President Donald Trump's highly anticipated first week in office concludes today — after the signing of four executive orders and 12 presidential memoranda.
Tommy Binion, director of policy outreach for The Heritage Foundation, said the president’s orders are likely symbolic of the administration's actions to come.
“Here we are in his first week in office and he’s gone about his work in a way that is directly relatable to everything he said on the campaign,” Binion said. “I think that’s refreshing, and a really unique first week for a president.”
On the night of his inauguration, Trump signed his first executive order. The order called for federal agencies to refrain from implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act.
Political consultant Gary Pearce is waiting for the president to explain what exactly the order will do.
“He hasn’t explained to any of us what this executive order is, and how it gives everybody insurance that is better and cheaper than what they had before,” Pearce said.
As for Republican legislators' replacement plan, Pearce is unsure if the party has any idea what they are going to propose.
“I think that it’s going to cause chaos and hurt a lot of people,” he said. “You could have 18 million people lose their insurance.”
Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement Monday, a deal that former President Barack Obama closely negotiated with countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
He advanced construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, two widely contested construction projects under the Obama administration on Tuesday.
Trump ordered the construction of a wall along the Mexican border on Wednesday — as well as expanding the federal deportation force and withdraw federal funds from sanctuary cities.
Mitch Kokai, spokesperson for the John Locke Foundation, said while Trump appears to be pumping out executive orders at a rapid rate, he is not doing so without precedent.
“I think it is fair to say that he’s been more active in the use of executive orders, but that’s because of a change in the way presidents use executive orders,” he said.
Obama’s frequent use of executive orders has made it easier for Trump to undo his legacy, Kokai said.
“Decades ago, it was not common for presidents to be taking on the legislature’s role,” he said. “Because President Obama (did) much more by way of executive orders, it makes more sense that Trump would use his own orders to counteract them.”
The president has signed four executive orders so far. Obama signed five orders in his first week, while his predecessor, George W. Bush signed none.
Trump will see pushback when he tries to implement some of the more radical parts of his agenda, evidenced by last Saturday’s marches, Pearce said.
“They haven’t even gotten into things that the Republicans have discussed doing, like cutting Medicare and social security,” he said.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.