Track Trump. The First 100 Days

The First 100 Days

Donald Trump has made many statements about his plans. Below are the concrete items from Donald Trump's Contract with the American Voter, which contains his promises for his first 100 days. Here, we will track fulfillment of those promises, and update it daily during the initial 100 day period. Learn more

Immigration
Trade
Energy & Climate
Federal Government
Economic Policies
Education
Healthcare
Safety
 


March 25, 2017

President Trump spent the day at his golf club in Virginia meeting with undisclosed individuals.

March 24, 2017

After it became clear that the House Republicans did not have the requisite support to pass the American Health Care Act, the House leadership, at the President’s request, pulled the bill. It is unclear when or if alternatives to Obamacare will be developed and considered. Speaker Paul Ryan expressed disappointment, while President Trump blamed the lack of Democratic support for the bill’s failure.

In an Oval Office ceremony, President Trump granted approval for the TransCanada Corporation to commence construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The project would connect crude oil in Alberta to the pre-existing pipeline network in the United States. A number of federal, state, and local hurdles remain, however.

Energy: Lift the roadblocks on energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline and allow them to move forward.

Update (3/24): In an Oval Office ceremony, President Trump granted approval for the TransCanada Corporation to commence construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The project would connect crude oil in Alberta to the pre-existing pipeline network in the United States. A number of federal, state, and local hurdles remain, however.

Healthcare: Fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with Health Savings Accounts.

Update (3/24): After it became clear that the House Republicans did not have the requisite support to pass the American Health Care Act, the House leadership, at the President’s request, pulled the bill. It is unclear when or if alternatives to Obamacare will be developed and considered.

March 23, 2017

This afternoon’s scheduled House vote on the proposed Republican health care bill was delayed after it became clear support for the bill was insufficient. The current challenge facing negotiators is to address the concerns of the conservative House Freedom Caucus without alienating moderate Republicans. President Trump has reportedly demanded the House vote on the bill tomorrow.

The Congressional Budget Office also released its actuarial assessment of the revised bill, finding that while the changes made the bill more expensive, with an estimated deficit reduction of $150 billion over ten years, they did not improve coverage statistics, predicting that 24 million individuals would lose coverage in the same period.

According to previously unreported cables, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered U.S. diplomatic missions to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny” and to add additional screening measures for them in the visa application process. These instructions, which have not been announced to the public, encourage diplomatic personnel to form working groups to “develop a list of criteria” identifying these higher-risk persons.

Immigration: All vetting of people coming into the US will be considered “extreme vetting”.

Update (3/23): According to previously unreported cables, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered U.S. diplomatic missions to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny” and to add additional screening measures for them in the visa application process. These instructions, which have not been announced to the public, encourage diplomatic personnel to form working groups to “develop a list of criteria” identifying these higher-risk persons.

March 22, 2017

The President called Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom to express condolences for today’s terror attack in London.

House Republicans continued to fight to drum up support for their health care bill, with President Trump reportedly attempting to negotiate a more conservative bill in hopes of gaining votes from the House Freedom Caucus.

Devin Nunes, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, held a press conference today where he announced that members of the Trump transition team had been “incidentally surveilled” during intelligence gathering operations not necessarily related to Russia-election probe and briefed the President on the specifics of these findings. Later, Ranking Member Adam Schiff held a press conference in which he expressed concern that Chairman Nunes had briefed the White House before briefing the other members of the committee.

March 21, 2017

The Senate Judiciary committee held a second hearing with Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, posing questions on judicial independence and other topics.

President Trump signed the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, allocating approximately 19.5 billion dollars for the agency. The Act is intended to support companies pursuing space flight, as well as provide funding to the International Space Station and the first steps towards a manned mission to Mars.

The President held a meeting with House Republicans amid conflicting reports about the viability of the bill given the proposed Thursday vote.

March 20, 2017

FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers appeared before the House Intelligence committee in a public hearing as part of an ongoing investigation into the nature of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. In his opening statement, Comey confirmed that the bureau is investigating ties between the President’s campaign and Russia. Comey also said that he had “no information” supporting President Trump’s allegation that his campaign was wiretapped by the previous administration.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch faced his first day of questioning in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Traditionally nominees to the Supreme Court have needed 60 “yes” votes to be confirmed, although Senate Republicans could alter the rules to confirm Gorsuch with a simple majority.

House Republicans are expected to release changes to their proposed health care legislation designed to attract more support for the bill, which has seen criticism from conservative and moderate Republicans alike. A vote on the bill is scheduled for this Thursday.

March 19, 2017

Speaker Paul Ryan said that House Republicans planned to make changes to the current healthcare bill, including a work requirement for Medicaid, but that a vote would be held on Thursday as planned.

President Trump returned to Washington today. Meanwhile, numerous officials and politicians of both parties called for an explanation for his unsubstantiated claims of wiretapping during the election.

March 18, 2017

The Group of Twenty (“G20”), currently meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany, dropped public pledges related to free trade and climate change after giving in to pressure from the United States delegation.

President Trump is spending the day at his resort in Florida.

March 17, 2017

After a meeting at the White House, President Trump held a joint press conference with Angela Merkel, taking questions on trade and NATO. He defended the accusation made by the White House that British foreign agents played a role in wiretapping Trump Tower, a claim that has been rejected by the House and Senate Intelligence committees, the Department of Justice, and numerous intelligence officials.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement while visiting the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, stating that “All options are on the table” with regards to North Korea.

March 16, 2017

The White House released a budget blueprint which calls for a large increase in military and defense spending and a corresponding decrease in domestic spending, including a 31% funding cut for the Environmental Protection Agency and a 28% cut for the State Department. The proposal, which has attracted bipartisan criticism, lists specific programs to be defunded, including Meals on Wheels and the National Endowment for the Arts. [As the budget is modified and begins to pass congressional hurdles, we will update corresponding pledges on our site.]

The proposed Republican healthcare bill cleared the House Budget Committee today in a vote of 19-17. Three conservative Republicans on the committee, David Brat, Gary Palmer and Mark Sanford, voted against the bill.

Early in the a.m., U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland became the second federal judge to enjoin President Trump’s revised executive order restricting travel.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee joined a growing number of representatives rejecting President Trump’s claim that he had been wiretapped by former President Obama. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer continued to defend the position in today’s press briefing.

