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Week 14, in one sentence: President Donald Trump feuded with Democrats all week over a potential government shutdown; signed executive actions targeting Obama-era regulations of banks, agriculture, national monuments, and offshore drilling; promised that Mexico will “eventually” pay for the wall “in some form” “at a later date”; called his record-low approval ratings “fake”; insisted the U.N. push for more sanctions against North Korea; implemented more sanctions against Syria; finally got his secretary of agriculture confirmed; had another executive order seeking to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities blocked by a federal judge; pushed new tariffs against Canada; announced a “massive tax reform” plan that was just a single page of bulleted ideas; revived the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare; said he has “absolutely” considered breaking up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; gave the Pentagon more authority to put troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria; warned of a “major, major conflict” with North Korea; and admitted being president is tougher than he thought it would be.
Trump and Democrats play chicken Day 92 — April 21
Trump continued to push for border wall funding in the next spending bill even though Democrats threatened a government shutdown.
“We want wall funding,” Trump’s budget director told the Associated Press. “We want [immigration] agents. Those are our priorities.”
Unfortunately for the president, Democrats have the upper hand. The Senate needs 60 votes to pass the bill, and Republicans have only 52. The government will shut down if the bill fails to pass.
Trump signed executive actions that targeted Obama-era financial regulations. An executive order OKs the Treasury Department to review tax regulations issued since Jan. 1, 2016, and weed out those that “impose an undue financial burden.” Trump also signed two presidential memos that order a review of key aspects of the Dodd-Frank law, which allows the federal government to try to shut down banks at risk of failing but can also encourage risky behavior because the banks can rely on the federal government.
“These regulations enshrine too-big-to-fail and encourage risky behavior,” Trump said.
Grab ’em by the peer-reviewed publicationDay 93 — April 22
Yet another massive protest against Trump unfolded in the U.S. — this time over his anti-science rhetoric and actions. Organizers repeatedly stressed that the March for Science was a nonpartisan celebration of science, although the anti-Trump leanings were clear. Thousands turned out in more than 600 cities, carrying signs with messages like “Grab ’em by the peer-reviewed publication” and “Let me atom.”
Mexico will pay for the wall (“eventually,” “later,” “in some form”) Day 94 — April 23
Trump once again promised that Mexico will pay for the border wall, though his bluster seemed to soften amid a standoff with Democrats over funding.
“Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall,” Trump tweeted.
That’s a stark difference from Trump’s campaign rhetoric about the wall. As soon as Trump announced his campaign, he promised a Mexico-funded border wall when he announced his campaign and after becoming president and said construction would begin on Day One in the White House. Those promises proved complicated to keep, and Trump has since turned to U.S. taxpayers (at least initially) to finance the wall’s construction. The Trump team’s cost estimates for building the wall have been all over the place (as low as $4 billion but usually cited at about $10 billion), but one independent researcher put the price tag between $15 billion and $25 billion.
The U.S. isn’t paying for the wall either (yet) Day 95 — April 24
Trump decided border wall funding wasn’t worth shutting down the government. He delayed asking Congress to include money to build the wall, which Democrats said would be a dealbreaker for the spending bill and lead to a government shutdown.
As tensions with North Korea continue to grow, Trump told the U.N. Security Council that it should take further action, including more sanctions, against the Hermit Kingdom to “finally solve” the problem. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met with Trump earlier this month at Mar-a-Lago, called the president to urge restraint when dealing with North Korea. At the same time, the USS Carl Vinson and its fleet of destroyers neared the Korean Peninsula.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistan unannounced. Mattis was in Kabul to discuss the possibility of deploying additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan as the Taliban continues to attack security forces and gain ground on the battlefield.
Trump’s secretary of agriculture was finally confirmed almost 100 days into his presidency. The Senate confirmed former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to the position. Perdue was a controversial pick from the get-go. He weathered 13 complaints — two of which he paid fines for — from the Georgia State Ethics Commission while he was governor. He also refused to place his assets in a blind trust while he was governor.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced even more sanctions against Syria, targeting the war-torn country’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, an agency that produces nonconventional weapons for the Syrian regime. Syrian President Bashar Assad is widely accused of using chemical weapons to attack his own people, including one in early April that killed more than 70 people.
