Elected Officials > Trump & the GOP agenda

Trump & the GOP agenda

In Gettysburg, PA, during October 2016, Trump released a plan for his first 100 days in office.  His plan outlined three main areas of focus: 1) ‘Drain The Swamp’ by cleaning up Washington including imposing term limits on Congress; 2) Protecting American workers; 3) Restoring rule of law.

But here’s what you are actually getting between repeal with no replacement of the ACA, campaign lies, conflicts of interest and ‘ick picks’ for cabinet nominations and/or appointments. Here are links to articles too numerous to post.

The Plan: First 100 Days

Fact Check

The REAL Plan: First 100 Days

The federal government first week in session in review:

  1. Retreating after Trump tweet, GOP won’t gut ethics office| Erica Werner/AP Congressional Correspondent
  2. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys as he orders them out by inauguration day.
  3. House brings back the Holman rule which will allow them to reduce an individual civil service, SES position, or political appointee salary to $1. This will effectively fire the employee by amendment attached to any piece of legislation. We now know why the Trump Transition Team wanted names and positions of people in the Departments of Energy and State.
  4. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell schedules six simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an Affordable Care Act (ACA) budget vote. By doing so, this will effectively prevent any concentrated coverage or protest.
  5. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.
  6. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.
  7. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words: we the people – the taxpayers) to pay for it.
  8. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming into the US nor will take any jobs out of the US.
  9. House passes the REINS act giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department. For example: If the FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule the ban based on lobbyists, not science. If the House doesn’t like that endangered-species designation, Congress kills it.

In the middle of the night on 1.12.17

  1. Blocked an amendment that would have protected people with pre-existing conditions and disabilities
  2. Blocked an amendment that makes it easier for young people to stay on their parent’s plans until they are 26
  3. Blocked an amendment allowing contraception to be covered under health insurance
  4. Blocked an amendment protecting the Medicaid and Medicare programs
  5. Blocked an amendment that would have protected health reforms that closed the prescription drug coverage gap under Medicare
  6. Blocked an amendment that would make it easier for children to be covered under Medicare/CHIP
  7. Blocked an amendment that would have created legislation and a fund to lower drug prices by importing drugs from Canada
  8. Blocked an amendment that would limit veterans’ ability to choose VA health care, enhanced housing for veterans and their dependents, facilitating medical facility leases and prohibiting the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from employing individuals who have been convicted of a felony and medical personnel who have ever had their medical licenses or credentials revoked or suspended
  9. Blocked an amendment that would protect rural hospitals and health care providers
  10. Passed a bill to provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces to allow for nominated Defense Secretary – James N. Mattis, whose nickname is ‘Mad Dog Mattis’ – to be appointed

Trump's first day on the job - 1.20.17

  1. Factchecking Trump's inaugural address which 'was nothing if not unique.' Article: Fact-checking Donald Trump's inaugural address
  2. Within hours of being sworn in as 45th president of the United States, Trump signed his first Executive Order instructing the secretary of Health and Human Services to “exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” parts of the Affordable Care Act that would place a fiscal burden on states, individuals or healthcare providers. Article: Trump's Executive Order On Obamacare Means Everything And Does Nothing
  3. Within an hour of the new administration being in the White House, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus instructed the Department of Housing & Urban Development to suspend reduction of FHA annual mortgage insurance premium rates. The cut, at a quarter of a percentage point, would have saved homeowners an average of $500 this year, according to the Federal Housing Administration. Borrowers with larger home loans would have seen an even bigger drop in their premium rate. Article: The freshly-inaugurated Trump administration has halted a cut to the FHA mortgage insurance premium that Obama's team announced during his final days in office.
  4. The White House issued a statement attempting to justify Trump's desire to eliminate EPA rules affecting the energy sector was a 'distortion'. The statement said that eliminating power plant climate rules, clean water rules and other environmental regulations would "greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years." Article: Trump White House Distorts Wages Figure on First Day

What Executive Orders have been signed?
What impact will they have?
Provided by CNN