March 15, 2017

In anticipation of the new order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority nations, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii granted a temporary restraining order, effectively halting the order nationwide before it could go into effect.

In a press conference, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announced an interest rate hike of a quarter of a percent (25 basis points) and predicted two more rate increases this year and three in 2018. While the rate increase signals confidence that economic growth targets are being met, the gradual nature of the increase is designed to give an extended impetus for hiring and investment.

In a joint press conference, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes and Ranking Democratic Member Adam Schiff said they saw no evidence indicating the Trump campaign had been wiretapped during the campaign.

In a vote of 85 to 12, the Senate confirmed the nomination of former GOP senator Dan Coats to be the President’s director of national intelligence.

March 14, 2017

The White House postponed a planned meeting between President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel scheduled for today until Friday, March 17 due to weather concerns.

After the release of several pages of the President’s 2005 tax returns, the White House confirmed the documents were authentic.

March 13, 2017

The Congressional Budget Office released a highly anticipated report assessing the fiscal and coverage impact of the health care bill being considered in the House. The report estimates the legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion from 2017 to 2026. In the same timeframe, the number of insured Americans would be reduced by 24 million individuals.

Shortly after the release of the CBO report, the White House held a press conference to refute the findings, during which Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said it was “virtually impossible” to imagine the loss of coverage would be as severe as the report suggested. House Speaker Paul Ryan chose instead to celebrate the report’s conclusions, saying in a statement that the CBO study “confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums and improve access to quality, affordable care.”

President Trump signed an executive order intended to “improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch.” The order gives the head of each federal agency 180 days to develop a plan to reorganize their departments, reducing “unnecessary” and “redundant” components. This process will be supervised by the Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

The Department of Justice asked for more time to provide evidence requested by the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee regarding President Trump’s Twitter allegation of being “wiretapped” by former President Obama during the campaign.

March 12, 2017

President Trump spent the day at the White House. Neither the House nor Senate were in session today.

March 11, 2017

President Trump held meetings with several Cabinet secretaries and senior staff members at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. According to the press pool they discussed health care reform and economic policy.

March 10, 2017

46 U.S. attorneys appointed by President Obama have been asked to resign by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Two resignations were not accepted by the President: Dana Boente, acting U.S. deputy attorney general, and Rod Rosenstein, the President’s nominee for that post.

The nominee for Director of National Intelligence, former senator Dan Coats, has been confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee. His nomination will now be voted on by the full Senate.

March 9, 2017

The proposed Republican healthcare bill was voted successfully out of two congressional committees today, although it continues to face criticism from prominent conservative legislators. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office will release its findings on the cost and coverage implications of the bill early next week before it goes before the House floor for a vote.

Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, and New York are taking legal action against President Trump’s new executive order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries. The various lawsuits will first need to show “standing,” demonstrating individuals harmed by the order.

Former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn presented documents to the Justice Department registering as a foreign agent for work done before the presidential election that may have helped the Turkish government.

March 8, 2017

The American Health Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Hospital Association, America's Essential Hospitals and the Catholic Health Association of the United States all sent letters to Congress indicating their opposition to the proposed American Health Care Act.

Some preliminary information has begun to circulate about elements of the infrastructure plan promised during the presidential campaign, including a proposal that would implement a 90-day deadline for states to start construction of federal funded projects.

Former Governor of Utah John Huntsman has reportedly accepted an offer to be Ambassador to Russia.

March 7, 2017

News today was dominated by reactions to the newly introduced health care bill, which is facing criticism from the coalitions on the right and the left. The White House defended the proposed legislation, with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price speaking in defense of the bill and answering questions in a joint press conference with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted decisively in favor of Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, nominated to be President Trump’s new national security advisor.

As attention turns to the newly issued executive order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries, the Department of Justice said it would retract the appeal of the original order in court.

March 6, 2017

President Trump signed an updated executive order suspending travel from certain Muslim-majority countries and halting the refugee resettlement program. The new order exempts Iraq from the list of impacted countries and does not apply to legal permanent residents, dual nationals traveling on passports from unaffected regions, and certain other visa holders. An indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and language regarding preferential treatment for religious minorities have been removed. The effective date of the order is March 16, 2017.

The House Republican Caucus released the full language of a replacement health care bill that will enter committee review in the coming weeks. The proposal substitutes age-based tax credits for income-based subsidies, freezes Medicaid expansion, and repeals most Obamacare-levied taxes. Some elements of the Affordable Care Act would be preserved, including the rule protecting individuals with preexisting conditions and the provision allowing individuals under the age 26 to remain on their parents’ plans.

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security John Kelly confirmed previous reporting that his department was considering adopting a policy of separating parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border to dissuade migrants from coming to the country.

After calls to recuse himself or resign, Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted a supplementary letter providing more details regarding his contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Immigration: Suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur”.

Update (3/6): President Trump signed an updated executive order suspending travel from certain Muslim-majority countries and halting the refugee resettlement program. The new order exempts Iraq from the list of affected countries and does not apply to legal permanent residents, dual nationals travelling on passports from unaffected countries, and certain other visa holders. An indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and language regarding preferential treatment for religious minorities have been removed. The new order revokes the previous order and goes into effect March 16, 2017.

March 5, 2017

The White House released a statement on President Trump’s tweets accusing former President Obama of wiretapping him during the campaign. The statement encourages Congress to investigate any abuse of executive authority that may have occurred in the 2016 election.

The President spent the day golfing at his Florida property.

March 4, 2017

President Trump spent the day at his Florida property. The White House did not comment on the tweets sent by the President this morning

March 3, 2017

President Trump travelled to Florida today to spend the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, the fourth such trip of his term.

Reports revealed that the Department of Homeland Security is considering adopting a policy of separating parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border to dissuade migrants from coming to the country.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed to supplement his testimony and answer questions related to his meetings with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in writing.

March 2, 2017

The Senate voted on two more Cabinet nominees today, confirming both. Former governor Rick Perry was confirmed as Secretary of Energy 67-32, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was confirmed 58-41 as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference after reports that he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign. He has recused himself from “any existing or future investigation any matter relating in any way to the campaign for President of the United States.”

March 1, 2017

Amidst generally positive reviews of last night’s speech to Congress, the administration delayed the release of a new executive order restricting travel expected for today.

