigrants, and reversed policy on immigration targeting of guardians of undocumented minors. The administration has also drastically reduced the numbers of immigrants accepted annually into the country and begun review of the H-1B visa program, which authorizes work by foreigners with specialized skills.

Depending on your perspective this is a laundry list of wins or losses, but there’s no denying it’s a long list.

What do you think?

Are these positive changes or negative changes? Are their changes in terms of rules and regulations that we missed that you were happy to see or that you are concerned about?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(204)
  • Sally
    09/13/2017
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    I don't always agree with my elected officials. But never before have I been afraid of them.

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  • jfbeasley
    09/13/2017
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    All this seems to have a common theme that epitomizes the bully mentality - it is an attack on laws, regulations and systems that are in place to protect what is most vulnerable in our society and world. It is difficult for me to see the point in this except to bolster the powerful and perpetuate an imbalance that ensures there will always be a marginalized segment of society (or the environment) the subjugation of which boosts the ego of those in positions of power.

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  • Sheryl
    09/13/2017
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    I'm literally sick to think of all the damage done to our democracy, our country and our people in the few short months this maniac and his mini-me's have been in power. I wish ridding ourselves from them was as easy as flushing a toilet- which is a fitting end for the lot of them.

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  • Joanne
    09/13/2017
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    In each of f the areas summarized, the regulations were in place to address an existing problem. It seems to me that the current Administration is just rescinding regulations with no real thought or care for the outcomes. I fear a public health crisis from the rollback of EPA regulations; a further degradation of civil rights from Sessions' actions at Justice, especially the return to minimum sentencing, which was proven a failure the first time; a return to the high risk, "buyer beware " financial Wild West, and abandonment of our American values from curtailing immigration. All in all, I see the Administration's actions as driving more division in our country. But definitely circling the wagons to protect wealthy, older white men, at the expense of everyone else.

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  • Mancos
    09/13/2017
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    It is my opinion that the Trump agenda panders to corporate greed, racism, and exhibits dangerously unrealistic views of economics and international relationships. I remain hopeful that our Congress will be vigilant and support mainstream American values. It is disheartening to have an administration that considers themselves above the law.

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  • Robert
    09/13/2017
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    I don't think the majority of the American people were looking for an unregulated police state type of government. Really starting to look like Hitler's plan. We need to go back to a government that is of the people by the people for the people, not the government of for the corporations for the 1%.

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  • Abbi
    09/13/2017
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    We are so screwed. Nazis running people over, the EPA is filled with businessmen where there should be scientists. At a time where life on earth needs humans to protect it, we have a monkey spurring on the climate change. We have a sociopath in White House staff saying food to children and elderly should be cut to support a stupid useless wall that will cut through yards and even houses. We have a guy pardoning a bastard that forced women to drink mouse feces water and a put them on chain gangs. And he pardoned him during a hurricane that killed people and displaced many more because he knew we'd be distracted, that is his priority, protecting racists. Did you see how giddy his AG was to announce we'd lose 800,000 people because they were DACA? We are to lose doctors, engineers, service people, and many more good people!! This is the worst president of my life time and I lived under Reagan.

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  • Wendy
    09/13/2017
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    Absolutely everything this administration does is negative. I have not seen any positive legislation yet. They are setting our country back decades. I'm not sure we'll completely recover after this.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    09/13/2017
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    It is apparent that Republicans and Conservatives do not seek to protect and serve The People. They have demonstrated that The People do not matter. They have demonstrated that people shall be contaminated with pollution, and sickness, as long as it is profitable for their unethical business. They have demonstrated that it is acceptable to cause human suffering, disease and illness for the profit of Corporations.

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  • JimL
    09/13/2017
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    None of these things are positive. They are all undoing what was done by a previous Congress. They were considered "positive" when they were passed by many of the same people in Congress. It doesn't matter how you voted, if you were there, you own it. I would hope that politicians have a broader forward view than just repealing what was done earlier. Apparently our present administration is not so inclined, and the only way to remedy that is to get rid of them.

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  • Marylynn
    09/13/2017
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    The Liar in Chief's actions just prove that if you've got money, you can get away with anything and everything. There's not one lawmaker that's willing to hold him accountable for his actions. Our legal system is a joke and so is AG Sessions.

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  • Nancy
    09/13/2017
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    The President seems to be playing Hitler's playbook and is both an embarrassment to and dangerous to the world we live in.

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  • Phillip
    09/13/2017
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    This is what is called "the wrong kind of change."

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  • Donald
    09/13/2017
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    Trump singlehandedly has brought us back into the 18th century. He's an insult to the core values upon which our nation was founded...

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  • Jeff
    09/13/2017
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    President Trump is doing and outstanding job! He has my full and unwavering support.

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  • Steven
    09/13/2017
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    No laws have been changed as that takes Congress. Only Obama decree's have been recended. We are returning to a nation of laws. Liberal tears are appreciated. We are being governed not dictated as previous President choose to dictate.

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  • Abbi
    09/13/2017
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    Why is it that people only want small government when it comes to laws protecting the rights of people they don't like?

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  • Lee
    09/13/2017
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    Finally we have an American President. Really the first since Reagan. All of his decisions are for the betterment of the country. Our previous was to destroy this country from the core. It will take time to see some of the positive things done because of trying to undo all the despicable things done over 8 years plus.

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  • Catherine
    09/13/2017
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    Each action by this administration is almost worse than the one before. None of these are going to make this country "great again". Healthcare, free education and making sure our citizens are well fed..that's a great country.

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  • Barrett
    09/13/2017
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    What is absolutely true, is that President Trump has done a spectacular job. In every possible way, President Trump, is succeeding and even exceeding expectations. It is also true, that unlike the job performance of President Trump, Congress thus far has failed abysmally in it's job. They must get to work enacting the "big ticket" items of President Trump's agenda. I do not blame the President at all. He has done and continues to do his job. Any failure that is attributed to President Trump and his Administration, is entirely due to the abysmal performance of Congress. Congress needs to get to work on the President's agenda or find a new line of work.

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