During Donald Trump’s first week as President of the United States, he signed executive orders causing controversy and change in the states. These executive orders cover topics including the beginning of rolling back the Affordable Care Act, moving forward with the Mexican border wall, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a placing a 90-day freeze on federal workers, according to NPR.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, took effect in March 2010 and was designed to reform the nation’s healthcare system by providing Americans with affordable, quality health insurance, in an attempt to curb the growth in healthcare spending in the U.S., according to Obamacare Facts.
“The ACA will not be completely repealed,” senior, political science student Joshua Gage said. “There are some factors within the ACA, like Medicaid, that specifically target poorer citizens and provide them with health benefits. However, different portions of Medicare will be cut back over a period of time. Because of how the ACA has been integrated into the American economy and medical context, it would be practical to relieve different benefits over time. Essentially, private insurers will be able to compete more freely with themselves among different citizens with different economic situations.”
According to NPR, President Trump signed two executive orders related to immigrations and border security. These orders communicated proof that Trump planned to follow through with his plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico border, which is estimated to cost $15 billion or more.
“This is one of the most buzzed about and highly-debated promises of Trump’s campaign,” junior, political science student Morgan Delong said. “A lot of people thought it was purely campaign rhetoric, but he’s proving that he is a man of his word. Despite opposition from the Mexican government, President Trump is convinced they will pay for it some way or another.”
President Trump also signed an executive order to begin withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Asian countries. According to Raymond Huston, a Oklahoma Christian political science professor, this is due to China devaluing their currency, which causes the trade deficit to increase.
“It has been brokered through the Obama Administration that we would have free trade and Trump, when he got to office, pulled us out of it,” Huston said. “He said that all it’s doing is putting the United States in a lesser position of trade. It’s taking away a lot of our power and authority for foreign relations. Because, with having the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it means the United States has to have open trade and cannot do any embargo or raise any tariffs against any of those countries.”
According to CNN, Trump also signed an executive action to implement a hiring freeze for federal workers in an effort to cut government payrolls. However, according to Huston, the reason for the hiring freeze is due to his recent firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
“She was a Obama appointee and she refused to follow one of Trump’s executive orders, so he fired her this week,” Huston said. “Without the hiring freeze, all the people who were still there from the Obama appointees can go ahead and fill up all the positions. Rank and tenured positions are a lot harder to fire, so he’s keeping the Obama appointees from filling those positions.”
According to Huston, the changes by President Trump will have little to no effect on Oklahoma Christian students, but there is one thing for students to focus on.
“I think what is going to be interesting to see for students is the appointee to the Supreme Court,” Huston said. “Keep an eye on that one, because the person they appointed has strict interpretations of the constitution, which means if the words are not there, they don’t exist. This could be very important for academia and for Christianity, so keep an eye on his appointment.”