When President Trump took office in January, he and his team faced many of the challenges any new executive encounters. In the campaign/interview process and during the transition, there’s a lot of due diligence that results in a number of lists: what to do, what to learn, what resources to identify and utilize, and who to hire for vacant senior positions. Part of Trump’s focus has been on issuing executive orders and presidential memorandums. In the 134 days between January 20th and May 15th, according to a compilation on Wikipedia, he has issued 36 executive orders and 25 presidential memoranda, an average of one almost every two days. In addition, Trump has issued 42 ceremonial proclamations, one determination, and six notices to date.
But what happens in the aftermath of such orders? Two orders, both on immigration, have been stopped legally, and some may simply linger in bureaucratic limbo until they suddenly come back full force or die an obscure death. What’s an activist to do to track such stuff?
What many people don’t realize is that about half of Trump’s executive orders and presidential memoranda include directives for cabinet members and executive branch agencies to research, assess, and report on a wide variety of topics within specified timelines. Most of the timelines are expressed in terms of days from the date of issuance, with the most typical deadlines being either 90 days or 180 days. However, there have been deadlines as short as 20 days and as long as one year.
Lest you think the number of such orders is anomalous, President Obama issued 644 memoranda and 275 executive orders during eight years in office, with 30 actions and 29 orders issued within the previous administration’s first 134 days.
Compiling the list of Trump’s action items and due dates was made much easier because all “Presidential actions” are documented on the official White House website in reverse chronological order. The list is presented here in chronological order, with the title of the executive order or presidential action hyperlinked to the original text on www.whitehouse.gov. Many of the entries reference one or two reports that are due, but a couple have many assignments to be completed. The executive order on cyberthreats has the largest “to-do” list, with 15 reports, strategy development, assessments, and other actions prescribed in a single document.
One big question mark accompanies the March 6th executive order imposing the temporary travel ban affecting six Muslim majority countries in the Middle East. This order replaces the initial order issued January 27th and blocked by the federal courts. The March 6th version is also being litigated at present, and there has been a stay issued. However, it’s unclear whether the stay would include report and strategy generation as well as the sections implementing the temporary travel ban and the immigration ban affecting Syria. For the sake of completeness, we have included both the original executive order and the March 6th replacement in the list, realizing that the actions ordered in the January 27th order are superseded by the later executive order.
None of the items are easy in an absolute sense. Nothing easy should ever reach the president’s desk—that’s one reason we have the rest of the government. Some, however, are easier than others, such as ordering the final permitting determination on the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days of TransCanada’s renewed application to build the oil pipeline. That order is the only one we can definitively say has been completed.
In March, NPQ wrote about one executive order that is a classic “easier said than done” exercise. By September 13, 2017, “a proposed plan to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies” is due on the president’s desk. Six months (180 days) hardly seems like enough time; then again, the order is to produce a plan, not to complete the implementation of the plan.
The “President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis” may not meet its intended June 29th 90-day deadline for issuing an initial report. Chaired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, it’s not clear when the commission’s membership was named and how the commission’s work is progressing.
The April 25th executive order titled “Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America” is intriguing because critics say it will accomplish the opposite of its intended goals in some key areas. It is allegedly tied to efforts to replace a Senate-confirmed undersecretary position at the U.S. Agriculture Department with a presidentially appointed special assistant to deal with rural affairs. Without the prospect of Senate confirmation, the special assistant could be a junior political appointee with few or no qualifications for the position and no real influence within the government.
We encourage you to review the list, read the documents that interest you, and think about how the actions may affect you, your organization, and the causes you care about. Then, consider any actions you may wish to take. Remember to check the list on the White House website periodically, as there are sure to be more entries posted frequently.
Trump Administration Presidential Actions Requiring Agency Follow-up
Inauguration Day 2017 – May 15, 2017
Executive Order/Presidential Memorandum
Report/Action Due Date
|Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Hiring Freeze||January 23, 2017||A long-term plan to reduce the size of the federal government’s workforce through attrition.||April 23, 2017|
|Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline||January 24, 2017||A final permitting determination, including a final decision as to any conditions on issuance of the permit that are necessary or appropriate to serve the national interest.||March 26, 2017 (complete)|
|Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects||January 24, 2017||Within 30 days after a request is made, decide whether an infrastructure project qualifies as a “high priority” infrastructure project.||Ongoing basis (deadline for each identified project)|
|Presidential Memorandum Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing||January 24, 2017||Solicit comments from the public for a period not to exceed 60 days concerning federal actions to streamline permitting and reduce regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturers.||March 24, 2017|
|A report to the president setting forth a plan to streamline federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens affecting domestic manufacturers.||May 24, 2017 (assuming March 24 deadline was met)|
|Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States||January 25, 2017||Issue guidance and promulgate regulations, where required by law, to ensure the assessment and collection of all fines and penalties that the Secretary is authorized under the law to assess and collect from aliens unlawfully present in the United States and from those who facilitate their presence in the United States.||January 25, 2018|
|The Secretary and the Attorney General shall each submit to the President a report on the progress of the directives contained in this order.||April 25, 2017; July 25, 2017|
|Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements||January 25, 2017||Produce a comprehensive study of the security of the southern border, to be completed within 180 days of this order.||July 25, 2017|
|EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES (revoked March 6, 2017)||January 27, 2017||A review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat… determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information||February 27, 2017|
|Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals.||As soon as April 27, 2017|
|The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.||As soon as April 27, 2017|
|The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order.||February 27, 2017; March 27, 2017; April 27, 2017; May 27, 2017|
