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Recapping the First Few Days of the Trump Administration

by Countable | 3.20.17

It’s only been a few days since President Donald Trump took the oath of office, but he has hit the ground running by issuing several executive orders to follow through with promises he’d made on the campaign trail, although hasn’t quite completed the ambitious "day one" checklist he’d made for himself. The Senate has also made progress, albeit slowly, in confirming his nominees for the Cabinet and other key posts, so the Trump administration is beginning to take shape.

Executive Orders

Shortly after being sworn in, Trump signed three executive orders. The first suspended a planned cut in mortgage premium rates for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, which would’ve equated to about $29 a month in savings on a $200,000 mortgage.

He also took aim at the Affordable Care Act by granting federal agencies the authority to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" any requirement of Obamacare that imposes a fiscal burden on individuals, healthcare providers, states, insurers and other businesses connected to the healthcare industry. Trump said that this would allow his administration to take actions easing the economic and regulatory burden of the ACA while the repeal process advances.

Trump capped off Inauguration Day with an executive order that has become customary for new presidents taking the reins from a predecessor on the other side of the aisle — placing a freeze on all new or pending regulations so that his administration can review them. The only regulations that wouldn’t be put on hold are those related to "critical health, safety, financial, or national security matters" and all others would be delayed unless agencies identify regulations that can’t be put on hold and offer an explanation as to why.

Monday brought another three executive orders to Trump’s desk, including a freeze on all federal hiring that’s unrelated to national security, so the military and public safety agencies won’t be impacted. This move is in line with a pledge he’d made during the campaign, and is designed to reduce the size of the federal workforce through attrition and is similar to an freeze put in place by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Trump also signed an order to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in accordance with another campaign promise, which was mostly a symbolic gesture as Congress hadn’t ratified the trade agreement and wasn’t in a hurry to.

The third of Trump’s Monday executive orders reinstated the so-called "Mexico City Policy" which prevents federal funding from going to foreign nongovernmental organizations that perform or promote abortion services in other countries. It is known by detractors as the “global gag rule.” The policy was first announced by President Reagan in 1984, and since then his Republican successors have all abided by it, while Democratic presidents have rescinded it during their time in office.

On Tuesday, Trump signed two more executive orders, both of which were aimed at allowing construction on controversial pipelines. With the stroke of a pen, he allowed both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access (also known as DAPL) pipelines to advance. In the case of Keystone, terms surrounding the pipeline’s construction will be renegotiated with the Canadian government, and it isn’t clear at this time whether alternative routes for DAPL will be considered.

Cabinet

On Inauguration Day, Trump signed his first bill into law, granting a waiver for General James Mattis to become secretary of defense and the first member of his Cabinet after a 98-1 confirmation vote in which Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was the lone dissenter. Later that evening Mattis was joined by another retired Marine, General John Kelly, who was confirmed on an 88-11 vote as secretary of homeland security.

Senate Republicans had thought they’d struck a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to get Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) confirmed as CIA Director on Inauguration Day as well, but that turned out to not be the case. Ultimately a vote was delayed until Monday when he was confirmed by a 66-32 margin.

It's unclear if any more nominees will be confirmed this week, but several could get the seal of approval from Senate committees today. Elaine Chao, Wilbur Ross, and Nikki Haley are all scheduled to receive committee votes as Trump's picks to serve as the secretaries of transportation, commerce, and UN Ambassador, respectively. If approved, they would join Trump’s Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, who was approved on a narrow 11-10 vote by the Foreign Relations Committee on Monday, in waiting for confirmation votes.

Update: The Senate will vote on Nikki Haley's confirmation today at 5:30pm ET, which will be the final confirmation vote of the week.

You can tell your reps how you feel about Trump’s executive orders and nominations to his administration using the "Take Action" button below.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Doug Coulter - The White House / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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  • Dan
    01/25/2017
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    A dark time in the history of democracy in the US. The overture of this trump presidency has so far brought us Alternative Facts, lies and censorship. We must defend our institutions from this attempted authoritarian takeover. Believing this is anything less is dangerous.

