Policy initiatives but no government shutdown

The Trump administration’s first 100 days concludes with several policy initiatives via executive orders, and agreeing to a budget plan to avoid a government shutdown.

President Donald Trump had pushed for money for a down payment on the Mexican border wall. That quickly emerged as a sticking point in congressional negotiations on a budget for the rest of the fiscal year and as the weekend neared, shutdown fears in Washington began to fade.

On the policy front:

A White House aide says the Trump administration’s cybersecurity strategy will be coming out soon. Speaking at a Georgetown University conference, cybersecurity coordinator Robert Joyce says cyber will be closely tied to IT modernization. He says cyber and innovation are intertwined and that neither will get short shrift. Policy will also stress securing critical infrastructure networks.

Policy for farms and rural communities gets an overhaul by the Trump administration. It establishes an interagency task force to examine agriculture and rural prosperity. The new order abolishes the Obama-era Rural Council. It comes as President Trump ordered a tariff on Canadian building lumber and tries to settle a long-running milk price dispute thought to harm U.S. farmers.

Making good on a promise to return power to states and localities, President Trump signed an executive order on education. It orders Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her staff to review the department’s regulations to make sure they don’t contradict laws — long on the books — aimed at preserving state and local control of curricula and content of school libraries. The order includes guidance documents and dear-colleague letters.

The Trump administration established a new office in the Veterans Affairs Department. It has the express purpose of increasing accountability for care delivered to patients. It will be headed by an individual reporting directly to Secretary David Shulkin. The office will focus on whistleblower protection and on removing any bureaucratic impediments to firing poor performers quickly.

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