Story highlights

Trump and Ryan are pushing legislation that would repeal key aspects of the Affordable Care Act

Trump has made cracking down on undocumented immigration one of his signature issues

Trump's executive order imposing a travel ban has garnered global attention

CNN  — 

From his travel ban to his plan to repeal Obamacare, President Donald Trump’s policy proposals are already affecting some Americans but have the potential to change the fabric of the US.

To what extent his policies will affect individual Americans is up for debate. The administration, for instance, disagrees with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s report that estimates his health reform plan would see 24 million additional Americans go without health insurance within 10 years.

Here’s a look at some estimates of how his policies will affect Americans.

Health care

Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan are pushing legislation that would repeal key aspects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Changing the health insurance marketplace is a complicated business, and there is no universal agreement on how any legislation would affect coverage.

But the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan scorekeeper on Capitol Hill, released its best guess – the official score of the legislation – on Monday, and some of the numbers are quite large.


From the day he announced his campaign, Trump made cracking down on undocumented immigration one of his signature issues.

He pledged to round up and deport the millions of men, women and children who live in this country without documentation. He pledged to build a wall with Mexico and make the country pay for it. He also pledged to build a “big, beautiful door” in that wall to facilitate legal immigration.

Shortly after taking office, Trump issued a broad executive order enforcing immigration law that calls for an end to sanctuary cities and a robust increase in resources to the Department of Homeland Security to increase the level of deportations.

These moves could affect the more than 11 million estimated undocumented immigrants in the US. However, Trump has signaled a willingness to respect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that Obama started to offer legal status to people who came to the US as children and still live there.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has touted a major decrease in recorded illegal Southwest border crossings as evidence that the President has quickly changed the situation at the border.

Federal hiring freeze

The number of executive branch employees has floated around 2.7 million since the mid-1990s. With a goal of reducing that workforce, Trump imposed a freeze on new hires, which could cut the number of employees while increasing reliance on contractors.

The White House said the freeze did not apply to the military, and Trump has called for an increase in defense spending.

Trump took another action on immigration enforcement, and DHS guidance on that action said it would request 10,000 additional employees for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and 5,000 new employees for Customs and Border Protection.

The travel ban

Trump’s executive order imposing a so-called travel ban has garnered global attention.

The original order suspended the refugee program and temporarily halted travel to the US by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries.

People caught in the air during the rushed implementation of the order were detained at airports and some were flown back to the countries they flew in from. All in all, 746 individuals nationwide were detained, including green-card holders. According to Pew, people from these countries made over 900,000 entries to the US since 2005.

A government lawyer said more than 100,000 visas had been revoked though later the same day, the State Department disputed the number, saying it was closer to 60,000.

The executive order was halted in the court system, and after one ruling, Trump tweeted, “SEE YOU IN COURT!”

Trump issued a new executive order targeting six Muslim-majority countries and putting in place a temporary ban on all refugees. The new ban doesn’t include Iraq and specifically exempts green-card holders and those with valid visas. The order, issued on March 6, is due to take effect on March 16.

Even with the changes, aimed at avoiding legal challenges and smoothing implementation, the new order would affect millions directly.

Wall Street

Stocks have been on a tear since Trump was elected, climbing more than 14% since September in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Nasdaq is up more than 11%, and the S&P 500 is up more than 10%. The Dow has risen from less than 18,000 points on Election Day to a peak of more than 21,000. It has since fallen below that marker, but it’s clear that Wall Street likes what it hears from Trump – both his promises to roll back regulations on businesses and his promise to reform the tax rate.

That’s good news for anyone in the market – and with so many Americans reliant on IRAs and 401Ks to fund their retirement plans, that’s a large portion of the population. A little more than half of Americans – 52% – said they invest in the stock market, according to a Gallup survey in April 2016. That’s a large portion of the country but down from the high of 65% in Gallup’s surveys from 2007, before the Great Recession.

Transgender students

The Trump administration rescinded guidance from the Obama administration that protected the right of transgender students in public schools to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identities.

In 2016, the Department of Education said there were 50.4 million students in public schools, but as The New York Times noted, the number of transgender children has been “elusive” – in that no official data or agreed-upon measure exist.

