Welcome to the first installment of #1600CapitolHill. This series is dedicated to providing some insight into how the efforts of both the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch of government have managed promises to “Make America Great”.
This blog will cover a few definitions, frameworks and report cards. Namely, the five biggest promises the new Congress and the new President campaigned on.
The campaign promises are:
- Build a Border Wall;
- Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA aka Obamacare);
- Ban Muslims from entering the USA;
- Reduce Burden of Big Government;
- Renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
*Usually my blog posts have no references, because I know everything. This time, I am including references, because, as Kai Ryssdal says, “None of us are as smart as all of us”. Thanks @kairysdall.
Build a Border Wall
I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.” Sources: Donald Trump’s presidential announcement speech
To date, no funding has been authorized by Congress to build a great great wall. President Trump won’t get the $1.4 billion he wanted to begin building a Southwest border wall. A bill introduced Monday by congressional negotiators to fund the government through Sept. 30 could only pass the House and Senate if Border Wall language was conspicuously absent from the funding proposal. Source: USA Today
Repeal and Replace Obamacare
The Republican Congress and the Trump administration opened 2017 by trying to decide how to repeal President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act has been critisized as being to expensive and too burdensome on insurers, Americans and corporations. Source: Politifact
As of today, House Republican leaders have given up their goal of putting a new health care law overhaul before the president, and have instead focused on votes leading up to President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act stalled when the GOP’s bill died in March without a vote after different factions of the Republican Party couldn’t agree on the bill. Source: The New York Times
Ban Muslims from Entering the US
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Source: Donald Trumps Website
To date, all of President Donald Trump’s attempts to suspend travel from countries in the Middle East and Africa have been blocked by federal judges before becoming effective. No Travel Ban is currently in place in the United States. Souce: U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, Order granting motion for temporary restraining order, March 15, 2017
Reduce Burden of Big Government
President Donald Trump laid out a plan to put money back in the hands of Americans by promising to do two things: Introducing, “[a] hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition”; and creating the Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act, which will provide the largest tax reductions for the middle class; and a middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. Source: Donald Trump Website
The federal hiring freeze imposed during the first days of President Donald Trump’s administration has been lifted. No reduction in the Federal workforce has been realized, as of yet. Source: Politifact
Recently, President Donald Trump proposed dramatic cuts in the taxes paid by corporations big and small. The Tax overhaul plan proposed by the administration does not spell out any overhaul for working and middle class Americans. Additionally, the plan relies on the “Trickle Down” impact of lowering the corporate tax rate to spur job and economic growth. Source: USA Today
Renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
“[The] Trump administration will renegotiate NAFTA and if we don’t get the deal we want, we will terminate NAFTA and get a much better deal for our workers and our companies. 100 percent.” Source: C-Span
To date, President Donald Trump, has neither pulled out of the NAFTA agreement, nor has he authorized Robert Lighthizer to begin negotiations with Canada and Mexico on a new NAFTA agreement. The upside, depending on your optic, is that President Trump said he’s agreed to requests from Canada and Mexico not to terminate the United States’ involvement in the North American Free Trade Agreement and would renegotiate instead. But withdrawal isn’t completely off the table either, he said. Source: Politifact