Written by Steven Spear, Jr.
Edited by Morgan DeLisle
In a 1933 radio address, President Franklin Roosevelt said that the “first one hundred days” should be the most productive time of a new Congress. Today, the phrase is used to describe the time after a President is first inaugurated. The “first one hundred days” are used to measure a President’s ability to get things done when public support for its goals should be at its highest.
The pressure on the President Trump to be successful during this time is particularly high due to his political party (the Republicans) controlling both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
In a video released on November 21, 2016, Trump outlined his policy plans for his first one hundred days in office (January 20, 2017—April 29, 2017).
The core principle that will guide his agenda is “Putting America First.” Trump will create jobs for and grow the wealth of American workers by ensuring that the “next generation of production and innovation happens [in the United States].” He instructed his team to put together “executive actions [executive orders and presidential memoranda] on the following issues that can be taken on the first day to restore our laws and bring back jobs”—
Executive orders and presidential memoranda allow the President to give instructions to the federal departments and agencies in the Executive Branch on how to operate and how applicable legislation is to be interpreted and enforced. There is no clear difference in their definitions.
Concerning trade, he planned to submit a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (a trade deal between the United States, Canada, Mexico, and some East Asian countries). Trump signed an executive order doing this on January 23rd.
Concerning energy, he will cancel restrictions on production of American energy (including shale and clean coal) to create jobs.
Concerning regulation, he instituted a new rule: for every new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. Trump signed an executive order doing this on January 30th.
Concerning national security, he will instruct the Defense Department and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop plan to protect American infrastructure against attacks, specifically cyber attacks. Trump issued a presidential memorandum doing this on January 28th.
Concerning immigration, he instructed the Labor Department to investigate abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker. On January 25th, Trump signed an executive order calling for a stronger enforcement of immigration laws. On January 28th, Trump signed an executive order that suspended the United States’ Refugee Program for 120 days (ends on May 28th), bans immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen for 90 days (ends on April 28th), and bans Syrian immigrants indefinitely. Read more about this order here.
Concerning ethics reform, he will create a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after leaving the administration. Trump signed an executive order doing this on January 28th.
There are two things that are noticeably absent from the video: foreign policy (other than trade) and the Affordable Care Act:
While there are foreign policy matters that need to be addressed from day one, I would not criticize him for not including them in this list: Many modern Presidents have focused on domestic policy (decisions affecting issues within the country) in their first term. This shows a commitment to the people in the United States, and Presidents can easily point to tangible, domestic accomplishments in their first term as a reason to be re-elected.
With healthcare, Trump made repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a top priority. It must be noted that repealing ACA should not be a problem, but replacing it has proven to be incredibly difficult. Congressional Republicans have said that their replacement will not take away health insurance from the twenty million ACA enrollees but cannot agree on any other details of a replacement. The factor driving the Republicans’ disagreement is that many of them believe that healthcare is an earned privilege—not a guaranteed right. There is no plan that can be proposed that treats healthcare as a privilege and still provides health insurance for all ACA enrollees.
Articles on the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will be released in the coming months.
President Trump may have the support of Republicans in Congress, but he does not have the support of the American people. According to a January 23rd Gallup poll, Trump’s approval rating is an abysmal forty-five percent. This is the lowest rating of any incoming-President in seventy years. Trump has much ground to cover if he hopes to fulfill the promises to those who voted for him and gain the trust of those who did not.
Pray for our country. Pray for the 115th Congress. Pray for the Trump administration.
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