President Donald Trump’s first months in office have been filled with a flurry of action, and he’s just getting started.
The 45th president has signed 78 executive actions so far, with far-reaching effects on Americans’ lives.
There are technically three types of executive actions, which each have different authority and effects, with executive orders holding the most prestige:
- 1.Executive orders are assigned numbers and published in the federal register, similar to laws passed by Congress, and typically direct members of the executive branch to follow a new policy or directive. Trump has issued 30 orders.
2. Presidential memoranda do not have to be published or numbered (though they can be), and usually delegate tasks that Congress has already assigned the president to members of the executive branch. Trump has issued 27 memoranda.
3. Finally, while some proclamations like President Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation have carried enormous weight, most are ceremonial observances of federal holidays or awareness months. Trump has issued 21 proclamations.
Scholars have typically used the number of executive orders per term to measure how much presidents have exercised their power. George Washington only signed eight his entire time in office, according to the American Presidency Project, while FDR penned over 3,700.
In his two terms, President Barack Obama issued 277 executive orders, a total number on par with his modern predecessors, but the lowest per year average (35) in 120 years. Trump, so far, has signed 30 executive orders in 99 days.
Here’s a quick guide to the executive actions Trump has made so far, what they do, and how Americans have reacted to them:
Executive Order, April 29: Renegotiating trade agreements
Trump greets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House on February 13, 2017.Reuters/Carlos Barria
In his last order on his 100th day in office, Trump started making moves to fulfill one of his top campaign promises, directing Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to review all the US’s trade agreements.
If a deal “harms the United States economy, United States businesses, United States intellectual property rights and innovation rate, or the American people,” the Trump administration will renegotiate it, the order says.
In the days leading up to the order, rumors swirled that Trump was going to cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada, and Mexico. But he said he spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pea Nieto, and decided to renegotiate the trade deal that has existed since 1993 instead of completely abandoning it.
Corporate America reportedly went into “all hands on deck” mode to save NAFTA, having their CEOs call the highest-ranking Trump administration officials they could reach. Members of Trump’s Cabinet and the Republican party are split on whether it’s a “bad deal” or not. Democrats generally want to keep US trade agreement in place.
Executive Order, April 29: The Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy
Trump signs an Executive Order on the Establishment of Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy at The AMES Companies, Inc., in Harrisburg, Pa., Saturday, April, 29, 2017.AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
This order, also signed on the 100th day, established the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, with the goals of stimulating manufacturing in the US, decreasing the trade deficit, and propose policies to create jobs and boost the economy.
Trump appointed National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro to lead the new office, which will act as a liaison between the White House and the Department of Commerce. After the announcement, Navarro told NPR he wants the US to renegotiate trade agreements like NAFTA, and get US factory jobs back two promises Trump made repeatedly on the campaign trail.
Economic experts warn that trade policies Trump and Navarro have proposed could spark a trade war, and that considerably more American manufacturing jobs have disappeared because of automation, not trade agreements.
8 presidential proclamations, April 28: Designating days, weeks, and months
Signing a batch of ceremonial proclamations for the month of May at once, Trump designated the following:
May 1, 2017: Loyalty Day, to “stand strong against the threats of terrorism and lawlessness.”
April 30-May 6, 2017:
Small-Business Week, to “affirm our commitment to removing government barriers to the success of American small businesses.”
National Charter Schools Week, to “recommit ourselves to empowering students and giving parents their rightful freedom over their children’s education.”
Trump speaks at the NRA-ILA’s Leadership Forum at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 28, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.Scott Olson/Getty Image
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, to “remind” Americans to maintain “a healthy and active lifestyle.”
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, to “recognize the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that enrich our Nation.”
National Foster Care Month, to “celebrate those who have opened their homes and their hearts to children in need.”
Jewish American Heritage Month, to “celebrate our Nation’s strong American Jewish heritage.”
