If President-Elect Donald Trump follows through on his campaign rhetoric, his hand might hurt after his first day in office from signing so many executive orders. He has promised a busy first 24 hours.
Trump, who takes the oath of office Friday, seems eager to get down to business. Alex Stroman, a spokesman for the inaugural committee, told Breitbart News in December that Trump will have a shorter parade, “and he’s going to go into the White House and get some work done before he goes to the balls.” The number of balls will decline from previous inaugurations as well.
“The good thing about an executive order signed by our president is that it can be unsigned immediately. You don’t have to go through Congress.”
Many of Trump’s first actions likely will be repurposing the “phone and pen” that President Obama bragged of using in order to bypass Congress. He also has said he would get the ball rolling on a number of legislative priorities that will take longer than a day to achieve.
“So many [executive orders] would be terminated,” Trump said in a Facebook video in February 2016. “The good thing about an executive order signed by our president is that it can be unsigned immediately. You don’t have to go through Congress.”
Much of Trump’s first 24 hours likely will be focused on his signature issue — immigration. He has vowed to repeal Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Obama created two new programs granting illegal immigrants work authorization and protections from deportation. The first, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, covers so-called “DREAMers” — people who came illegally to the United States with their families when they were children. The second, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, applies to parents of U.S. citizens.
Some Republicans have urged Trump not end DACA, which is for what is considered the most sympathetic group of illegal immigrants — those whose parents made the decision to enter illegally. And some immigration hawks have suggested it would be wiser to let DAPA remain in effect until a final court ruling on its legality. The judge has blocked it from taking effect during litigation. If the courts ultimately rule the program legal, the thinking goes, Trump always could repeal it later.
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Trump also said in that February 2016 video that he would “get rid of the attack on the border,” which he compared to Swiss cheese. Trump could hand down new marching orders for border patrol agents, who have complained that current policy ties their hands. The outgoing administration instructed officers to release anyone caught at the border who claims to have been living continuously since before Jan. 1, 2014. Others apprehended are released with instructions to report to appear to an upcoming hearing before an immigration law judge.
Trump could change those policies, along with ordering immigration agents to immediately send back unaccompanied children from Central America who have been showing up in large numbers since 2014. Currently, U.S. authorities transport most of those children to relatives in the United States — including some who are, themselves, illegal immigrants.
Other possible actions that could come the first day include:
- Shutting down the Syrian refugee program. Obama committed in 2015 to accepting 10,000 refugees from the war-torn Middle Eastern country over the coming year. He followed through on that pledge. Trump, however, has promised to freeze the refugee program pending a security review.
- Countering hacking. Trump said in a transition video after the election in November that he would ask the Department of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a comprehensive cyberdefense. He could formally order that on his first day. At his news conference last week, he said he expects that report to be completed in 90 days.
- Defeating terrorism. Trump has promised to meet with his generals on the first place and order them to submit a plan for defeating the Islamic State within 30 days.
- Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Obama negotiated the 12-nation trade pact, but Congress never approved it. Trump said he would formally withdraw on Day One and has vowed to declare China a “currency manipulator” the same day as part of a multi-pronged effort to reorient American trade policy.[lz_related_box id=”272705″]
- Improving ethics. Trump could formalize a set of ethics rules he announced shortly after the election. This includes a five-year ban on executive branch officials lobbying the federal government after leaving office. They also will have to give up lobbying on behalf of foreign governments for life. Obama issued his own executive order covering ethics on his first day in office in 2009.
- Repealing Obama’s executive orders restricting energy exploration. Trump promised changes throughout the campaign, although it is unclear whether he will take action on the first day. He also promised to require that any new regulation be accompanied by the repeal of two existing regulations.