Another blow from the courts Day 96 — April 25
A federal judge issued a nationwide stay on Trump’s January executive order that sought to cut off funding to sanctuary cities, an unofficial term for cities that don’t always comply with federal deportation efforts. San Francisco and Santa Clara County had sued the Trump administration over the order, arguing that it was unconstitutional and could deprive the cities of billions of dollars in federal funding. The judge said the action attempted to give the attorney general unilateral authority “to impose new conditions on federal grants,” which is a power reserved for Congress.
Trump went after another U.S. ally and neighbor: Canada. The president told a farmers group that Canada “has been very rough on the United States.” His administration slapped new tariffs on Canada related to dairy and lumber.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz accused former national security adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn of breaking the law when he reportedly took money from Russia. Flynn was forced to resign from Trump’s Cabinet after the president found out he lied to the vice president about, you guessed it, ties to Russia.
Trump continued his crusade against “unnecessary regulations” by signing an executive order that establishes a task force to review policies on agriculture and eliminate those that cause burdens on farmers and their communities.
The president also snapped at the “fake media” and proclaimed that he hasn’t changed his position on the border wall, although he did recently walk back his promise that Mexico would pay for the wall in its entirety.
Trump’s not so massive tax planDay 97 — April 26
Trump finally announced his plan for “massive tax reform,” which he had promised to deliver before his 100th day in office. But the plan ended up being a single page of bulleted ideas.
Trumpcare came back from the dead, and it’s even further to the right, in a clear effort to win over the House Freedom Caucus, which tanked the first bill. The draft is the GOP’s second attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare, and it would allow states to opt out of the Obamacare regulation that requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
The Trump administration revealed its plan to kill net neutrality. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to reverse the Obama-era decision to regulate broadband internet providers so they can’t charge consumers more for faster internet packages.
Trump signed an executive order that allows national monuments to be revoked or reduced in size so the areas can be opened for drilling and mining. He’ll almost certainly face a legal battle over this action.
The White House issued a statement accusing the judge who blocked Trump’s executive order targeting sanctuary cities of setting “immigration policy for the whole country,” while Trump went on a Twitter rant against the decision (and the 9th Circuit.) In an interview published later in the Washington Examiner, Trump said he has “absolutely” considered breaking up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has blocked his executive orders in the past.
Most Trump voters believe the Obama administration spied on Trump’s presidential campaign, according to a new poll.
Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he believes the U.S. should renegotiate the 2015 Paris Climate Accord instead of walking away from the deal.
The U.S. began installing an anti-missile defense system in South Korea to protect the country from North Korea. The move was met by protests, criticism from China, and denouncement from the front-runner for South Korea’s presidency.
Ivanka Trump was booed and hissed at during a women’s panel in Berlin when she described her father as an advocate for women.
“I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated, but I know from personal experience, and I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man,” Ivanka said.
News flash: Being president is hardDay 98 — April 27
Trump warned of a “major, major conflict with North Korea” in an interview with Reuters, although he also said he would love to “solve things diplomatically.”
In the same interview, Trump admitted that he thought being president would be a breeze.
“I loved my previous life,” he said. “I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
Trump was considering removing the U.S. from the North Atlantic Federal Trade Agreement but said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto persuaded him to renegotiate instead. Trump has been a longtime critic of NAFTA and once called it the “worst trade deal in history.”
Trump is giving his military commanders greater authority. The White House will allow the Pentagon more flexibility in determining the level of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
Open for drilling
Day 99 — April 28
Trump signed another executive order that he hopes will encourage offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The executive action will put up millions of acres of federal water for oil and gas leasing. It’s a complete reversal of a decision made by Barack Obama in the final days of his presidency to withdraw these areas of water from oil and gas leasing.
100 days of TrumpDay 100 — April 28
Trump will reach the 100-day milestone of his presidency on Saturday. Here’s a rundown of what he’s accomplished (and what he hasn’t) so far: