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President Trump has been busy, between attacking NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem, trying to reposition the U.S. for its slow relief to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and of course, railing on “fake news.”
During his 38th week at the White House, however, Trump did some governing, too. He rolled back several policies — or threatened to repeal others — including key elements of President Obama’s legacy, like the Affordable Care Act, the Iran nuclear deal, and the Clean Power Plan.
Coming for free birth control Day 260 — Oct. 6
The Trump administration went after women’s health coverage, rolling back an Obamacare provision that obligated employers to cover women’s birth control. The changes went into effect immediately. Lawsuits immediately followed.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it legal to fire someone for being gay. The memo he issued didn’t create any new laws but rather instructed agencies to do as much as they can to protect the religious liberty of individuals and employers at the expense of civil rights.
So much for the “calm before the storm” Day 263 — Oct. 9
Iran threatened to bomb American bases if Trump pushes ahead with new sanctions. The president has called the Iran nuclear deal, an Obama-era agreement, “the worst deal ever” and is expected to end the deal before its Oct. 15 deadline, and Trump “threw a fit” when his aides tried to persuade him to maintain the policy in July, a source later told the Washington Post.
If Congress wants Trump to sign legislation to protect Dreamers — undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children — anytime in the future, it needs to cough up more money for Trump’s border wall, the White House demanded. Earlier in September, Trump ended the policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which Obama had implemented in 2012.
Scott Pruitt, already under fire for his coziness with the fossil fuel industry, told a crowd of coal miners that he would repeal the Clean Power Plan, a key part of Obama’s legacy that sharply curbed greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in 2015. “The war against coal is over,” Pruitt said.
A think tank later analyzed his methodology for the repeal, and researchers found that Pruitt had calculated the social cost of carbon for the U.S. only — not the global effects.
Down with NAFTA Day 264 — Oct. 10
Trump reiterated his desire to end NAFTA, in a wide-ranging interview with Forbes. “It’s a great honor to have — I consider that a great accomplishment, stopping that,” he said. Soon after, however, Mexico warned Trump a repeal could jeopardize the two countries’ joint efforts to combat the flow of drugs.
Trying to kill ObamacareDay 265 — Oct. 12
Trump signed an executive order experts worry could throw Obamacare exchanges into a “death spiral.” The move allows individuals and small businesses to band together in “association health plans” — which Trump described as saving people from the “Obamacare nightmare.”
In a series of tweets, Trump warned that the U.S. “cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump has wildly praised U.S. relief efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, while repeatedly attacking the island’s government for not helping enough.
Someone finally ctrl+F searched the EPA’s four-year strategic plan — and it contains not a single reference to climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon dioxide.
More cuts to ObamacareDay 266 — Oct. 13
The White House promised to scrap a key component of Obamacare that helped nearly 6 million low-income people pay for healthcare this year. The move — which will cause premiums to increase 20 percent in 2018, according to the nonpartisan Congress Budget Office — will also likely destabilize insurance markets.