Junior Chanelle Williams catches up on the most recent Donald Trump news. Many are becoming increasingly on edge with Trump’s most recent actions.
Photo taken by Emily Bickford.
Donald Trump has been president for three weeks now, and has wasted no time taking action. He has made several changes, possibly taking the country backwards progressively. Since his inauguration, he has attempted to follow through on a lot of his campaign promises. Many of those who were not excited about his term but wanted to remain hopeful. Many believed that Trump was all bark and no bite and did not believe that he would actually follow through on some of the detrimental actions he promised throughout his campaign.
Senior Noah Mason said, “He’s made some strange decisions so far. I do appreciate that he’s trying to follow up with campaign promises, even if they don’t hold over too well with the populous. He is obviously putting in serious effort, even if he may go about doing some things the wrong way.”
Junior Rachel Greif said, “Within the first days of his presidency it seemed like he was ruining everything by trying to undo what the Obama administration had worked towards the last eight years. On election night Trump got the lead in electoral votes and I knew Hilary could not catch up and I wrote in my journal that if we elected the next Hitler I would be deeply saddened. But it happened. He doesn’t want immigrants and the US was dumb enough to turn away eastern European Jews in the 1930s and 40s, which resulted in their death. I really don’t understand how he doesn’t see that this could all happen again.”
One of the first things Trump did in his initial days in office was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he regularly criticized his campaign. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a trade deal between the United States and several countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Since it had yet to be approved by congress, the partnership is simply becoming nullified.
On his first full day in office, Trump froze federal government hiring, aiming to decrease the overall federal workforce and sub sequential debt. This is supposed to last for 90 days and will not include military spending. Fortunately, the order does include exceptions for broader categories and case-by-case expectations by the Office of Management and Budget.
Soon after the Women’s March on Washington, Trump took action to repeal Roe V. Wade. His goal is to fulfill his campaign promise of defunding Planned Parenthood, because of its close associating with abortion, which would take away from the rest of the health care opportunities that the organization offers. Only 3% of what Planned Parenthood offers is abortion related. Defunding this organization and others like it that offer incredible amounts of health care for women who could otherwise not afford it, is detrimental to the overall American population. Removing the care that was offered to women who would otherwise not be able to afford it means they would no longer have access to many much-needed things. STI testing, more affordable or free contraception, and annual exams would become luxuries no longer attainable for many women.
This policy is said to come into place once it is written by the Secretaries of state and health, and is meant to apply to renewals and new grants. Some organizations such as the Guttmacher Institute and the Kaiser Family Foundation believe the order will apply to all global health funding by the United States instead of just organizations for family planning or reproductive health., which would take away the funding of similar organizations in countries funded by US as well.
Taking away a woman’s right to make important decisions about her body by defunding these organizations is taking away one of her most basic human rights. Trump’s sexist attitude towards women has catalyzed a large concern from many women and men across the country. From sexualizing his own daughter to appointing two men to advise him on women in the work place instead of women to his requirement for the women around him to “dress like women,” he has continuously shows an extremely backwards attitude towards women.
Another goal that Trump has acted upon is to amend the Affordable Care Act also known as Obama care. He aims to get rid of any parts of the act that cause a financial burden on the states, healthcare providers, or individuals. His directive sent to the Department of Health and Human Services will not have much impact other than influencing how Congress goes forward with their decision making processes.
One of Trump’s more popularly discussed executive actions is his effort toward boarder security. His widely discussed plan of building a wall has been extremely controversial. The wall will cost around $12- $15 billion dollars and the Department of Homeland Security says that there is about 100 million dollars available to use immediately. Trying to get funding for this outrageous project would cause opposition from many Democrats and Republicans. Also, the department will need to appeal to Congress for funding to hire even more immigration officers. Cities and private lands that the wall would potentially be built on will likely offer legal challenges as well.
Another one of Trump’s outrageous actions is his travel ban of seven countries thought to be “terror” threats. This resulted in several cases of complications for several individuals living in the United States legally. After it was in place, Washington and Minnesota showed opposition to the order. U.S. District Court Judge James Robart has since issued a restraining order on the executive action. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, the restraining order will remain in place until action is decided in the scheduled hearings.
“The ban on immigration is not what this country stands for. Although it is in the process of being stopped and it only technically called out seven countries, the fact that it happened at all completely baffles me,” said Rachel.
Along with the hiring freeze, Trump imposed a freeze on EPA grants and contracts. It is currently unclear if this applies to future grants and contracts, or how long the freeze will last. The EPA has been actively fighting against Trump’s nominee for the EPA Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. In the past, Pruitt has fought the EPA on many issues, including the organization’s legal authority to regulate power plant emissions.
Some of Trump’s picks for cabinet have also been criticized. It has been confirmed that Rex W. Tillerson will stand as the security of state, who has been accused numerous times of having suspicious ties to Russia. Another more popularly discussed confirmation is his choice for the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, who is said to have controversial opinions over the current education system.
“His choice Betsy DeVos of all people to be the secretary of education was a poor decision. She has no experience and will not be good for us as students or for the country as a whole. People have repeatedly told me to ‘give him a chance,’ but guess what—I have, and it hasn’t worked out,” said Rachel Greif.
The fact that the majority of the Senate is Republican enables Trump and his outrageous executive actions to go unopposed. Since he is able to go through with his extremist executive actions, a large amount of the progress Obama made is being counteracted. The country had become so much more progressive and open-minded under his administration, especially with some of generation z growing old enough to be aware of the depth of the political world and adopting more liberal views.
It is extremely disconcerting that Trump continues to be rampantly dishonest and blatantly hypocritical, especially by constantly slamming Hillary for her ties to wall street, then bringing in many billionaire Wall Street executives into his cabinet. His and Tillerson’s ties to Russia also continue to leave many on edge. Trump continues to act mainly in his own self-interest instead of the good of the country, making it hard to believe that he genuinely cares about the good of the people. He likely only cares about himself and gaining recognition, praise, and money.
Rachel said, “He continues to make horrible decisions, only thinking about these issues from his own perspective. I feel like America as a whole has made intense progress in the last eight years and Trump seems to have his sights set on taking the country backwards. He doesn’t care for the people of America. Anyone who voted for him should have looked more closely at the lies and ‘alternative facts’ he told in order to seem like a good candidate. He contradicts himself constantly and doesn’t stand for the constitution or democracy. In the end, the only thing I know I can do is fight for what is right with the little time and resources I have.”
Donald Trump is under fire for various other executive actions from his first few weeks in office.
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