Older Americans Month, to ensure “older Americans are not neglected or abused, receive the best healthcare available, live in suitable homes, have adequate income and economic opportunities, and enjoy freedom and independence in their golden years.”
Read the text of each proclamation in the links above.
Executive Order, April 28: Exploring offshore energy prospects
President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 28, 2017, before signing an Executive Order directing the Interior Department to begin review of restrictive drilling policies for the outer-continental shelf. From left are, Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, the president, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Trump ordered his administration, led by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to review where the US could allow offshore energy development, revoking rules put into place after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, and putting Arctic drilling back on the table.
Environmental groups, Democrats in Congress, and many residents of coastal states oppose offshore drilling, and experts conclude doing so wouldn’t make the US energy independent. Fans of the order include many Republicans and oil companies.
While the order mainly focuses on oil drilling, it also says offshore energy activities could include “wind, oil, natural gas, methane hydrates, and any other sources that the Secretary of Commerce deems appropriate.” The nation’s first offshore wind farm opened in Rhode Island in December 2016.
Executive Order, April 27: Protecting whistleblowers at the VA
President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order on improving accountability and whistleblower protection at the Veterans Affairs Department in Washington on April 27, 2017.REUTERS/Carlos Barria
This order is intended to protect whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and establishes the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.
2 presidential memoranda, April 20 and 27: Steel and aluminum dumping
Trump’s memo outlined an investigation his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was conducting to evaluate how steel “dumping,” the practice where other countries sell products at a lower price than they sell at in the US, was affecting American manufacturers, and what the federal government could do to prevent the practice.
Trump and his Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross meet with representatives of Harley-Davidson at the White House on February 2, 2017.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US steelmakers, which have been hit lately with dumping from China especially, applauded the effort.
Trump signed a nearly identical order for aluminum imports on April 27.
Executive Order, April 26: Reviewing the federal government’s power in education
Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos meet with parents and teachers at Saint Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, Florida.Thomson Reuters
Trump’s order directs Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to review the federal government’s role in education, and determine whether states should have more say power she already has.
Under Obama, the Department of Education used its authority to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice in schools, or to compel colleges to address sexual assault on campus. With this order, Trump said, the role of the federal government will likely be less hands-on, leaving states to make more of their own decisions.
Read the full text of the order here
Executive Order, April 26: Reviewing Obama’s actions to protect national lands
Donald Trump.Getty Images
Obama designated or expanded 554 million acres of land as protected national monuments more than any other president. Environmentalists lauded his legacy, and have lambasted Trump for undoing many of Obama’s greatest environmental achievements.
This order directed Trump’s Secretary of the Interior to review any national monument designations made since 1996 that are over 100,000 acres, leaving many of Obama’s moves in question going forward.
Many liberals, environmental groups, tribes, and scientists are against the action, while many conservatives, and proponents of using natural resources are for it.
Executive Order, April 25: Agriculture and Rural Prosperity
This order established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, made up of many Cabinet and top executive branch officials, in order to “identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to promote in rural America agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life.”
Trump’s Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was sworn in on April 25, 2017.AP
In 180 days, the task force should submit a report to the president on barriers or regulations to change in order to improve life in rural America. Farmers joined Trump for the order signing at the White House, and farm-lobbying groups applauded the move.
Read the full text of the order here
Presidential proclamation, April 21: National Volunteer Week
Volunteers pack food for the elderly at Meals on Wheels. Trump proposed cutting federal funding for the program in his budget.Wikimedia Commons
Trump proclaimed April 23-29, 2017 National Volunteer Week, to highlight the importance of giving back.
Executive Order, April 21: Review tax regulations
Trump displays his financial services executive order during the signing ceremony at the Treasury Department in Washington on April 21, 2017.Thomson Reuters
This order aims to simplify the tax code, explaining that “numerous tax regulations issued over the last several years have effectively increased tax burdens, impeded economic growth, and saddled American businesses with onerous fines, complicated forms, and frustration.”
