Trump administration’s second week proves as active as the first

Elements of it might have been controversial, but the Trump administration in its second week launched a slew of new initiatives.

The White House issued an executive order — the 11th since 2001 — on cybersecurity. It didn’t really set new policy, but instead called for a series of reviews on agency preparedness for cyber attacks.

In reversing the prior administration’s action on immigration, President Donald Trump took federal agencies a bit by surprise, particularly Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Border Patrol. They weren’t initially certain how to respond to questions or operational issues that the immigration order sparked.

The landscape will change for regulatory agencies, notably EPA, in the president’s order on regulation roll back. It calls for elimination of two rules for every one an agency proposes. It’ll require serious effort because of the regulatory budget provision in the order. Trump is also calling for zero (or lower) cost growth in regulations. That means agencies must ensure the issuance of new regs and the withdrawal of existing ones result in a net zero or reduction in costs to the regulated entities.

The administration also clarified exemptions from the hiring freeze it imposed the first week. It allows temporary seasonal hires such as required by the Postal Service. Also interns, Presidential Management Fellows and in-service grade promotions can move forward. Veterans Affairs officials confirmed they’ll still be hiring front-line employees such as doctors, physicians assistants, and nurses.

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