Trump’s first 100 days: 8 things to watch


JIM WATSON/Getty Images

JIM WATSON/Getty Images

Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who cajoled Congress in 1933 to approve the foundation of what was to become the New Deal, presidents have used their first 100 days in office to push through key elements of their agenda.

President Donald Trump will use his first three tone-setting months pursuing ambitious plans to roll back major Obama administration initiatives and enact measures meant to stimulate job growth. Trump will have a clear advantage not enjoyed by all incoming presidents: His party controls the legislative branch.

Trump has laid out his plans via Twitter and his “Contract with the American Voter.” Here are his top priorities for his first 100 days.

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Affordable Care Act

The 115th Congress already has been sworn in, so it’s getting a jump start on some issues, including the repeal of Obamacare. Trump apparently favors an approach pushed by U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican who has lobbied for Congress to simultaneously repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a GOP health care plan.

Although there is no timeframe for when a Republican-backed proposal will be voted on, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said a replacement will come about “quickly.”

The wall

Plans to build a security wall along the Mexican border — a key campaign promise — also appear to be moving forward. The Trump team has called for Congress to approve funding construction of the wall through the appropriations process.

Trump still maintains Mexico ultimately would be forced to pay for construction, only now via reimbursement. He has not said how he would force the country to comply.


Trump has long derided the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement, calling the pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico the worst trade agreement the country has ever signed. He has pledged to renegotiate or withdraw the country from NAFTA, which he has called a job-killer.

Trump also has promised to kill U.S. support for the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership, another trade agreement, albeit one that has not been ratified. In a Nov. 21 video posted to Twitter, Trump said he would issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the pact.

“Instead we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores,” he said.


Throughout the transition, Trump has heaped scorn upon manufacturing firms that build their products elsewhere to be sold in the United States, hoping to bring – or keep – more jobs in the U.S.

But he’s also pledged to make it easier for some companies to do business here, particularly in the energy sector.

In his video, Trump said he would “cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs. That’s what we want, that’s what we’ve been waiting for.”

Immigration reform

During his first 100 days in office, Trump has pledged to “begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back,” according to his website.

He’s talking about people here illegally who have been convicted of a crime, although it’s not clear if his figure is correct.

The Supreme Court

Last year, Trump released a list of 20 judges from which he said he would pick future nominees to the Supreme Court. Up first, replacing Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016, leaving a vacant seat that Republicans in the Senate have refused to let Obama fill.

An analysis in The New York Times found that the ideology of potential Trump nominees are “widely dispersed.”

McConnell recently criticized comments suggesting Democrats may seek to block Trump’s picks indefinitely: “I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate, and we’ll be looking forward to receiving a Supreme Court nomination and moving forward on it.”

Tax reform

Trump has called for broad tax cuts for both individual taxpayers and businesses. Most Americans would see an increase in take-home pay as a result of Trump’s policies, although the non-partisan Tax Foundation found that Trump’s plan could lead to significantly higher budget deficits.

While this is part of Trump’s “contract,” Vice President-elect Mike Pence recently signaled that “fundamental tax reform” might not occur until later in the new president’s first year in office.

Governmental reform

During the last months of his presidential campaign, Trump focused on a theme of “draining the swamp.”

The policies attached to this theme focus on changing how politicians and bureaucrats work in Washington, D.C. Trump says he will:

  • Propose a constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on all members of Congress.
  • Enact a hiring freeze for all federal government positions, with the exception of military, public safety and public health employees.
  • Pitch a five-year ban on White House and congressional officials from becoming lobbyists after they leave the government.

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