Trump directed the Treasury Department to review existing tax regulations, and submit a report in 150 days outlining which ones cost taxpayers too much money, are too complex, or exceed the IRS’ authority.
This is an issue Trump and Democrats could see eye-to-eye on. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has proposed a bill to simplify taxes.
2 presidential memoranda, April 21: Dodd-Frank rollback
Trump signed two memos directing his Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to judiciously apply the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the landmark legislation passed after the 2008 financial crisis intended to keep banks from getting “too big to fail.”
Trump has called Dodd-Frank “horrendous” and said he plans to “do a number” on the post-crisis reforms that aim to rein in Wall Street. Speaking with uncharacteristic candor, Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer warned Trump not to rollback the law.
Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer.Brendan McDermid/Reuters
“The strength of the financial system is absolutely essential to the ability of the economy to continue to grow at a reasonable rate,” Fischer said April 21, “and taking actions which remove the changes that were made to strengthen the structure of the financial system is very dangerous.”
Presidential memorandum, April 20: Reporting sanctions on foreign persons
Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the sanctions against 271 Syrians on April 24, 2017.Reuters
The defense spending bill and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act require the president to submit a report to Congress every year outlining who the US sanctions, what the penalties were, and why they were imposed. In this memo, Trump was doing just that.
After the April chemical attack that killed at least 80 people in Syria, for example, Trump imposed sanctions on 271 people linked tothe country’s non-conventional weapon use.
Read the full text of the memo here
Executive Order, April 18: ‘Buy American, Hire American’
President Donald Trump speaks at Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wisconsin on April 18, 2017.Associated Press/Kiichiro Sato
At a tools manufacturer in Wisconsin, Trump signed an order directing federal agencies to review and propose changes to the popular, but controversial H-1B visaprogram meant to attract skilled foreign labor.
Critics say it’s used by companies to hire cheap, foreign workers in place of Americans, while proponents including many in the tech industry say it provides much-needed skilled workers to sectors where companies have struggled to hire Americans.
Trump’s “Buy American, hire American” order also directs federal agencies to maximize the American products they purchase, particularly calling out “steel, iron, aluminum, and cement.”
Presidential proclamation, April 14: National Park Week
The president also donated his first quarter salary to the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. Critics were quick to point out that Trump’s $78,333.32 donation could hardly make up for the nearly $2 billion his federal budget proposes cutting from the Interior Department this year.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke the first quarter check of Trump’s salary to the National Park Service as Tyrone Brandyburg, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Superintendent, looked on during the daily press briefing at the White House on April 3, 2017. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Read the full text of the proclamation here
Presidential memorandum, April 12: Delegating terrorist report request
FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 10, 2017, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities.AP Photo/Cliff Owen
The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act directs the president to review “known instances since 2011 in which a person has traveled or attempted to travel to a conflict zone in Iraq or Syria from the United States to join or provide material support or resources to a terrorist organization,” and submit a report to Congress.
Trump delegated this responsibility to FBI Director James Comey.
Presidential memorandum, April 11: Signing letter on including Montenegro in NATO
Montenegro’s PM Djukanovic attends a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.Thomson Reuters
At the end of March, the US Senate voted to include Montenegro’s in NATO, 97 to 2. While Trump called the alliance “obsolete” as recently as January, he said he no longer feels that way, and didn’t veto the small southern European country’s inclusion.
The president has called on members of NATO to pay their fair share, saying the US carries too much financial responsibility for the military stronghold. The addition of Montenegro is likely to irk Russia, however, as it means one more country looks to West instead of staying under the influence of the Kremlin.
Presidential memorandum, April 8: Notifying Congress of the US Syria strike
This memo formally informed Congress of Trump’s order to launch a salvo of 59 cruise missiles on Shayrat airfield and nearby military infrastructure controlled by Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday, in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 80 people in the northwestern part of the country on April 4.
