Since releasing a video detailing the executive actions Donald Trump intends to initiate in his first 100 days in office, there have been several stories written (not to mention a slew of questions on social media) about why some of his most prominent promises weren’t included. No, he’s not backtracking on Obamacare (though he hinted about “revising” instead of repealing and replacing last week), deporting millions of illegal immigrants, or building his wall.
The video was intended to outline executive actions only. Obamacare, budgeting the wall, and adding ICE funding for increased deportations all require action from Congress in order to work. Though Trump didn’t state it very clearly, the list was made up of the things he can do with his pen and his phone.
Here’s the list:
- Send a notification of intent to withdraw from TPP and renegotiate
- Cancel restrictions on production of energy, including shale oil and clean coal
- Formulate a rule that every new regulation requires two old regulations to be eliminated
- Call for a comprehensive plan to protect infrastructure from cyberattacks
- Direct Department of Labor to investigate visa abuse
- Impose 5-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists and a lifetime ban on them lobbying for foreign governments
From a Federalist perspective, these are all quite acceptable. A few are more fluff than effective, but all are well-intended. Let’s look at them all individually.
TPP was imposed on Congress and adopted in part by the GOP for the sake of free trade, but once many of the details emerged and cries started coming from the press and the people, many backtracked on their support. Withdrawing will harm the reliability level of the nation in the eyes of other countries who will fear that a deal made with one President can be reversed so easily, but there are certain elements of TPP that are horrendous. It’s a necessary goal to establish a trade agreement with countries who would otherwise deal more readily with China, but there were too many bits of poison in the agreement to let it slide.
Yes. That’s pretty much all we need to say about this part of the plan.
Two-for-One regulation requirement
This is a cute way of reducing the regulatory mess of the United States government. It’s more symbolic than effective. As long as this isn’t his whole plan for reducing regulations, it’s an adorable way to highlight a point and force agencies to take a closer look at the bureaucratic mess they live in.
This is already in the works even under the Obama administration. Calling for another comprehensive plan is more for political theater than actual action; there’s no way the Pentagon wouldn’t have done this already. Still, reiterating it for the public is a nice gesture.
On the surface, this also seems like a nothingburger, but it’s not. If this executive action will result in essentially hunting down everyone who stayed in the country longer than their visa allowed, it will be even more effective than building his wall. Why? Because doing so would not just find many who are here illegally, but will also help to identify the domestic companies who are aiding them. It doesn’t sound like much and now’s not the time to explain it, but this will help the economy and preserve jobs, particularly in the tech sector.
The surprise here isn’t that Trump is initiating a ban. The real surprise is that he’s the first President to do so. This should be a no-brainer, particularly the second portion of not allowing former executive branch employees to lobby for foreign countries. If he could make it retroactive, he’d be forcing Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to look for different careers in 2017.
Overall, this is a nice list of actions – not too terribly overreaching but not generally ineffective, either. Since he won the election, we’ve taken the stance that when he does the right things, we’ll cheer, and when he does the wrong things, we’ll dissent. This list is a reason to cheer and will make for a nice start to his administration.