Pon­der­ing Trump’s poli­cies

Spec­u­la­tion be­gins on what his ad­min­is­tra­tion will mean to Mary­land

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By John Fritze

WASH­ING­TON — Vot­ers, ad­vo­cates and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in Mary­land and across the na­tion started to come to grips Wed­nes­day with Don­ald Trump’s stun­ning win in the pres­i­den­tial election — and quickly be­gan to cal­cu­late how a new, untested ad­min­is­tra­tion will af­fect them.

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans ap­pealed for unity, just days af­ter each had cast the other as in­com­pe­tent and cor­rupt. Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton, ap­pear­ing for the first time since the polls closed, de­scribed her loss as “painful” but said Trump de­served open minds and a “chance to lead” from the vot­ers who sup­ported her.

What that lead­er­ship might look like re­mains un­cer­tain and wor­ry­ing for some — par­tic­u­larly in a place like Mary­land, home to hun­dreds of thou­sands of gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees, mas­sive military bases and large fed­eral agen­cies, in­clud­ing the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion in Sil­ver Spring and the So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion in Wood­lawn.

Trump won the election on a prom­ise to “drain the swamp” — his char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of a fed­eral ecosys­tem on which Mary­land’s econ­omy has long re­lied.

With con­trol of the White House and both cham­bers of Congress in hand next year, Trump is likely to press for changes to — if not an out­right re­peal of — the Af­ford­able Care Act, more strin­gent en­force­ment against il­le­gal Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump ar­rives at a vic­tory rally in Mid­town Man­hat­tan early Wed­nes­day, af­ter be­ing de­clared the win­ner in the pres­i­den­tial race.

immigration and a re­duc­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions that Repub­li­cans say sti­fle eco­nomic growth.

“Some­times you lose an ar­gu­ment. Some­times you lose an election,” Obama said Wed­nes­day. “The path that this coun­try has taken has never been a straight line.”

In Mary­land — where nearly 60 per­cent of the vote went to Clin­ton — of­fi­cials be­gan to tally up the ways a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion might bring change. Some of those Democrats were seek­ing ar­eas of agree­ment; others sug­gested the onus was on Trump to reach across the racial and po­lit­i­cal di­vide ex­posed by his un­ortho­dox cam­paign.

Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan, who said be­fore the election that he would not vote for Trump, is­sued a tepid state­ment Wed­nes­day promis­ing to “work with the new ad­min­is­tra­tion on be­half of all Mary­lan­ders,” but aides de­clined to an­swer ques­tions about ar­eas of po­ten­tial agree­ment or dis­cord.

Bal­ti­more Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ingsBlake, a Demo­crat, de­clined to ad­dress Trump’s election at all.

The rel­a­tive si­lence from Mary­land lead­ers likely sig­naled un­cer­tainly about what Trump’s pres­i­dency will look like. Dur­ing the cam­paign, Trump reg­u­larly broke with Repub­li­can or­tho­doxy, was short on pol­icy specifics, and was in­con­sis­tent or con­tra­dic­tory in de­scrib­ing his plans.

But the lack of de­tail be­lied the sig­nif­i­cance of poli­cies po­ten­tially in the cross hairs of a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Rawl­ings-Blake made her en­cour­age­ment of im­mi­grants to move to Bal­ti­more to ex­pand the city’s pop­u­la­tion a cen­ter­piece of her ad­min­is­tra­tion. Trump has called for cut­ting fund­ing to so-called sanc­tu­ary cities, an idea con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans em­braced this year.

There’s no con­sen­sus def­i­ni­tion of “sanc­tu­ary city,” and it has never been clear whether fund­ing for Bal­ti­more would be in dan­ger un­der the GOP pro­pos­als.

What is cer­tain, though, is that Cen­tral Mary­land is home to a dis­pro­por­tion­ately large share of Cen­tral Amer­i­can im­mi­grants flee­ing vi­o­lence at home. Trump has vowed to re­scind ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions signed by Obama to de­fer de­por­ta­tions for many of those peo­ple, in­clud­ing some brought to the coun­try il­le­gally as chil­dren.

The im­mi­grant ad­vo­cacy group CASA ex­pressed dis­may at Trump’s vic­tory and sug­gested that the group could shift at least some re­sources to lob­by­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ments for sup­port.

“We ob­vi­ously have con­cerns with a Trump pres­i­dency, from mass de­por­ta­tions to work site raids to can­cel­ing the progress that was made un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion,” CASA’s Kim Pro­peack said.

“We also be­lieve ... lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and states have a real op­por­tu­nity to step up and make great poli­cies that will pro­tect their res­i­dents.”

Others saw prom­ise for Mary­land in some of Trump’s pro­pos­als, such as an eas­ing of the across-the-board de­fense spend­ing cuts ap­proved by Congress three years ago.

Democrats have long been re­luc­tant to raise those military spend­ing caps un­less Repub­li­cans agree to raise non-military spend­ing in ex­change.

But Democrats will have less lever­age next year to make that case.

Bal­ti­more County Rep. Andy Har­ris, who backed Trump’s cam­paign af­ter the pri­mary, said he thinks that could have a ma­jor eco­nomic im­pact on the state. Mary­land is home to sev­eral ma­jor military in­stal­la­tions, in­clud­ing Fort Meade, Aberdeen Prov­ing Ground, the Naval Acad­emy and Naval Air Sta­tion Patux­ent River.

Trump, who re­mained out of pub­lic view Wed­nes­day, was ex­pected to con­sider sev­eral loyal sup­port­ers for top jobs, in­clud­ing for­mer New York Mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani for at­tor­ney gen­eral or na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser and cam­paign fi­nance chair­man Steve Mnuchin for Trea­sury sec­re­tary. For­mer House Speaker Newt Gin­grich and Ten­nessee Sen. Bob Corker were ex­pected to be un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for for­eign pol­icy posts.

A tran­si­tion team chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been work­ing in Wash­ing­ton since the sum­mer. The group has been run by Rich Bag­ger, a long­time Christie ad­viser; Wil­liam Hagerty, a key player on 2012 GOP nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney’s tran­si­tion team; and other es­tab­lish­ment hands.

Af­ter strug­gling for months with Trump’s takeover of their party, Repub­li­can lead­ers em­braced the busi­ness­man in vic­tory. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was luke­warm in his sup­port dur­ing the cam­paign, praised him for pulling off “the most in­cred­i­ble po­lit­i­cal feat I have seen in my life­time.”

“He just earned a man­date,” Ryan de­clared.

An in­com­ing Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion could change the dy­namic of the city’s ne­go­ti­a­tions with the U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment over polic­ing prac­tices in the city. The cur­rent Jus­tice Depart­ment, which un­der Obama has ex­panded the pres­sure it ap­plies on lo­cal law en­force­ment, found a wide­spread pat­tern of civil rights abuses in Bal­ti­more.

City and fed­eral of­fi­cials have been ne­go­ti­at­ing re­forms to ad­dress those prob­lems. It’s not clear how a Trump ad­mi­nis- tra­tion would han­dle those cases. But as a can­di­date, he spoke of ex­pand­ing the use of con­tro­ver­sial “stop-and-frisk” polic­ing, and in­creas­ing sup­port for law en­force­ment more gen­er­ally.

The Jus­tice Depart­ment de­clined to say whether ne­go­ti­a­tions could wrap by year’s end; of­fi­cials have al­ready missed one dead­line. But even the pos­si­bil­ity that a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion might of­fer Balti-


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