In a vote of 68 to 31, the Senate confirmed the nomination of U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke to lead the Interior Department.

February 28, 2017

President Trump signed an executive order calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to review the “Clean Water Rule,” an extensive environmental regulation put in place by the Obama administration. The President also signed a bill into law repealing a rule that prevented those who are ruled incapable of handling their financial affairs by the Social Security Administration from purchasing firearms.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made remarks at the National Association of Attorneys General, focused on violent crime, drugs, and immigration. The President also addressed a joint session of Congress, focusing on similar issues.

First Month in Review: Trump v. Obama

One month in, President Trump has not ventured far from the promises articulated in his “Contract With the American Voter.” Of the 44 policy pledges laid out in the Contract, we’ve documented that eighteen promises (~40%) have either been “completed” or are “in progress.” While some pundits and even supporters of candidate Trump discouraged voters from taking Trump literally, we can conclude that taking the President’s most consistent policy pledges at face value is not a waste of time.

40% promises have been completed

At this point in our project, we thought we’d briefly reflect on the policies the administration has put in place so far and compare them to similar actions taken within the first month of the first term of President Obama.

Legislation

The bills President Trump signed in the first month of office were largely reversals of regulations adopted in the later part of the Obama administration. The Republican-controlled House and Senate were able to quickly get these to the President’s desk using the authority of the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review and overrule recently enacted regulation. So far, this has allowed President Trump to block a coal-waste targeting Stream Protection Rule, as well as a requirement for oil companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. A third similar bill awaits the President’s signature and would repeal a rule that bars individuals deemed mentally incompetent to manage their own Social Security payments from purchasing firearms.

More ambitious legislative initiatives, which will require a large fiscal commitment and a certain degree of bipartisan congressional support, are starting to get pushed further down the calendar. Recent reporting suggests that some Republicans are interested in delaying consideration of an infrastructure overhaul until 2018 so that the issue can be used to pressure vulnerable Democrats near the midterm elections. While certain congressional Republicans have suggested that ACA repeal and replace will be carried out over the next several months, no single plan has emerged uncontested, the White House and representatives will not comment on the authenticity of leaked drafts, and some observers have speculated that the ACA will not be repealed, but “fixed.” Similarly, plans to dramatically reform the tax code have yet to materialize. Although Treasury Secretary Mnuchin hopes to pass tax reform legislation by the congressional summer recess, there is disagreement among Republicans concerning a plan to implement a border tax targeting imports.

Like President Trump, President Obama came into office with majority control of the House and Senate. Dictated by pressing economic circumstances, President Obama’s largest legislative achievement in the first month was the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a near-trillion dollar stimulus bill designed to tackle the economic crisis. President Obama also signed the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, an initiative previously vetoed by President Bush, which expanded a federally funded medical insurance program to cover four million additional children and pregnant mothers. Finally, President Obama also signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extended the statute of limitations for presenting equal-pay lawsuits.

Executive Action

The executive actions taken by President Trump have been, for the most part, similar to orders issued by the Obama and Bush administrations soon after taking office. The executive memo containing an “ethics pledge” and “lobbying ban” was closely modeled after orders signed in the early days of the Obama administration. The revival of the Mexico City Policy, which blocks federal funds from NGOs that provide access to abortion, is a standard Republican presidential order, adopted by President Reagan and maintained by both Presidents Bush. Federal hiring freezes have previously been implemented by Presidents Reagan and Carter and have been the subject of debate and study, including a 1982 inquiry by the Comptroller General.

Where Trump’s executive orders depart from precedent is in the realm of immigration, most notably the order halting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Although the administration points to recent precedent (including President Obama’s termination of the “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy) as legal justification, the executive order is more comparable in scale to immigration acts of the early 20th century, such as the Immigration Act of 1917, which established a “Barred Asiatic Zone.” President Trump’s orders to limit migration across the southern border, if followed, could be massive in fiscal scale and policy impact. Estimates of the cost of a U.S.-Mexico border wall now exceed $20 billion, and additional measures detailed in recent DHS memos (1, 2), including a major increase in immigration enforcement personnel, may cost billions more. While there is a great deal of executive discretion that contributes to the scope and speed of deportation efforts, the text of DHS memos broadly expands the “prioritized deportation” categories to include individuals found guilty of non-violent crimes and misdemeanors.

President Obama’s early executive actions sought to mitigate what his administration saw as the overreaches of the Bush anti-terror strategy. One banned the use of torture in interrogation, insisting that “in all circumstances [prisoners] be treated humanely and shall not be subjected to violence.” Another order called for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility within a year, an interesting case study in the limitations of a president to achieve policy outcomes by decree. In a departure from what some might have expected, President Obama also ramped up the troop commitment in Afghanistan by 17,000 soldiers in the early days of his presidency. President Obama also repealed the previously mentioned Mexico City Policy.

Confirmations

In general, President Obama’s cabinet confirmation progressed more quickly than President Trump’s. By the end of January 2009, nine out of fifteen of President Obama’s cabinet appointments had been approved by the Senate; by the end of January 2017, only three out of fifteen of President Trump’s cabinet appointments had been approved.

President Obama’s cabinet confirmation process, however, saw the withdrawal of a greater number of nominees. Nominees for Secretary of Commerce Bill Richardson and Judd Gregg withdrew their names on January 4 and February 12, and nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Daschle withdrew his name February 9th. So far, President Trump has only had his nominee for Secretary of Labor Andrew Puzder withdraw from consideration. However, President Trump has had more personnel setbacks outside the cabinet, with the withdrawal of nominees for secretary of Army and secretary of the Navy and the resignation of National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn.

Obama and Trump's cabinet confirmations

Conclusions

This comparison is not intended to measure which administration got off to a “better start” or to cast judgement on the relative merits of the policies in question. Efforts to differentiate Presidential achievement, especially over such a short period of time, are often distorted by context. For instance, framing President Obama’s stimulus bill as a reflection of his unique capabilities or mission conveniently ignores the extraordinary political eagerness to confront the Great Recession.

