An overview, description of President Trump’s executive orders

February 14, 2017

Eleanor Sturt

[email protected]

     Since President Donald Trump has been in office, he has signed eight executive orders. An executive order is legally binding and published in the Federal Register. These orders are issued by the president to an executive branch of the government. Executive orders can be reversed by the courts and Congress.

     Executive orders are different from presidential memoranda, which have less prestige than executive orders. Unlike executive orders, presidential memoranda are not required to be published. Presidential memoranda are generally used to delegate tasks and reports, whereas executive orders are organizational.

Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal

     Issued on Jan. 20, this order seeks to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The heads of all executive departments have the authority to waive or delay any requirement of the act that may impose fiscal burden on the State.

Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects

     Issued on Jan. 24, this order intends to establish a framework for expediting environmental reviews for high-priority infrastructure. This order accelerates the environmental review and approval required to high-priority infrastructure projects like highways, pipelines, airports and updates to the electric grid.

     The order also asks for a list to be compiled of current high-priority infrastructure projects and creates deadlines for completion.

Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

     Issued on Jan. 25, this order reinstates the Secure Communities program, which requires state and local law to enforce the arrest and removal of undocumented immigrants. The order also creates a new office, the Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens, to provide services to victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

     Issued Jan. 25, this order illustrates to plans for the construction of the wall along the southern border of the U.S. Additional Border Patrol agents will be hired to enforce the detainment of immigrants crossing the border illegally.

Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States

     Issued Jan. 27, this order suspends new visas for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. The countries then have 60 days to implement a better screening process, or their citizens may be barred from the U.S. until further notice.

     The order also suspends the Visa Interview Program, which allowed some people renewing their visas to skip the in-person interview.

     Finally, the order bars the admittance of Syrian refugees indefinitely and suspends the entire U.S. refugee program for 120 days.

     Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson argued in court that the order was unconstitutional. Federal Judge James Robart placed a temporary nationwide suspension of the executive order.

Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees

     Issued Jan. 28, this order requires an ethics pledge to be signed by appointees in every executive agency appointed on and after Jan. 20. This order bans lobbying by any appointees for five years after lobbyists leave office. Barack Obama also required an ethics pledge for appointees after his inauguration.

Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

     Issued Jan. 30, this order requires any agency to identify two established regulations to be repealed before proposing a new regulation. It also requires the cost of any new federal regulations to be zero unless exempted by the Office of Management and Budget.

Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System

     Issued Feb. 3, this order lists the new administration’s policy and principles for regulating the financial system. It included the empowerment of Americans on their finances to build individual wealth to save toward retirement, the prevention of bailouts, the increase in U.S. interest in IMF meetings and the encouragement for American companies to become more competitive with foreign firms.

     The order also requires the Secretary Treasury to consult with other members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and has 120 days to report a list of existing regulations, laws, treaties and agreements in conflict with the new administration policies and principles.

Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety

     This order aims to decrease crime in the US by directing the Attorney General to appoint and foresee a Task Force on Crime Reductions and Public Safety. The order was issued Feb. 9 after Senator Jeff Sessions was sworn in as Attorney General.

     The Task Force seeks to develop strategies to reduce crime, identify deficiencies in existing laws, evaluate the accuracy of crime-related data and develop ideas to improve data collecting.

     The force is required to submit a report within a year of the order.

Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal and Local Law Enforcement Officers

     This order, issued on Feb. 9 alongside the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety order, requires the Attorney General to develop a strategy for use of existing federal laws to prosecute individuals who have committed, or attempted to commit, crimes against law enforcement officers.

     The Attorney General will also coordinate with law enforcement agencies in the prosecution crimes against federal, State, tribal and local law enforcement officers, as well as evaluate current funding for the support and protection of law enforcement.

Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking

     This order intends to strengthen federal law enforcement against transnational criminal organizations by giving high priority to devoting an increase of resources. The order was issued Feb. 9.

     Increasing international cooperation in reducing crimes across nations is a central aim of the order.

     The Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security are to maximize coordination between the departments and direct the Threat Mitigation Working Group (TMWG), an existing agency specializing in transnational crimes.

Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice

     Issued Feb. 9, this order establishes the order of succession in the Department of Justice if the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General and the Associate Attorney General were to die.