Some lawmakers slammed Trump for not getting congressional or UN approval before ordering the strike, as the president’s legal authority for doing so is unclear.
In this image from video provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017.Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP
“I acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” Trump said in the memo. “I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.”
5 presidential proclamations, April 3-7: Honoring and drawing awareness
John Glenn was the first US man to orbit the Earth as part of Project Mercury.NASA
Trump proclaimed various days and weeks in April were in honor of five different causes:
April 2-8, 2017: National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Honoring the Memory of John Glenn
April 7, 2017: Education and Sharing Day
April 14, 2017: Pan American Day; April 9-15, 2017: Pan American Week
April 9, 2017: National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day
Read the full text of each proclamation in the links above
Presidential memorandum, April 3: Principles for reforming the draft
The president’s son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner talks with Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. during his visit to Iraq with the US military on April 4.Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr
The United States has had a volunteer-based military for over four decades, but nearly all American males still have to register for the draft when they turn 18.
In the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress called on the president to outline his principles for reforming the draft. So in his order, Trump told Congress that the US military should recruit a diverse pool of citizens, and offer them training opportunities that will benefit the armed forces as well as their future employment, in order to “prepare to mitigate an unpredictable global security and national emergency environment.”
2 Executive Orders, March 31: Lowering the trade deficit and collecting import duties
Ahead of Trump’s first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he signed two orders focused on an issue he decried during the campaign: the US trade deficit.
The first order directs the executive branch to produce a country-by-country, product-by-product report on trade deficits in 90 days, in order to figure out how to reduce the $500 billion trade deficit the US had in 2016.
Business Insider’s Pedro Nicolaci da Costa wrote that the order’s plan for a “90-day ‘investigation’ into why the US had trade deficits with specific countries, [was] a quixotic exercise most economists say shows a deep lack of understanding of the workings of international trade.”
Vice President Mike Pence tries to stop President Donald Trump as he leaves before signing executive orders regarding trade in the Oval Office on March 31, 2017.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
The second order seeks to strengthen the US response to its trade laws preventing counterfeit or illegal imports, citing “$2.3 billion in antidumping and countervailing duties” that the government hasn’t collected.
“On a typical day, CBP screens more than 74,000 truck, rail, and sea cargo containers at 328 U.S. ports of entry with imported goods worth approximately $6.3 billion,” a Department of Homeland Security press release on the order wrote. “In Fiscal Year 2016, CBP seized more than 31,500 of counterfeit shipments and collected more $40 billion in duties, taxes, and fees, making CBP the U.S. governments second largest source of revenue.”
And the full text of the antidumping order here
Executive Orders, March 31 and February 9: Changing the DOJ order of succession
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks after being sworn-in in the Oval Office of the White House on February 9, 2017.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
On February 9, Trump signed an order establishing a line of succession to lead the US Department of Justice if the attorney general, deputy attorney general, or associate attorney general die, resign, or are otherwise unable to carry on their duties. In order, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and then the US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri will be next in line.
The action reverses an order Obama signed days before leaving office. After Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce his first travel ban, he appointed Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, as acting attorney general in her place. This order elevates his position in the order of succession.
Read the full text of the first order here
On March 31, Trump signed another order reversing this order. The new order of succession after the AG, deputy AG, and associate AG are as follows: US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and then the US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the DOJ probe into Trump’s associates contacts with Russian operatives, the order of succession will determine who will oversee that investigation. Trump will have to fill the North Carolina post soon, the Palmer Report points out, possibly allowing the president to influence who leads the Russia investigation.
