By Melinda Nilsson
On January 20th, president-elect Trump was inaugurated, and officially became the 45th president of the United States. The following day, four million people worldwide attended women’s marches, many in protest of the new president. With all the controversy in Washington (and Mar-a-Lago), it can be hard to keep track of what policies are actually being implemented. Policy often takes the back seat when we are faced with scandals and grand promises. For this reason, a timeline of President Trump and the actions of his administration is needed – exclusively focused on what they have actually achieved in the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.
January 23d – President Trump signs a memorandum withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
January 25th – An executive order is issued by President Trump, directing Homeland Security to commence the construction of a border wall to Mexico, despite the Mexican President refusing to pay for such a wall. Trump also signs an order with the goal to remove federal funding from communities that do not comply with his hard stance on deporting illegal immigrants.
Mexico will pay for the wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1 september 2016
January 27th – President Trump issues an executive order which bans entry to the US from seven muslim majority countries for the next 90 days, as well as the entry of refugees for 120 days. Many criticize this as a badly veiled muslim ban – others say it’s a necessary security precaution. The following day, a New York Judge temporarily blocks the ban.
January 28th – Yet another executive order is issued by Trump, which bans presidential appointees from lobbying for five years after leaving the White House, as well as a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign government.
January 29th – The first commando raid authorized by the president, known as the Yakla raid, results in 14 to 25 civilians being killed, the death of a Navy SEAL and the injury of several others.
January 30th – An executive order reducing the number of federal regulations is issued. For every new regulation within a federal agency, the agency must remove two previous regulations.
February 3rd – Trump orders a review of the financial regulations implemented by Obama in response to financial crisis of 2008.
February 9th – The travel ban remains blocked due to a panel of judges in the 9th circuit (and Trump answers with a tweet, see below). President Trump also issues an executive order which changes the line of succession within the Department of Justice, previously established by Obama.
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 9 februari 2017
February 14th – President Trump counteracts a federal law which required those who issue extraction of resources to disclose payments made for commercial development of fossil fuels and minerals. This is the first time in sixteen years that the Congressional Review Act disapproval is used.
February 16th – President Trump signs legislation nullifying the Stream Protection Rule, an environmental regulation instated by the Obama administration regulating coal mining in relation to streams, forests and local wildlife.
February 22nd – The Trump administration overturns protection for transgender students’ right to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, meaning that public schools may now choose whether or not they enforce transgender students’ rights.
February 23rd – Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, pulls back a memorandum from the Obama-era, aiming to phase out private federal prisons.
February 24th – Trump signs another executive order, this time requiring federal agencies to create task forces with the aim of determining which regulations hurt the national economy.
February 27th – President Trump proposes increasing military spending with 54 billion dollars, money that would be taken from the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department.
February 28th – The President signs two executive orders, one reviewing regulations regarding clean water, the other meant to promote historically black colleges and universities. Trump also signs a bill counteracting the implementation of a law which addresses existing loopholes regarding the purchase of weapons.
March 1st – The President’s 2017 Trade Policy Agenda is released, focusing on renegotiating deals, breaking “unfair” barriers and strengthening the American companies and workers.
March 2nd – The Environmental Protection Agency withdraws its request for information on equipment and emissions at existing operations for the oil and gas industry. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signs an order overturning a ban on using lead ammunition on wildlife refuges.
March 6th – The Trump administration unveils a new travel ban. Other than removing Iraq from the ban, it is largely the same as the previous ban with the exception of changes in language. The aim is to make the ban seem less targeted at any specific religious groups.
March 10th – President Trump and Attorney General Sessions order the resignation of 46 U.S. attorneys remaining from the Obama administration – a move similar to that made by Bill Clinton following his inauguration.
March 15th – The new travel ban is blocked by a Hawaiian judge, hours before it is set to begin. Trump’s statements regarding muslims and travel bans during the campaign are later cited as evidence against delaying the ban.
March 16th – The Trump Administration releases a preliminary draft of its 2018 budget request. The budget‘s largest relative increases in spending include the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security (including funding for the border wall), and Veterans Affairs.The largest cuts apply to the Environmental Protection Agency, Foreign Aid, and the Departments of Labor and Agriculture.
