The Art Of The Deal: Executive Orders And What They Mean To You
President Trump has put the world on notice that there’s a new leader of the free world and that he will shake things up. Since he was sworn into office on January 20, he has issued several executive orders, which have sparked intense debate and protests, or pride and jubilation depending on which side of the political fence you fall on.
So what do these new executive orders mean to you? Here is a closer look at several of the new executive orders and how they may affect you.
First, let’s define executive orders. Executive orders are legally binding documents that declare government policy. They are usually issued to help officers and agencies of the executive branch who answer to the President manage operations within the federal government.
While executive orders do carry weight and are part of the President’s constitutionally-authorized executive powers, they are trumped (no pun intended) by laws passed by Congress. They can also be invalidated in part or in their entirety by federal court rulings.
Now that we have the definition, let’s take a look at President Trump’s top 3 executive orders.
1. Minimizing the Economic Burden of “Obamacare”. This executive order directed federal agencies to interpret regulations under Obamacare as loosely as possible to minimize the financial burden on individuals, insurers, and health care providers.
What this means to you: this executive order is largely a statement by President Trump to show that he intended to fulfill a campaign promise. But Obamacare is a law passed by Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law requires you to have health insurance or pay a steep penalty. Businesses are also required to provide health insurance to certain qualifying employees. It is the law of the land unless Congress repeals it.
2. Securing The U.S.-Mexico Border. This executive order directed the Department of Homeland Security to construct a 1,900-mile long wall on the border between U.S. and Mexico.
What this means to you: this is another one of President Trump’s fulfilled campaign promises. However, it is unclear how the wall’s construction will be funded. If federal funds are used, then we taxpayers are paying for the wall. So there could be a tax increase to cover the expense. If Mexico pays for the wall (probably through the increase of taxes on Mexican goods imported to the U.S.), then the price we pay for Mexican goods will likely go up. The wall’s construction could also lead to new jobs in border states, therefore boosting local and state economies.
3. Protecting the nation with a ban on entry of refugees. This executive order directed agencies to prevent refugees and immigrants from 7 Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
What this means to you: the number 1 job of the President is to keep Americans safe, which this order is attempting to do. If you are a business owner, this order may affect your ability to find cheaper labor from highly-skilled non-U.S. citizens through programs like the H-1B visa program. If you are a highly-skilled U.S. citizen looking for work, then there are more job opportunities for you. If you are an immigrant or a refugee seeking entry or re-entry into the U.S., lawyer up.
In summary, the issuance of executive orders can have wide-ranging effects on us personally. Although largely designed to make a political statement, they have the ability to shape policy and to set the tone for how a new administration will govern, especially when they are issued at the beginning of a new presidency.
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