Read the full text of the second order here
6 presidential proclamations, March 31: Sexual assault awareness and others
Jessica Drake (R) was one of several women who accused Donald Trump of past sexual misconduct during the 2016 election.Reuters/Kevork Djansezian
Trump proclaimed April 2, 2017 World Autism Awareness Day, and that the month of April 2017 was in honor of five different causes:
- 1. Cancer Control Month
2. National Child Abuse Prevention Month
3. National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
4. National Financial Capability Month
5. National Donate Life Month
- Many criticized Trump’s National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, in particular, because multiple woman came forward during the campaign and accused Trump of sexual misconduct in the past. He also bragged on a 2005 tape that surfaced in October 2016 that he could “grab” women “by the p—y” because “when you’re a star they let you do it.”
Read the full text of each proclamation in the links above.
Executive Order, March 29: Combating the opioid crisis
This order established the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The commission, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is supposed to report to the president strategies to address the epidemic, which is now killing 30,000 Americans a year.
But many experts said the president’s action is “underwhelming.”
President Donald Trump shakes hands with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a panel discussion on an opioid and drug abuse in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 29, 2017 in Washington, DC.Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images
“These people don’t need another damn commission,” an anonymous former Obama administration official who worked on the issue told Politico. “We know what we need to do. It’s not rocket science.” Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin outlined some strategies that scientists think will work.
Executive Order, March 28: Dismantling Obama’s climate change protections
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, third from left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, signs an Energy Independence Executive Order, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at EPA headquarters in Washington with coal and oil executives.AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to bring back coal mining jobs and dismantle Obama’s environmental policy, declaring climate change a “hoax.” While coal jobs are unlikely to come back in droves, this executive order makes good on the second promise, directing federal agencies to rescind any existing regulations that “unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources.”
It also rescinds four of Obama’s executive actions, two of his reports, and tells the Environmental Protection Agency to review his landmark Clean Power Plan that would have capped power plant emissions. Since many of Obama’s actions were complex, however, it may take Trump a while to reverse them.
Democrats, environmentalists, and protesters demonstrating outside the White House after Trump signed the order decried the action, declaring it would lead to runaway climate change, while many Republican congressmen applauded the action for promoting energy independence.
Read the full text of the order here
Executive Order, March 27: Revoking Obama’s fair pay and safe workplaces orders
President Barack Obama meets with then-President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on November 10, 2016.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
In 2014, Obama signed an executive order requiring federal government contracts over $500,000 had to go to companies that hadn’t violated labor laws. He signed two more orders making minor clarifications to that original order later that year and in 2016.
Trump’s new order revoking those three orders, and directed federal agencies to review any procedural changes they made because of the orders. When companies bid for federal contracts, they’ll no longer have to disclose if they’ve violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker
Protection Act, or the National Labor Relations Act.
Presidential memorandum, March 27: Establishing the White House Office of American Innovation
Trump established the White House Office of American Innovation, choosing his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to lead it. The office will aim to overhaul government functions with ideas from industry.
Business titans Gary Cohn (National Economic Council director), Dina Powell (senior counselor to the president for economic initiatives and deputy national security adviser), Chris Liddell (assistant to the president for strategic initiatives), and Reed Cordish (assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives) will also be on the team.
President Trump departs the White House in Washington with son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.Thomson Reuters
Read the full text of the memo here
Presidential proclamation, March 24: Greek Independence Day
President Donald Trump speaks to guests during a Greek Independence Day celebration in the East Room of the White House, on March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Trump declared March 25, 2017, as Greek Independence Day.
“American patriots built our Republic on the ancient Greeks’ groundbreaking idea that the people should decide their political fates,” the president wrote in the proclamation.
2 presidential memoranda, March 23: Declaring an emergency in South Sudan
The same day he signed these memoranda, Trump honked the horn of an 18-wheeler truck while meeting with truckers and CEOs on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, March 23, 2017.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Trump signed two memoranda declaring a national emergency in South Sudan, and notifying Congress that he did so, extending the emergency Obama declared in 2014. One million people there are on the brink of dying from a lack of food.
