President Trump: What the new White House has done so far

By UPI Staff
Feb. 1, 2017

Feb. 1 (UPI) — Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20 and immediately began taking action on a number of issues.

Here’s a rundown of the highlights so far (most recent first):

January 31

Supreme Court: Trump nominated federal appellate Judge Neil McGill Gorsuch to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Some Democrats promised to filibuster the confirmation process after Republicans refused to hold hearings on former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland after Scalia’s death.

January 30

Federal regulations: Trump signed an executive order requiring that for every new federal regulation on small and large businesses, two existing regulations must be removed. He signed the document after a meeting with small business leaders. Trump said he wants to end regulatory discrepancy between big and small business.

CIA in the NSC: White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the CIA was added to Trump’s National Security Council — something that wasn’t done by former President Barack Obama due to the creation of the national intelligence director post in 2005.

January 28

National Security Council: Trump reorganized the council, adding his chief strategist, Steve Bannon. The council is a panel of officials, most of them Cabinet level, who work with the president to determine the best course of action on security issues.

January 27

Military strength: Trump signed an executive order to provide new resources and equipment to strengthen the U.S. military. The order promises to “rebuild” American armed forces and upgrade national and global security as part of a strategy that dictates “peace through strength.” The order directs Defense Secretary James Mattis to assess the country’s military and nuclear capabilities.

Visa vetting: Trump signed an executive order that calls for more intensive security checks for foreign nationals seeking U.S. travel visas. The action stems from a controversial proposal Trump made during his campaign — to prevent certain refugees from nations of concern, like Iraq and Syria, from reaching U.S. shores until they can be cleared.

January 25

Border security: Trump signed an executive action directing federal agencies to prepare for “immediate construction” of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border — a controversial project that was at the center of his presidential campaign.

Immigration enforcement: The president signed an executive order to strip federal grant money from so-called “sanctuary cities” — U.S. municipalities that protect undocumented immigrants from federal prosecution. Trump’s order also seeks to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, build more detention centers and prioritize immigrants for deportation.

January 24

Oil pipelines: Trump signed executive orders that would make it possible to complete the Dakota Access and restart the process for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

January 23

Abortion: Trump signed a presidential memorandum reviving a rule that prevents U.S. funds from going to certain health charities around the world that counsel on abortions. Known as the Mexico City policy, it was first instituted by former President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and has been on and off the books ever since.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Trump signed a presidential memorandum withdrawing the United States from the trade deal with Asia. The pact has been criticized by people skeptical of its benefits and worried over its potential to kill U.S. jobs. Proponents of the deal worry that pulling out could harm relations with key allies in the region.

Federal workforce: Trump ordered a temporary hiring freeze for federal workers, except for the military and certain security positions.

January 20

Obamacare: Within hours of his inauguration, Trump took his first step toward appealing the Affordable Care Act, signing an executive order calling on government agencies to “ease the burden” of the policy.

Trump’s order asked federal agencies to “prepare to afford the states more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”

Homeowners insurance: The new president also suspended a scheduled insurance rate cut for new homeowners, which had been set by Barack Obama’s government. The cut would have reduced annual insurance premiums for new Federal Housing Administration loans by 25 basis points — from 0.85 to 0.60.

Federal regulations: Trump also ordered a freeze on all new federal regulations that had not been finalized.

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