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Trump's First Week as President

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Chaos. Intense. Executive overdrive. A reality show. There are a lot of ways to describe President Donald Trump's first week in office, from the absence of his wave from Air Force One to his social media presence in a public spat with Mexico's president. However you characterize the new president's first seven days, he has been a busy man.

As of January 26, Trump has issued 13 "Presidential Actions," including executive orders, proclamations, and memoranda outlining executive action that can be taken without congressional input. While some orders may never be heeded, others have immediate, real-world consequences. Here are three big legal and policy changes from the Trump administration's first week in Washington and what they might mean for you.

1. Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal

The new president's first attack on the old president's signature piece of legislation, this order directs government officials to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation" of some key Obamacare provisions. While the table is being set to repeal Obamacare completely, Trump has yet to propose a replacement plan, meaning millions could be left without health insurance.

2. Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines

After Obama put the Dakota Pipeline on hold amidst a contentious standoff between protestors and security forces, the Trump administration is full steam ahead on pipeline construction. Trump issued memos to initiate the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and restart the Keystone XL Pipeline project, and it's doubtful that his directive that construction on those pipelines "use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible" will assuage the misgivings of activists and environmentalists.

3. Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

Trump is pushing forward with his plan to "secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall." Trump's inverted Statute of Liberty will be "a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier" spanning the U.S. border with Mexico. And despite claims that Mexico will fund the construction, the order directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to:

(b) Identify and, to the extent permitted by law, allocate all sources of Federal funds for the planning, designing, and constructing of a physical wall along the southern border;
(c) Project and develop long-term funding requirements for the wall, including preparing Congressional budget requests for the current and upcoming fiscal years;

So it looks like the U.S., i.e. American taxpayers, will be paying for the wall, and possibly more for our margaritas as well:

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