As expected, President Trump signed many executive orders this past week aligning with campaign promises for sweeping change. Some of these include:
- Encouraging federal agencies to dismantle large parts of the Affordable Care Act, including the very controversial individual mandate requiring people to purchase insurance
- The official withdrawal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a move the Indiana Chamber opposes
- Freezing federal hiring
- Advancement of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines
- Illegal immigration activities – directing dollars to begin construction of a wall on the southern border and the boosting of federal agency efforts to stop illegal immigration
On a related note, the President’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, issued a memo telling federal agencies to put a freeze on any new regulations and a 60-day hold on regulations that have not yet taken effect.
The members of the President’s cabinet that have been sworn in to date by Vice President Mike Pence: retired Marine General James Mattis as Defense Secretary, retired Marine General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) as Director of the CIA and Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) as UN Ambassador.
Rex Tillerson’s nomination for Secretary of State made it out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is awaiting consideration by the full Senate. Meanwhile, Betsy DeVos, nominee for Education Secretary, had her committee vote postponed until January 31. Indiana’s senior senator, Joe Donnelly, has announced that he will not support her nomination; watch his announcement of that decision.