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  • Vanessa
    01/24/2017
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    I am NOT OKAY with the executive orders being passed to freeze EPA and USDA grants and silence those researching existing grants! Passing such things should be up to Congress, not in the hands of one President.

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  • Stephanie
    01/24/2017
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    I am disgusted by Trump's actions in the past 48 hours. He has proven over and over he only cares about himself and money, not one ounce of care or respect for the American people. He is putting us in danger and he is lying to the public. Please obstruct every way you can!

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  • Jan
    01/24/2017
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    I am wholeheartedly terrified by the actions taken by President Trump to pull grants and restrict media access to the EPA and USDA. The House and Senate must act to stop this man as soon as possible. This is tyranny and does not belong in this great nation.

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  • Clint
    01/28/2017
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    Ok, I'm 76 years old, voted in every presidential election. Until now I accepted the president-elect as my president. I now find myself unable to understand how we elected a man who is clearly not on the level...he is the most narcissistic person I have ever encountered in business, my family or any elected public servant. Logically, this is not going to have a good outcome for our country. Only under the leadership of an individual of sound mind and character can we have any confidence in our future.

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  • Christiane
    01/28/2017
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    I oppose every single action President Trump makes. His uninformed foundation is based on bigotry, sexism and an adept skill of lying. Do not confuse odorless poison for fresh air. We need experienced and intelligent people to named to his Cabinet. And we definitely do not need a white supremacist in the White House. And please don't think of using Orwellian double-speak, such as Alt-Right. You either stand up, in a bipartisan fashion for our values or cowtow to a narcissist bully.

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  • Kc
    01/24/2017
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    Keep the science public! We paid for the research and should have access to the research. Government should not suppress knowledge.

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  • Kristina
    01/25/2017
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    So I guess if you work at the EPA or National Parks Service, you are not afforded your First Amendment Rights? If the President has free reign over his own Twitter, the employees of the Federal government should have the same.

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  • Jessica
    01/25/2017
    ···

    There are some things happening in the new Trump administration that are greatly troubling to me. I'm asking you to look in your heart, and truly consider what is good for the US, and for the world. Climate change is a real and scientifically proven. Please reach out with any ability you to have to help save our precious natural resources. Increasing our dependence on oil is backward: technology for renewable energy is improving at a dramatic rate. If you want the US to be a real world leader, let us lead in ways that matter to the world. The orders to halt the work and grants of the EPA, silence the USDA and the NPS are also quite alarming. Please, protect our planet, our access to information funded by taxpayer dollars, and our unique and invaluable national parks and monuments . I'm also very concerned about the executive order that has been signed that halts immigration and refugees from entering the US from the Middle East. The actions towards these people from our new President are intensely nationalistic and racist, and the future this course of action could entail for our country is dark. The US was always meant to be a home for everyone, a melting pot. We are a nation of immigrants! The Statue of Liberty, one of our greatest is supposed to stand for that! What would it say of us if she no longer meant that at all? Furthermore, it is time women were treated as first class citizens. Access to birth control is critical if you want fewer abortions, and it is high time that men stopped treating women's reproductive organs as property to be controlled and litigated. Lastly, I would like to address privacy. In what seems to be an ever increasing era of surveillance, stand up for our rights to truly be private citizens with private lives. The pledge of allegiance I grew up saying ends with "liberty and justice for all." Please fight for liberty and justice for everyone.

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  • Kaleb
    01/24/2017
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    I am NOT OKAY with the executive orders being passed to freeze EPA and USDA grants and silence those researching existing grants! Passing such things should be up to Congress, not in the hands of one President.

