The most recent actions — allowing insurance companies to sell less expensive plans with fewer benefits and ending subsidies to insurance companies that help low-income consumers pay out-of-pocket costs — are the latest in a series of initiatives that strike at the heart of the insurance marketplaces set up under the law. Earlier moves included cuts to advertising and services that help consumers sign up for plans on the marketplaces, as well as an effort to weaken enforcement of the individual mandate.
What the administration has done to weaken the health law.
Where Things Stand Now: Congress tried on multiple occasions this year to pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, but was never able to muster the votes needed in the Senate, even after the House passed a plan on its second attempt in May.
Efforts to pass a repeal in Congress appeared to die at the end of September with the expiration of a procedural deadline that would have allowed changes to pass with only 50 votes.
Credit Brian Powers for The New York Times
For now, the law’s provisions remain in effect, but many people will be closely watching whether the Trump administration’s executive actions drive insurance companies to withdraw from the federal health care exchanges, or, if they stay, whether premiums will rise uncontrollably.
The Iran Nuclear Deal
Credit Islamic Republic of Iran, via Associated Press
The United States and five other world powers reached a deal with Iran in July 2015 to limit that country’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting crippling international sanctions. The Obama administration argued that while the deal did not include all of the provisions it wanted, it was the “best bet” toward curbing Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
What Mr. Trump Has Done: On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump regularly denounced the deal, saying that it did not last long enough and that it did not cover ballistic missile launches or Iranian involvement in regional terrorist activity. After reluctantly recertifying the deal in July, Mr. Trump said Friday that he would not certify Iran’s compliance again.
Why Trump Hates the Iran Nuclear Deal
Where Things Stand Now: While Friday’s move did not scuttle the deal, it leaves its fate in the hands of Congress. Mr. Trump said he would ask Congress to establish “trigger points” that would prompt the re-imposition of sanctions if Iran crossed certain thresholds. Mr. Trump also threatened that “in the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”
Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times
After years of negotiations, the United States, Mexico and Canada agreed to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect at the beginning of 1994. The deal, struck during the Clinton administration, eliminated tariffs on most goods traded between the three countries.
In the nearly two and a half decades since, trade among the three countries has more than tripled, and companies have built complex supply chains that crisscross the continent’s borders.
Trade has contributed to economic growth, but changing dynamics have also prompted concerns about lost jobs and the trade deficit. But when something is manufactured in the United States, it is often made up of parts from around the world.
What Mr. Trump Has Done: Mr. Trump, a longtime critic of free-trade deals, regularly attacked Nafta during the campaign, calling it one of the worst deals in history. In the early months of his presidency, he repeatedly threatened to unilaterally withdraw the United States from the trade pact, but ultimately agreed to open negotiations with Canada and Mexico on an amended agreement.
Where Things Stand Now: Negotiators have conducted several rounds of talks, but on Wednesday, before the fourth round of contentious trade negotiations began, Mr. Trump once again condemned the fairness of the deal. “It’s possible we won’t be able to make a deal, and it’s possible that we will,” the president said, while sitting next to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. “We’ll see if we can do the kind of changes that we need. We have to protect our workers.” Mr. Trump’s comments again raised the prospect that the deal may yet collapse, with potentially unintended consequences.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Mr. Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in June 2012 aiming to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The so-called Dreamers who have benefited from the program now number approximately 800,000.
What ‘Dreamers’ Gained From DACA, and Stand to Lose
What Mr. Trump Has Done: Mr. Trump repeatedly railed against the program on the campaign trail, but after taking office he has seemed torn about how to handle the issue. He ultimately ordered an end to the program in September, calling it an “amnesty-first approach.”
Where Things Stand Now: In announcing his move, Mr. Trump called on Congress to pass a replacement plan within six months, before the program is to be fully phased out. Since then, he has said he is willing to “revisit” his decision if Congress does not come up with a fix. The top Democrats in Congress — Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi — said in mid-September that they had come to an agreement with Mr. Trump to pass a replacement, but in early October, Mr. Trump delivered to Congress a list of hard-line demands on immigration policy that may make building Democratic support for a deal more difficult.