|Initial report, a second report, and a third.||March 27, 2017; May 6, 2017; August 14, 2017|
|Review the USRAP application and adjudication process.||April 27, 2017|
|Initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution.||May 7, 2017; August 15, 2017|
|The initial [biometric tracking system] report, a second report, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order.||May 7, 2017; January 27, 2018; every six months thereafter until fully deployed and operational|
|Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later…||July 27, 2017 and every 180 days thereafter|
|Presidential Memorandum on Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces||January 27, 2017||30-day readiness review||February 27, 2017|
|Plan of action to achieve the levels of readiness identified in the Secretary’s Readiness Review.||March 27, 2017|
|Presidential Memorandum Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria||January 28, 2017||A preliminary draft of the Plan to defeat ISIS shall be submitted to the President by the Secretary of Defense.||February 28, 2017|
|Presidential Executive Order on Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System||February 3, 2017||Report to the President on the extent to which existing laws, treaties, regulations, guidance, reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and other government policies promote the Core Principles and what actions have been taken, and are currently being taken, to promote and support the Core Principles.||May 3, 2017 (and periodically thereafter)|
|Presidential Executive Order on a Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety||February 9, 2017||The Task Force shall submit at least one report to the President within 1 year from the date of this order, and a subsequent report at least once per year thereafter while the Task Force remains in existence.||February 9, 2018 and annually thereafter while the task force is in existence|
|Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda||February 24, 2017||Shall designate an agency official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO).||April 24, 2017|
|Each Regulatory Reform Task Force shall provide a report to the agency head detailing the agency’s progress.||May 24, 2017 and on a schedule thereafter|
|The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) shall issue guidance regarding the implementation of this subsection.||April 24, 2017|
|Publish a list of agencies with waivers from the requirement.||Once every three months|
|Presidential Executive Order on The White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities||February 28, 2017||Submit its Agency Plan.||May 28, 2017|
|Submit an updated Agency Plan [describing its efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs to participate in applicable Federal programs and initiatives]||May 28, 2018 and annually thereafter|
|Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security||March 6, 2017||Shall publish (A) the number of visas that have been issued from each consular office within each country during the reporting period, disaggregated by detailed visa category and country of issuance; and (B) any other information the Secretary of State considers appropriate, including information that the Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Security may request be published.||April 28, 2017 and at the end of each month thereafter|
|Produce a report estimating how many refugees are being supported in countries of first asylum (near their home countries) for the same long-term cost as supporting refugees in the United States, taking into account the full lifetime cost of Federal, State, and local benefits, and the comparable cost of providing similar benefits elsewhere.||September 6, 2017|
|Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States (replaces EO 13769, dated January 27, 2017)||March 6, 2017||Report on the results of the worldwide review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed from each country for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information.||March 26, 2017|
|Request that all foreign governments that do not supply such information regarding their nationals begin providing it.||(Response from foreign governments due to begin) April 25, 2017|
|Report on the progress in implementing this order.||May 6, 2017; June 6, 2017; July 6, 2017; August 6, 2017|
|Report on the progress of the program [to identify individuals who seek to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis, who support terrorism, violent extremism, acts of violence toward any group or class of people within the United States, or who present a risk of causing harm subsequent to their entry].||May 6, 2017; June 14, 2017; September 22, 2017|
|Periodic reports on the progress of the [biometric entry exit tracking system for in-scope travelers to the United States] directive.||June 14, 2017; September 22, 2017; March 6, 2018; every 180 days thereafter until fully developed and operational|
|(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;||September 6, 2017 and every 180 days thereafter|
|(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;||September 6, 2017 and every 180 days thereafter|
|(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals; and||September 6, 2017 and every 180 days thereafter|
|(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.||September 6, 2017 and every 180 days thereafter|
|Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch||March 13, 2017||A proposed plan to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies.||September 13, 2017|
|Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth||March 28, 2017||Develop and submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB Director) a plan to [review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources] required by subsection (a) of this section.||May 13, 2017|
|Head of each agency shall submit a draft final report detailing the agency actions.||July 28, 2017|
|Final report.||September 28, 2017 (unless OMB extends deadline)|
|Presidential Executive Order Establishing the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis||March 29, 2017||Interim recommendations regarding how the federal government can address drug addiction and the opioid crisis.||June 29, 2017|
|Final report.||October 1, 2017|
|Termination of commission.||30 days after final report, unless extension granted|
|Presidential Executive Order Regarding the Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits||March 31, 2017||Prepare and submit to the President an Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits (Report).||June 30, 2017|
|Presidential Executive Order on Establishing Enhanced Collection and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs Laws||March 31, 2017||Develop a plan that would require covered importers that, based on a risk assessment conducted by CBP, pose a risk to the revenue of the United States, to provide security for antidumping and countervailing duty liability through bonds and other legal measures, and also would identify other appropriate enforcement measures.||June 30, 2017|
|Develop and implement a strategy and plan for combating violations of United States trade and customs laws for goods and for enabling interdiction and disposal, including through methods other than seizure, of inadmissible merchandise entering through any mode of transportation, to the extent authorized by law.||June 30, 2017|
|Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American||April 18, 2017||(i) assess the monitoring of, enforcement of, implementation of, and compliance with Buy American Laws within their agencies;||September 18, 2017|
|(ii) assess the use of waivers within their agencies by type and impact on domestic jobs and manufacturing; and||September 18, 2017|
|(iii) develop and propose policies for their agencies to ensure that,|