Trump's executive orders

An executive order is a legally binding document that declares government policy. Unable to reverse a law passed by Congress, it is more often used to delegate and direct government agencies and departments.
Since taking the inaugural oath, Trump has signed 12 executive orders.
Day 1: Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal
Hours after taking the oath of office, Trump issued an executive order aimed at rolling back Obamacare. The directive called on the secretary of health and human services, in addition to other agencies, to interpret regulations as loosely as possible to minimize the financial burden on individuals, insurers, health care providers and others.
Who will it affect? The order's language is somewhat vague, and considering that Obamacare was passed through Congress, this presidential action can't change the law. The process of changing the law is underway, however. The House of Representatives recently approved a budget that would allow Congress to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, and congressional Republicans and the White House are scrambling to develop a replacement. Trump hopes to replace it with his own administration's health care law. All of that means this executive order's implications are unknown.
Day 4: Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Profile Infrastructure Projects
Trump directed those in charge of evaluating the environmental impact of infrastructure projects to return their assessments in a timelier manner.
Who will it affect? Trump promised to make new spending on infrastructure projects a priority of his administration. He needs Congress to approve any new spending bill, but this order could help expedite certain projects.
Day 6: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Fulfilling another of his campaign promises, Trump instructed the Department of Homeland Security to commence immediate construction of a 1,900-mile long wall along the southern border with Mexico, using existing federal funds to get it started. The directive also signaled beefing up the border with an additional 5,000 border protection officers.
Who will it affect? It's unclear where the funds for building the wall will come from. Congress would need to approve any new funding for both the wall. Some of the land is privately owned, which could prove another hurdle. But it could potentially bring more jobs and a financial injection to the economy of the border regions once construction begins and with the introduction of more border agents. More officers would also probably mean more deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Day 6: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
This executive order aims to tackle the issue of undocumented immigrants through deportation and tripling resources for enforcement with 10,000 additional immigration officers. It also targets so-called "sanctuary cities" -- municipalities, states and other entities which can refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities through a variety of shielding policies -- by withholding funding.
Who will it affect? Again, this order would likely see an increase in the number of undocumented immigrants being deported. And while the administration can't cut off all federal funding, as Congress pays out much of it, the President could put pressure on cities to comply.
Day 7: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States
This executive order prevents refugees from entering the country for 120 days and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations out for three months.
Who will it affect? The countries directly affected are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. This is the "extreme vetting" Trump promised during the campaign, but caught the world by surprise. It set off widespread chaos and confusion at airports and for agencies tasked with implementing it. A federal appellate court upheld a trial court ruling temporarily blocking Trump's travel ban.
Day 9: Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees
Designed to give teeth to Trump's campaign pledge to "drain the swamp" in Washington, the order imposes a lifetime ban on administration officials lobbying for foreign governments, and a five-year ban for other lobbying. Officials also have to pledge they "will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts."
Who will it affect? Some cabinet picks will likely have to submit new ethics agreements if they have financial ties with companies affected by the actions of their departments. They will now have to agree to a two-year moratorium, instead of the original one year.
Day 11: Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs
According to the order, when a new regulation is disseminated, at least two existing regulations should be identified for removal "and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process." It says that for fiscal year 2017, "the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero."
Who will it affect? This order immediately affects the administration's departments and agencies. However, Trump says it will help small businesses get back on track by reducing the number of regulatory hurdles a start-up has to jump to get off the ground.
Day 15: Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System
This executive order was widely portrayed as Trump's rollback of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Wall Street reform law enacted in 2010 in response to the financial crisis. In reality the order lays out a new set of "core principles" that the treasury secretary and the Financial Stability Oversight Council must use to review existing laws and regulations.
Who will it affect? At the surface, it is purely a directive for regulatory agencies to consider Trump's set of priorities and return a report within 120 days on which current laws don't abide by the order and the actions that may need to be taken.
Day 18: Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety
Trump outlines a commitment to reducing the US crime rate by tackling illegal immigration, drug trafficking and violent crime. It directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to establish a task force that will collaborate with law enforcement nationwide and design new strategies to reduce crime.
Who will it affect? Speaking to the press shortly after signing the order, Trump said, "I'm directing (the) Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to undertake all necessary and lawful action to break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth and other people."
Day 18: Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking
In his bid to tackle crime, Trump also signed an order targeting transnational drug cartels and called for agencies to increase intelligence sharing and submit a report on progress within four months.
Who will it affect? Initially, this order remains focused on agencies and departments, but their actions could lead to new strategies for a crackdown on drugs, considering it calls for progress reports.
Day 18: Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Enforcement Officers
A further order on crime directed the Justice Department to use existing federal law to pursue individuals who carry out crimes against law enforcement officers.
Who will it affect? Again, the order directly affects those working for Justice Department and the divisions it oversees. Any policy or strategy changes could lead to more prosecutions.
Day 20: Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice
This order designates who will serve as acting attorney general -- and in which order -- in the event that the current attorney general dies, resigns or is unable to perform his normal functions and duties. Trump named his preferences in the following order: US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and US attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
Who will it affect? In the event that Sessions, the new attorney general, is unable to fulfill his normal duties, Trump's succession pick, Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will be prepped to fill the gap. Boente briefly acted as attorney general after Trump fired the former acting head, Sally Yates, after she declined to defend the administration's executive action on immigration.

