As reported last week in Bradley’s Governmental Affairs alert in A Sign of Things to Come? Trump’s Regulatory Freeze and Other Early Actions, the Trump administration took immediate action with regard to the Affordable Care Act, a regulatory freeze on government agencies, and a suspension of the Federal Housing Administration’s reductions for annual mortgage insurance premiums. A week later and the administration’s blistering pace continues. While certain actions, such as the immigration order temporarily suspending refugees and immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries, have garnered the pen of the press, the Trump administration has signed several other orders with significant policy implications. Below is a high-level summary highlighting the executive orders and memoranda signed by the President:
President Trump’s Executive Actions
Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific-Partnership
President Trump signed a memorandum moving to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP). The TPP was negotiated by President Obama's administration but never ratified by Congress.
Reigniting Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline Projects
President Trump signed memoranda advancing construction of both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. The Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to bring crude oil from Canada to Southern states and the Dakota Access Pipeline is expected to carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Along with the pipeline orders, President Trump signed a memorandum stating all materials and equipment used on the projects are to be produced in the U.S.
Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects
President Trump signed an executive order to expedite environmental review and approval of high-priority infrastructure projects. The order empowers the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Policy to determine whether a particular infrastructure project requires federal review or approval and qualifies as high priority.
‘One In, Two Out’ – Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs
President Trump issued an executive order Monday requiring any executive department or agency to repeal two current regulations for each new regulation they propose. The order explicitly exempts regulations dealing with military, national security, or foreign affairs and regulations affecting agencies’ organization, management, or personnel. The head of each agency is also required, starting in fiscal year 2018, to provide the agency’s approximation of total costs or savings associated with each new regulation or repealed regulation.
Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing
President Trump signed a memorandum directing executive departments and agencies to streamline the process of permitting and reducing regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing. The memorandum directs the Secretary of Commerce to receive public comment during a 60-day period on how to cut regulatory burdens before developing an action plan.
Reinstating the Mexico City Policy Barring U.S. Funding to Healthcare Providers Abroad Supporting Abortion
President Trump reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” by issuing a memorandum barring foreign aid or federal funding for international, nongovernmental organizations that provide or promote abortion services.
Building a Wall along the Mexican Border
President Trump signed an executive order instructing construction of a wall on the United States’ Southwest border with Mexico during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security.
Temporary Immigration Suspension for Refugees and Citizens of Seven Middle Eastern Countries
President Trump signed an executive order Friday suspending the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, suspending immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries for 90 days, and ordering his administration to develop vetting measures.
Cracking Down on Sanctuary Cities
President Trump signed an executive order last Wednesday aimed at cracking down on so-called “sanctuary cities.” The order states that cities not in compliance with federal immigration enforcement agents or laws are not eligible to receive federal grants, except as mandated by law. The Office of Management and Budget will now be responsible for obtaining and providing relevant information on all federal grant money currently received by sanctuary jurisdictions.
Ethics Commitments for Executive Branch Appointees
President Trump signed an executive order placing restrictions on lobbying by his White House aides and other administration officials upon leaving the government. Under the order, appointees cannot lobby their own agency for five years. Additionally, the order contains a lifetime ban from working on behalf of foreign governments or foreign political parties.
Reorganizing the National Security Council
President Trump signed a memorandum reorganizing the National Security Council.
Plan to Defeat ISIS
President Trump signed a memorandum directing Secretary of Defense Mattis to submit a preliminary draft of a plan to defeat ISIS within the next 30 days. The comprehensive plan is to include guidelines on the use of public diplomacy, information operations, and cyber strategies.