Executive order on Affordable Care Act: One of Trump’s hallmark campaign promises was to repeal and replace the health care law enacted during Obama’s administration. As Congress weighed what to do, Trump signed an executive order to minimize the law’s “economic burden.” It authorized federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of any part of the law that fiscally burdened states or cost money for individuals, health care providers and a host of others. Analysts told us Trump’s order may be more symbolic than substantive since it doesn’t advance his goal to repeal the law and doesn’t create any new authority for executive branch agencies.
Signed waiver bill into law, formalized Cabinet nominations: Trump signed into law a bill passed by Congress providing an exception to the legal requirement of seven years between military active duty and service as secretary of defense. The waiver allowed Gen. James Mattis, who retired from the Marine Corps. in 2013, to serve as secretary of defense, following Senate confirmation. Trump also signed paperwork formalizing his Cabinet nominations.
Regulatory freeze: Trump’s administration also took steps toward his promise for a moratorium on regulations. Chief of staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum asking the heads of executive departments and agencies to not send new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register, to withdraw regulations already sent but not published, and to delay the effective date for regulations published but not yet in effect. The regulatory freeze, allowing for emergency situation exceptions, would be in place until a Trump department or agency appointee reviewed and approved the regulation, the memo said.
The new White House did not release more presidential actions over the weekend, though it did make headlines: Trump said he had the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration; Trump blamed the media for his feud with the intelligence community; and senior adviser Kellyanne Conway introduced “alternative facts” on NBC’s Meet the Press.