What can be ascertained, however, is a preliminary sense of the administration’s priorities. A scroll down the main landing page of our tracker shows that nearly all of the immigration-related policy pledges are “in progress.” Meanwhile, policy pledges related to trade, the economy, and education remain largely untouched. This could be explained, in part, by limitations specific to separation of powers. While the White House cannot, for example, unilaterally change the tax code or end Common Core, the executive does traditionally have broad authority in the arena of immigration. However, it might also also be the case that the President and other powerful decision makers in the White House have chosen to focus their energy on immigration-related matters. As time goes on, it will become clearer which initiatives are receiving the bulk of the administration’s limited attention and political capital.

February 27, 2017

This morning President Trump introduced a budget proposal that calls for a 10% or $54 billion increase in military spending with corresponding cuts to discretionary domestic programs and foreign aid. Proposed cuts will reportedly target the EPA and the State Department.

The Senate confirmed billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as the new U.S. Commerce Secretary in a vote of 72-27. Ross is an outspoken critic of Chinese trade practices and is expected to play a key role in the administration’s trade agenda.

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a Department of Justice request to halt litigation on an appeal over the President’s executive order suspending travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. The White House is expected to submit a revised order by the middle of the week.

The Department of Justice dropped a discrimination claim levelled by the previous administration against a voter ID law in Texas on the grounds that the Texas legislature is searching for ways to “cure the deficiencies” in the statute. Opponents of the Texas law allege it discriminates against minority voters.

February 26, 2017

President Trump spent the evening at the National Governors Association dinner, where he indicated that he would discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act in his address to Congress on Tuesday. The President said, “We’re going to be speaking very specifically about a very complicated subject. I think we have something that is really going to be excellent."

The announced nominee for Secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden, withdrew from consideration for the position, citing potential financial concerns.

February 25, 2017

President Trump announced that he will not attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, scheduled for April 29.

He also had lunch with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Florida Governor Rick Scott, during which they discussed, “how best to solve the problems of Obamacare, with a special emphasis on the states’ role in healthcare,” according to the White House readout.

February 24, 2017

President Trump signed an executive order directing all federal agencies to appoint a Regulatory Reform Officer tasked with “the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies to ensure that agencies effectively carry out regulatory reforms, consistent with applicable law.” This order is designed to bolster the enforcement of previous orders related to regulatory reduction and reform.

In a break from long-standing convention, Press Secretary Sean Spicer barred some media outlets from the daily White House briefing, instead holding an off-camera “gaggle” for selected news organizations. It remains to be seen if this is a permanent change or a one-time occurrence.

The Associated Press obtained a report from the Department of Homeland Security that disputes the stated reasoning behind the controversial executive order on immigration currently halted by a federal court. The provenance of the report was confirmed by the Department of Homeland Security. The White House plans to issue a revised order next week.

February 23, 2017

The Department of Justice issued a memo reversing an order by the Obama administration to decrease the use of private prisons. The original guidance given by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in 2016 instructed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to refrain from renewing private prison contracts upon the date of their expiration. The memo released by Attorney General Jeff Sessions today instructs the bureau to resume its original practices.

In an interview Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated there were no immediate plans to label China a currency manipulator. Such an announcement, Mnuchin said, would only be given after a standard review of international currencies and would not be issued until the department’s next currency report in April.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and DHS Secretary John Kelly were in Mexico today speaking with local officials and addressing points of friction concerning the administration's immigration policy.

Trade: Label China a currency manipulator.

Update (2/23): In an interview Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated there were no immediate plans to label China a currency manipulator. Such an announcement, Mnuchin said, would only be given after a standard review of international currencies and would not be issued until the department’s next currency report in April.

February 22, 2017

The Senate Intelligence Committee announced today that former senator Dan Coats would receive a confirmation hearing next week to be Director of National Intelligence. The position was previously held by James Clapper but has been vacant since President Trump’s inauguration.

The Departments of Justice and Education revoked the guidelines issued by the Obama administration that instructed public schools to let transgender students use the bathroom of their choice.

February 21, 2017

President Trump gave comments condemning the recent spate of anti-Semitic acts in the US, calling them “horrible and painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

The Department of Homeland Security released two memos (1, 2) detailing changes in immigration enforcement procedure prompted by executive orders (1, 2) signed in late January. The memos expand the category of individuals prioritized for removal to include all individuals with criminal records, including non-violent offenders. The memos call for the revival of the 287(g) program, under which local law enforcement officers are deputized as de facto immigration enforcers. The memos also broaden the reach of the expedited removal process, which under the Obama administration was typically limited to an area 100 miles north of the southern border and only targeted individuals in the country for fewer than 14 days. New guidance allows for expedited deportation across the US, targeting individuals in the country for two years or less.

To meet the demands of a broader deportation effort, the memos call for thousands of additional immigration enforcement agents, new detention facilities, and other resources.

February 20, 2017

The President named Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new National Security Advisor. The House and Senate both remain on recess through the end of the week.

February 19, 2017

President Trump spent the day at his Florida properties. According to reports he interviewed several candidates for the now vacant post of national security advisor.

February 18, 2017

Today President Trump held a campaign-style rally in Melbourne, Florida. Congress was not in session.

February 17, 2017

Late last night the Department of Justice submitted a brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which said in part that “the president intends in the near future to rescind the [travel] order and replace it with a new, substantially revised executive order.”

The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency with a 52-46 vote. Joe Manchin (WV-D) and Heidi Heitkamp (ND-D) voted in favor, while Susan Collins (R-ME) joined the Democrats in opposition.

February 16, 2017

At a wide-ranging press conference, President Trump announced his choice to replace Andrew Puzder for consideration to lead the Department of Labor. The new nominee, R. Alexander Acosta, is the dean of the Florida International College of Law in Miami and a former United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

During the press conference, President Trump confirmed that the administration would be withdrawing the executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries and submitting a replacement order “tailored” to address legal concerns raised by judges.

The Senate voted 51-49 to confirm South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney to direct the Office of Management and Budget.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters that the U.S. still supports a two-state solution, walking back comments made by the President in yesterday’s joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Later, President Trump signed legislation overturning the “Stream Protection Rule,” an Obama regulation designed to minimize water pollution from coal mining waste. At the bill signing, President Trump suggested compliance with the Stream Protection Rule would be economically burdensome.

Energy: Lift the restrictions on $50 trillion dollars’ worth of American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas, and clean coal.

