As President Trump’s 100th day in office approaches, I can’t help but wonder how his supporters feel about the success rate Trump has tallied up thus far. While the Trump campaign’s key agenda items such as immigration reform, border security enhancement and the repeal of The Affordable Care Act have all been attempted, some have seemingly bogged down in the mire of Washington bureaucracy.
The White House says that by Saturday April 29, the president will have issued 32 executive orders. That is more than his predecessor and the most of any president since World War II.
I believe there is a place for executive orders, but the manner in which the White House trumpets this fact is bit disturbing. Executive orders should be used like a fine single malt Scotch – wisely and sparingly.
This may be an indication of Trump’s frustration at his administration’s inability to get legislation through Congress and his desire to act regardless of method. However, issuing executive orders are meaningless when the courts keep returning the serve.
Here’s a quick recap of the key agenda items and the current box scores.
Immigration Reform – Trump 1 Democrats 1
Trump has made headway on some of the initiatives he outlined in his Immigration Reform Plan.
An executive order signed five days into his presidency on January 25, 2017 directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to actively detain and deport illegal aliens attempting to enter the U.S. and hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents as soon as practicable, rolling back the “catch and release” policy of President Obama.
“Sec. 6. Detention for Illegal Entry. The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate actions to ensure the detention of aliens apprehended for violations of immigration law pending the outcome of their removal proceedings or their removal from the country to the extent permitted by law. “
“Sec. 7. Return to Territory. The Secretary shall take appropriate action, consistent with the requirements of section 1232 of title 8, United States Code, to ensure that aliens described in section 235(b)(2)(C) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(2)(C)) are returned to the territory from which they came pending a formal removal proceeding.”
“Sec. 8. Additional Border Patrol Agents. Subject to available appropriations, the Secretary, through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shall take all appropriate action to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, and all appropriate action to ensure that such agents enter on duty and are assigned to duty stations as soon as is practicable.”
Where Trump hasn’t been as successful in implementing his immigration plan is the defunding of “sanctuary” cities. Just yesterday, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a nationwide injunction halting the implementation of the other executive order issued on January 25, 2017 titled “ Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”.
Border Security – Trump 1 Democrats 1
In a March 6, 2017 memorandum, Trump fulfilled his promise to enforce current immigration law, a reversal of what he termed Obama’s “open border” policies.
“Sec. 3. Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States. I direct the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of all other relevant executive departments and agencies (as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security) to rigorously enforce all existing grounds of inadmissibility and to ensure subsequent compliance with related laws after admission.”
The bureaucracy strikes back though as Trump’s first version of executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” was blocked by various courts and upheld by United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The redo version revoked and replaced the original order and was similarly challenged in several U.S. district courts. The outcome was an injunction preventing the government from implementing key provisions of the order.
Repeal of the ACA – Trump 0 Democrats 1
The American Health Care Act, the touted answer to repealing Obamacare, couldn’t even get to a vote. Liberals and conservatives became unlikely allies in the demise of the bill, albeit for entirely different reasons.
The House Freedom Caucus, the conservative group within the Republican House majority, described the bill as “Obamacare-lite”.
I agree. If this bill was the best Trump’s team could come up with in all of the time they had to prepare it, we are in serious trouble. The administration is walking a fine line. Trump promised repeal, not a repair.
House Republican leaders are still working with Trump administration officials to make changes, though no date for a new vote has been scheduled.
Supreme Court Vacancy – Trump 1 Democrats 0
This issue, by far, was the most important for conservatives leading up to the election.
This was the singular reason I voted for Donald Trump. Presidents, senators, congressmen and political appointees all come and go, but a Supreme Court justice is forever. It was absolutely imperative to the future of the country that a constitutional conservative fill the seat left vacant on the bench by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Decisions handed down by the highest court in the land have long lasting implications and sometimes, very serious consequences for numerous generations.
With progressive liberals already holding half of the court, the damage their judicial activism could do to our constitution with a solid majority would have been devastating.
Now that Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed and taken his seat, my ticket has been punched. All that is left for me to do is to break out the popcorn, enjoy the ride and marvel at what is becoming an eventful, if not bizarre, journey.