President Trump Releases National School Choice Week Proclamation

Little comment is necessary for this proclamation. Apparently it was issued yesterday, but posted on the White House website today. The designated week is January 22-28, 2017.

It is a little odd to proclaim a week so late in that week instead of in advance. Enough said.

Proclamation issued January 25, 2017 and posted January 26, 2017.

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First Two Actions Confirmed

Today the Federal Register published the two presidential actions of January 20, 2017 signed after the inauguration. One was Executive Order 13765, which I have already written about.

The other was Proclamation 9570 – Day of National Patriotic Devotion.

I have provided the direct link to the full text because it is the first proclamation of this presidency. Readers here can conclude for themselves what the meaning of and purpose for it might be, and I will refrain from commenting on it.

Based on the order of publication (page numbers in the Federal Register), the proclamation appears to be the very first signed action of this president.

Most Prolific Day – January 13, 2017

Well, that was some Friday the 13th!

According to my count no fewer than 25 presidential actions were posted to the White House website on that day. The vast majority were memoranda, but there were three executive orders and a couple of proclamations in the mix as well.

The executive orders (and one memorandum) have already been dealt with in previous posts, but just for the record, I am going to list all the other memoranda and proclamations here without further comment, other than to highlight National Religious Freedom Day – January 16, 2017.

  • Presidential Memorandum — The Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
  • Presidential Memorandum — The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Presidential Memorandum — The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality
  • Letters from the President — Designation of the Chair of the United States International Trade Commission
  • Presidential Proclamation — Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, 2017
  • Presidential Memorandum — Continuing to Expand Opportunity for All Young People
  • Letter — Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process
  • Notice — Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process
  • Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya
  • Notice — Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine
  • Letter — Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine
  • Notice — Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Zimbabwe
  • Letter — Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Zimbabwe
  • Letter — Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Cuba
  • Notice — Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Cuba
  • Letter — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya
  • Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Venezuela
  • Letter — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Venezuela
  • Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Iran
  • Letter — Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Iran
  • Presidential Proclamation — Religious Freedom Day, 2017

All posted January 13, 2017.

 

Actions of January 12, 2017

Yesterday a total of eight actions were added to the White House website. All are more or less routine although some are more significant in their importance.

Three Executive Orders
  • Executive Order — Amending Executive Order 11016 to Update Eligibility Criteria for Award of the Purple Heart

This order is routine in the sense that it appears to be just updating a previous order to include more recent definitions of hostilities and department names, such as Homeland Security.

  • Executive Order — Designating the World Organisation for Animal Health as a Public International Organization Entitled to Enjoy Certain Privileges, Exemptions, and Immunities

A short, simple order to add this international organization to the list of recognized entities.

  • Executive Order — Exclusions from the Federal Labor-Management Relations Program

Due to national security, some department, agencies and programs are exempt from the normal labor law requirements with regard to collective bargaining, etc.  This appears to be a routine updating of those exclusions.

Five Proclamations

Two of the proclamations have to do with the environment. Both build on National Monuments established by President Clinton in 2000.

  • Boundary Enlargement of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
  • Boundary Enlargement of the California Coastal National Monument

Three proclamations are related to civil rights in one way or another.

  • Presidential Proclamations — Establishment of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument
  • Presidential Proclamations — Establishment of the Freedom Riders National Monument
  • Presidential Proclamations — Establishment of the Reconstruction Era National Monument

I believe these three proclamations are very important for the country as a whole to not forget the past and to celebrate individuals and groups who have made a difference.

One Memorandum
  • Presidential Memorandum — Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Our National Parks, National Forests, and Other Public Lands and Waters

I’ll simply quote from the memorandum one paragraph that says it all:

“The purpose of this memorandum is to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to experience and enjoy our public lands and waters, that all segments of the population have the chance to engage in decisions about how our lands and waters are managed, and that our Federal workforce — not just the sites it manages — is drawn from the rich range of the diversity in our Nation. In this memorandum, “diversity” refers to a range of characteristics including national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity), socioeconomic status, veteran status, and family structure. The term “inclusion” refers to a culture that connects each employee to the organization; encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness; and promotes diversity throughout the organization so that all individuals have opportunities to participate and contribute to their full potential.”

All actions posted January 12, 2017.

 

Four Proclamations of December 28, 2016

All four proclamations signed December 28, 2016

Not every presidential proclamation makes the news, but this day, two  were widely reported because of their controversial nature. Several of the media saw the actions establishing two more National Monuments in the western U.S. as the President thumbing his nose at the opposition to the broad powers given to every president by the Antiquities Act (section 320301 of title 54, United States Code).  The original act of Congress is labeled American Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 USC 431-433).

No one disputes the power of the president in this regard, but it remains to be seen if new congressional action in the coming months or years will strip this power from the president. All previous attempts to do so have failed.

The two non-controversial proclamations declared January 2017 to be:

  • National Mentoring Month, 2017
  • National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, 2017

Both are self-explanatory in their titles.

The two new monuments established by proclamations are:

  • Bears Ears National Monument (Southeastern Utah)
  • Gold Butte National Monument (Southeast Nevada)

Judging from the detailed descriptions of the lands designated for the monuments, these proclamations are important and warranted for environmental as well as cultural and aesthetic reasons.

Presidential Proclamation — Returning the Flag of the United States to Full-Staff

Issued December 16, 2016

Simple order to return the flag to full-staff beginning December 17, 2016.

This seems a curious order to me. I was unaware of the need to issue such an order. I always thought the half-staff order was designated for a specific period of time, but apparently not, at least this time.