March 21st – President Trump signs a bill which defines the budget and objectives of NASA, including a crewed mission to Mars as early as 2033.The draft of the 2018 budget broadens support of public-private partnerships for deep-space habitation, revives a supersonic flight research program, strengthens NASA’s cybersecurity, increases focus on planetary science and robotic exploration, cancels many existing missions and objectives, and eliminates the NASA Office of Education, resulting in an overall budget decrease.
March 24th – After failing to muster enough support in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump remove their replacement of Obamacare from a congressional vote, failing to deliver on one of Trump’s major campaign promises. The administration issues a presidential permit to allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline by the TransCanada Corporation.
After seven horrible years of ObamaCare (skyrocketing premiums & deductibles, bad healthcare), this is finally your chance for a great plan!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 24 mars 2017
March 25th – A ban on some electronic devices on flights from Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait goes into effect.
March 27th – President Trump eliminates four Obama-era regulations. One repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which funds and promotes equal access to elementary and secondary education. The second removes regulations on teacher preparedness. The third deregulates resource management planning. The fourth nullifies the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which dictates how the government may purchase goods and services, and Fair Pay and Safe Workspaces, protecting the rights of LGBTQ workers, which he previously claimed to support.
March 28th – President Trump signs an executive order removing a directive to consider climate change during deliberations under the National Environmental Policy Act, removes restrictions on fracking, and directs the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend, revise or abolish the Clean Power Plan.
March 29th – President Trump signs another executive order to combat drug addiction and the opioid crisis. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signs a secretarial order scaling back Obama era regulations on natural resources. The President’s travel ban is now indefinitely blocked. Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt reverses the progress of a ban the previous administration made against chlorpyrifos, a pesticide which inhibits children’s brain development.
March 31st – President Trump signs two executive orders aimed at preventing foreign trade abuses. He also nullifies a rule that limits drug testing of state unemployment insurance holders.The Treasury Department announces new sanctions against North Korea in response to Kim Jong Un’s continuing nuclear missile program.
April 3rd – President Trump signs a congressional resolution which allows Internet Service Providers to collect and sell their customers’ online usage history with greater ease.
April 6th – In response to an attack using chemical weapons in Syria, President Trump orders a strike on a Syrian Air Base using 59 Tomahawk missiles. This is the first US intervention against Syrian government forces since the war began.
Congratulations to our great military men and women for representing the United States, and the world, so well in the Syria attack.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 8 april 2017
April 10th – Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s supreme court nominee, is sworn in as the 113th justice of the Supreme Court. In order for him to be confirmed, Republicans invoked the so-called nuclear option, lowering the number of votes needed for confirmation to a simple majority.
April 14th – The Treasury Department implements sanctions against IS suppliers, and organizations of abusive prisons in Iran. President Trump signs a bill into law nullifying a federal regulation that would have forbidden states from withholding money from abortion providers. The act was described as “the first major national pro-life bill in more than a decade”.
April 19th – Trump signs a resolution reversing an Obama executive order which prohibited people with a registered history of mental illness from buying guns.
April 26th – The president’s tax reform plan is released. The plan includes, among other reforms, a corporate tax cut from 35 to 15%.
(Note: Events from the 26th until today are not included)
All in all Trump has issued close to thirty executive orders – more than we can fit into a simple timeline. He has taken action against the environment, Syria and minorities in his own country, but has the president actually achieved any of the promises he set to fulfill within his first 100 days? A lot of his promises are either stalled or dropped, and only a fraction of the goals for his first 100 days have been completed. His budget, including the border wall, might lead to a government shutdown. Recently, he has recognized that NATO might not be as obsolete as he first thought, and backed down on ending NAFTA.
He has had some “wins” though: reversing Obama gun control, proposing tax cuts for corporations, and dismantling the EPA. The big question moving forward is if this is enough to keep the Trump-base happy, or will Trump crumble without the wall? The world will be watching in suspense.
So… Is this everything that Trump has done?
No! There is actually a lot happening every day, but a lot of it is small and not widely noted. Also, a lot of what he does day to day involves diplomatic relations, and we do not directly see the consequences of these relations as we can see those of legislation.
What is an executive order?
An executive order is issued by the president and directed towards officers and agencies of the Federal government. The orders have the full force of law, based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself.
Executive orders have great influence over the internal affairs of government and they can overturn the executive orders of previous presidents. They cannot reverse a law passed by Congress though. Executive orders are subject to judicial review and may be overturned if the orders lack support by statute or the Constitution. Congress can combat executive orders by refusing funding for them.
By Melinda Nilsson
Banner photo: Flickr CC