Since his inauguration on Friday (January 20), President Donald Trump has signed executive orders covering a range of issues. Today, January 23, he covered abortion, federal hiring and trade.
Reproductive Health Rights
Trump signed an executive order preventing nonprofits from receiving federal funding if they provide, refer or promote abortion procedures in countries outside the United States. Also known as the “Mexico City policy” and the “Global Gag Rule,” this rule was put into place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and rescinded by subsequent Democratic presidents. Trump’s executive order could result in abortion clinics closing around the world and jeopardize the safety of women seeking reproductive information and care.
Trump signed an order for a government-wide hiring freeze for all non-military federal employees. According to the Washington Post, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the freeze was a way to convey “respect” for the American taxpayer.
Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a deal with 12 nations that are responsible for 40 percent of global trade. The trade deal was intended to boost economic growth and reduce tariffs and regulations. The TPP had been negotiated by Obama but not yet ratified by Congress. Trump’s executive order drew encouragement from former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a critic of the TPP. Trump also signaled his intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
On Inauguration Day, he signed orders affecting Obamacare and federally backed mortgages.
The Affordable Care Act
Trump’s executive order reflected the intent to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Trump also directed federal agency heads to waive any provisions of the ACA that placed financial burdens on insurers, health care providers and patients.
Federal Housing Administration Mortgages
The president cancelled a .25 percentage point cut in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage premiums that were set to kick in on January 27. The FHA backs mortgages for homebuyers with less-than-perfect credit scores or who put down small down payments. According to USA Today, the FHA backs about 16 percent of American mortgages. On the Senate floor, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the cut would have saved mortgage holders an average of $500 a year.