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Freedom Rising Under President Trump

The election of Donald J. Trump as president offers the best opportunity in decades to shrink the size and power of government and increase individual liberty. Bookmark this page and visit often, as The Heartland Institute will be tracking and recording the ways in which executive actions by President Trump – and bills he signs from Congress – show that freedom is rising.

On July 6, 2017, President Trump delivered one of the most stirring speeches in defense of freedom by any modern American president in Warsaw, Poland. Read that speech here. Also read The Heartland Institute’s full Action Plan for President Trump — which he has a habit of implementing as his presidency unfolds.

The list below of Trump's direct presidential actions promoting freedom — a not exhaustive list selected by The Heartland Institute — dates from the start of his administration to the present, so keep scrolling to see the latest executive actions that increase our personal and economic liberty.

President Trump's Executive Actions, Signed Bills, Appointments, and Declarations
DateActionHow this action helps make freedom rise
November 29, 2016Nomination of Rep. Tom Price for HHS SecretaryPresident-elect Donald Trump nominated longstanding Obamacare critic Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Price is a surgeon and the author of legislation that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
January 20, 2017Nomination of key members of President's CabinetPresident Trump formally nominates Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior, Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. See all the nominations that day here.
January 20, 2017Executive Order on Obamacare (a)Hours after taking the presidential oath of office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order "Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal." The order reiterates Trump's intention to repeal ACA and instructs all executive departments and agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation" of ACA provisions imposing burdens on states, individuals, families, patients, and health care providers. Agencies are to provide states flexibility and encourage a "free and open market."
January 20, 2017Executive Order on Obamacare (b)President Donald Trump ordered executive departments and agencies to slow implementation of the Affordable Care Act "to the maximum extent permitted by law." This instruction suggests Trump rejects a jurisprudence evidently embraced by his predecessor, that the Constitution empowers the executive to ignore laws passed by Congress.
January 20, 2017Pauses ESSA accountability regulationsPresident-elect Donald Trump ordered a freeze on the implementation of all pending federal regulations, including accountability regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which were set to go into effect January 30. All pending federal regulations will undergo further review. The accountability regulations dictate how states rate schools for improvement purposes. The ESSA rules will be paused for at least 60 days.
January 21, 2017Executive Order freezing on all executive branch hiringObama’s bureaucrats rush to fill vacant positions in their agencies, making it more difficult for the new administration to remove them. This stops that practice and signals that cuts, not increases, are on the horizon.
January 24, 2017Two executive orders paving the way for the completion of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access PipelinesThe majority of oil and natural gas are transported via pipelines. Limited pipelines capacity have hindered domestic oil and gas prices, thus decreasing production. By increasing pipeline capacity, Trump is encouraging long-term domestic energy production.
January 24, 2017Presidential Memorandum Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic ManufacturingThis memorandum directs executive departments and agencies (agencies) to support the expansion of manufacturing in the United States through expedited reviews of and approvals for proposals to construct or expand manufacturing facilities and through reductions in regulatory burdens affecting domestic manufacturing.
January 26, 2017National School Choice Week 2017 ProclamationAs our country celebrates National School Choice Week, I encourage parents to evaluate the educational opportunities available for their children.  I also encourage State lawmakers and Federal lawmakers to expand school choice for millions of additional students.
January 30, 2017Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory CostsPresident Trump signed an executive order requiring government departments and agencies to identify and propose removing two existing regulations for each new proposed regulation, except for regulations involving military, national security, or foreign affairs. The executive order also requires government agencies to ensure the total annual net cost of most new regulations is zero.
January 31, 2017Promise to reform the U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationPresident Trump told reporters at a press conference, “We’re going to get the approvals much faster. … So we’re going to be changing a lot of the rules.” President Trump’s frustration with FDA’s laborious approval process for new drugs resonates with millions of Americans eager for more freedom and less government in health care. Trump’s promise shows he recognizes FDA’s nonsensical obstruction of terminally ill patients wanting to try potentially life-saving experimental drugs. Action by the federal government is crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of state initiatives to reduce FDA’s regulatory footprint.
January 31, 2017Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United StatesJudge Gorsuch's originalist application of the law commends him as a qualified nominee to the Court that bent backwards over the Constitution to protect Obamacare, or SCOTUScare, as the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia said it should be called. Gorsuch's high view of the sanctity of human life of all ages will reinforce principles the Court should increasingly defend in the brave new world minority progressives would impose on their countrymen and women.
February 3, 2017Presidential Memorandum on Fiduciary Duty RuleEmpowers Americans to make their own financial decisions, to facilitate their ability to save for retirement and build the individual wealth necessary to afford typical lifetime expenses.
