By: Regina Wright ~Campus News Editor~
Friday marked the inauguration of the 45th U.S. President Donald J. Trump, with former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama in attendance.
His children, Donald, Jr., Eric, Ivanka, Tiffany and Barron and his wife, Melania, surrounded him during the event, which received an audience of roughly 30.6 million.
President Trump’s inauguration speech lasted for about 16 minutes. It revolved around his “new vision” and promise to bring the needs of the American people first and change the existing establishment.
“Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning,” Trump said. “Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the American People…What truly matters is not which party controls our government but whether our government is controlled by the people.”
He reflected on the main platforms he supported during his campaign: bringing back jobs, building a wall on the U.S.- Mexican border and rebuilding America’s infrastructure.
“For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military, we’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay,” Trump said. “But that is the past, and now we are looking only to the future… from this moment on, it’s going to be America first.”
Trump also promised to eradicate ISIS, reform crime and poverty. He concluded his speech with promises for unity and putting the country first. “We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity,” Trump said. “When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”
Junior biology major Rachel Approbato supported Trump’s inauguration speech.
“Towards the end of Trump’s speech, he talked about us all, as Americans, to come together to make America a better place,” Approbato said. “No matter the color of your skin or your beliefs, we’re all still American and should try to make America the best country that we can. The only way that we can do that is to come together as Americans. President Trump said it well when he said ‘through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.’”
Trump’s first hours in office have already been surrounded by controversy over his executive actions and the revamping of the White House’s website.
The first bill signed by Trump included waiving a legal requirement enabling retired Gen. James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense. The bill waived the requirement that Mattis be retired for at least seven years — he retired in 2013. He also signed his formal nominations for his Cabinet, including Gen. John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security. Both nominees were approved by the Senate later on Friday and sworn into office by Vice President Mike Pence. A proclamation for a national day of patriotism was also signed.
One of his first executive orders included instructions to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that may place fiscal burdens on the state, individuals or healthcare providers.
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) announced Trump had signed an executive order reversing a reduction on housing insurance premiums. The planned cuts to interest premiums through FHA were estimated to save low-income families $500-$1,000 a year.
WhiteHouse.gov reflected the transfer of power. LGBT rights outlined by Former President Obama were removed. The Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan was replaced with Trump’s An American First Energy Plan. The website included information stressing President Trump’s commitment to “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan.”
The Senate will continue reviewing his Cabinet nominations throughout the month as Trump continues to work on executive orders.