Analysis of Trump’s controversial executive orders
One week into presidency, Trump signs four executive orders
February 3, 2017
With only one week in office, President Donald J. Trump has officially signed four executive orders and eight presidential memorandas, nearly tripling Obama’s number.
During this week, Trump has given the greenlight to constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline, issued a plan for the wall to be built, plan to “roll back” Obamacare, and pressure “sanctuary cities” to turn over immigrants.
Educators are already noting their disdain of his hasty decisions. “It’s very hypocritical of Republicans. They were constantly bashing Obama for breaching ‘legislative power’ and calling him a fascist. Meanwhile Trump is tripling that and they’re saying nothing,” said professor Kristin Brunnemer.
Presidents in the past have wanted to make a solid mark in their term, that could account for why Trump is issuing so many acts in the first couple of weeks. “Executive orders are only a part of the president’s power. With Obama, he had only two years to establish his plans in an eight year term. They want to put their stamp on the presidency and they only have so much time,” said professor Julie Werbel.
These orders smelled of opportunism for many of Obama’s opponents. Within Obama’s presidential term, many republican congress constituents were itching to repeal Obamacare. “The republicans have been waiting to work in their own interest. There was a wait, now there is an opportunity,” said professor John Simpson.
Trump’s republican allies are keeping mum about these new policies. “I don’t think traditional republicans are for Trump, but they are alright with his decisions and do not need to voice their own opinions. Many of them are more aligned with Pence than with trump,” said Brunnemer.
Considering his unorthodox plans for both the environment and social infrastructure, his plans are alarming. During last year’s friction between no-DAPL protestors and law enforcement, Obama ordered for DAPL plans to cease. Americans were certain that the ordeal was over.
That’s why when Trump decided to refute Obama’s decision, people were outraged. “Rushing the pipeline and quieting the EPA with the gag order is very problematic. Very ‘Putin-esque’ in my opinion,” said Brunnemer. “There is a speed to his decisions to hide conflicts of interest.”
““The president can have conflicts of interest economically, if he gets the approval of congress. Congress is republican, he could very well ask their approval, so why doesn’t he? Maybe because he does not want to answer questions and would have to reveal his business ties,” said Werbel.
By conflicts of interest, she means Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, AKA former Exxon CEO. “It is important for him to maintain his business relations,” said professor Werbel. “Our government has a commitment to the fossil industry, even when alternative energies create more, if not as many jobs.”
These orders are only a slice of what he promised to his voters, however, some voters are starting to regret the repeal for Obamacare. “Trump gave the IRS permission to penalize people who do not get health insurance,” said Werbel.
“Obamacare requires young and healthy people to purchase insurance, it creates a risk pool. There are two methods in developing a healthcare plan. Either a private option, in which everyone is required to purchase from private insurance, for-profit companies, or Medicare for everyone, in which taxpayers pay into it, which is something Obama could not politically do. When President Trump did this, he in effect created Obamacare de facto,” said Werbel.
Sanctuary cities in states such as California, Connecticut, New Mexico, and many more are at risk to Trump’s executive power. Earlier last week, Trump threatened to pull federal money if sanctuary cities continue to cooperate with immigrants. This, along with the restriction of transportation for Muslims deems to be tyrannical.
“It is illegal to punish sanctuary states. He can exert pressure on states if legislation has failure to comply, but he cannot punish California,” said Werbel. “We have turned a blind eye on immigration because the people coming up here are providing an economic safety valve. The poorest and the most desperate come here and they usually send money back home.”
As of the 24th of January, America has been downgraded to a “flawed democracy.” This is not a result of the election, but rather a culmination of market crashes, police brutalities, and overall negligence and irresponsibility.
Trump has repeatedly said that he supports torture, or ‘water-boarding.’ “It is illegal under United States law to reinstate torture, or even under international. He would have to change the law to justify that. If he asks people in the CIA and or in the military to do this stuff, he is asking them to commit war crimes,” said Werbel.
On Jan. 27, Trump issued a ban on visas coming from Islamic countries. This action received immediate retaliation for its Islam-o-phobic attitude towards refugees and raised questionable doubt for the future. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates refused to sign off on this executive order and was subsequently fired on Jan. 30.