Update (2/16): President Trump signed legislation overturning the “Stream Protection Rule,” an Obama regulation designed to minimize water pollution from coal mining waste.

February 15, 2017

President Trump met and held a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the President seemed to back away from the long-held U.S. position of supporting a two-state solution, saying he is “looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”

The administration still faces an uphill battle to fill the Cabinet. Nominee for Secretary of Labor and Carls Jr. CEO Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from nomination today, saying he was “honored to have been considered and…grateful to all who have supported [him].” After the resignation of General Michael Flynn, President Trump offered the job of National Security Advisor to Vice Admiral Robert Harward.

February 14, 2017

Last night news emerged that President Trump’s National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn would be leaving his post. Today in the White House Press Briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the President asked for General Flynn’s resignation because of an “eroding level of trust” following reports that he had misled Vice President Pence and other White House staff about the nature of a phone call with the Russian ambassador late last year.

President Trump signed H.J. Res. 41, a bill nullifying a rule requiring energy companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments.

The senate voted 81-19 to confirm former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration.

February 13, 2017

President Trump met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada at the White House today, where the two discussed the relationship between the two countries and held a brief press conference. While the evolving situation concerning National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was not broached during the press conference, Press Secretary Sean Spicer later said the President was “evaluating the situation.”

The nominee for Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin was confirmed 52-47, with Joe Manchin of West Virginia the only Senator to cross the party line. Shortly thereafter, the nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin was confirmed 100-0, the first unanimous confirmation of a Cabinet secretary for the administration.

Two rules repealed by Congress (H.J.Res.38 & 41) are still awaiting President Trump’s signature. The President canceled a trip to Youngstown, OH, where he was reportedly to sign at least one of these measures.

February 12, 2017

While enjoying a weekend at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement affirming areas of U.S.-Japanese cooperation. The statement included strongly worded opposition to North Korean ballistic missile tests and a commitment to mutual military defense and “free and fair” bilateral trade after the U.S. exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

February 11, 2017

The President and First Lady are entertaining Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and his wife Akie at Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties in Florida this weekend. Congress was not in session, and there was no movement in any of the pending court cases impacting the Trump administration’s agenda.

There is more new information being reported about the amount and nature of the contact between National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Russian government, and whether or not he has been truthful with the press and the administration about it.

February 10, 2017

Late last evening U.S. Representative Tom Price, President Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, was confirmed with a vote of 52-47.

Also late last night, shortly after a report was released addressing the fact that President Trump had not yet spoken with Chinese leaders, the White House announced that President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had spoken on the phone for the first time. On the call President Trump agreed to support the One China Policy.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the White House today to participate in talks with President Trump and hold a brief press conference. The two discussed the United State’s continued military presence in the Pacific and new frameworks for economic cooperation following the United State’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The two leaders will continue talks at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend.

Reports are emerging that White House national security adviser Michael Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the United States in the month before President Trump’s inauguration. The FBI and other agencies are continuing to investigate the nature of these discussions.

Immigration: Suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur”.

Update (2/10): In a unanimous opinion, a three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied the Trump administration’s request to reinstate enforcement of the President’s travel order. The temporary restraining order issued by Judge James Robart will therefore remain in effect pending the issuance of a preliminary injunction or further appeals by the Trump administration.

February 9, 2017

In a unanimous opinion, a three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied the Trump administration’s request to reinstate enforcement of the President’s travel order. The temporary restraining order issued by Judge James Robart will therefore remain in effect pending the issuance of a preliminary injunction or further appeals by the Trump administration.

Immediately following the swearing-in ceremony of the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Trump signed three executive orders concerning security and policing. The first creates a “Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety” headed by the Attorney General. The task force is ordered to review and propose legislation to reduce crime and to conduct studies when crime related data is deemed insufficient. The second order aims to reduce violence against law enforcement officers, instructing the Attorney General to streamline existing protections and propose new ones, like “defining new crimes of violence and establishing new mandatory minimum sentences for existing crimes of violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.” The third order directs relevant cabinet members to guide the Threat Mitigation Working Group in developing a plan to identify, prioritize, and interrupt “transnational criminal organizations” and “traffickers.”

Late this evening, the Senate will vote to confirm U.S. Representative Tom Price as the new Director of Health and Human Services.

Safety: Increase resources for federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

Update (2/9): President Trump signed an executive order today aiming to “prevent violence against federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.” The order directs the Department of Justice to review current laws, develop strategies, and pursue appropriate legislation, including “defining new crimes of violence and establishing new mandatory minimum sentences for existing crimes of violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.” The order further instructs the Department of Justice to review and recommend any changes in grant funding for the named law enforcement entities.

Safety: Create a task force on violent crime.

Update (2/8): President Trump signed an executive order tasking the Attorney General with the creation and staffing of a “Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.” The task force is ordered to “develop strategies to reduce crime,” “evaluate deficiencies in existing laws” and “propose new legislation” related to public safety. The task force is also ordered to “evaluate the…adequacy of crime related data” and to “conduct any other studies” accordingly.

February 8, 2017

After Democratic senators took shifts speaking against the nominee for 30 hours, Senator Jefferson Sessions was confirmed 52-47 to serve as the next United States Attorney General. The vote was along party lines, with the exception of Joe Manchin (D-WV) voting in favor; Sen. Sessions himself voted “present.”

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a statement on the timing of the outcome of Washington v. Trump, noting “the court will not be issuing a decision today. Also, the court will provide advance notice of 60 to 90 minutes when a decision is imminent."

February 7, 2017

Nominee for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was confirmed after Vice President Mike Pence used his constitutional authority as President of the Senate to break a tied 50-50 vote.

A three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard oral argument in Washington v. Trump, the most prominent court case to challenge President Trump’s executive order suspending travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. The court is likely to decide whether to lift the temporary restraining order issued by Seattle Judge James Robart “as soon as possible.”

The U.S. Army, which oversees the Corps of Engineers, indicated it will cancel an environmental study ordered by the Obama administration and grant a final permit necessary for the completion of the Dakota Access pipeline.

February 6, 2017

As Senate Democrats continued to hold the floor in hopes of finding a final vote to stop the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Trump administration and the states of Washington and Minnesota to prepare oral arguments for tomorrow at 3 p.m. PST. These will be the first arguments heard by the 9th Circuit in State of Washington & State of Minnesota v. Trump, the most prominent case to challenge the President’s controversial executive order.

