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Political Roundup: Donkey, Elephants, and Policy, Oh My!
Whether you’re a donkey or an elephant, we can all agree Washington D.C. has turned into a real zoo. On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. The American tradition of a peaceful transition of power continued, and that very day President Trump began working to fulfill campaign promises, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act and take drastic steps to prevent refugees from entering the country.
The Trump Administration has already passed over twelve executive orders since the day of the inauguration. The majority of Trump’s 100 Day plan consists of undoing the work of his predecessor, such as giving the Keystone Pipeline a green light, cancelling every executive order made by President Obama that the current president deems unconstitutional, appointing a new Judge to the Supreme Court, and negotiating pre existing trade deals. However, these actions have been met with some resistance. The day after the inauguration, millions of people all over the world marched in opposition of President Trump. These “Women’s Marches” took place on every continent, in over one thousand cities. While the Women’s March on Washington was the largest, Chicago, New York City, Paris, and Los Angeles drew large crowds as well.
The legislative branch of the federal government has been equally busy with Congress working to confirm President Trump’s cabinet and voting on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. As of right now, the Cassidy-Collins bill, created by Senator Susan Collins (R) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R), is the only proposed alternative for Obamacare. Their plan would give more power to the states, allowing them to enroll citizens who could not afford healthcare into a health plan negotiated between the state and an insurer the state would partner with. States would also be allowed to opt out of the Cassidy-Collins bill and keep Obamacare. The bill would eliminate the regulation for employers with over 50 employees to provide health insurance, as well as the individual mandate. Republicans in the Senate are 6 votes away from securing the replacement.
Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign, the proposal of a “Muslim Ban” has been brought up many times. Over the weekend, President Trump brought the proposal to life when he made an executive order to bar all citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States. The ban is said to be a result of the Obama Administration listing these countries as “dangerous” and wanting to prevent any potential terrorists from entering the country. This caused protests at many major airports, as refugees and Green Card holders are detained. After the backlash, the Trump Administration has allowed those with Green Cards to stay in the country. Supporters of the order believe that this will increase security and eliminate terrorist threats. Many have applauded President Trump for his quick action to fulfill his campaign promises in such a prompt manner. His critics, however, are being very vocal about what they believe to be a violation of American ideals. The country holds their breath, waiting to see what the next couple of weeks will bring to those trying to enter the country.
In other news, “alternative facts” have been littering the internet and news outlets as the Trump Administration refuses to budge on certain topics. The size of the inauguration crowd, for example, has been up for debate. It reached a tipping point at a press conference when the Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, said the crowd was “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration. Period.” Kellyanne Conway, President Trump’s campaign manager and aide went on MSNBC and told Chuck Todd that Spicer was giving the press “alternative facts.” Journalists have been debating whether or not alternative facts qualify as fake news, and whether or not to monitor said facts.
Check in soon for another factual edition of the Political Roundup.