Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions

Red Eye Chicago - - News -

Pres­i­dent Trump used his first week in of­fice to take a num­ber of ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions. To help un­der­stand what these mean, here’s a break­down of what ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions are and what or­ders Trump has made.

What is an ex­ec­u­tive or­der? Ex­ec­u­tive or­ders are a type of ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion that have the force of law and are used to by­pass Congress in or­der to di­rect gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials or agen­cies. There is no di­rect lan­guage in the Con­sti­tu­tion that al­lows the pres­i­dent to is­sue ex­ec­u­tive or­ders, but Ar­ti­cle II, where it grants the pres­i­dent “ex­ec­u­tive power,” is of­ten cited as why they are per­mit­ted.

Congress can­not over­turn ex­ec­u­tive or­ders. It can try to pass bills that would make it more dif­fi­cult for the or­der to be im­ple­mented, but the pres­i­dent al­ways has the op­tion to veto the bill. The or­ders are sub­ject to ju­di­cial re­view and can be over­turned by the Supreme Court.

Pres­i­den­tial me­moranda and procla­ma­tions are other ex­am­ples of ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions the pres­i­dent can take, but they all have “sim­i­lar pur­poses,” said Columbia po­lit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor Robert Shapiro. Ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion also in­cludes de­ci­sions the pres­i­dent makes as the com­man­der in chief and in deal­ings with for­eign gov­ern­ments.

Or­ders are the only ac­tions re­quired to be numbered and pub­lished in the Fed­eral Reg­is­ter, but me­moranda may also be recorded in the reg­is­ter. Both, along with procla­ma­tions, also are recorded on the White House web­site.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween or­ders and me­moranda is the most un­clear. Legally, there is lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween the two.

Ex­ec­u­tive or­ders don’t ex­pire when a pres­i­dent’s term is over, but a new pres­i­dent can is­sue an ex­ec­u­tive or­der to over­ride the pre­vi­ous ex­ec­u­tive or­der. This is what Trump al­ready has done to some of Obama’s ex­ec­u­tive or­ders.

Trump has is­sued both or­ders and me­moranda in his first days in the Oval Of­fice. Here’s a look at his ma­jor ac­tions.

Tem­po­rary ban on refugees: The pres­i­dent signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der on Fri­day that will keep refugees from en­ter­ing the coun­try for four months and sus­pends the Syr­ian refugee pro­gram un­til fur­ther no­tice. The or­der, which Trump said will “keep rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ists out of the United States of Amer­ica,” also lim­its en­try for at least 90 days from Syria and other Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries, but did not list the coun­tries by name. Mil­i­tary readi­ness: Dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the Pen­tagon, Trump also signed a di­rec­tive to beef up the U.S. mil­i­tary. The ad­min­is­tra­tion will de­velop “a plan for new planes, new ships, new re­sources and new tools for our men and women in uni­form,” Trump said Fri­day.

Build­ing the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der wall: Trump signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der Wed­nes­day to start con­struc­tion of a wall along the na­tion’s bor­der with Mex­ico, ful­fill­ing a cam­paign prom­ise. In an in­ter­view with ABC News, the pres­i­dent said plan­ning for the wall started im­me­di­ately and con­struc­tion could be­gin within months.

Sanc­tu­ary states/cities fund­ing: The pres­i­dent also signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der Wed­nes­day that strips fed­eral grant money from “sanc­tu­ary” states and cities that har­bor il­le­gal im­mi­grants and of­ten refuse to co­op­er­ate with fed­eral au­thor­i­ties.

Key­stone XL and Dakota Ac­cess pipe­lines: Trump signed two pres­i­den­tial me­moranda Tuesday to move ahead with plans for the Key­stone XL and Dakota Ac­cess pipe­lines.

Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship: The pres­i­dent with­drew the United States from the 12-na­tion Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship with a pres­i­den­tial me­moran­dum Jan. 23.

Mex­ico City Pol­icy: Trump re­stored the so­called Mex­ico City Pol­icy, which Obama had re­voked in 2009. The pol­icy pro­hibits fed­eral fund­ing for in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions that pro­mote or pro­vide abor­tions.

Fed­eral hir­ing freeze: Trump is­sued a hir­ing freeze for the ex­ec­u­tive branch in a me­moran­dum Jan. 23. It does not in­clude the mil­i­tary.

Af­ford­able Care Act: On his first day in of­fice, Trump signed an or­der in­struct­ing fed­eral agen­cies to ease reg­u­la­tions as­so­ci­ated with the Af­ford­able Care Act, Obama’s sig­na­ture health­care law. It called for agen­cies “to waive, de­fer, grant ex­emp­tions from, or de­lay the im­ple­men­ta­tion of any pro­vi­sion or re­quire­ment of the Act that would im­pose a fis­cal bur­den.” But its im­pact is not en­tirely clear, Shapiro said.

“It’s sym­bolic at the mo­ment,” Shapiro said of the or­der. Es­sen­tially, it gives Trump and his in­tended sec­re­tary of health and hu­man ser­vices, Tom Price, dis­cre­tion where the law al­lows, but changes to the pol­icy will need to be passed by Congress.

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