President Trump’s Memoranda, Summarized – March 27, 2017

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President Trump’s Memoranda Complete and summarized as of March 27, 2017

A presidential memorandum is a type of executive action issued by the President of the United States to manage and govern the actions, practices, and policies of the various departments and agencies found under the executive branch of the United States government. It has the force of law and is usually used to delegate tasks, direct specific government agencies to do something, or to start a regulatory process.[1]

As sited in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

January 20th, 2017

Regulatory Freeze Pending Review

On the day President Trump took office, his Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus issued a regulatory freeze, effectively halting new Executive Branch regulations pending review. Ostensibly, this freeze will last 60 days (ending March 21st). Executive agencies and departments were ordered to submit no regulation to the Office of the Federal Register until given the “all clear” by President Trump, or a delegate. This freeze, by the way, is the primary reason the IRS has delayed releasing 2016 tax guidance for past-year returns.

January 23rd, 2017

Hiring Freeze

The President ordered a Federal civilian hiring freeze, effective noon, January 22nd. No vacant positions may be filled and no new positions may be created, except by exemption. This order does not apply to military personnel (in which case Reservists and National Guard members would have been directly affected). The President gave 90 days for the Director, OMB, to produce a long-term plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government’s workforce. Furthermore, hiring authorities are forbidden from leveraging contract workforce to backfill or convert the civilian positions (which they almost always do in these circumstances). Lastly, the President made it clear that this freeze does not apply to Presidentially Appointed positions. Veterans Administration open jobs were a major concern to many. The VA Secretary David Shulkin successfully obtained an exemption on January 27th, allowing a continued hiring process for 98 job categories. On March 15th, the list grew to 156.

January 23rd, 2017

Withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement

The President directed the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer (nominated) to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and to begin pursuing bilateral trade negotiations with the affected trade partners. The Memo takes aim at the World Trade Organization and accusations that some members were gaming the system to compete unfairly with US businesses. Upon confirmation, Mr. Lighthizer, the current Deputy Trade Rep, has stated that he will immediately begin bilateral talks with each of those twelve partners: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The status of NAFTA, which would have taken a back seat to TPP, is currently in question as the political fallout continues to coalesce.

January 23rd, 2017

The Mexico City Policy

President Trump reinstated the Bush-era “Mexico City Policy,” which prohibits US funding of aid groups that support abortion-related counseling (and contraceptives). It is called the “Mexico City” policy because President Reagan announced his (the original) version during a 1984 U.N. population conference that took place in Mexico City.

January 24th, 2017

Construction of American Pipelines

The President ordered the Secretary of Commerce, within 180 days (by July 23rd), to ensure the use of only American-made materials and US labor to build, retrofit, repair, or expand pipelines inside the US borders. The President hinted towards refusing to exercise eminent domain to acquire land in support of the pipeline work, if the contractor in question fails to comply. Many are concerned that this restriction will drive the materiel costs to prohibitive levels, resulting in a bankrupted industry.

January 24th, 2017

Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline

The President ordered the State Department to start issuing permits for cross-border pipeline projects that “would serve the national interest.” Specifically, President Trump invited TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. to promptly re-submit its application, which the Secretary of State will “facilitate [an] expedient review.” The President also ordered the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior to take all actions necessary to review and approve requests to utilize “crossings” into the US. The Memo worked. On Friday, March 24th, President Trump gave final approval for TransCanada to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.

January 24th, 2017

Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

The President ordered the Department of the Army to take action to approve and expedite completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which had sat stalled at 90% completion. Construction has resumed, in spite of petitions and lawsuits filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Native American tribe. However, this past weekend, the Government halted construction near Lake Oahe, a central reservoir of the Sioux.

January 24th, 2017

Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing

The President directed expedited approvals for construction & expansion of manufacturing facilities in the US. He also directed the reduction of restrictive regulations. A report is due from the Secretary of Commerce following 60 days of coordination and review, which began March 9th, and will be completed March 31st. Therefore, the report should be available by May 30th, 2017.

January 27th, 2017




Rebuilding the US Armed Forces

The President ordered the Secretary of Defense to conduct a 30-day readiness review and to submit a report identifying needs that can be fulfilled during the current fiscal year. The Memo calls for a new National Security Strategy, a new National Defense Strategy, a new Nuclear Posture Review, a new Ballistic Missile Defense Review, and other strategic documents. It is important to note that all of these documents are routinely updated every 1-to-4 years.

January 28th, 2017

Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

The President targets ISIS with this Memo, which codifies US Policy as, “ISIS shall be defeated.” Develop of a plan to defeat ISIS shall commence immediately (draft within 30 days). The plan may include recommended changes to US rules of engagement, as well as any other policy restrictions currently in place. The plan will identify diplomatic, information operations (cyber), and economic strategies to leverage in future operations.

January 28th, 2017

Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council

The President, with this Memo, establishes and organizes his National Security Council, Homeland Security Council, and Supporting Staff. Every President does this. The National Security Advisor is in charge of the NSC, and the Homeland Security Advisor is in charge of the HSC.

The purpose of the NSC staff is to advise the President, the National Security Advisor, the Homeland Security Advisor, the NSC members, the HSC members, and others.

The NSC and HSC are comprised of the same principals:

the President

the Vice President

the Secretary of State

the Secretary of the Treasury

the Secretary of Defense

the Attorney General

the Secretary of Energy

the Secretary of Homeland Security

the National Security Advisor

the Homeland Security Advisor

the Representative of the United States to the United Nations.

The Director of National Intelligence

the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Invited as attendees to any NSC meeting:

The Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff

the Assistant to the President and Chief Strategist

the Counsel to the President

the Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs

the Director of the Office of Management and Budget

February 3rd, 2017

Fiduciary Duty Rule

The President ordered the Secretary of Labor to review the Fiduciary Duty Rule to determine whether or not it is harmful. If there is reason to believe that it is harmful, there must follow a review and recommendation such that the President may present a bill to Congress.

March 6th, 2017

Implementing Immediate Heightened Screening and Vetting of Applications for Visas and Other Immigration Benefits, Ensuring Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States, and Increasing Transparency among Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and for the American People

The Memorandum accompanies Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, issued on the same date. It restates the policies and directives from the Executive Order, and directs the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other relevant executives to rigorously enforce all existing laws regarding immigration, and to provide regular reports on progress.

March 16th, 2017

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives

The President wrote the Speaker of the House rallying support for an additional $30B for the DoD, ostensibly to accelerate the campaign to defeat ISIS. The President also asks for $3B for the Department of Homeland Security. This request is the result of a recommendation from the DoD and DHS, originally requested by the President in his Memorandum dated January 27th, 2017.

March 20th, 2017

Presidential Memorandum on the Delegation of Authority Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

The President delegates to the Secretary of State, his functions and authorities derived from Section 3132 the National Defense Authorization Act for FY17. This requires the President to submit a comprehensive and detailed update to the plan for verification and monitoring of nuclear weapons and fissile material required under current law. It also limits the availability of FY2017 funds for the Executive Office of the President until the plan is submitted.

March 23rd, 2017

Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to South Sudan

This Memorandum cites Executive Order 13664, regarding the Presidential declaration of emergency related to the national security threat in South Sudan, and extends it by 1 year.

March 23rd, 2017

Message to the Congress Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to South Sudan

The President explains to Congress the reasons behind his previous Memo, extending the declaration of emergency in South Sudan.


Content Provided and Summarized by:

Timothy Cummings

Tim Cumming, Citizen Journalist