Trump begins with action on Obamacare, regulation freeze and confirmations – USA TODAY
President Donald Trump signed his first executive order as president, ordering federal agencies to ease the burden of President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care law. Retired Gen. James Mattis took the oath of office to be defense secretary. (Jan. 20)
WASHINGTON â President Trump spent the evening of his first day in office ordering all federal departments and agencies to find ways to ease the economic burden of President Obama’s health care plan as Congress works to repeal and replace it.
Vice President Pence swore inÂ Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus ordered government agencies to freeze any regulations that haven’t already been published.
“Thank you, it’s a great day,” Trump said after the signings in the Oval Office, before leaving for a set of inaugural balls.
The first-day executive actions served to signal a marked departure from the policies of the Obama administrationÂ but provided little indication of the direction Trump would chart.
The executive order, titledÂ “Minimizing The Economic Burden Of The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal,” directed the administration to show maximum flexibility in applying the law to states, hospitals, health insurers, patients and, notably, medical device manufacturers.
But the order was couched in language like “to the maximum extent permitted by law,” leaving the particulars to legal interpretation.
The regulatory freeze memo was almost word-for-word identical to a similar memo sent by President Barack Obama’s chief of staff on the first day of his presidency. And that one, in turn, was based on previous memos by Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. It ordered all agencies to hold off on publishing any regulation until Trump’s Cabinet members are confirmed and can sign off on them. The White House may make exceptions for “health, safety, financial, or national security matters.”
Trump made no specific policy proposals during his inaugural address. So for most of the day, something as basic as the content of the White House website became an important signal to interest groups about what issues would take priority in the Trump administration.
Shortly after Trump took the oath of office, the government switched over theÂ White House websiteÂ from Obamaâs to Trumpâs. (Obamaâs isÂ now frozen in time, archived by the National Archives and Records Administration under the Presidential Records Act.)Â The Twitter accountsÂ @POTUSÂ andÂ @FLOTUSÂ now belong to Trump and first lady Melania Trump, although the Obamas seemÂ to have taken all of their followers toÂ @POTUS44Â andÂ @FLOTUS44.
Policy proposals on Trump’s revamped website ranged from increased cyber warfare capabilities to changing the terms of trade deals with other nations, issues the New York businessman discussed on the campaign trail.
Also notable: There are pages on the website for the release of White House visitorâs logs, ethics pledge waivers, financial disclosures and staff salaries, suggesting that some Obama-era transparency initiatives may remain in place.
Trump’sÂ staff posted a variety of proposals ranging from an “American First Foreign Policy” Â to killing Obama’s climate action plan âÂ plans largely echoing his campaign website.
“For too long, weâve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule,” reads the top issue brief on the new president’s White House website.
While the top issues on the Obama website were âCivil Rights,â âClimate Change,â âEconomyâ and âEducation,â Trumpâs siteÂ featuresÂ different issues with more Trump-themed names: âAmerica First Energy Plan,â âAmerica First Foreign Policy,â âBringing Back Jobs and Growthâ and âMaking Our Military Strong Again.â
Various organizations expressed concern that, in wiping the Obama White House website nearly clean, the Trump team eliminated sections devoted to such issues as climate change, gay rightsÂ and civil rights in general.
“The Department of Laborâs crucial report on worker rights has also disappeared,â said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. âIf President Trump truly believes in uniting the country, now is the time to make clear whether he will be an ally to the LGBTQ community in our struggle for full equality.”
After the inauguration ceremony, Trump went inside the U.S. Capitol, chatted with lawmakersÂ and signed documents that included formal nominations of Cabinet members and a waiver that allows Mattis to become secretary of Defense. The new president also signed a proclamation declaring a “national day of patriotism,”Â said the new press secretary, Sean Spicer.
Trump later issued his first formal statement as president, thanking the Senate for confirming Mattis and Kelly, and added: “I call on members of the Senate to fulfill their constitutional obligation and swiftly confirm the remainder of my highly qualified cabinet nominees, so that we can get to work on behalf of the American people without further delay.â
Trump also resumed tweeting within an hour of his swearing-in.
