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Track-Trump January 23, 2017


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Today saw the signing of three formal executive actions, progress on personnel appointments, and the first White House daily press briefing

President Trump issued a presidential memorandum withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade agreement that was a policy priority of the Obama administration but had yet to be ratified by Congress. President Trump also signed an order freezing the hiring of new federal employees with the exception of military personnel and workers deemed necessary to public safety and national security. This move is similar to an order issued by President Reagan after assuming office in 1981. Finally, President Trump followed in the footsteps of both Presidents Bush by reinstating the Mexico City policy, a Reagan-era rule that blocks federal funds from supporting international organizations that provide abortion-related services.

The Senate voted 66 to 31 to confirm the nomination of Congressman Mike Pompeo for CIA Director. President Trump chose Commissioner Ajit Pai to serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Pai, who is known for opposing the FCC’s current rules regarding net neutrality, does not require Senate confirmation as he was already confirmed by the Senate when nominated to serve as commissioner. President Trump’s nomination for Secretary of State, former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a vote of 11-10 and awaits a decisive vote of the entire Senate scheduled for next week.

It is worth noting that on the campaign trail, President Trump pledged to pursue a number of the promises in the Contract to the American Voter on “the first day” (these pledges include, among others, labeling China a currency manipulator, imposing restrictions on lobbying by government workers, and placing terms limits on members of Congress). In this morning’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked why the administration had not followed through on these “first day” pledges. Mr. Spicer responded by saying that the administration would stick to the pledges, but they planned “to sequence those out” in order to “to give the issues the proper attention they deserve” for the American people’s consideration (1:15:00).

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