Less than an hour after taking the oath of office, Donald Trump began quickly signing his first executive orders.
The new president signed a series of executive actions, most of which had to do with his Cabinet appointees and procedural matters, according to his press secretary, Sean Spicer. One was a law to allow James Mattis to take the office of Secretary of Defense, waiving the requirement that the nominee be a civilian for the past seven years (Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013).
Others were formal nominations for Trump’s Cabinet picks, including Scott Pruitt for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mattis for Defense, and John Kelly for the Department of Homeland Security. Trump also signed a proclamation creating the National Day of Patriotism.
The day before the inauguration, Trump hinted that he would waste no time in carrying out his first actions as president. “We will be signing some papers that will be very meaningful tomorrow right after the speech to get the show going,” he told supporters at his hotel in D.C. Wednesday night, according to CNN.
The executive orders Trump signed Friday are mostly procedural and largely for show. But Spicer told CNN that the public can expect Trump to take up more serious issues in the next couple of days.
Repealing Obamacare and signing a lobbying ban are high on the list of priorities for the first couple of days of the Trump administration, Spicer said.
Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail that he would undertake a series of ambitious actions on his first day in office. He vowed to accomplish everything from building a wall with Mexico to undoing all of president Obama’s executive orders in his first hours as president.
As Inauguration Day approached, Trump’s transition team kept the details of what Trump would actually do tightly under wraps. The Senate reconvenes at 4 p.m. Friday, when they are expected to confirm at least some of Trump’s Cabinet nominees.