The Latest on the Trump Administration: Jan. 20 – Feb. 1

In its first two weeks, the Trump administration took a series of significant executive actions in the areas of federal regulation, infrastructure, manufacturing, trade, immigration and health care.

Federal Regulation
On Jan. 20, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum ordering a regulatory freeze. The memorandum requires agencies to withdraw unpublished regulations and to delay the effective dates of published regulations not yet in effect.  

President Trump also signed an executive order on Jan. 30 that requires regulatory agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every new regulation. Specifically, the savings from any two eliminated regulations must offset the cost of each new regulation in order to bring the “total incremental cost of all new regulations” to zero for FY2017. 


On Jan. 24, President Trump issued two presidential memoranda designed to expedite completion of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. The president also signed a memorandum that directs the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to create a plan to ensure the use of American products and equipment “to the maximum extent possible” in future pipeline construction and repair.

In addition, the president signed an executive order to accelerate environmental impact reviews for “high priority” infrastructure improvements.  

Manufacturing & Trade

In a Jan. 24 memorandum, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Commerce to review and cut back on unnecessary regulations that deter manufacturing in the United States. 

The president also directed the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and officially endorsed a policy of “one-on-one (or bilateral)” trade negotiations. 


On Jan. 25, President Trump signed two executive orders that provide for the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, the withdrawal of federal funds from sanctuary cities and the enforcement of current immigration laws.

Health Care

President Trump issued an executive order on Jan. 20 that endorses the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and permits the heads of federal agencies “to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of ACA provisions that place financial burdens on stakeholders including but not limited to states, individuals, families, providers and insurers.

Nominations & Appointments

The U.S. Senate has confirmed six of President Trump’s nominees: 
Retired General John Kelly – U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
Retired General John Mattis – U.S. Department of Defense
Former Congressman Mike Pompeo – U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Former Governor Nikki Haley – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations 
Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao – U.S. Department of Transportation 
Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson – U.S. Secretary of State

In addition, the president has named Commissioner Victoria Lipnic as acting chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Member Phillip Miscimarra as acting chair of the National Labor Relations Board. The Board’s other two Republican seats remain vacant. 

The confirmation process continues for the president’s remaining nominees, including Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos. ABC submitted a letter in support of DeVos’s confirmation to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Jan 9.

Here is a full list of President Trump’s nominees.

Further information on the Trump administration’s executive actions and appointments is available on the White House Briefing Room website.