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  • Cindy
    01/25/2017
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    You and the president are my employees, and I'm incredibly disappointed in the leeway public officials are granting Trump. He should not be allowed to lie and deceive the public. He should not be allowed to censure federal agencies and the media to then feed lies. Just because he doesn't like a truth doesn't mean he can try to wipe the information from the record. Hold him accountable and uphold the constitution you swore to defend. Mandate he release his tax returns and divest entirely from his businesses. Do your job to represent the people of this country. ALL of us and iPhone that we are all created equal and deserve the same freedoms, without hiding behind religious bigotry.

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  • Lauren
    01/25/2017
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    The focus must be on Congress, not Donald Trump. We are watching, objecting, and will vote you out of office in 2018.

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  • AlexaB
    01/25/2017
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    Going forward with the keystone and DAPL pipelines is unjust. We the people spoke and Pres Obama heard us and halted the work. This will not bring back as many jobs as promised. We need to move forward with clean energy, do not put profit in front of the planet or future generations.

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  • Alison
    01/25/2017
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    I am extremely concerned about the President's emails sent to EPA, NIH and USDA employee to cease communications with the media. This direction to withhold information about public government services is appalling. This, coming from a person who tweets relentlessly, and who campaigned on a platform about Washington lies and lack of accountability. Moreover, his executive orders on XL and Dakota pipelines are going to further destroy this planet. Pipelines and fracking through US land, as evidenced by Oklahoma's 900+ annual earthquakes, has demonstrated the irreversible and detrimental environmental impact of these actions. This direction will almost certainly create civil and water wars and destroy our precious planet.

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  • Daniel
    01/26/2017
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    Trump has recently signed an order to hinder scientists from publishing their findings in media outlets. This is particularly troublesome because we rely on scientists for data surrounding important issues. This could range anywhere between climate change, to census findings, to economical data that can help restructure thousands of Americans lives. If we are not privy to this information than how can we fact check anything? This is down right unlawful, ludicrous, and outrageous. This is censoring gone terribly bad. Data, facts and the like is how we base important decisions and make the best decisions for everyone involved. I do not feel this is something that we can idly stand by and allow to happen especially when Trump's supporters are outright claiming that "alternative facts" can actually hold weight. I honestly don't even understand what exactly an alternative fact is! If we can't base our decisions on evidence then what is the outcome? This can't happen.

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  • Mark
    01/25/2017
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    I am disgusted by the actions of the president. So many actions taken this week have a total disregard for the environment, for our future, for world relations, for women and minorities. Who do you represent? The lobbyists or your state and constituents?

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  • Diane
    01/24/2017
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    I am very concerned about President Trump's executive actions so far. Ordering the DAPL to resume construction is in direct opposition to the Sioux tribe's rights and land treaties. Please consider not only the financial, short term gain, but rather the long term human costs to our Native brethren. Water is life. Please support the preservation of clean water for all people.

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  • Angelina
    01/24/2017
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    Each day brings more horrors. All his nominees are deplorable...all signed documents are destroying our rights, the environment and targeted population groups. He is destroying our country day by day.

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  • Pam
    01/25/2017
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    Please speak and vote against this President's undoing of the ACA.

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  • Maggie
    01/25/2017
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    President Trump has already taken many actions that severely threaten the future of our country and world. By approving plans to move forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline, we not only threaten the future of our planet, we threaten native communities in the Dakotas and violate their rights. We desperately need to be looking into renewable energy sources because climate change is very, very real. By preventing funding going toward NGOs that are pro-choice, we severely inhibit the health and safety of many women worldwide, which can inevitably hinder development. And although no direct action has been taken quite yet, constructing a wall and limiting immigration from "terror-prone" countries not only violates human rights and, in many ways, discriminates against religion, but it will also severely impact many sectors of our economy. Immigrants truly make America great, and we should not turn away those who are fleeing highly dangerous situations in all parts of the world. I am asking that as we move forward with this administration, we put the people first and respect the inherent rights of every single person.

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