Trump's presidential memorandums

In addition to executive orders, Trump has signed 12 presidential memorandums, which have less legal weight than an executive order and are more important as documents laying out the priorities of his administration. They can have real consequences, however.
Day 1:
1. Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies -- An order to halt any new federal regulations until they can be reviewed by the new administration. Actually rolling back regulations the Obama administration put in place will take time and a bureaucratic process. This was a near exact replica of executive orders that the past two presidents have had their chiefs of staff issue at the beginning of their administrations.
Day 3:
3. Regarding Withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement -- Withdraws the United States from a massive trade deal that was negotiated by the Obama administration, but not yet ratified by Congress. It was largely a symbolic move since the TPP was never officially enacted.
4. Regarding the Hiring Freeze -- Institutes a freeze on the hiring of new federal workers, except for the military. It contains wide exemptions for jobs "necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities," which is a broad definition. It also exempts military hiring, which accounts for a third of federal jobs.
Day 4:
6. Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline -- Kick starts a pipeline the Obama administration had quashed. Trump's order allows the pipelines to proceed but the projects are still a long way from getting underway. Trump himself said the US would renegotiate the terms of the pipelines, which implies a lengthy process with several competing interests.
7. Regarding Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline -- Prioritizes a controversial pipeline that was the subject of protests in North Dakota
8. Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing -- Requests a plan to make the permitting process easier for US manufacturers.
Day 8:
9. Rebuilding the US Armed Forces -- spurs military spending and directs Defense Secretary James Mattis to begin "developing a plan for new planes, new ships, new resources and new tools for our men and women in uniform."
Day 9:
10: Plan to Defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria -- Trump orders a new plan to defeat ISIS to be drawn up within 30 days. It will include mechanisms to cut off all of the terror group's funding, including sale of oil and historical artifacts.
11: Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council -- Elevates the President's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, to full membership of the NSC and downgrades the roles of director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who "shall attend where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed."
Day 15:
12: Presidential Memorandum on Fiduciary Duty Rule -- It's an apparent response to Obama's 2016 Fiduciary Rule, which prohibited retirement advisers from accepting incentives for promoting a particular fund over others. Trump's presidential memo calls for the Labor Department to review the rule.

Who is affected by repeal (with no replacement plan) of Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act affects many people, who may not be aware their insurance will be impacted. This document was created to consolidate the information in a usable/shareable Google document. Compiled by Deborah Edwards-Onoro | Updated: 1.14.17

Shoutout to:

  1. Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services @ASlavitt who posted the info as an image on Twitter
  2. Twitter user @browneyedgirl65 who entered all the text for each group and shared it in a Google+ post
  3. Twitter user @austinEir1 who shared the source for each group/statistic as individual tweets

Who is affected by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?

