Trump signed Pres. memo, “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy”

This Presidential memo reinstated a broader “Global Gag Rule” to ban federal funds for NGOs that support abortions abroad

At the Hill, Mark J. Rosell reports that the “Global Gag Rule” has been a tennis match of repeals and restorations since the Reagan administration issued what is officially called “The Mexico City Policy.” Considering its history, this is a routine first-day directive by any new administration, yet it has significant implications for international health organizations.

At the NY Times, the Editorial Board reports that this Presidential memo makes one major departure from the other “Global Gag Rules” of past administrations. In the past, the restrictions only applied to family-planning funds, around $600 million in use today, and activities of the Agency for International Development and State Department. Here, the restrictions apply to “global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies.” This significantly broader language puts limitations on around $9 billion across every department and agency. Further, it bars funding from organizations that provide abortion (with no exception for cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother’s life) or abortion referrals, even if the service has a different source of funding or if abortion is not the focus of the organization. Continue reading “Trump signed Pres. memo, “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy””

Trump signed Pres. memo, “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Hiring Freeze”

This Presidential memorandum orders a hiring freeze on Federal employees in Executive branch, except military personnel

This order prohibits the hiring of a new employees, but only if the job opening does not fall within the exceptions: military personnel, and jobs “necessary” for national security and public safety. Further, it directs the Office of Management and Budget to create a long-term plan in 90 days to effectively reduce the federal workforce through attrition (retirement or resignation).

At Politico Magazine, Danny Vink reports that federal agencies will be more likely to hire contractors or stretch the term “necessary” to continue business as usual. Vink notes that such an executive directive cannot affect current federal employees whose benefits and removals are governed by civil service laws.

For more information about how the E.O. will be implemented, read the OMB guidance on the Federal Civilian Hiring Freeze issued January 31, 2017.

Continue reading “Trump signed Pres. memo, “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Hiring Freeze””

Trump signed E.O., “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal”

This executive order gives federal agencies wide discretion to begin changing pieces of the ACA that they find “burdensome”

The order sets out four areas of policy priorities for generally for upcoming healthcare reform, with or without a replacement to the Affordable Care Act (ACA): (1) the ACA should be repealed promptly, (2) states should have more flexibility and control, (3) the healthcare market should be free and open with the maximum amount of options for consumers across state lines, (4) neither states, individuals, healthcare providers, nor insurers should have a fiscal burden.

At the NY Times, Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Robert Pear report that the executive order fails to specify which parts of the law it addresses, instead it gives the federal agencies wide discretion to “change, delay, or waive provisions of the law that they deemed overly costly for insurers, drug makers, patients, or states.” Continue reading “Trump signed E.O., “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal””

Priebus signed memo, “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review”

This memo freezes all regulations and guidances proposed or filed, but not yet in effect

This memorandum instructs the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies to (1) not submit any regulations to the Office of Federal Register without review by a department or agency head appointed by President Trump, (2) immediately withdraw those regulations submitted to the OFR but not yet published, and (3) postpone the effective date of published regulations that have not yet taken effect by 60 days. Regulations that affect critical health, safety, financial, or national security matters can be excluded by the OMB Director from the freeze

For context, under the Administrative Procedure Act, rules become effective at a minimum of 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The Federal Register, created by Congress in the Federal Register Act of 1935, is the centralized publication system for the executive branch.

At the Washington Post, Chris Mooney reports that this freeze has a direct effect on four nearly finished rules for energy efficiency standards by the Department of Energy affecting portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and freezers, commercial boilers, and uninterruptible power supplies. Continue reading “Priebus signed memo, “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review””