Trump's Executive Actions Might Undo Obama Policies

U.S.President-elect Donald Trump gestures to people in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York, January 13. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Republican President-elect Donald Trump is expected to take executive action shortly after being sworn into office on Friday to advance key priorities and reverse some policies of outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama.

Some of Trump's first executive orders will likely undo some of the more than 275 orders signed by Obama during his eight years in the White House. Here is a look at some of the actions Trump may take.


Trump's advisors have recommended he take several steps to limit immigration into the United States within his first days in office, according to several people close to the presidential transition team.

Trump will likely seek to undo an Obama executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that allowed people brought into the United States illegally as children to stay in the country on a two-year authorization to work and attend college. Trump would likely let the authorizations given to more than 700,000 people under DACA expire rather than immediately retract them or target such individuals for deportation, the sources said.

Guantanamo Bay

One of Obama's first moves as president in 2009 after winning his first four-year term was signing three executive orders to begin closing the detention facility on the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and curtail "enhanced interrogation techniques," including waterboarding.

Trump said shortly after his election that "we are keeping open" the detention facility and "gonna load it up with some bad dudes," making rescinding Obama's actions on the closure of the facility a likelihood.

The detention facility began housing detainees identified as foreign terrorism suspects in 2002 under Republican President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by al Qaeda Islamic militants.

Federal Workforce

Obama has issued several orders related to federal contractors that Trump is likely to re-examine or rescind. One increased the federal minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 per hour starting in 2015. Another required all federal contractors to provide their workers with paid sick leave.

An executive order Obama signed that requires federal contractors to disclose labor law violations and guides agencies on how to consider such violations is unpopular with business interests and could be undone by Trump. An Obama order that encourages federal agencies to use union-only project-labor agreements to establish the employment terms for federal projects exceeding $25 million is also likely up for reversal.

Energy and Climate

Obama issued dozens of executive actions on climate policy and clean energy that Trump may seek to undo. Obama finalized his Clean Power Plan in 2015 to slash carbon emissions from power plants. The plan is currently held up in federal courts but could be undone or hobbled if Trump takes executive action. Trump could also reverse an Obama order that requires federal government agencies to slash emissions 40 percent from 2008 levels by 2025.