The President spent the day visiting United States Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL, where he gave a speech to senior U.S. military officials.

February 5, 2017

Super Bowl Sunday saw little in the way of policymaking as the nation turned its attention to football and Lady Gaga. President Trump had a telephone call with the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg during which the two discussed the conflict in Ukraine, “how to encourage all NATO allies to meet their defense spending commitments,” and other topics.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Trump administration’s request for an immediate administrative stay, meaning the temporary restraining order suspending travel restrictions is still in effect.

February 4, 2017

In the midst of court decisions, protests and upcoming appeals from the Department of Justice that could impact his executive order on immigration, the President spent today at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. The White House issued a readout indicating that President Trump spoke to President Poroshenko of Ukraine and discussed “restoring peace along the border.”

Two resolutions await the President’s signature, both of which invoke the Congressional Review Act. H.J.Res. 38 repeals the Stream Protection rule, while H.J.Res. 41 repeals a rule that required resource extractors (such as oil and natural gas companies) to disclose payments made to the United States and foreign governments.

February 3, 2017

President Trump signed two executive actions designed to reorient regulation of the financial sector. The first executive order lists “Core Principles” of financial regulation and instructs the Secretary of the Treasury to outline corresponding changes to the current regulatory system in 120 days. Another executive memo orders a Department of Labor review of the Fiduciary Duty Rule to see “whether it may adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice.” While neither order mentions the Dodd-Frank Act directly, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer prefaced the signings in this morning’s press conference by saying that Obama era financial regulation is “hindering our markets, reducing the availability of credit, and crippling our economy’s ability to grow and create jobs” (3:40).

In response to a ballistic missile test in Iran, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions against a list of Iranian individuals and organizations. In an interview with “Meet the Press,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan declared support for the President’s new sanctions but stated that the Iran nuclear deal was likely to remain in place.

This evening a federal judge in Seattle joined a number of jurisdictions in issuing a temporary halt on President Trump’s immigration order; the halt is reportedly effective nationwide.

February 2, 2017

After his confirmation as Secretary of State yesterday, Rex Tillerson delivered remarks at the State Department, introducing himself and asking employees to commit to “personal accountability and honest, and respecting your colleagues” as well as to uphold “high standards of ethics and professionalism.” Other nominees, including Scott Pruitt (Environmental Protection Agency) and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (Office of Management and Budget) were voted out of committee. The vote on Pruitt was boycotted by the Democratic members of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, but the rules were suspended by Republican members in order to hold the vote.

Using the authority of the rarely invoked Congressional Review Act, the Senate and House voted to repeal several regulations, including the Stream Protection Rule. A final action by the Senate tomorrow and the President’s signature would fully cancel the rule.

Following reports of an uncomfortable call with the Prime Minister of Australia, Senators John McCain, Bob Corker, and Jack Reed contacted Joe Hockey, the Australian ambassador. The offices of all three senators noted that they had expressed strong support for the relationship between the two countries.

February 1, 2017

Today saw considerable movement in the confirmation process of President Trump’s cabinet appointees. The Senate confirmed former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson to serve as the next Secretary of State in a vote of 56 to 43. In a vote of 11 to 9, the Senate Judiciary committee voted to advance the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General. Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee boycotted today’s meeting, delaying a committee vote to advance the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Republicans on the Senate Finance committee suspended rules, bypassing a Democrat boycott to vote and advance the nominations of U.S. Representative Tom Price to serve as Director of Health and Human Services and financier Steven Mnuchin to serve as Treasury Secretary. Meanwhile, Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Education, lost the backing of Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowsi.

January 31, 2017

Late last night the President relieved Acting Attorney General Sally Yates of her duties, citing her letter instructing the Department of Justice not to defend President Trump’s executive order on immigration. The President appointed Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in her place.

Confirmation hearings and votes on the President’s cabinet nominees continued throughout the day. Nominee for Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao was confirmed by the Senate, while the nominations of Rep. Ryan Zinke for Interior Secretary, former Texas governor Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy, and Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Edcuation were sent to the Senate floor for a vote on confirmation in the coming days. In other committees however, nominees faced a challenge, with Democrats boycotting hearings on nominees Steve Mnuchin (Treasury) and Rep. Tom Price (Health and Human Services) and delaying a vote to send the nomination of Jeff Sessions to the Senate floor for confirmation.

Finally, in a ceremony in the East Room this evening, President Trump announced his nomination of Tenth Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Federal: Begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia.

Update (1/31): President Trump announced his nomination of Tenth Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

January 30, 2017

This morning President Trump signed an executive order designed to reduce regulation and related costs. The order requires executive agencies to identify two existing regulations to eliminate every time a new regulation is proposed.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates sent a letter to leading lawyers at the Department of Justice instructing them not to defend last Friday’s executive order on immigration. If these instructions are followed, the government will not not appeal relevant temporary restraining orders granted by federal judges while Yates leads the department.

Federal: A requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations be dropped.

Update (1/30): President Trump signed an executive order instructing that when a department or agency "publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed.” It also outlines a process, led by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to bring down incremental costs associated with regulation. However, it will be incumbent upon agencies and departments to comply with the order.

January 29, 2017

Amid nationwide protests, the administration clarified aspects of Friday’s immigration order. In a statement, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly proclaimed “the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest,” suggesting that green card holders and other legal residents, “absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare,” would not be affected by the order.

President Trump conducted telephone calls with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to readouts, the calls focused on cooperation against terrorism in the region and safe zones for refugees. The President was scheduled to call the South Korean acting president this evening, but a readout was not made available as of 9:30 p.m. ET.

Immigration: Suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur”.

Update (1/29): Late in the evening on January 28, Judge Ann Donnelly of the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York granted an Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal related to which foreign nationals will be allowed to enter the United States. This action sets up a judicial review over provisions contained in the executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

January 28, 2017

This morning, President Trump had calls with the leaders of Germany, Australia, France, Japan, and Russia. The calls were characterized as positive, and, outside of the readouts, there was little disclosure by the White House on what specific issues were addressed.

Throughout the day protests grew at airports around the country as immigrants holding green cards and visas were denied entry to the United States as a result of yesterday’s executive order. In a Saturday evening hearing, Federal judge Anne Donnelly granted a stay for certain individuals facing deportation, although the exact scope and impact of the stay remain to be seen.

