WASHINGTON — President Trump’s newest executive orders target a water-protection rule and elevate an initiative on historically black colleges and universities into the White House.
Trump signed the executive orders in back-to-back signing ceremonies at the White House on Tuesday. The first seeks to undo the Waters of the United States rule, an Obama administration regulation that sought to reinterpret the Clean Water Act to extend federal protections to smaller rivers and streams.
“It has truly run amok. It’s been a disaster,” Trump said in a Roosevelt Room ceremony with farmers and lawmakers. He said the rule extended federal regulations “to nearly every puddle, to every ditch on a farmer’s land, or anywhere else they decide, right? It was a massive power grab.”
A second executive order will move the federal initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs, into the White House Domestic Policy Council from the Department of Education, where it was housed under the Obama administration.
Since President Jimmy Carter in 1980, every president has signed an executive order reorganizing the initiative. But Trump said moving the initiative into the White House will make it “an absolute priority.”