President Donald Trump signed 18 executive orders/memorandums this past week, sparking protests and reactions across the country. While some have claimed that this type of action is unprecedented, the president’s swift action is not unusual for a president in the first few weeks of office – what may be unprecedented is the extent to which his executive orders reach. Here is a list of all the executive actions taken so far:
- Minimizing the impact of the Affordable Care Act
This executive order was intended to “minimize the economic burden” of the Affordable Care Act. It allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and heads of other agencies, to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act if it imposes a financial, state or regulatory burden on any individuals.
- Expediting environmental reviews on infrastructure projects
This executive order will streamline environmental reviews of infrastructure projects. It prioritizes the projects and instructs the White House Council on Environmental Quality to create expedited deadlines for environmental reviews and approvals for high-profile projects.
- Removes funds for sanctuary cities, prioritizes deportations
This executive order prohibits federal funding to “sanctuary” cities where local officials have declined to enforce immigration laws, which is impacting several cities in California and could impact Denver. The order also prioritized certain undocumented immigrants for removal, such as those with criminal convictions or who have been charged with a crime. Third, it requires the secretary of homeland security to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, subject to federal funding. The order also creates a list, to be updated weekly, of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities and jurisdictions.
- Border security and immigration enforcement, southern border wall
This executive order directs the secretary of homeland security to complete several tasks related to immigration and border control. First, the department must begin planning, designing and constructing a wall along the US-Mexico border. He also instructed them to identify available federal funds for the wall. Second, they must construct and operate detention facilities near the border, subject to existing funding. Third, Trump ordered them to hire 5,000 additional border patrol agents, also subject to existing funding. Fourth, Trump ended the “catch and release” policy. Fifth, the action directs the secretary of homeland of security to empower local law enforcement to act as immigration officers.
- Reduce Refugee Intake
This executive order reduces U.S. refugee intake from 2017’s fiscal year’s 110,00 to 50,000. Also suspends U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. It also completely suspends the entry of all “immigrants and nonimmigrants” from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria for 90 days. The order directs the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to prioritize admittance to individuals making claims on the basis of religion “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” The order caused protests in airports across the country Saturday and Sunday.
- Ban Former Executive Appointees From Lobbying
This executive order bars “every executive appointee in every executive agency” from engaging in lobby activities related to that agency for five years after leaving the agency. It also permanently bars them from lobby for any foreign government or political party. This is part of Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”
- Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs
The executive order requires that every proposal for agency regulation must also identify two regulations to be repealed, also creates additional obstacles for regulations that propose new incremental costs. The order has an exception for national security regulations.
- Decreases regulations for domestic manufacturing
This executive action requires the review of the impact of federal regulations on domestic manufacturing. After review, the Secretary of Commerce was instructed to create more streamlined permitting processes for domestic manufacturers.
- Prioritizes construction of American Pipelines
This executive memorandum instructs the Secretary of Commerce to prioritize domestic manufacturing of pipelines. They must create a plan for the pipelines created, repaired or expanded in the U.S. and requires that the pipelines are completely produced in the U.S.
- Encourages the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline
Trump encouraged the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline. The action invites TransCanada, a Canadian energy company, to re-submit the application for a presidential permit to construct the pipeline. The memorandum instructs a review and approval of the remaining construction of the pipeline.
- Hiring freeze for federal government
President Trump issued a memorandum that prevents the federal government from hiring any new employees. It does not apply to military personnel, and exemptions may be made for national security or public safety responsibilities.
- Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
This memorandum officially withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but the signature was somewhat symbolic, as the deal was never ratified by the Senate. Former President Barack Obama had negotiated the deal with 11 other pacific nations. Trump says he plans to negotiate deals with individual nations instead.
- Blocks funds to foreign organizations that perform abortions
This memorandum reinstates the “Mexico City Policy,” that was established by former President Ronald Reagan. The policy prevents the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund foreign non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions. It has traditionally been removed by Democratic presidents and reinstated by Republican presidents.
- Freeze of pending regulations until Trump administration review
This memorandum froze all pending federal regulations until they are reviewed by his administration or by an agency led by his administration’s appointees. The memorandum exempts pending regulations that are health, safety, financial or national security matters.
- Review of military strength
This presidential memorandum directs the Secretary of Defense to review the military’s readiness and develop a budget capable of improving the military’s readiness. Trump also directed them to complete a strategy to review U.S. nuclear and missile-defense capabilities.
- National Security Council reorganized
“Presidential Memorandum Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council”
This memorandum reorganizes the National Security Council to make it more digitally-focused. The order allows some of the president’s staff to attend any NSC meeting.
- Plan to defeat ISIS
“Presidential Memorandum Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”
Trump instructed the Defense Secretary to create a plan to defeat ISIS in this memorandum. The president required him to submit the plan within the next 30 days, which must include a comprehensive strategy, changes to the rules of engagement, strategies to de-legitimize radical ideology, a plan to cut off ISIS’ financial support and identify new partners for the fight against ISIS.