‘Contract with the American Voter:’ How Trump’s promises have fared in his 100 day plan


Trump rally Nashville

Photo by Sarah Grace Taylor / News Reporter

With 100 days under his belt and a constitutional oath in his name, President Donald Trump has been a great influence on the socio-economic climate in the United States.

Through the first 100 days, the president has worked to establish this influence through policies and orders that were promised during his campaign. As per tradition, Trump released these promises via an itemized 100-day plan titled “Contract with the American Voter” prior to taking office. Here are the largest accomplishments and setbacks of the “Contract with the American Voter.”

According to the plan released by Trump, there were six “measures” that the president and his administration would begin work toward accomplishing on day one.

  1. The first of these measures is to impose a constitutional amendment with the purpose of limiting terms for all members of congress. Trump first introduced this promise in October of 2016 during a rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A press release was sent from the Trump administration during the speech that stated, “Decades of failure in Washington, and decades of special interest dealing, must come to an end. We must break the cycle of corruption, and we have to give new voices a chance to go into government service. The time for Congressional term limits has arrived.”

While the idea has been met with some support from representatives such as Sen. Cruz and Rep. DeSantis, who both proposed a Senate bill in January with the purpose of imposing term limits on members of congress, Trump has taken little action toward making the promise a reality.

  1. A hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition

Trump’s administration worked relatively quickly to impose the federal employee hiring freeze. On January 23, the first Monday of his presidency, Trump signed a presidential memorandum. The ban on new federal employee hiring excluded military personnel and was meant to decrease spending on federal jobs that were duplicates or deemed unnecessary. The freeze was officially lifted on April 12th after Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director, sent a memo to the “heads of executive departments and agencies” that discussed federal workforce reform.

  1. A requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated

This was another measure that Trump acted on rather quickly. Within the first month of holding office, on January 30, Trump signed an executive order stating that for every new federal regulation, two had to be eliminated across the board. The order stated, “It is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.” Once again, this order excluded the military. Trump said after signing the order, “This will be the largest ever cut by far in terms of regulations. If you have a regulation you want, number one we’re not going to approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms.” The order is currently still active.

  1. A five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service

On January 28, Trump signed an executive order restricting some members of White House officials from lobbying after they leave their positions. The order states that anyone appointed to the executive branch on or after January 20 must not lobby their previous agency for a five-year span. The ban does not include congressional officials, who are still free to lobby after the two year period set in place by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.

  1. A lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government

In the same order where Trump signed for all executive branch members to cease any lobbying for five years after their departure from service, Trump fulfilled his promise on creating a lifetime ban on any lobbying on behalf of a foreign government or entity as a White House official. The order states, “I will not, at any time after the termination of my employment in the United States Government, engage in any activity on behalf of any foreign government or foreign political party which, were it undertaken on January 20, 2017, would require me to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended.”

  1. A complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections

While Trump has secured bans on lobbying for both White House officials and executive branch members in different capacities, the president has made no known progress towards restricting foreign lobbyists from raising money for American elections.

The plan then states, “On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers.”

  1. I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205

On January 22, Trump stated that he had intentions to renegotiate NAFTA during and after his meetings with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. This was not the first time that he had mentioned withdrawing from or renegotiating NAFTA. During one of his debates with Hillary Clinton, Trump stated, “NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.” As of now, Trump has not followed through to abandon or thoroughly renegotiate NAFTA. He did, however, sign two executive orders on March 25 in the hopes of reversing the United State’s trade deficit. The orders included a 90-day report and study on the causes of trade imbalance. 16 countries that the United States has a trade deficit with in goods will be studied. These countries include China, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, Vietnam, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, India, Thailand, France, Switzerland, Taiwan, Indonesia and Canada. The orders also included a plan to require new importers or those already accused of wrongful trade practices to post a bond before they are given access to send goods into ports in the United States.

  1. Withdraw from TPP

President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal on Monday, January 23. The deal, negotiated and initiated by Barack Obama, was never officially ratified by congress. Trump’s withdrawal was no surprise, as he had promised the action many times during his presidential campaign.

