From building the infamous border wall to a communications blackout, the world wonders what Trump will do next.
As the first week of Donald Trump’s time as president draws to a close, many are trying to fathom how one man can generate so much attention and controversy in such a small space of time. From executive orders to personal tweets, the world has watched President Trump carry out many plans that he had previously speculated, and others that he hadn’t. Below is a list of all of the important decisions that Trump has put in place during his first week as US President.
Donald Trump signed an executive order which directs federal agencies to “exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Reports have speculated that this decision could “scare health insurers into pulling out of the ACA marketplaces, which would set off a market collapse.”
Global Gag Rule
With the use of a presidential memorandum, Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, preventing foreign NGOs that currently receive US aid from using any funds, from the US or not, to “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning”. If health groups do not follow this, or even refer patients to other abortion providers, they will lose all US assistance. Trump has extended this policy to include all global health aid, which amounts to around $9.5 billion. According to Zoë Carpenter, this will mean that there will be 6.5 million more unintended pregnancies, 2.2 million more abortions, 2.1 million more unsafe abortions, and the deaths of 21,700 pregnant women.
Keystone XL and DAPL
Trump proceeded with halted plans for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects on Tuesday, as well as ordering the commerce secretary to find a way to source the pipelines and other infrastructure projects to use American-made materials. Despite the decision, The Nation claims that there are a lot of economic reasons that “Keystone may no longer be feasible“, meaning that there is still a chance that building will not go ahead. Meanwhile, Trump reportedly told the Army Corps of Engineers to “speed up and approve” the Dakota pipeline, although he does not have the legal authority to force them to do that.
Federal Regulations Freeze
Trump set in place a freeze on all federal regulations that have not yet been published in the Federal Register, which includes a rule about inspecting airplane fuselages for cracks.
Federal Hiring Freeze
Alongside the federal regulations freeze, there will also be a freeze on the hiring of federal workers. This means that there will be no new positions created, and no vacant positions filled. Although there are broad exemptions allowing agencies to fill some vacant spots, generally, it may cost the government more money due to the need to hire private contractors in order to fill the gaps.
Trump signed executive orders on immigration that would begin the building of a wall along the Mexican border. Despite this being something that he has long spoken about, he cannot authorize the huge spending that will be needed to build the infamous wall without congressional appropriations. He continued to direct federal agencies to move money around and outline the requests to Congress, which explains what the money is needed for. As well as this decision he also ordered that anyone who “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose[s] a risk to public safety or national security” should be prioritized for deportation. Alongside this, Trump set in place plans to hire 10,000 more immigration officers, if Congress approves the money, as well as publishing the crimes committed by undocumented immigrants every week.
There was a virtual blackout this past week, after “Trump administration officials instructed employees at multiple agencies in recent days to cease communicating with the public through news releases, official social media accounts, and correspondence.”
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