100 DAYS OF DON­ALD TRUMP

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US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump dis­cov­ered the lim­its of ex­ec­u­tive or­ders and pres­i­den­tial ac­tions when his ban on the en­try of trav­ellers from seven mainly Mus­lim na­tions was over­turned in the courts be­fore be­ing rewrit­ten – and then sus­pended again. A bill to abol­ish his pre­de­ces­sor Barack Obama’s Af­ford­able Care Act did not even make it to a vote in Con­gress be­cause of deep di­vi­sions within his Repub­li­can party. He took of­fice on Jan­uary 20 with a long list of prom­ises for his first 100 days. His record has been mixed. Here are the main is­sues he has con­fronted and what he has achieved ahead of Sat­ur­day’s 100th day. Was his po­lit­i­cal hon­ey­moon too short?

Supreme Court nom­i­na­tion: The Se­nate’s con­fir­ma­tion of Neil Gor­such to the Supreme Court may be the long­est last­ing and most im­por­tant suc­cess of Trump’s early pres­i­dency. The ap­point­ment came after a long con­sul­ta­tive process in which Trump of­fered his short list for pub­lic ap­proval, con­sulted widely (in­clud­ing among Democrats) and care­fully vet­ted his can­di­date.

With­drawal from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP): His cam­paign pledge to for­mally leave the TPP, a huge trade deal between the US and 11 Pa­cific Rim coun­tries, has hap­pened. How­ever, in do­ing so, he has with­drawn from a deal that had not yet been rat­i­fied by Con­gress.

Il­le­gal bor­der cross­ings: The num­ber of un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants caught cross­ing the bor­der into the US dropped sig­nif­i­cantly by 26% in the month after Trump took power. This is at­trib­ut­able to his hard line on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion.

Na­tional se­cu­rity: Trump has im­mersed him­self in for­eign pol­icy and na­tional se­cu­rity after build­ing good re­la­tions with China. His launch of cruise mis­siles against Syria in the wake of a chem­i­cal at­tack was lauded for set­ting firm red lines, with min­i­mal risk to US per­son­nel or of be­ing sucked into a Mid­dle East con­flict.

Reg­u­la­tions: Trump has acted ag­gres­sively on his prom­ise to elim­i­nate reg­u­la­tions that he said were hurting the US econ­omy. He is­sued a per­mit for the con­tro­ver­sial Keystone XL pipe­line. He also re­scinded Obama-era cli­mate change reg­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing the Clean Power Plan; a ban on coal leas­ing on fed­eral lands; and rules to curb meth­ane emis­sions from oil and gas pro­duc­tion. His ad­min­is­tra­tion has ap­proved a dozen mea­sures rolling back reg­u­la­tions passed in the fi­nal months of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion on the en­vi­ron­ment, en­ergy, ed­u­ca­tion and fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

Travel ban: Di­rected at Iran, Iraq, So­ma­lia, Su­dan, Libya, Syria and Ye­men, the ban was signed into force ap­par­ently with­out the knowl­edge of the pres­i­dent’s sec­re­tary of home­land se­cu­rity and with­out any warn­ing to air­lines or air­ports. It was chaotic as trav­ellers with valid visas or green cards were detained and de­ported. Protests erupted coun­try­wide be­fore the or­der was sus­pended by the courts, which found it un­con­sti­tu­tional and dis­crim­i­na­tory against Mus­lims.

Drain the swamp: Trump won the elec­tion in part by promis­ing to rid Wash­ing­ton of its cosy elite. But his ad­min­is­tra­tion of gazil­lion­aires, gen­er­als and Gold­man Sachs ex­ec­u­tives looks like the same old cronies.

Health­care: Re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing Oba­macare be­came one of Trump’s sig­na­ture cam­paign prom­ises. Lack­ing a clear al­ter­na­tive, Trump’s Con­gres­sional lead­er­ship with­drew his bill at the eleventh hour, ex­pos­ing his lack of po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence in ne­go­ti­at­ing sup­port. It means he reaches the 100-day mark with­out a ma­jor leg­isla­tive suc­cess, other than bills that over­turn el­e­ments of Obama’s agenda.

Tax cuts: Trump re­peat­edly promised the big­gest tax re­form since the 1980s. This week he pro­posed leg­is­la­tion to slash the cor­po­rate tax rate to 15% from 35%, cut the top per­sonal in­come tax rate to 35%, re­peal the in­her­i­tance tax and tem­po­rar­ily slash the rate on over­seas prof­its repa­tri­ated to the US. Leg­is­la­tors say it is of­fer­ing only “guide­posts” for leg­isla­tive changes.

Build the wall: Trump’s 100-day plan in­cluded leg­is­la­tion to pay for a wall with Mex­ico, all to be re­im­bursed by the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment. This has been shelved and, although the depart­ment of home­land se­cu­rity says con­struc­tion will be­gin in the sum­mer, it is still un­clear how fund­ing will be found.

A $1 tril­lion in­fra­struc­ture pro­gramme: Trump had promised this pro­gramme and there is no sign of the bill needed to se­cure fund­ing from Con­gress to re­build the coun­try’s crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture.

Flout­ing con­ven­tions: He has flouted con­ven­tions of the in­sti­tu­tion by hold­ing on to his busi­ness, hir­ing fam­ily mem­bers as ad­vis­ers and re­fus­ing to re­lease his tax re­turns.

China a currency ma­nip­u­la­tor: Trump had vowed the US could im­pose tar­iffs on Chi­nese goods. But in mid-April he changed course and said that China was not a currency ma­nip­u­la­tor.

– City Press and Agen­cies

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