  1. I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator

This was one promise that was certainly not kept in the 100-day-plan. Trump participated in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on April 12 in which he stated, “They’re not currency manipulators.” This is a clear reversal of his position on China as mentioned in the 100-day-plan. In an October Treasury Department review, China met the three criteria laid out by the United States regarding trade and currency.

  1. I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately

President Trump has made no clear action on this promise. The recently appointed commerce secretary, Wilber Ross, was confirmed in late February and has been working towards major changes in United States trade. He has pledged plans to renegotiate NAFTA.

  1. I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.

Trump visited the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA on March 28, to sign an executive order which he commanded federal regulators to rewrite and reconstruct regulations put in place by Obama. Many of the regulations were meant to halt United States carbon emissions. One of the largest of these regulations was the Clean Power Plan, which was put in place by Obama to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electrical plants across the country.

  1. Lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward

Despite thousands of protests against the construction of the infamous Keystone Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline, Trump signed executive orders on January 24, which revived the pipelines and invited the companies to “re-submit its applications” to build. On March 24, two months later, Trump’s administration approved the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

  1. Cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure

While much talk of using the money from U.N. climate change programs to “fix” infrastructure has not been revisited since the 100-day-plan, Trump has proposed massive budget cuts to the EPA. The cuts would be wide-reaching in the agency’s services and would cut an estimated 31 percent of their spending along with 15,000 jobs.

Then, the “Contract with the American Voter” relays 5 more steps to “restore security” in America.

  1. Cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama

While Trump has rolled back Obama-era regulations such as the Clean Power Plan, how he would plan to cancel every “unconstitutional” action is unclear and up to interpretation at this time.

  1. Begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States

Trump released his finalized his list of potential United States Supreme Court Justices in September of 2016, and eventually nominated Neil Gorsuch as his pick on January 31. After some opposition from Democrats, Gorsuch was sworn in as the 113th Supreme Court Justice on April 10. Echoing his prospects and expectations stated in his 100-day plan, Trump stated at the ceremony, “Justice Gorsuch, you are now entrusted with the sacred duty of defending our Constitution. Our country is counting on you to be wise, impartial and fair, to serve under our laws not over them, and to safeguard the right of the people to govern their own affairs.”

  1. Cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities

Trump signed an executive order on January 25 aimed at “sanctuary cities” or cities that house undocumented immigrants. The order directed the secretary of homeland security and the office of the attorney general to cut off all grant money to “sanctuary cities” across the country. The order states, “Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.  These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic. Tens of thousands of removable aliens have been released into communities across the country, solely because their home countries refuse to accept their repatriation.” The order also commanded the publication of a weekly report that identified these jurisdictions that deny retainer request from immigration authorities. The first report was published on March 20.

  1. Begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back

The Trump administration issued new directives on February 21 that allowed for stricter enforcement of deportations and immigration policies. Some of the features of the directives were the advancing of deportation hearings and the hiring of thousands of additional immigration enforcement officers.

  1. Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting

On January 27, Trump signed an executive order which enacted a temporary refugee ban from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. The order was titled, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” and the ban was to stay in place for 120 days while the administration worked towards tighter restrictions on refugees. The ban, however, was met with wide-reaching disapproval from American people and was eventually halted by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart, who placed a temporary freeze on Trump’s order.

On March 6, Trump signed another executive order which reinstated the “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The 90-day ban included Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia and was meant to go into effect on March 16.

Just a few hours before the ban would have become active on March 16, US District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii introduced a temporary restraining order on the revised ban.

“This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach,” Trump stated at a Tennessee rally in regards to the restraining order.

Trump also promised broader legislative measures in his plan to be introduced within the first 100 days. Many of these have yet to be fully introduced, including the American Energy and Infrastructure Act, the End the Offshoring Act, the School Choice and Education Opportunity Act, the Restoring Community Safety Act, the Restoring National Security Act and the Clean Up Corruption in Washington Act.

Trump also promised the Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. The vote to fully replace Obamacare by the GOP health care replacement plan failed in the House on March 24 after Trump issued an ultimatum stating that if members of the house did not vote for the plan, Obamacare would stay in place.

“Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land,” House Speaker Paul Ryan stated on the 24th.

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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