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What to expect from Donald Trump on his first day in office

WASHINGTON – Tomorrow will be mainly about pomp and ceremony as Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, but there will also be pockets of policy and personnel action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Trump on the campaign trail made many sweeping promises about the actions he would take on his first day as president.

He won’t be able to stop illegal immigration on his own or revive the coal industry in one swoop, but he’s expected to sign four or five more targeted executive actions on Friday that could help make those goals more achievable.



Which specific executive actions Trump will to take on Day 1 is still undecided, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said earlier this week.

It’s possible he could target President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which shields from deportation thousands of young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. He may also immediately impose a ban on members of his administration from becoming lobbyists for five years.

Another policy that could be resurrected on Friday is the so-called “Mexico City policy.” The proposal was first implemented by President Ronald Reagan and bans international groups that receive U.S. foreign aid from using the money to provide or promote abortions.

Meanwhile, shortly after senior congressional leaders munch on grilled angus beef with dark chocolate and juniper jus with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the Senate is expected to convene and approve at least two of the New Yorker’s Cabinet nominees.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday that retired Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s pick for secretary of defense, will likely be confirmed on Friday afternoon. Ditto for retired Gen. John Kelly, the nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

A vote on U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be CIA director could also come on Friday, as well as that of former Cabinet secretary Elaine Chao to be secretary of transportation.

Republican leaders will almost certainly fall short of their goal to match the seven Cabinet nominees who were confirmed on President Barack Obama’s first day in office in 2009.

“Let me be clear: Democrats will allow the confirmations of and votes for nominees who would not have been chosen by our party, but what we will not support are nominees who are so extreme in their viewpoints or non-compliance with ethics laws and practice that they’ve demonstrated themselves to be unfit,” Schumer told reporters Thursday.

Among the Cabinet picks that will not be part of that first batch will be Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s health chief pick. Democrats are furious at his views on health care, entitlements and past stock trades and are expected to drag out consideration of his nomination. Schumer on Thursday sarcastically described the Roswell Republican as a member of Trump’s “#SwampCabinet” and “the new go-to for health stock tips.”

Read more: Parties lock horns during Tom Price’s Senate hearing

Given that former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s nomination for agriculture chief was not formally announced until Thursday, it will take at least a few weeks before the Senate will be in the position to vote on him.

Read more:  Trump taps Perdue as agriculture chief

More inauguration coverage: 

Guide to the AJC’s inauguration coverage

A sense of uncertainty in Georgia as Trump era arrives

Georgia corporate titans pony up for Trump inauguration

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.