President Donald Trump has been in the White House for less than a week and he has already taken sledgehammer to significant parts of former President Barack Obama’s legacy.
In a matter of days, Trump has taken a stunning number of sweeping executive actions and kept some of his biggest campaign promises, which has earned him praise from his supporters and scorn from his detractors.
Let’s review all the ways Trump has already undone large chunks of Obama’s legacy.
The Beginning of the End for Obamacare
Within hours of taking office, President Trump signed an executive order to start rolling back Obamacare, one of Obama’s signature achievements during his two terms as president. Trump has vowed to repeal and replace the healthcare law completely.
Trump said his executive order is meant to “seek the prompt repeal.” Congress is currently working on its Obamacare replacement and are expected to introduce a pre-existing conditions bill as early as next week.
Bottom line: Obamacare is on life support and the Trump administration is ready to pull the plug.
“A Big, Beautiful, Powerful Wall”
It took Trump less than a week to make good on one of his biggest and most ambitious campaign promises. On Wednesday, the president signed a sweeping executive order authorizing the building of a massive wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Since the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2015, Trump has promised his supporters a “big, beautiful, powerful wall,” which he says will curtail illegal immigration and strengthen national security.
And Trump apparently doesn’t plan to kick the can down the road. He told ABC News that construction of the border wall will begin in “months” and planning is already underway.
The Trump administration’s strategy regarding immigration is a far cry from the Obama administration’s stance on the issue over the last eight years.
Keystone XL & Dakota Access Pipelines Raised From the Dead
When President Obama killed the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2015, he claimed it would “undercut” the U.S. as a leader in the fight against climate change.
President Trump obviously sees it differently.
Just days into the job, Trump signed an executive order to revive the Keystone XL, which will run from Texas to Canada, and Dakota Access pipelines. With the stroke of his pen, he kept another campaign promise he made in May of 2016.
Trump argued the construction of the pipelines will create thousands of jobs. He also stipulated that the pipelines will be constructed using American steel and materials, which he says will up the number of jobs created.
Trump also disagrees with environmentalists who claim the pipeline projects could be detrimental to the environment and water supplies.
One group that isn’t complaining: the workers who will likely soon get a major work order.
USA Says No to TPP
With only his signature, President Trump wiped away Obama’s signature trade deal on his first full weekday in office and formally withdrew the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Trump and other critics slammed the deal as an act of globalization that would end up hurting American workers. Trump actually went a step further during a 2016 interview:
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country. That’s what it is, too. It’s a harsh word: It’s a rape of our country.”
Obama committed the U.S. to TPP without getting approval from Congress and hailed it as the most progressive trade deal in history.”
Now the deal is, well, history.
Obama’s Refugee Program Gets the Trump Treatment
President Trump is expected to sign yet another executive order titled “Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks By Foreign Nationals,” which would temporary restrict refugees and visas from Syria and other parts of the world until the refugee vetting process is improved.
Other nations that will reportedly be affected by the order include Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
After flirting with the idea of a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, Trump ultimately endorsed a plan to restrict immigration from countries known for terrorist activity in an effort to prevent terrorists from exploiting the U.S. immigration system.
Obama always took a softer and more emotional approach to refugees and foreign immigration. He called the global refugee crisis “a test of our common humanity” and urged nations not to “give into suspicion and fear and build walls.”
That was before Trump’s impending executive order.
No More “Catch-and-Release,” No More Sanctuary
Obama infuriated illegal immigration hawks and Border Patrol agents when he reinstated the controversial “catch-and-release” policy that orders Border Patrol agents not to arrest and deport apprehended illegal immigrants.
Almost a year later, in one his first acts as president, Trump trashed the maligned policy via an executive order.
Additionally, the executive order also called on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to triple its number of removal operations agents, signaling the Trump administration will put an emphasis on immigration enforcement.
In a separate, but related, executive order, Trump also declared an end to so-called “sanctuary cities,” which openly shield illegal immigrants from prosecution and deportation. The Obama administration developed a reputation of looking the other way when it came to sanctuary cities.
If America looks this different in less than a week under Trump, imagine what it will look like in four years.