“We will bring back our jobs,” he said during a post-inaugural tweet storm. “We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth â and we will bring back our dreams!”
The new administration’sÂ first executive action, within an hour of Trump’s inaugural address,Â involved canceling Obama-backed cuts in mortgage premiums. The Obama policy would have saved home buyers hundreds of dollars a year in mortgage fees on government-backed mortgages, but Republicans in Congress have expressed concern that the cuts to premiums could leave the mortgage insurance fund without sufficient reserves.
Civil rights groups also criticized an opening move of the Department of Justice.
Within hours of Trumpâs inauguration, the DOJ asked a federal district court in Texas to delay a hearing scheduled for next Tuesday on whether the stateâs voter ID law was enacted with a discriminatory purpose.
Civil rights groups opposed to the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as Trumpâs attorney general have warned that the new administration could reverse Obamaâs measures on key voting rights issuesÂ and viewed the 30-day delay request as an early example.
âOnly hours after inauguration and we are already seeing signs that this new administration intends to delay important litigation or shift its position in critical cases,â said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyersâ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. âThis is not a good sign of things to come.â
After an inaugural address saying that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,”Â Trump had lunch with members of Congress and led the inaugural parade to his new home at the White House.
Throughout the day, Trump staff members began trickling into the West Wing, looking for their offices and trying to figure out how the phones and computers work. They included aides who bolstered Trump’s remarkable run to the presidency: advisers Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, and Kellyanne Conway, as well as Spicer.
Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. The ceremony took place before a crowd of dignitaries at the U.S. Capitol, including former presidents and the woman Trump beat in November, Hillary Clinton. (Jan. 20)
In his inauguration speech, President Donald Trump is repeating the dark vision and the list of the country’s woes that he hit on during the campaign. (Jan. 20)
In his inaugural address, President Donald Trump said, “We the citizens of American are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore it’s promise for all of our people.” (Jan. 20)
President Donald Trump says that the people are the rulers of the nation again as he has officially become the 45th President of the United States. (Jan. 20)
Mike Pence is now the vice president of the United States
USA TODAY NETWORK
Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Kellyanne Conway arrive at the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration.
USA TODAY NETWORK
Watch 44 greet 45. The Obamas welcomed the Trumps to the White House ahead of the inauguration.
President-elect Donald Trump and his family attended a morning church service at St. John’s Church near the White House Friday, hours before he was to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. (Jan. 20)
President -Elect Donald Trump also known as ‘Tweeter In Chief’ was issued a new toy this week — a Secret Service-approved mobile device.
Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Inauguration Day. Here are some of the nuances of this historical day.
In the tradition of past inaugurations days, President-elect Trump and the incoming first lady stayed at Blair House on the night before the swearing in ceremony. Friday monring they departed for St. John’s Church and a worship service. (Jan. 20)
Preparations and protests are underway as Donald Trump heads to the U.S. Capitol Friday morning to take the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States. (Jan. 20)
President-elect Donald Trump arrived in the Washington area Thursday ahead of his Friday inauguration. (Jan. 19)
Donald Trump and Mike Pence visited Arlington National Cemetery to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
USA TODAY NETWORK
Donald Trump ended the day before he is inaugurated as president at a VIP reception and candlelight dinner at Union Station. (Jan. 19)
Donald Trump spoke at a celebratory Lincoln Memorial concert on the eve of his inauguration that culminated with a fireworks show. To his unwavering supporters who were him from the start, he promised: “You’re not forgotten any more.” (Jan. 19)
Donald Trump thanked everyone who attended his welcome celebration event at the Lincoln Memorial the night before his inauguration.
USA TODAY NETWORK
Donald Trump is attending an inauguration concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. President-elect Donald Trump and his family are listening to music at the “Make America Great Again Welcome Concert.” (Jan. 19)
Twenty-four hours before he takes the oath of office as the 45th US president, Donald Trump arrives in Washington, determined to transform American politics over the next four years.
Video provided by AFP
In a luncheon following his inauguration, Donald Trump led the room in a standing ovation to honor Hillary Clinton.
USA TODAY NETWORK