It's been over two months since Donald Trump took office, and the 45th president has already signed a dozen wide-ranging executive orders, hoping to fulfill a number of his campaign promises.
Surrounded by staff during Oval Office photo opportunities, Trump signed the burst of orders within just his first three weeks to undo many of President Barack Obama's policies.
Here's an updated overview of each of Trump's orders:
Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Hours after being sworn in, Trump signed an executive order aimed at reversing the Affordable Care Act — Obama's landmark legislation — which Republicans vowed to "repeal and replace" throughout the campaign.
The executive order states that the Trump administration will "seek prompt repeal" of the law. To minimize the "economic burden" of Obamacare, the order instructs the secretary of health and human services and other agency heads to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation" of any part of the law that places a fiscal burden on the government, businesses or individuals.
Also in the order are directions to give states more control over implementing health-care laws.
Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects
The order outlines how the administration will expedite environmental reviews and approval of "high priority" infrastructure projects, such as repairs to bridges, airports and highways.
The order directs the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), within 30 days of a request, to determine a project's environmental impact and decide whether it is "high priority." Project review deadlines are to be put in place by the CEQ's chairman.
The order is widely believed to have been issued in response to the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The order outlines changes to a few immigration policies, but most notably it strips federal grant money to so-called sanctuary cities.
In addition, the secretary of homeland security is ordered to hire 10,000 more immigration officers, create a publicly available weekly list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and review previous immigration policies.
The order also creates an office to assist the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and calls on local and state police to detain or apprehend people in the United States illegally.
Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
The order is aimed at fulfilling one of Trump's key campaign promises — enhancing border security — by directing federal funding to construction of a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border. It instructs the secretary of homeland security to prepare congressional budget requests for the wall and to "end the abuse of parole and asylum provisions" that complicate the removal of undocumented immigrants.
Other parts of the order call for hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents, building facilities to hold undocumented immigrants near the Mexican border and ending "catch-and-release" protocols, in which immigrants in the United States without documentation are not detained while they await court hearings.
Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States
The order suspends the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries — Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia — for 90 days and stops all refugees from entering the country for 120 days. Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely. During the time of the ban, the secretary of homeland security and the secretary of state will review and revise the refugee admission process.
Also in the order is the suspension of Obama's 2012 Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allowed frequent U.S. tourists to bypass the visa interview process.
White House officials have made a number of contradictory statements, at times calling the order a "ban" and at other times referring to it as a "travel restriction." After the order was signed, thousands of protesters popped up at airports across the country to denounce it.
Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees
This order stops all executive branch officials from lobbying for five years after they leave office and places a lifetime ban on lobbying a foreign government.
The order enacts a number of other lobbying restrictions, including, banning appointees from accepting gifts from registered lobbyists and banning appointees who were lobbyists from participating in any issues they petitioned for within the last two years.
Some raised concerns over how Trump will fill the jobs in his administration under the new rules.
Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs
The order states that executive departments and agencies must slash two regulations for every one new regulation proposed. Regulation spending cannot exceed $0, and any costs associated with regulations must be offset with eliminations.
The order also directs the head of each agency to keep records of the cost savings, to be sent to the president.
Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System
The order lays the administration's "Core Principles" regarding the U.S. financial system, which includes:
- Making regulation "efficient, effective and appropriately tailored"
- Preventing government bailouts
- Ensuring that U.S. firms are competitive with foreign companies
The order directs the treasury secretary to review financial regulations and report back to the president 120 days later with a determination of whether current policies promote the "Core Principles."
Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety
The order directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to create a task force that would propose new legislation to reduce crime, highlighting drug trafficking, illegal immigration and violent crime. The task force will submit yearly reports to the president.
Throughout the campaign, Trump promised voters a return to "law and order" in the United States and said minorities from inner cities are "living in hell" because of violent crime.
Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers
The order calls on the Justice Department to "enhance the protection and safety" of law enforcement by increasing penalties for crimes committed against officers.
The attorney general is also instructed to review and determine whether existing federal laws adequately protect law enforcement and later to propose legislation to better protect officers. The order directs the Justice Department to recommend changes in federal grant funding to law enforcement programs if they do not protect officers.
Enforcing Federal Law With Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking
The order outlines the administration's approach to cutting down on organized crime — including gangs, cartels and racketeering organizations — by enhancing cooperation with foreign governments and the ways in which federal agencies share information and data.
It identifies human trafficking, drug smuggling, financial crimes, cyber-crime and corruption as "a threat to public safety and national security."
The Threat Mitigation National Intelligence — of which Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and the secretary of homeland security are co-chairmen — will review and recommend changes to federal agencies' practices in a report to be delivered to the president within 120 days.
Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice
Two weeks after Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, this order changes the order of succession for Sessions, who won approval as attorney general last week. The sequence is: the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
A week before leaving office, Obama signed an executive order changing the order of succession without explanation.
Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda
Under this order, each agency must designate an official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO), who will be responsible for reviewing current regulations and making recommendations to the agency head on how to modify them. The RRO must hone in on certain regulations, such as those that are outdated or are perceived to curtail job creation.
The order reiterate's Trump's plan to cut down on regulations and comes nearly a month after the president signed an executive order requiring agencies to slash two regulations for every one proposed.
Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the "Waters of the U.S." Rule
The order calls on federal agencies to revise a regulation put in place by former president Barack Obama called the Clean Water Rule. Signed in 2015, the rule expanded the number of bodies of water protected by the federal government to include streams, ponds and smaller waterways.
Trump's order directs the administrator of the EPA and the assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works to review the rule and propose a new one that either eliminates or revises Obama's rule.
White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The order transfers the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHHBCU) from the Department of Education to the Executive Office of the President. Since its creation under President Ronald Reagan, the initiative had been under the purview of the Education Department.
Trump met with dozens of HBCU presidents the day prior for a listening session, which many students and college leaders were quick to protest out of skepticism that the president was using the meeting as a PR stunt.
In an interview with NBC News, Omarosa Manigault said of the order, "We understand that the executive order starts the action but there are so many different steps in terms of defining programming."
Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the U.S.
The order revises Trump's original U.S. immigration ban, which was hit with dozens of lawsuits shortly after being signed in February and blocked by a federal judge in Washington state. The new order, which goes into effect March 16, bans citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
The countries include Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. Iraq was removed from the list after the Iraqi government said it would increase information sharing with the United States.
Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch
The order assigns the Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney to propose a plan to "reorganize and governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies" in an effort to cut down of federal spending and improve "efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of that agency." Within 180 days, the heads of select agencies must submit individual plans to Mulvaney, who will have another 180 days to send a plan to the president.
During a daily press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the executive order "long overdue" and said agencies will undergo a "thorough investigation" into fiscal waste, though he was unable to provide a target goal for the amount of money the order aims to save.
The Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders
The executive order revokes key components of the Obama administration's previous executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or identity, gay rights advocates say.
Organizations representing the LGBTQ community say the "Presidential Executive Order on the Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders" hobbles several of Obama's previous orders including the "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" order by revoking the requirement that companies seeking federal contracts prove they've complied with federal laws banning discrimination based on sexual identity or orientation.
Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth
The order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to review another executive order, called the Clean Power Plan, signed by Barack Obama in 2014. Obama's plan, which aimed to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, was halted by the Supreme Court in 2016.
Trump's new order also asks agencies to review any regulations that could "potentially burden the development or use" of oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. Within 180 days, the agencies must submit reports to the Office of Management and Budget, which will take action to eliminate regulations.
Establishing the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
The order creates the "Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis," which will study the federal government's effectiveness in fighting drug addiction by reviewing funding levels, accessibility of treatment services, prescription practices and youth educational messages. A report will be sent to the president within 90 days of the order being signed.
Trump appointed Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey as head of the commission.
Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits
The order directs the Commerce Department and U.S. Trade Representative to compile a report on trade practices that contribute to the trade deficit. The report will look at each of America's trade partners and assess whether the country's trade practices unfairly discriminate against the U.S.
Forms of discrimination the report will assess includes non-tariff barriers, anti-dumping and intellectual property theft. Within 90 days, the report will be sent to the White House detailing causes for the deficit.
Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice
The order changes the succession line for the Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The new sequence is:
- United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia
- United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina
- United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas
Establishing Enhanced Collection and Enforcement of Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs Law
The order directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a plan within 90 days to combat two types of non-trade barriers placed against the U.S.: anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
The order also directs the DHS Secretary and Treasury Secretary to step up seizure of counterfeit goods and protect American companies from intellectual property right infringement.
"Buy American, Hire American"
The order has two parts. The "Hire American" portion of the bill targets the H-1B visa program, which allows businesses to hire high-skilled workers from outside the U.S., by putting less emphasis on the lottery system used to determine which companies can sponsor visas.
The "Buy American" portion of the order directs agencies to tighten rules that give priority to U.S. companies when hiring contractors or purchasing goods. This would be done by reducing the use of waivers and exceptions to current laws. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross must submit a review of "Buy American" loopholes within 220 days.
Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens
The order directs Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin to review within 60 days all tax regulations put in place in 2016 and 2017 that put an "undue financial burden on United States taxpayers."
Within 150 days, Mnunchin will submit a plan to the president detailing ways to alleviate "the burden imposed by regulations" identified in the initial review.