Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His First Week As POTUS
President Donald Trump’s first week in office has felt like a whirlwind of ridiculousness. From his obsession with his inaugural crowd size to his voter fraud lies and conspiracy theories, it was hard to keep track of everything that was going on. Behind the chaos, Trump was making quick moves that will affect the lives of the American people.
Trump signed 14 executive actions (6 executive orders and 8 memorandums) this week. Some were theater, and some will have huge ramifications. Whether or not many of these actions are carried out depends heavily on how congress appropriates funds for these various actions.
With a lot of the focus being placed on what Trump says on any given day, it’s important to keep track of what he actually does. This isn’t a list of everything Trump said or tweeted. Here is every action President Trump, and his administration, took during his first week as President of the United States:
First Weekend (Jan 20–22)
- President Trump signed an executive order late Friday giving federal agencies broad powers to unwind regulations created under the Affordable Care Act
- President Trump signed a memorandum freezing all pending regulations until they are reviewed by him and his team
- President Trump signed documents making his previously announced nominations official
- President Trump signed his first bill into law: This bill passed by Congress last week provided a one-time exception for retired Gen. James Mattis, that allows him to serve as Secretary of Defense despite the fact he hasn’t been retired for over 7 years
- President Trump’s administration indefinitely suspended a pending rate cut for mortgage insurance required for FHA-backed loans
First Week (Jan 23–27)
Monday, Jan 23
- President Trump signed a memorandum ordering a hiring freeze freeze “of Federal civilian employees to be applied across the board in the executive branch.” No new positions can be created and no vacancies can be filled. This doesn’t apply to military personnel
- President Trump signed a memorandum ordering the reinstatement of the Reagan era Mexico City Policy (Global Gag Rule) that halts all funding of nongovernmental organizations in poor countries if they offer abortion counseling. This was last reinstated under President George W. Bush, and pulled back by President Barack Obama when he came into office
- President Trump signed a memorandum withdrawing the U.S. from negotiations and the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Tuesday, Jan 24
- President Trump signed two memorandums expediting approval of permits for the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines
- President Trump signed an executive order ordering agencies and the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality work to expedite environmental approval for “high priority” infrastructure projects
- President Trump signed a memorandum ordering the Secretary of Commerce to create a plan for all pipelines used in the United States to be created in the United States
- President Trump signed a memorandum ordering the Secretary of Commerce to begin a 60 day review of regulations on manufacturers to find a way to streamline the issuance of permits and other federal processes for them
- According to the Associated Press, the Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants
Wednesday, Jan 25
- President Trump signed an executive order directing the process of beginning to plan and budget for the “immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border,” the hiring of 5,000 additional border patrols, and a review of all aid given to Mexico in the past 5 years
- President Trump signed an executive order directing agencies to step up deportation of those in the country illegally. PBS summarizes:
First, he prioritizes seven groups of people for deportation. It is anyone: convicted of a crime, charged with a crime, who has committed a chargeable offense, has misrepresented themselves to the government, has abused a welfare program, who is under deportation order and who may “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.” Second, the order also directs the hiring of 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, though it states that is subject to funding. Third, it states the U.S. policy is now to allow local law enforcement officers to act as immigration officers whenever possible. Fourth, it orders the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security to block federal grants from so-called “sanctuary” cities which do not enforce some immigration laws.
- The Trump administration is mandating EPA scientific studies, data undergo review by political staff before public release, according to the Associated Press
Thursday, Jan 26
- In what appears to be an effort to “clean house” at the State Department, the Trump Administration has “told four top State Department management officials that their services were no longer needed” as many position still remain vacant, according to CNN
Here’s an updated State Department Org Chart. Blue X’s are unfilled appointee positions. Red X’s are resignations.
Friday, Jan 27
President Donald Trump signed two executive orders, one of them was to “rebuild” the military, while the other was the controversial order to restrict the intake of Muslim refugees or, as Trump says, to establish “new vetting measures” to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists.” You can read the full executive order text here. It was identical to the draft circulating earlier this week. The Huffington Post summarized it:
- Block refugee admissions from the war-torn country of Syria indefinitely.
- Suspend refugee admissions from all countries for 120 days. After that period, the U.S. will only accept refugees from countries jointly approved by the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Director of National Intelligence.
- Cap total refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017 at 50,000 ― less than half of the 110,000 proposed by the Obama administration.
- Ban for 30 days all “immigrant and nonimmigrant” entry of individuals from countries designated in Division O, Title II, Section 203 of the 2016 consolidated appropriations act: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. These countries were targeted last year in restrictions on dual nationals’ and recent travelers’ participation in the visa waiver program.
- Suspend visa issuance to countries of “particular concern.” After 60 days, DHS, the State Department and DNI are instructed to draft a list of countries that don’t comply with requests for information. Foreign nationals from those countries will be banned from entering the U.S.
- Establish “safe zones to protect vulnerable Syrian populations.” The executive order tasks the secretary of defense with drafting a plan for safe zones in Syria within 90 days. This would be be an escalation of U.S. involvement in Syria and could be the first official indication of how Trump will approach the conflict there.
- Expedite the completion of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all visitors to the U.S. and require in-person interviews for all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa.
- Suspend the visa interview waiver program indefinitely and review whether existing reciprocity agreements are reciprocal in practice.
As you can see, Trump is moving to execute on even his most extreme campaign promises. Some orders like the border wall and “rebuilding” the military will need congressional budget appropriation in order to move forward, but others like his restrictions on immigration can be implemented unilaterally. As we’ve seen in the past, a lot of what Trump does is meant to distract. Over the next four years, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on this President’s actions.