  1. 18 million more uninsured if Obamacare killed, not replaced (Article by Alan Fram/The Associated Press); number of uninsured would reach 32 million over the decade. Source: Congressional Budget Office (Jan 2017)
  2. Small businesses, farms, self-employed (20% of exchange coverage, several million) Source: US Dept of Treasury (PDF) (Jan 2017)
  3. 127 million Americans with pre-existing conditions (don’t get sick!) Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
  4. Seniors — medicare beneficiaries have saved $2,000/year on prescription drugs from ACA Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Jan 13, 2017)
  5. 55-64 year olds who will see rates increase dramatically, even if healthy, by up to 10% Source: Medicare Rights Center (Dec 22, 2016)
  6. Estimated 30 million with individual policies/Medicaid will lose coverage Source: Brookings Institute (Dec 13, 2016)
  7. 2.8 million Americans with drug disorders will lose coverage Source: Wall Street Journal (Jan 12, 2017)
  8. 1.25 million with mental health disorders will lose coverage Source: The Hill (Jan 11, 2017) with links to Harvard Medical School data tables 
  9. Vets: the 42% reduction in uninsured rate will be reversed Source: Urban Institute (PDF) (Sep 2016)
  10. Employer-based health coverage– 1/2 had lifetime caps before ACA Source: Dept of Health and Human Services (Mar 2012)
  11. Bad debt will go up by $1.1 trillion. Health care bills will again lead in cause of personal bankruptcy Source: Urban Institute (PDF) (Dec 2016)
  12. Medicare Trust Fund, which was extended a decade, will have several years reduced from its expected life Source: Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Jun 22, 2016)
  13. Taxpayers will lose, $350 billion added to deficit; $9 trillion added to debt (incomes over $1 million will see ta break of $57,000) Source: Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (Jan 4, 2017)
  14. 2.6 million lost jobs (health care service and construction jobs in small communities) Source: The Commonwealth Fund (Jan 5, 2017)
  15. Young adults (3.1 million on parents’ plan). 18 to 26-year-olds in most states will be kicked off Source: Obamacare Facts
  16. Anyone who loses their job and think COBRA is too expensive with limited options
  17. Women who want to buy health insurance will pay more than men in premiums
  18. 105 million had lifetime limits on what insurance companies pay Source: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (March 2012)

The Campaign Lies

The Conflicts of Interest

The Cabinet Nominations/Appointments
Trump's Cabinet of Horrors - 15 Top 'Ick' Picks

