When he was running for office, President Donald Trump promised to “make America great again.” Now that he’s been in the White House for a month, he’s taken action to execute some of those plans outlined on his campaign trail.
Trump entered the Oval Office with a flurry of executive actions, many of which addressed his campaign promises, from tackling immigration to ‘draining the swamp.’ But other commitments, like repealing Obamacare, require help from Congress, which has only sent him one bill to sign thus far.
So how has Trump fared when it comes to fulfilling his promises?
Build a wall & make Mexico pay for it
When Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015, he promised to “build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
Mexico will pay for the wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2016
On January 25, Trump signed an executive order authorizing construction of the wall and threatening to cut funding for so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ that do not enforce federal immigration laws. In response, President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled his trip to Washington.
US Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, has said the wall would be built in two years, while the White House has floated the idea of introducing a 20 percent tax on products imported from Mexico.
Our border is being breached daily by criminals. We must build a wall & deduct costs from Mexican foreign aid! http://t.co/jEgR6jSQ5J
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2015
Battle radical Islamic terrorism & ban Muslims
In December 2015, while advancing his crusade against radical Islamic terrorism, Trump went so far as to call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” which he later clarified to include American Muslims abroad.
On January 27, Trump signed an executive order that blocked people from seven majority-Muslim countries ‒ Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen ‒ from entering the US for 90 days. It also suspended the US refugee program for 120 days. Its rollout triggered mass confusion, deportations, protests, and lawsuits.
On February 3, a federal judge issued a nationwide, temporary restraining order against enforcing the executive order. Days later, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that TRO.
On Thursday, the Department of Justice filed a brief saying that it will not appeal the 9th Circuit’s decision. Instead, Trump is expected to rescind the current executive order and issue a new one next week.
Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
Drain the swamp
In the campaign’s homestretch, Trump promised to “drain the swamp” ‒ meaning the Washington, DC establishment ‒ by restoring government ethics and shrinking the federal bureaucracy.
In an “ethics commitments” executive order issued on January 29, Trump banned appointees from lobbying any government official for two years and the agency they worked in for five years. He also restricted them from ever lobbying the US on behalf of a foreign government or foreign political parties.
While some of his Cabinet picks, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have been viewed as being in line with his promise to ‘drain the swamp,’ Trump has been accused of instead “flooding it with oil” because of their ties to the oil industry.
Repeal & replace Obamacare
Last March, Trump unveiled his seven-point health-care plan which he said would “completely repeal Obamacare,” which he referred to as “terrible legislation.”
The day he was inaugurated, Trump signed an executive order“to ease the burden of Obamacare as we transition from repeal and replace,” according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer. In the final days of Obamacare open enrollment in January, the Trump administration pulled advertising and stopped outreach efforts reminding Americans of the deadline to enroll.
On Wednesday, the IRS announced it would no longer reject tax filings of those who do not have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was in direct response to the president’s executive order. On the congressional side of things, lawmakers have taken the first steps in repealing the ACA, but have not yet come up with an alternative plan.
‘America first’ foreign policy
Trump laid out his foreign policy vision as “America first” during a speech in Washington, DC last April.
“My foreign policy will always put the interests of American people and American security above all else. That will be the foundation of every single decision I will make. ‘America first’ will be the major and overriding theme of my administration,” Trump said.
The controversial free-trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was unraveled with a stroke of a pen when Trump signed an executive order withdrawing US participation.
With the business mogul having previously called the trade pact a “potential disaster” for the US, opposition to the TPP was one of the key planks of Trump’s presidential campaign. His administration will be scrapping free trade for fair trade, the new president said, adding he would prefer bilateral trade deals with individual TPP countries instead of a global partnership.
Trump has also criticized another existing partnership, the military alliance with NATO. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he described NATO as “obsolete” and singled out other members’ lack of military spending as proof the US was “paying disproportionately” to maintain the alliance.
In February, the new US Defense Secretary James Mattis, delivered an ultimatum to NATO allies, telling them to increase their military spending, or see America “moderate its commitment” to the alliance.