President Donald Trump's first few days in office have been a whirlwind of executive activity as he's taken steps to make good on the dozens of Day One promises he made on the campaign trail.
Trump hasn’t delivered on all of those — his press secretary said he wouldn't prioritize eliminating deferred deportations for DREAMers as he pledged on the stump, for example — and he hasn’t fulfilled many the pledges outlined in his Contract With the American Voter. And the public orders he has issued have included symbolic moves meant to codify campaign promises, rather than enact dramatic change.
But taken together, the executive actions, memoranda and public statements Trump has made strongly indicate that he’s moving to deliver on many of the biggest and most revolutionary pledges of his campaign. Here's a rundown of the biggest developments from Trump's first days in office:
Affordable Care Act Rollback
One of Trump’s first acts as president was to sign an executive order aimed at rolling back Obamacare. The order directs agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay implementation of any provision or requirement" of Obamacare that imposes a burden "to the maximum extent permitted by law,” and to offer the states as much flexibility as possible in implementing healthcare programs.
The order does not technically grant agencies any additional powers they don’t have — and in fact the text underscores that it’s not a fundamental change of the law — but it was a signal that the Trump Administration sees dismantling Obamacare as a top priority and is willing to move quickly to do so.
Trump has also given multiple interviews dropping hints on what his health care reform plan could look like, but he’s said he won’t reveal the plan until his pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Georgia Rep. Tom Price, has been confirmed.
Trump made the biggest splash of his first week in office on Wednesday, when he signed two executive orders codifying two of his major campaign pledges: To build a wall at the southern border and to cut federal funding to "sanctuary" cities, which don't enforce federal immigration laws on undocumented immigrants.
Trump held up one and declared: "This is border security. We've been talking about this from the beginning. This is going to bring it over the top."
He said in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday night that the plan was still to make Mexico pay for the border wall, although some Republicans acknowledged that it was not yet clear how that would happen.
And Democratic elected officials in some of the states and cities that would be affected by his executive order on sanctuary cities came out quickly pledging to ignore the order or fight it in court.
Trump is expected to sign further executive orders restricting refugee admissions and denying visas to individuals from certain countries later this week.
Trump announced — via tweet — on Wednesday that he would reveal his pick for Supreme Court Justice during his second week in office, on Thursday.
The Trump Administration has issued two memoranda dealing with regulations so far, taking steps to fulfill the longtime Republican Party pledge to rollback burdensome regulations on small businesses and manufacturing.
Shortly after Trump was sworn in, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum instructing all executive departments and agencies to freeze new or pending regulations. This is a largely standard move for a White House transition to a new party, and is meant to give the incoming administration time to review any new regulations — or halt the implementation of some policies enacted by the previous administration.
And on Tuesday, Trump issued another memorandum instructing the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a 60-day review of federal regulations on domestic manufacturing and to offer a plan to streamline and expedite the permitting process for manufacturers.
Expediting Infrastructure Projects
In a similar vein, Trump issued an order Tuesday declaring the administration’s intent to “streamline and expedite … environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects,” particularly those deemed as “high priority” for the country — like updating the nation’s electric grid or critical bridges and highways.
On Monday, Trump’s third full day in office, he signed an executive order reinstating the “Mexico City Policy,” first implemented under Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It bars taxpayer dollars from being used to fund non-governmental organizations “providing counseling or referrals for abortion or advocating for access to abortion services in their country.”
The move won plaudits from anti-abortion rights groups, but was largely unsurprising — while every Democratic president since Reagan has reversed the measure, every Republican president has reinstated it.
During a meeting with Congressional leadership Monday night, Trump again repeated his debunked claim that 3 to 5 million votes were cast illegally, robbing him of an election win. After repeated questions from the media, he on Wednesday announced plans to do something about it.
That day, he issued a pair of tweets promising to request an investigation into voter fraud, including those registered in multiple states.
Critics noted that a member of Trump's staff, cabinet and even his daughter, Tiffany, were registered to vote in two states. Meanwhile, some members of his own party dismissed his claim that millions of illegal votes were cast in November. It remains to be seen whether Trump will move forward with the investigation.
Withdrawing From TPP
Trump made good on one of his major campaign promises Monday when he signed an order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement negotiations. It directs the U.S. Trade Representative to instead “begin pursuing, wherever possible, bilateral trade negotiations to promote American industry, protect American workers, and raise American wages.”
The order is largely symbolic, as the trade agreement hadn’t been signed by the U.S. and was unlikely to be approved by Congress as it faced opposition from members of both parties. But it formalizes U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, essentially erasing it.
He also announced Sunday that he would begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, another major campaign promise on trade, but his press secretary confirmed this week that those negotiations have yet to begin.
"We will be starting negotiations having to do with NAFTA," Trump told reporters at a swearing-in ceremony for his top White House advisers. "We are going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border."
Federal Hiring Freeze
On Monday, Trump signed a memorandum telling agencies they can’t fill vacant positions or create any new ones — excepting military personnel and critical public safety positions — and directing the Office of Management and Budget to formulate a plan to “reduce the size of the Federal Government's workforce through attrition.”
On Tuesday, Trump signed orders clearing roadblocks for two controversial oil pipelines: The Dakota Access pipeline, which would carry oil from North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa to be shipped out of Illinois, and the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada to Nebraska.
The Dakota Access pipeline was largely finished except for a section under North Dakota's Lake Oahe, near a Sioux Tribe that has disputed construction because they say it could pollute their water supply and would disrupt key cultural sites. After months of clashes with protesters — that occasionally turned violent — opponents of the pipeline claimed victory in December when the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to consider alternative routes and begin an environmental impact study, a process that could take months.
Trump's move doesn't order construction of the pipeline, but does require expedited consideration of permit requests.
On Keystone, he invited TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, to resubmit its application — after President Obama rejected the pipeline in 2015 — and again ordered an expedited review of the project.
Trump also ordered the Secretary of Commerce to come up with a plan to ensure that all new pipelines built or repaired in the U.S. use equipment and materials produced in the U.S.