It has been only a little over a week since President Donald Trump has taken over the White House, but what a busy week it has been. Since taking the oath, Trump has signed four executive orders covering healthcare, immigration, public safety, and the environment. Since understanding policies can be a headache, here is a rundown of some of Trump’s policies and actions thus far.
The main issue concerning the American public and healthcare is Trump’s executive order allowing his administration to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare. This executive order declares that while the repeal is pending, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, and agency hold the authority to determine what is the next best step.
Trump’s first action concerning global health was to sign into effect a policy stating no federal money will go to international health organizations that provide information on or perform abortion services to women. This policy has been used in past Republican administrations, however, Trump has tweaked the policy, expanding it so that any international health organization discussing abortion services is involved. In previous administrations, the policy was concerning family planning organizations that provided abortion services or information.
2. Immigration and Public Safety
Trump is determined to deliver on his campaign promise of building a wall between the United States and Mexican border. An executive order, signed on January 25th, declared the most immediate action to be taken is the construction of a wall on the southern US border. The executive order includes the definition of ‘wall,’ ‘southern border,’ and ‘border states,’ while also outlining the need for more border patrol agents. The idea of placing a 20% tax on imported Mexican goods has been proposed as a solution to help fund the wall, but no definite decision has been made thus far.
Sanctuary cities have also been touched by Trump’s immigration stance. A sanctuary city is a city that has adopted the policy of not prosecuting an undocumented immigrant who has violated federal immigration laws in the country in which he or she is now living. In another executive order signed on January 25th entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”, Trump promises that sanctuary cities will lose federal funding should they not abide by the administration’s decision to deport “removable aliens” who have broken the country’s federal laws.
Trump’s executive order on the environment was signed on January 24th and the biggest issue to come out of it was that President Trump is going to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to come to fruition. You may remember all those protests in the Dakotas late last year by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, calling for the project to be stopped? Former President Obama agreed, but President Trump has reversed the decision. He has signed for the pipeline to be allowed through the Standing Rock reservation, and has called for the Army Corps to take any and all actions necessary for the Corps to review the pipeline quickly. Why does this factor into the environment tab? The main reason the Standing Rock tribe opposed the construction through their reservation was that they believed the pipeline could potentially ruin their water supplies, as well as tribal sacred sites. The Army Corps has yet to finalize on a decision, whether it be exploring other options or okaying the constructions.
While many are applauding Trump for getting down to business quickly, many others are protesting his use of executive orders so frequently in only his first week of presidency. At this moment in America, it is necessary to remember that no matter what happens further along in the next four years, we are all Americans. No special group has power over the country, and no matter what your political views are, that is important to remember that anyone can make a difference and help shape the future of the nation.