President Trump Poised to Implement Extreme Right-Wing Agenda on Day One
With executive orders and 'beachhead teams,' Trump administration ready to hit the ground running
Donald Trump's pen is poised to sign several executive actions as soon as Friday afternoon, following his swearing-in as the 45th president of the United States.
While it's not clear exactly which executive orders he'll sign on Day One—Reuters reports that his "advisers vetted more than 200 potential executive orders for him to consider signing on healthcare, climate policy, immigration, energy, and numerous other issues"—Trump has indicated that he'd like to begin implementing his right-wing agenda immediately.
"We will be signing some papers that will be very meaningful tomorrow right after the speech to get the show going," Trump said Thursday night, according to cell phone video of his remarks during a closed press portion of the luncheon obtained by CNN.
Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday morning that "Obamacare, the fight against ISIS, immigration, and a lobbying ban are high on the list of early executive orders," CNN reports.
Trump is expected to impose a federal hiring freeze and take steps to delay a Labor Department rule due to take effect in April that would require brokers who give retirement advice to put their clients' best interests first.
He also will give official notice he plans to withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, Spicer said. "I think you will see those happen very shortly," Spicer said.
[...] Trump is expected to sign an executive order in his first few days to direct the building of a wall on the southern border with Mexico, and actions to limit the entry of asylum seekers from Latin America, among several immigration-related steps his advisers have recommended.
That includes rescinding [President Barack] Obama's order that allowed more than 700,000 people brought into the United States illegally as children to stay in the country on a two-year authorization to work and attend college, according to several people close to the presidential transition team.
With that in mind, more than 100 national civil and human rights groups on Wednesday sent a letter to Trump urging him to preserve the program created by that order, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
"It is beyond question that the American public supports reasonable and fair immigration reforms, ones that include putting unauthorized immigrants on a path to citizenship," the coalition wrote, "and this public would be deeply troubled by a decision to expel immigrants who, having arrived as minor children, have acted fully consistently with the best of American values and who are, for all intents and purposes, American."
Associated Press notes that "[i]f Trump opts for a slower pace, it may be because he is still setting up his administration. He is awaiting confirmation of cabinet choices and staffing federal agencies and has left vital spots such as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers unfilled so far."
But so-called "beachhead teams"—comprising more than 520 individuals—are ready to swoop into federal agency offices at 12:01pm Friday, having been instructed "to begin collecting information and laying organizational groundwork so that Trump's secretaries and undersecretaries can hit the ground running once they're confirmed," according to Politico.
And to that end, Sen. (R-Texas) warned Friday morning that the Senate could be in session all weekend in an effort to confirm a number of Trump's cabinet nominees.
The Hill reports:
The Senate is currently expected to confirm only two Trump nominees on Friday, retired Gens. James Mattis and John Kelly, picked to lead the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security, respectively.Senate Minority Leader (D-N.Y.) told reporters that they would also start debate on Rep. Mike Pompeo's nomination to lead the CIA and hedged when pressed if he was ruling out votes on other non-controversial nominees.
"I'm not getting into names, but we are still negotiating," Schumer said when asked if he was ruling out Friday votes for Elaine Chao, Ben Carson, and Nikki Haley—Trump's picks for the Transportation Department, Housing and Urban Development Department and U.N. ambassador, respectively.
Meanwhile, Trump and the GOP are not the only ones ready to hit the ground running. Not only did federal agencies rush to publish last-minute rules this week before Trump institutes a regulatory moratorium, but the ACLU filed its first Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of the Trump era, seeking documents relating to Trump's "actual or potential conflicts of interest relating to his business and family connections."
"Trump took the oath, but he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution and other federal statutes," said ACLU executive director Anthony Romero. "Freedom of information requests are our democracy's X-ray and they will be vitally important to expose and curb the abuses of a president who believes the rules don't apply to him and his family."