Tom Bossert, assistant to the President for homeland security and counterterrorism, said the cyber priorities of the administration focus on securing federal networks and data, and protecting critical infrastructure.
The White House issued a redone version of its temporary travel and immigration ban from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The Trump administration has had an extra month to work on its cybersecurity executive order. Former federal cyber officials and industry stakeholders say it’s important to consider the role of agency leaders, and not to jump to conclusions about vacancies for cyber executives.
Significant cuts to EPA’s state programs and workforce have sent agency executives and employees’ unions scrambling to get a better understanding of what direction the Trump administration wants to take the department.
The high paced level of activity this past week centered on the still-sketchy 2018 budget under preparation by the Trump administration. Balancing the big increase the president wants for the Defense Department are cuts averaging 10 percent for civilian agencies.
The Trump administration’s plan to reduce non-defense discretionary spending by 10 percent means civilian agencies will need to look at programs and personnel, not just for this year, but for the long-term. Some fiscal observers says it’s time to consider budget process reform.
The Trump administration’s “budget blueprint” includes a $54 billion increase in Defense spending, bringing the top-line spending for Defense to $603 billion and $462 billion for non-defense discretionary spending.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling on agencies to create regulatory reform task forces. The task forces will investigate how to “eliminate red tape” and regularly report back on progress to their respective agencies.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly forged ahead with tough new immigration policies, outlined in a pair of memos. Although President Trump hadn’t yet released his revised executive order on immigration and securing the border with Mexico, Kelly widened the number of people potentially subject to detention and deportation. He reiterated the plan to hire another 5,000 Customs and Border Patrol agents.
The White House’s chief digital officer stepped down after only a month on the job. Sources familiar with the departure say Gerrit Lansing did not want to give up his ties to an online donation platform he helped start.
On the personnel front, the Trump administration had an up-and-down week. The departure of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and the withdrawal of Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder set Washington abuzz. But the Senate confirmed Michael Mulvaney as director of the Office of Management and Budget, Steve Mnuchin as Treasury secretary, and Dr. David Shulkin as VA secretary.
Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination to be Labor Secretary, after Labor Department employees expressed concerns ahead of his confirmation hearing. The letter disclosed a number of misgivings about Puzder’s fitness for the job.
The Office of Government Ethics is calling on the White House to investigate comments made by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, and whether she broke an ethics law. OGE is also reviewing Conway’s comments, per the request of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Battling on both the judicial and immigration fronts, the Trump administration over the past week faced a legal setback to its action on immigration from seven countries. The issue was before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, likely en route to the Supreme Court.