Hundred-day mark arbitrary, but revelatory for Trump

Jacob Ballmaier, Staff Writer

Note: As the Perspective went to press, there were a lot of “developing stories” about leaks, Russia, the FBI and late-night tweets. Sadly, our deadline precluded us from covering these issues.

Since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unprecedented speed in enacting major New Deal legislation in the beginning of his administration, modern presidents have been held to the somewhat-arbitrary standard of monitoring the “success” of their first hundred days in office. In holding President Trump to this same standard, his success, or lack of, depending on whom you ask, can be measured through his actions and how those actions fit into the promises he made to the American people on the campaign trail.

Immigration: Trump’s infamous executive order to block immigration from several Middle Eastern countries was struck down by Ninth Circuit Appeals Court in February, and his revised version of the order faced problems in court in March. As for his proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico, Trump was forced to sign a budget bill that excluded funding for the wall. Overall, Trump has failed to make good on his immigration plans, although it seems that reaction to his ideas are the actual issue.

Health Care: With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress and the presidency, Trump’s campaign promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, seemed certain. However, the replacement American Health Care Act initially divided House Republicans, some of who mockingly called the bill names such as Ryancare or Obamacare-lite.

The original bill was pulled before a House vote due to a lack of support, leading to Trump’s quip that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” A revised version of the bill narrowly passed the House recently. The bill is in the process of moving to the Senate, where legislators from both major parties are scrutinizing parts of the legislation. Since the original version of the AHCA was ironically not fully supported by Trump’s own party, the president can only claim a small victory on health care reform.

Supreme Court: Within two weeks of entering office, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Antonin Scalia’s vacancy on the Supreme Court. The important battle in this appointment was in Congress. Gorsuch is well qualified and experienced, and after a testy, partisan confirmation hearing, Gorsuch’s nomination went before the Senate floor.

Knowing that the Democrats would launch a filibuster to prevent the nomination, the Senate went “nuclear” and changed the rules so that the end of debate only needed a simple majority of fifty votes. Gorsuch was then confirmed and sworn into the Supreme Court. Trump did well in choosing an experienced candidate and was able to appoint a conservative judge as he had promised.
Washington Elites (The Swamp): The president has had mixed results in “draining the swamp” in the Capitol. Although Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner are shaking up the Trump administration behind the scenes, Trump appointed many familiar names to posts, such as Jeff Sessions to Attorney General and Elaine Chao to Secretary of Transportation.

The new president has had mild success in keeping his campaign promises. However, this sort of standard is unfair, as campaigning is a world apart from actually working as president. It will be the next three years and two hundred sixty-five days that truly matter. North Korea, Syria, sanctuary cities, health care, and a host of other issues will give President Trump many more opportunities to define his presidency, hopefully for the better.