February 24, 2017Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform AgendaIt is the policy of the United States to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people. By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to lower regulatory burdens on the American people by implementing and enforcing regulatory reform, it is hereby ordered as follows …
February 28, 2017Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” RuleThe Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works shall review the final rule entitled "Clean Water Rule: Definition of 'Waters of the United States,'" 80 Fed. Reg. 37054 (June 29, 2015), for consistency with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order and publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule, as appropriate and consistent with law.
March 13, 2017Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive BranchThis order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs.
March 27, 2017Presidential Memorandum on The White House Office of American InnovationTo ensure that America remains the global innovation leader, I hereby direct the Senior Advisor to the President to head an office in the White House dedicated to American innovation.  This office will bring together the best ideas from Government, the private sector, and other thought leaders to ensure that America is ready to solve today's most intractable problems, and is positioned to meet tomorrow's challenges and opportunities.
March 27, 2017President Donald J. Trump Signs H.J.Res. 37, H.J.Res. 44, H.J.Res. 57, and H.J.Res. 58 into LawPresident Donald Trump signed House Joint Resolution 37 (HJR 37) into effect, approving Congressional lawmakers’ resolution to reverse a 2014 executive order creating new restrictions on businesses seeking to serve as federal government contractors. HJR 37 removes regulations on businesses competing for government contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
March 28, 2017Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic GrowthPresident Donald Trump signed an executive order to re-evaluate the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, lift restrictions on the exploration for fossil fuels on federal lands, and scrap the “social cost of carbon” as a factor in climate regulations. Trump says he is “putting an end to the war on coal.”
March 31, 2017Presidential Executive Order Regarding the Omnibus Report on Significant Trade DeficitsWithin 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with the Secretaries of State, the Treasury, Defense, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, and the heads of any other executive departments or agencies with relevant expertise, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce and the USTR, shall prepare and submit to the President an Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits (Report).
April 18, 2017Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American"Buy American Laws" means all statutes, regulations, rules, and Executive Orders relating to Federal procurement or Federal grants including those that refer to "Buy America" or "Buy American" that require, or provide a preference for, the purchase or acquisition of goods, products, or materials produced in the United States, including iron, steel, and manufactured goods.
April 21, 2017Presidential Executive Order on Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory BurdensThe Federal tax system should be simple, fair, efficient, and pro-growth. The purposes of tax regulations should be to bring clarity to the already complex Internal Revenue Code (title 26, United States Code) and to provide useful guidance to taxpayers. Contrary to these purposes, numerous tax regulations issued over the last several years have effectively increased tax burdens, impeded economic growth, and saddled American businesses with onerous fines, complicated forms, and frustration. Immediate action is necessary to reduce the burden existing tax regulations impose on American taxpayers and thereby to provide tax relief and useful, simplified tax guidance.
April 26, 2017Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of EducationIt shall be the policy of the executive branch to protect and preserve State and local control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, and personnel of educational institutions, schools, and school systems, consistent with applicable law, including ESEA, as amended by ESSA, and ESEA's restrictions related to the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
April 26, 2017Presidential Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities ActThe Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996, where the designation covers more than 100,000 acres, where the designation after expansion covers more than 100,000 acres, or where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders, to determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.  
April 28, 2017Presidential Executive Order Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy StrategyIt shall be the policy of the United States to encourage energy exploration and production, including on the Outer Continental Shelf, in order to maintain the Nation's position as a global energy leader and foster energy security and resilience for the benefit of the American people, while ensuring that any such activity is safe and environmentally responsible.
May 4, 2017Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious LibertyIt shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law's robust protections for religious freedom.  The Founders envisioned a Nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government. 
May 11, 2017Presidential Executive Order on the Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election IntegrityThe Commission shall, consistent with applicable law, study the registration and voting processes used in Federal elections.  The Commission shall be solely advisory and shall submit a report to the President that identifies the following:

(a)  those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance the American people's confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections;

(b)  those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections; and

(c)  those vulnerabilities in voting systems and practices used for Federal elections that could lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting.

