In his first full week on the job, President Donald Trump is already asserting his executive authority.
In a series of executive orders issued on Monday, Trump implemented a federal employee hiring freeze, formally withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and reinstated a policy involving foreign aid and abortion, which was first enacted by former President Ronald Reagan.
By putting the government on a hiring freeze and backing out of the TPP trade deal, endorsed by former President Barack Obama, Trump made good on two major campaign promises.
The federal employee hiring freeze does not include the U.S. military, according to Trump.
NBC News has more details on Trump’s latest executive actions:
Trump also acted Monday to reinstate the so-named “Mexico City policy” first instituted by Ronald Reagan. That directive essentially barred recipients of U.S. foreign aid from promoting abortion as a method of family planning. In the early days of his presidency, Bill Clinton reversed the Reagan-backed policy; President George W. Bush reinstated it shortly after his election; and President Barack Obama revoked it – each in their first few days as president.
Trump’s team has also indicated that he will take executive action soon to jump start his promised renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Several reporters were quick to point out that federal hiring freezes haven’t been entirely effective in the past.
Another of Trump's EOs today is a federal hiring freeze, which both Carter and Reagan implemented. In 1982 GAO found they were "ineffective"
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 23, 2017
A hiring freeze might shrink the federal workforce, but by itself less feds just means more contractors hired to do their jobs. No savings. https://t.co/wl5gYb7yKX
— Dan Friedman (@dfriedman33) January 23, 2017
As Trump signed the executive order implementing the hiring freeze, he made sure to sternly tell reporters, “Except for the military.” Then, he said it a second time to make sure they fully understood.