The Williams Institute at UCLA released a study in 2016 that found about 0.6% of US adults identified as transgender; another study from the institute in January 2017 estimated 0.7% of people ages 13 to 17 years old identified as transgender. However, these estimates may not be reflective of the population of transgender children in public schools.

Private prisons

Then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates last August directed the Bureau of Prisons to restrict its use of private prisons, a formal shift away from their use in federal incarceration.

Quickly within his tenure, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed the Obama administration’s shift away from private prisons.

The federal and state private prison populations have increased over the years, experiencing a small dip in the latter portion of the Obama administration.

However, people incarcerated in private prisons make up only a tiny fraction of the federal and state prison populations. The guidance to the Bureau of Prisons would only affect federal prisoners.

Although its impact on the overall prison population would be relatively small, Trump’s election ushered in a reversal of fortunes for the private prison industry. Following his election, CoreCivic – previously known as the Corrections Corporation of America – and the Geo Group saw their stocks rocket upward.

The Yemen raid

Just days into office, Trump greenlighted a major raid in Yemen with the stated goal of targeting al Qaeda. The raid has since become more controversial than most operations because of the death of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens and reports of many civilian deaths, including the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki. Drone strikes under Obama had previously killed Awlaki, a US citizen and al Qaeda spokesman, as well as Awlaki’s 16-year-old son.

The US government said several other service members were injured in addition to Owens’ death. It also claimed to have killed 14 al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters in the raid. Human Rights Watch has said at least 9 children were killed along with five other civilians.

However, as Buzzfeed noted, confirmation of the total number of deaths and who they were does not yet exist – and may never exist.

The United States has since executed dozens of strikes, saying that it did more than 30 in Yemen in one week.


Trump moved to expedite the process holding up two major oil pipeline projects that have earned blowback from environmentalists and the communities affected by their construction.

One is Keystone XL, a major project to transport oil from Canada through the US. Environmentalists railed against the project for years, while Big Oil and labor groups united in support of the project. Obama ultimately opposed the pipeline, but Trump reversed course.

The other project is the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has enraged the Sioux Tribe at the Standing Rock reservation in North and South Dakota. The company working to build the pipeline has said the tribe will not be affected, but the tribe has said the pipeline poses a direct threat to their lives. A non-Native American community had successfully blocked the pipeline from being constructed through its territory.

According to the pipeline’s site: “The Dakota Access Pipeline project will result in an estimated $156 million in sales and income taxes during construction, and $55 million in property taxes annually.”

The Sioux tribe numbered about 8,500 people in 2015, and it stood in staunch opposition to the project, attracting protesters from around the country. At the peak of protests, the camp’s population climbed to as many as 10,000 people.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a proposal among the governments of 13 Pacific-facing countries that sought to establish one harmonious free trade zone.

The deal would have brought a plurality of the global economy under one umbrella, pointedly excluding China from coordination with many of its neighbors, and it built on North American Free Trade Agreement extensively. If the deal were ratified and to take effect, it could have been one of the most influential policy changes of the Obama administration.

However, Obama faced steep resistance to the deal within his own party, and during the presidential election, both contenders for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination – free trade skeptic Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who once called TPP “the gold standard” of trade deals – came out against it.

While support for the deal crumbled within the Democratic Party, the largely pro-free trade Republican coalition began to rally around Trump, who has for years railed against free trade deals and cited the US trade deficit as a cause for concern.

Quickly after taking office, Trump pulled the US out of the deal. Several member countries said in turn that they would have to abandon the TPP on their end as well, and Trump has said he will pursue bilateral trade agreements as well as a review of NAFTA.

Bringing jobs back

Trump has leaned into a few companies since the election, saying he is using his position to stop companies from off-shoring jobs and getting contractors to cut back on their prices.

Trump said a Carrier worker reminded him of a promise he made to stop Carrier’s Indiana factory workers from being outsourced to Mexico. Alongside then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence – now Trump’s vice president – Trump announced that he had saved the jobs. However, the workers’ union said Trump didn’t save all the jobs, just under 800. Trump attacked the union chief for speaking out, and some of the jobs are still on track to be outsourced or eliminated.