June 1, 2017President Trump announces the United States is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund which is costing the United States a vast fortune."
June 15, 2017Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in AmericaAmerica's education systems and workforce development programs are in need of reform.  In today's rapidly changing economy, it is more important than ever to prepare workers to fill both existing and newly created jobs and to prepare workers for the jobs of the future.  Higher education, however, is becoming increasingly unaffordable.  Furthermore, many colleges and universities fail to help students graduate with the skills necessary to secure high paying jobs in today's workforce.  Far too many individuals today find themselves with crushing student debt and no direct connection to jobs.
August 15, 2017Presidential Executive Order on Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure America needs increased infrastructure investment to strengthen our economy, enhance our competitiveness in world trade, create jobs and increase wages for our workers, and reduce the costs of goods and services for our families.  The poor condition of America's infrastructure has been estimated to cost a typical American household thousands of dollars each year.  Inefficiencies in current infrastructure project decisions, including management of environmental reviews and permit decisions or authorizations, have delayed infrastructure investments, increased project costs, and blocked the American people from enjoying improved infrastructure that would benefit our economy, society, and environment. 
August 16, 2017Presidential Executive Order reversing 2015 Obama Order Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder InputPresident Donald Trump will rescind an Obama administration policy requiring government agencies to take into account global warming-induced flooding and sea level rise for federally-funded projects. (Source: Daily Caller)
August 30, 2017Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Information Memorandum from the Department of Health and Human ServicesThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rescinded an Obama-era 2012 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) memorandum, TANF-ACF-IM-2012-03, which had previously encouraged states to apply for waivers to eliminate work requirements related to Welfare. HHS’ new policy is to encourage states to enact work requirements, a proven strategy to reduce welfare rolls
September 8, 2017Presidential Memorandum: Continuation of the Exercise of Certain Authorities Under the Trading With the Enemy ActThe exercise of certain authorities under the Trading With the Enemy Act is scheduled to expire on September 14, 2017. I hereby determine that the continuation of the exercise of those authorities with respect to Cuba for 1 year is in the national interest of the United States.
September 29, 2017Presidential Executive Order on the Revocation of Executive Order Creating Labor-Management ForumsThe National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations (Council) and related agency-level labor-management forums have consumed considerable managerial time and taxpayer resources, but they have not fulfilled their goal of promoting collaboration in the Federal workforce.  Public expenditures on the Council and related forums have produced few benefits to the public, and they should, therefore, be discontinued.
October 10, 2017Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announces the end of the "Clean Power Plan"Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), proposing to repeal the so-called “Clean Power Plan (CPP).”  After reviewing the CPP, EPA has proposed to determine that the Obama-era regulation exceeds the Agency’s statutory authority. Repealing the CPP will also facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources, in keeping with the principles established in President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence.
October 12, 2017Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United StatesIt shall be the policy of the executive branch, to the extent consistent with law, to facilitate the purchase of insurance across State lines and the development and operation of a healthcare system that provides high-quality care at affordable prices for the American people. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), however, has severely limited the choice of healthcare options available to many Americans and has produced large premium increases in many State individual markets for health insurance.
October 13, 2017President Trump announces end of federal subsidies to insurance companies via ObamacareFrom a tweet: "The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding. Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!" (Source: CNN.)
December 22, 2017President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs ActTrump: "The typical family of four earning $75,000 will see an income tax cut of more than $2,000.  They’re going to have $2,000, and that’s, in my opinion, going to be less than the average.  You’re going to have a lot more than that."

Stay tuned for more ...


Heartland’s Action Plan for President Trump

Tracking how freedom is rising under President Trump is only part of The Heartland Institute’s efforts to help the new administration keep its promises to American voters. Click here to read Heartland’s 34-point action plan for several key areas of domestic policy – such as budgets, taxes, health care, education, and the environment – as well restore the federal government’s proper, constitutional, and limited role in American life.