News ID: 176148
Published: 0640 GMT January 21, 2017

Trump begins overhaul as first executive orders signed

Trump begins overhaul as first executive orders signed

Donald Trump took his first steps as the US president, signing an executive order which targets the signature health care reforms of his predecessor Barack Obama.

His proclamation ordered agencies to ease the economic burden of the laws known as Obamacare, BBC reported on Saturday.

The multi-part executive order which was aimed at trying to fulfill one of his most impassioned campaign promises, stated that the administration's official policy is “to seek the prompt repeal” of the Affordable Care Act – but at the same time he emphasized that it must continue to uphold the law.

Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said President Trump’s executive order was for federal departments to “minimize the economic burden” of the act, but he gave no details.

The order does not change the law, but could have a significant impact nonetheless.

It directs the secretary of health and human services, as well as other agencies, to interpret regulations as loosely as allowed in order to minimize the financial burden on individuals, insurers, health care providers and others.

Trump also signed a proclamation declaring a national day of patriotism.

Asked about his first day, Trump said, “It was busy but good – a beautiful day.”

His team quickly overhauled the White House website to include his pledge to roll back Barack Obama's strategy on climate change.

Shortly after taking office as the 45th US president on Friday, Trump sent his cabinet nominations to the Senate.

He signed a waiver to allow retired General James Mattis to serve as defense secretary, even though he left the military less than the required seven years ago.

Mattis, whose appointment has been approved by the Senate, was later sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence also swore in John Kelly as head of Homeland Security.

The revamped White House website replaces Obama's policies with Trump's new agenda.

The new administration lists only six issues on the website – energy, foreign policy, jobs and growth, military, law enforcement and trade deals.

Critics point out that it makes no mention of civil rights, LGBT rights, healthcare or climate change.


‘America first’

In his inaugural address, Trump, 70, struck a nationalist, protectionist tone.

“From this moment on, it’s going to be America first. We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American,” he said.

Trump accused Washington politicians of abandoning citizens to industrial decline and spiraling rates of crime.

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he said.

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

Following the ceremony, some protesters took to the streets in Washington, smashing windows of businesses and denouncing capitalism and the new president.

Police in riot gear dispersed them, using pepper spray. More than 200 arrests were made and six officers were hurt.


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