United Nations officials have called the famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia the “world’s largest humanitarian crisis in 70 years.“
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has said that the president’s proposed budget would “spend less money on people overseas and more money on people back home” and “absolutely” cut programs like those that would aid those starving in South Sudan.
Presidential memorandum, March 20: Delegating to Tillerson
Trump delegated presidential powers in the National Defense Authorization Act to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The law doles out funding “for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths.”
President Donald Trump smiles at Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after he was sworn in in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.Associated Perss/Carolyn Kaster
Presidential proclamation, March 17: National Poison Prevention Week
President Donald Trump departs the White House with his grandchildren Arabella and Joseph on March 3, 2017.Win McNamee/Getty Images
Trump proclaimed March 19 through March 25, 2017 National Poison Prevention Week in order to encourage Americans to safeguard their homes and protect children from ingesting common household items that may poison them.
Presidential memorandum, March 16: A letter to the House of Representatives outlining Trump’s proposed budget
Winners and losers in Trump’s first budget.Mike Nudelman/Business Insider
Trump sent his first budget to the House of Representatives, requesting an additional $30 billion for the Department of Defense to fight ISIS and $3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to protect the US border.
To offset the massive defense money, Trump proposes slashing funding for several key federal agencies, dropping budgets for the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency by almost a third.
Several noteworthy Republican lawmakers signaled they didn’t approve of Trump’s first budget, and Democrats across the board decried the deep spending cuts.
Executive Order, March 13: Reorganizing the executive branch
With the written aim of improving the efficiency of the federal government, Trump signed an order to shake up the executive branch, and “eliminate or reorganize unnecessary or redundant federal agencies” identified in a 180-day review.
It directs Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to review agency head’s proposed plans to reorganize or shrink their departments, and submit a plan to Trump by September 2017 outlining how to streamline the government.
President Donald Trump’s Cabinet gathers in the Oval Office on March 13, 2017.Donald Trump/Twitter
Historians expressed skepticism that Trump would be able to effectively shrink the government, since many past presidents have tried and failed to do so. Critics argued that Trump could use the order to dismantle federal agencies that he or his Cabinet members don’t like.
Read the full text of the order here
Presidential proclamation, March 6: National Consumer Protection Week
March 5 through March 11, 2017 was National Consumer Protection Week, Trump proclaimed, which “reminds us of the importance of empowering consumers by helping them to more capably identify and report cyber scams, monitor their online privacy and security, and make well-informed decisions.”
Executive Order, March 6: A new travel ban
President Donald Trump signs a new temporary travel ban in the Oval Office on March 6, 2017.Sean Spicer/Twitter
Trump’s second go at his controversial travel order bans people from Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Libya from entering the US for 90 days, and bars all refugees from coming into the country for 120 days, starting March 16.
Existing visa holders will not be subjected to the ban, and religious minorities will no longer get preferential treatment two details critics took particular issue with in the first ban. The new order removed Iraq from the list of countries, and changed excluding just Syrian refugees to preventing all refugees from entering the US.
Democrats denounced the new order, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying the “watered-down ban is still a ban,” and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez saying “Trump’s obsession with religious discrimination is disgusting, un-American, and outright dangerous.”
UPDATE 3/15: US District Judge Derrick Watson put an emergency halt on the revised travel ban the day before it would have taken effect, after several states and refugee groups sued in court. Trump vowed to appeal the decision and take the order all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Presidential Memorandum, March 6: Guidance for agencies to implement the new travel ban
This memo instructs the State Department, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security how to implement Trump’s new travel ban.
It directs the three department heads to enhance the vetting of visa applicants and other immigrants trying to enter the US as they see fit, to release how many visa applicants there were by country, and to submit a report in 180 days detailing the long-term costs of the United States Refugee Admissions Program.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly make statements on Trump’s new travel ban on March 6, 2017.AP Photo/Susan Walsh
3 Presidential proclamations, March 1: National months for women, the American Red Cross, and Irish-Americans