Trump publicly aired grievances with the cost of some F-35 flight variants, and Lockheed in turn lowered the cost slightly of three of the joint strike fighters. All told, Lockheed said Trump had caused them to save the US $700 million on what is already the most expensive weapons project ever.

Dow Chemical said it would create 100 new jobs and “repatriate” 100 others.

Trump and his White House have also touted planned moves by GM, Ford, SoftBank, FiatChrysler, Amazon, Walmart, Intel and ExxonMobil. Some companies have credited Trump’s agenda for their plans while others haven’t commented on Trump at all.

CNNMoney has a running fact check on these announcements.

Other Obama-era rollbacks

Republicans had for years protested Obama’s executive orders and regulatory actions as overreach, even warning of the specter of an “imperial presidency.”

So newly empowered with control of both houses of Congress and the White House, Republicans in Washington moved swiftly to roll back Obama-era rules.

Some were undone with the Congressional Review Act, a rarely invoked law that allows Congress to undo executive actions permanently. And other policy changes have come either from Trump’s pen or his administration’s agencies, many of which are now headed by people with radically different visions from their predecessors.

Here is a list of rules either eliminated or under review:

Stream protection rule

This rule was meant to prevent waste materials from coal mines entering water sources. It had originally gone into effect on January 19, according to the Department of the Interior.

Trump signed a bill ending the rule on February 16.

Oil payment disclosure

The SEC adopted the Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers rule on July 27, 2016. The rule required oil, natural gas and mineral companies to tell the SEC if they made payments to foreign governments. Supporters saw it as an anti-corruption measure while opponents, particularly in the energy sector, said it put US energy companies in a bad position relative to companies from other countries.

Congress passed a bill blocking the rule in early February, and Trump signed it into law on February 14.

Fiduciary rule – under review

The Department of Labor unveiled the fiduciary rule, also known as the fiduciary standard, in April 2016 with an applicability date of April 10, 2017.

It would require retirement advisers to always act in the best interest of their clients, regulating potential conflicts of interest for retirement advisers.

Trump signed an executive order putting it under review on February 3.

Mortgage rate cut

One of the very first actions in the Trump administration was wiping out a Housing and Urban Development rule issued in the final days of the Obama administration.

The rule creating a mortgage rate cut for people with low incomes would have gone into effect on January 27. On Inauguration Day, HUD issued a letter stopping it.

Waters of the US – under review

The EPA enacted a rule, effective on August 28, 2015, under the Clean Water Act that gave the government regulatory authority over waterways throughout the country.

Trump signed an executive order reviewing the economic impact of the Waters of the United States rule at the end of February.

Gun measure

The Obama administration implemented a rule on December 19, 2016, aimed at preventing Americans with a mental illness from getting guns by sharing information with the national background check system. It said the rule would be effective January 18 with compliance not required until December 19, 2017.

Trump signed a bill to eliminate it on February 28.

Mexico City policy

Implemented by former President Ronald Reagan in 1984, the Mexico City policy, or Global Gag Rule, blocks US funding to non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions. Since Reagan instituted the rule, it’s ping-ponged in and out of existence depending on the political party of the President.

Obama rescinded the rule, and on January 23, Trump reinstituted it.

Kaiser Family Foundation has a guide that outlines the history of the policy.

Voting Rights Act lawsuit

Under Obama, the Department of Justice battled rules it believed were in violation of the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court ruled against in part.

On February 27, Sessions’ DOJ shifted away from a legal battle against Texas SB 14, a voter ID law.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, now Trump’s energy secretary, signed the bill into law on May 27, 2011.

The move offers an early sign of the wide gulf that could emerge between the DOJ under Obama and Trump. For example, the DOJ is not expected to pursue major civil rights suits against cities and their police departments as the Obama administration had done in Fergson, Missouri, and other locations.

CORRECTION: A graphic in a previous version of this story incorrectly represented the number of people granted deferred action by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. As of September 2016, officials had approved initial applications to the program from 752,154 people.

CNN’s Caroline Kenny contributed to this report.