1. A Labor Secretary – Andrew F. Puzder – WITHDREW 2.15.16 - who is a fast food executive owning Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s restaurants, has promoted low wages, automating workers, the objectification of women, has criticized the Obama administration’s labor policies and promises to dismantle many Obama-era rules covering the vast work force of federal contractors. Requires Senate confirmation.
 1.a.  Alexander Acosta - Nominated 2.16.17 - Aside from his work at Century Bank, Acosta has experience serving on the National Labor Relations Board and has an extensive background in law, including teaching employment law. He has als0 had his share of controversy as well, overseeing a plea deal with financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein while he served as a U.S. attorney in Florida that was kept secret from Epstein's alleged victims, led the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice at a time that was marked by stark politicization, improper hiring and personnel decisions that were fully disclosed in a 2008 report issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) which violated Justice Department policy and federal law. He was also involved in lawsuits in Ohio during 2004 which he sided with Ohio to allow poll workers to challenge voters who wanted to change party when casting ballot.
2. A Housing and Urban Development Secretary – Ben Carson – who is a former neurosurgeon with no relevant experience in urban development or planning other than being raised in an inner city and having patients who lived in inner cities, said he wasn’t interested in running a government agency because he’d never served in a federal capacity…but was qualified to run for President of the United States. Requires Senate confirmation. During his hearing, Mr. Carson faced pointed questions about past remarks on the dangers of federal assistance. “Safety net programs are important,” he said. “I would never advocate abolishing them without having an alternative for people to follow.”
3. A Commerce Secretary – Wilbur Ross – who owned a dangerous coal mine where twelve miners died in an explosion and is worth $2.9 Billion according to Forbes magazine. Requires Senate confirmation. Ross had a message for Mexico and Canada: Be ready to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Some Republicans said they were taken aback by Trump’s threats to impose big tariffs, but Ross assured them that the president-elect was merely being a good negotiator.
4. A Secretary of State – Rex W. Tillerson – who ran ExxonMobil and was awarded the 2013 Kremlin Order of Friendship by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin. Requires Senate confirmation. Mr. Tillerson was sharply questioned on his views on Russia, where he has had close business ties. He expressed reservations on climate change and said that he did not view it as the imminent national security threat that some others did.
5. An EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt – who is Oklahoma’s Attorney General, has sued the agency on behalf of fossil fuel companies and plans to follow the president elect’s directive to dismantle the agency “in almost every form.” Requires Senate confirmation. During his hearing, Mr. Pruitt said he disagreed with Mr. Trump’s statement that climate change is a “hoax,” but hedged when asked how much of it is caused by human activity. He criticized federal environmental regulations and emphasized a states-based approach by defending what he called “common sense” environmental regulation and arguing that farmers, ranchers and business had been hurt by intrusive federal rules.
6. An Energy Secretary – Rick Perry – who is a former Texas governor, proposed in 2011 scrapping the Energy Department while he was seeking the Republican nomination for president, but forgot its name (oops) on national television and just might not know what it does. Requires Senate confirmation.
7. A Health and Human Services Secretary – Tom Price – who is a six-term Republican congressman from Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon and has led opposition to the Affordable Care Act, has attacked policies that protect women’s health, introduced legislation that would make it easier for doctors to defend themselves against medical malpractice lawsuits and has been aligned with positions of the American Medical Association. Requires Senate confirmation. Mr. Price said in his first hearing that repealing the Affordable Care Act would not leave millions without health insurance, but he gave few details about the administration’s plans to replace the law and did not rule out cuts to Medicare or Medicaid. He will also be questioned by the Senate Finance Committee next week.
8. An Interior Secretary – Ryan Zinke – who is Montana’s freshman representative, a former Navy SEAL commander who was an early supporter of the president-elect, ran for office largely on a national security platform and has a League of Conservation Voters score of 3%. Requires Senate confirmation. When asked about climate change during his hearing, Mr. Zinke broke with Mr. Trump, saying that he did not believe it was a hoax.
9. An Attorney General – Jeff Sessions – who is an Alabama senator opposes civil and voting rights and was denied a federal judgeship  because of racially charged comments and actions. Requires Senate confirmation. During the first day of his hearing, Mr. Sessions said that the law “absolutely” prohibits waterboarding, and he offered no hints about a workaround to reinstate it. On the second day, testimony from Representative John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader, highlighted the racial undertones of Mr. Sessions’s nomination.
10. An Education Secretary – Betsy DeVos – who is a former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman, promotes charter schools that siphon funds from public schools (i.e. Detroit City Schools), founder/owner with husband of Amway, net worth about $5.1 Billion and owes the State of Ohio $5.3 million for campaign violations fines (see articles below). Requires Senate confirmation. Billionaire philanthropist DeVos faced tough questions during Tuesday’s session. She refused to rule out removing funding public schools if appointed, criticized by Democrats for wanting to “privatize” public education, praised by Republicans for her support of charter schools and vouchers, admitted her family may have made donations to the Republican Party totalling $200 million and stated that guns might have a place in schools due to the threat from grizzly bears.  
11.  A Transportation Secretary – Elaine L. Chao – who is the daughter of a shipping magnet, married to Majority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, former labor secretary under former President George W. Bush, a fixture in Washington DC’s GOP circles and net worth reported to be in the multi millions. Requires Senate confirmation. Ms. Chao’s nomination has faced little opposition from lawmakers. She spent most of her hearing promising to further study the issues she will oversee. 
12.  A Treasury Secretary – Steven Mnuchin – who is a former Goldman Sachs executive, served as president elect’s finance campaign chairman, has deep roots within Hollywood and reportedly is worth $40 million. Requires Senate confirmation.
13.  A Defense SecretaryJames N. Mattis – whose nickname is ‘Mad Dog Mattis’, former Marine General, considered a ‘Warrior Monk’, has been a critic of the Obama administration and would need a waiver from Congress to lead the Pentagon because he has been out of uniform for less than seven years. Requires Senate confirmation. General Mattis diverged from Mr. Trump on several issues during his hearing, striking a tougher stance on Russia and a more supportive one on NATO and saying that he supported the Iran nuclear agreement.
14.  A White House Chief of Staff  – Reince Priebus – who is former Republican National Committee chairman will steer the president-elect’s agenda through Congress and develop the relationships needed to do so. Appointed.
15.  A Chief StrategistStephen K. Bannon – who was the chairman of the president-elect’s campaign, is a right-wing media executive who promoted the nationalist movement through his website Breitbart News and many have denounced Bannon for representing racist/bigotry views. Appointed.

The Transition Team

The General 'News'

The REAL News