What President Donald Trump got done before taking the weekend off
As Donald Trump became president and laid out his vision for America, his administration made some tweaks to how the government will run the country. All indications are that arguably the most overused phrase in politics — "elections have consequences" — will become frighteningly relevant. But we're not quite there yet. So far, it's some minute steaks; red meat, yes, but also pretty thin.
The first concrete example of the dawn of Trump's America were cosmetic: changes were made to the official White House website. The new administration removed references to climate change, rights for LGBT individuals, a strategy to fight HIV/AIDS and much more from WhiteHouse.gov. Trump's team added new language saying investing in the military will be a top priority, along with a little law-and-order tough talk.
Less than two hours after taking the oath of office, Trump's administration had moved to rescind a recent Barack Obama-backed move to lower costs for younger homebuyers seeking a home loan through the Federal Housing Authority. The mortage premium cut — estimated to save $500 per year — will be "suspended immediately."
Around 5 p.m., the Senate voted to make retired Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis Trump's secretary of defense and the president's first confirmed Cabinet appointee. Mattis is the first general in decades to become head of the American armed forces within seven years of serving in the military.
Trump will reportedly elevate a Republican to run the Federal Communications Commission who opposes the idea of net neutrality, a rule the Democratic controlled FCC insituted in 2015 that requires all internet service providers to treat bandwidth equally. Changing that rule will change the internet, giving wealthy websites the ability to pay to deliver their information to your screen before companies which cannot afford an internet provider's fee.
By the late evening, Trump made headlines again with an Oval Office photo-op. The president signed two vague executive orders, one of which has a sobering reality for the Affordable Care Act. The language effectively allows companies and states to forego the law's individual mandate. That mandate was the cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act. Whether Americans are healthy or sick, it required everyone to have health insurance to balance the costs of the sick with premium payments by the healthy.
Trump also changed the curtains in the president's office, to the gold that shines in his New York home and office.
The first hours of the Trump administration could have yielded far more change. Trump promised many actions on his first day in office, including freezing any hires of federal workers, lifting restrictions on mining and reviving the Keystone XL pipeline. Two executive orders related to changing American trade policy are coming soon, Spicer said Friday.
The president has made clear that Monday, not Friday, will be his first full day of work. And he plans to enjoy the weekend. So expect lots of change Trump has long promised to be announced in the next 72 hours.
Beyond that, the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act will loom large in the "early days" of Trump's presidency. And in the wake of Trump's speech built around the theme of "American First," the nation's relationship could change quickly with dozens of nations.