President Trump signed three executive actions in the Oval Office today. The first order, containing an ethics pledge, instructed all executive branch appointees to refrain from lobbying activities related to their specific agency for five years upon leaving government. It also restricts appointees from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments for life and provides guidelines for appointees with lobbying backgrounds.

Another action authorized the reorganization of the National Security Council, enumerating the members of a Principals Committee and a Deputies Committee. In a departure from precedent, the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are no longer permanent members and are invited to participate when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”

Finally, a third order instructs the Secretary of Defense, in collaboration with other agency heads, to develop a plan to combat ISIS and present it to the President within 30 days. The order requests a multi-faceted plan with cyber, diplomatic, and traditional military components.

Federal: A lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

Update (1/28): President Trump signed an executive order containing an ethics pledge for “every appointee in every executive agency appointed on or after January 20, 2017” to sign, committing them to refrain from activity on behalf of any foreign government or foreign political party “at any time” after termination of one’s service.

Federal: A five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.

Update (1/28): President Trump signed an executive order that includes an ethics pledge for “every appointee in every executive agency appointed on or after January 20, 2017” to sign, committing them to refrain from lobbying activities “with respect to that agency” for five years after the end of their appointment. Lobbying activities concerning agencies outside of one’s agency of service are not addressed.

January 27, 2017

On a busy Friday in Washington, Vice President Pence addressed the March for Life, marking the first time a sitting vice president has spoken in person to the annual anti-abortion gathering. At the White House, President Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May, where they held a brief joint press conference covering a range of topics including Russian sanctions, the NATO alliance, and United States policy on torture.

It was reported and later confirmed by the President that he spoke this morning with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The White House readout of the call said that the conversation was “productive and constructive.”

President Trump signed two executive orders at the Pentagon. The first order immediately suspended for 90 days “entry into the United States, as immigrants and non-immigrants” from several Middle Eastern and North African countries. The order further stated that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is to be suspended for 120 days and that upon resumption the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security are to “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” The order reduced the number of permitted refugees in fiscal year 2017 to 50,000 individuals, suspended the entry of Syrian nationals indefinitely subject to the determination of the President, and instituted a number of other measures directed at immigration and the travel of foreign nationals.

The full text of the second order has not yet been released, but it reportedly calls for a readiness review of the military, as well as more spending on weapons and equipment.

Safety: Eliminate the defense sequester and expand military investment.

Update (1/27): President Trump signed a memorandum instructing the Secretary of Defense to conduct a 30-day review of readiness conditions, equipment, and submit to the White House a plan of action to achieve the standards indicated in the review. The memo also calls for the Office of Management and Budget to develop a budget that takes into account any proposed reallocations or appropriations.

Immigration: Establish new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values.

Update (1/27): The executive order titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" states the following:

“In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation” (Sec. 1). Sec. 4 of the same order tasks the multiple agencies to submit within 60 days an initial report on the progress of a program to increase the scrutiny applied to foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States.

Immigration: All vetting of people coming into the US will be considered “extreme vetting”.

Update (1/27): Sec. 4 of the executive order titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" describes a program to be implemented by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the FBI. The outline of this program includes specific steps increasing the scrutiny applied to any foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States. The order gives those departments 60 days to submit an initial report on the progress of this program.

Immigration: Suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur”.

Update (1/27): President Trump signed an executive order (Sec. 3(c)) immediately suspending “entry into the United States, as immigrants and non-immigrants” for citizens of several Middle Eastern and North African countries. The order further stated that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is to be suspended for 120 days (Sec. 5(a)), and that upon resumption the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security are to “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality” (Sec. 5(b)) The order also reduces the number of permitted refugees in fiscal year 2017 to 50,000 individuals, suspends the entry of Syrian nationals indefinitely subject to the determination of the President, and institutes a number of other measures directed at immigration and the travel of foreign nationals.

January 26, 2017

Today saw little in terms of concrete policy impact. Executive actions on immigration and voter fraud expected for today were postponed. Congressional Republicans held an annual policy retreat in Philadelphia where President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May gave remarks.

News related to yesterday’s executive order to construct a border wall dominated headlines. An upcoming meeting between President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was cancelled, with both sides expressing their desire for a postponement. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested the construction of the border wall would be funded by a 20 percent tariff on the import of Mexican goods but later said that the President was not formally considering this option. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus clarified, saying that such a policy would be one of a “buffet of options.”

The administration accepted the resignation of several top State Department officials; reports were conflicted as to the amiability of the exits.

January 25, 2017

The policy agenda from the White House today focused on immigration and included two wide-ranging executive orders. On his visit to the Department of Homeland Security, the President signed an order directing the “immediate construction” of a wall on the southern border, which also contained guidance on how the agency should prioritize deportations and on the role of local and state law enforcement in immigration enforcement. He also signed a second order that directed the federal government to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities.” Both orders contained the provision that they should be “implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.”

According to multiple reports, the Trump administration has issued a mandate that scientific studies and data disseminated by the Environmental Protection Agency be reviewed by political staff before being released, directing that agency to refrain from speaking with the media. Multiple official government Twitter accounts including those belonging to the National Park Service, Badlands National Park, and NASA tweeted facts about climate change and language critical of the Trump administration. In this morning’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied (13:00) that such orders are coming from the White House or that the administration had directed those accounts to delete or edit their tweets.

Immigration: Begin removing “the more than two million criminal illegal immigrants” and cancel visas to countries who won’t take them back.

Update (1/25): In his executive order on "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” President Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to expedite the process of deporting individuals who have violated State or Federal law and pledged that the executive branch would “cooperate fully with States and local law enforcement in enacting Federal-State partnerships to enforce Federal immigration priorities.” The order further required Immigration and Customs Enforcement to “ensure that aliens…are returned to the territory from which they came pending a formal removal proceeding” and included instructions intended to provide state and local law enforcement more authority to enforce existing immigration law.

Immigration: Cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities.

