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Executive Orders Half-Baked

Trump's executive orders not well thought through. Politico: "The breakneck pace of Trump’s executive actions might please his supporters, but critics are questioning whether the documents are being rushed through without the necessary review from agency experts and lawmakers who will bear the burden of actually carrying them out. For example, there are legal questions on how the country can force companies building pipelines to use materials manufactured domestically, which might not be available or which could violate trade treaty obligations. There’s also the question of whether the federal government can take billions from cities who don’t comply with immigration enforcement actions: Legal experts said it was unclear."

The "wall" order is vague. The Atlantic: "Wednesday’s order is really just a set of instructions for Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. The American public still doesn’t know how big the wall will be, when it will be built, or how it will be paid for—to pick only the most glaring questions."

Trump to suspend refugee program. Politico: "President Donald Trump plans to temporarily halt the admission of refugees into the United States — and impose an indefinite ban on those fleeing Syria — while also suspending the entry of citizens of several Muslim-majority countries ... Trump is expected to issue the directives focused on refugees and visas as early as Thursday ... [A] State Department official said the White House had done next to no consulting with his agency on whether the executive orders are legally tenable or what impact they would have on America's alliances."

Trump needs to find workers to build a wall. Bloomberg: "A labor shortage has left few hands to build houses and factories in the region, where wages have already been rising and projects delayed. Now, the president’s plan for 'immediate construction of a border wall' will force the government to find legal builders for a project that could employ thousands if not tens of thousands. About half of construction workers in Texas are undocumented..."

"EPA science under scrutiny by Trump political staff" reports AP: "The Trump administration is scrutinizing studies and data published by scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, while new work is under a 'temporary hold' before it can be released. The communications director for President Donald Trump's transition team at EPA, Doug Ericksen, said Wednesday the review extends to all existing content on the federal agency's website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth's climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame."

Ryan Previews Congressional Agenda

"Ryan Lays Out Ambitious 200-Day Congressional Agenda" reports Roll Call: "[The Speaker seeks to] have Congress rolling back regulations, repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law, funding a border wall, rewriting the tax code, expanding the veterans’ choice program, advancing an infrastructure package and avoiding a debt default ... first move will be to start rolling back regulations from President Obama’s final months in office ... The first three regulations the GOP plans to repeal are the Interior Department’s stream protection rule, the EPA’s methane gas emissions standards and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s disclosure rule for resource extraction ... an infrastructure package was also added to the 200-day agenda at Trump’s request. “No price tag came out,” [Rep. Chris] Collins said..."

The attack on regulation will be subtle. The Atlantic: "Offered under the label of regulatory 'reform,' what is being contemplated is complicating the rulemaking process even further so that the machinery of public administration produces few new regulations and courts have even more power to rebuff those rules that do emerge. This campaign against regulation comes chiefly in the form of two proposed statutes that hardly any non-lawyer knows about...."

Democratic opposition stiffens. Politico: "...the internal debate over whether to take the conciliatory path — to pursue a high-road approach as a contrast to Trump’s deeply polarizing and norm-violating style — is largely settled, cemented in place by a transition and first week in office that has confirmed the left’s worst fears about Trump’s temperament."

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