Update (1/25): On a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, President Trump signed an executive order (Sec. 9) declaring sanctuary jurisdictions ineligible for Federal grants. As defined by this order, a sanctuary jurisdiction is any jurisdiction that does not comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373, which prohibits government entities from withholding information about an individual’s legal status from Federal immigration enforcement authorities. The order gives the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security the authority to designate sanctuary jurisdictions and instructs the Attorney General to take “appropriate enforcement action.” It tasks the Director of the Office of Budget and Management with identifying Federal grant money eligible to be withheld and requires the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to document and publish a weekly list of “criminal actions committed by aliens” in non-compliant jurisdictions.

Immigration: Fully fund the construction of a wall on our border with Mexico, with the “full understanding that the country of Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall”.

Update (1/25): On a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, President Trump signed an executive order on border security and immigration calling for the “immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border” and detailing specific steps to be taken by the Department of Homeland Security towards that end. The text of the order notes that it “shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.”

January 24, 2017

Today, President Trump signed several executive memoranda related to his campaign promises. They focused on pipeline construction and energy policy, beginning with a memo that invited TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, to resubmit an application for expedited construction. The President also signed a memo to accelerate the permitting and construction process of the Dakota Access pipeline and another broader directive instructing the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan under which any future construction or repair of pipelines would utilize “materials produced in the United States.”

On Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7, which directs that “[n]one of the funds…authorized or appropriated by Federal law, shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.” The text of the bill would make permanent Sec. 506 of the most recent Health and Human Services Appropriations, often referred to as the Hyde Amendment.

With a 96-4 vote from the Senate, Governor Nikki Haley was confirmed as Ambassador to the United Nations. Other Cabinet nominees, including Tom Price (Health and Human Services), Mick Mulvaney (Office of Management and Budget), and Linda McMahon (Small Business Administration) faced questions in front of Senate committees.

Energy: Lift the roadblocks on energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline and allow them to move forward.

Update (1/24): President Trump signed directives meant to speed approvals, permitting processes, and construction on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Federal: A hiring freeze on all federal employees (except for the military, public safety, and public health).

Update (1/23): President Trump signed a memorandum freezing federal hiring, excluding the hiring of military personnel. Other exemptions include hiring heads of agencies and personnel deemed essential for public safety and national security.

Trade: Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Update (1/23): President Trump signed a memorandum withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As the Trans-Pacific Partnership was never ratified by Congress, this order represents a symbolic declaration of the administration’s intent not to pursue the deal.

January 23, 2017

Today saw the signing of three formal executive actions, progress on personnel appointments, and the first White House daily press briefing

President Trump issued a presidential memorandum withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade agreement that was a policy priority of the Obama administration but had yet to be ratified by Congress. President Trump also signed an order freezing the hiring of new federal employees with the exception of military personnel and workers deemed necessary to public safety and national security. This move is similar to an order issued by President Reagan after assuming office in 1981. Finally, President Trump followed in the footsteps of both Presidents Bush by reinstating the Mexico City policy, a Reagan-era rule that blocks federal funds from supporting international organizations that provide abortion-related services.

The Senate voted 66 to 31 to confirm the nomination of Congressman Mike Pompeo for CIA Director. President Trump chose Commissioner Ajit Pai to serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Pai, who is known for opposing the FCC’s current rules regarding net neutrality, does not require Senate confirmation as he was already confirmed by the Senate when nominated to serve as commissioner. President Trump’s nomination for Secretary of State, former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a vote of 11-10 and awaits a decisive vote of the entire Senate scheduled for next week.

It is worth noting that on the campaign trail, President Trump pledged to pursue a number of the promises in the Contract to the American Voter on “the first day” (these pledges include, among others, labeling China a currency manipulator, imposing restrictions on lobbying by government workers, and placing terms limits on members of Congress). In this morning’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked why the administration had not followed through on these “first day” pledges. Mr. Spicer responded by saying that the administration would stick to the pledges, but they planned “to sequence those out” in order to “to give the issues the proper attention they deserve” for the American people’s consideration (1:15:00).

January 22, 2017

In a day of news dominated by reactions to inaugural crowd sizes and the Women’s March, the administration pledged federal assistance for southeastern states hit by severe storms and made policy statements on two issues:

At a swearing-in of White House staff, President Trump indicated he would “start some negotiations having to do with NAFTA” in upcoming talks with Mexican and Canadian leaders. No specifics were given, so this issue remains grey on our tracker (signifying “no action”).

Finally, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement that the administration is in the beginning stages of talks to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, though no timeline was offered for this change.

January 21, 2017

Today, the Senate was not in session and therefore there was no further movement on any pending Cabinet appointments. President Trump did not issue any executive orders, nor were there any memorandums, statements, or regulations issued by the White House that would impact policy. No promises on the tracker were updated.

January 20, 2017

Day One of the Trump presidency saw the confirmation of two cabinet appointees, executive actions related to healthcare and housing, and a memo guiding executive agencies to halt the creation of new regulations.

President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense retired General James Mattis was approved with a 98-1 vote. Earlier in the day, President Trump cleared the way for his nominee by signing a bill waiving a requirement that military personnel wait seven years after retiring before serving in a civilian post. Later, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, retired General John Kelly, was confirmed with an 88-11 vote.

President Trump issued an executive order guiding executive agencies to cooperate to the fullest extent possible while the Affordable Care Act is repealed and replaced by a “more free and open healthcare market.” President Trump also suspended an executive action issued by President Obama, which had lowered insurance premiums on Federal Housing Authority-insured mortgages.

Finally, white House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus distributed a memo instructing executive department and agency heads, among other things, to send no new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register unless they are approved by the President or a presidential designee.

Federal: A requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations be dropped.

Update (1/20): Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum asking federal agency heads to postpone or freeze any new or pending regulations, with some exceptions noted in Sec. 3 of the memo. Regulations are defined by the Office of Management and Budget as “general statements issued by an agency, board, or commission that have the force and effect of law”. It should be noted that a similar order was issued by the incoming Obama administration in 2009. A further explainer on regulations and agency rules can be found here.

Healthcare: Fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with Health Savings Accounts.

Update (1/20): President Trump today signed an Executive Order which indicated that the administration would seek “the prompt repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, and asking all federal agencies “to the maximum extent of the law” to “minimize the economic burden” of the Affordable Care Act. While the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies do have latitude in setting certain policies that impact the fees and regulations that govern the Affordable Care Act, it is unclear what this particular executive order will impact immediately, particularly before nominee Tom Price is confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary.

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