Oh my stars. Will there be Wars, a Trek, a Search, or just the usual futile gazing?
By all accounts, both President-elect Trump and the new still Republican controlled 115th Congress are ready to hit the ground running to accomplish things Trump campaigned on and set out in Trump’s Contract With the American Voter — his plan for the first hundred days of his presidency.
The new Congress will begin Tuesday and will try to pass a budget blueprint that will begin the repeal of Obamacare the same way it was passed — through reconciliation, even before Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. After that, the to do list includes confirming Donald Trump’s Cabinet and killing Obama regulations will dominate a busy January for Congress.
According to Trump’s plan, on the first day of his presidency Trump’s Administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:
- FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
- SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
- THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
- FOURTH, a five year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
- FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government; and
- SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
On the same day, Trump will begin taking the following seven actions to protect American workers:
- FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205;
- SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership;
- THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator;
- FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately;
- FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal;
- SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward; and
- SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure,
Additionally, on the first day, Trump will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:
- FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama;
- SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States;
- THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities;
- FOURTH, begin removing the more than two million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back; and
- FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
Congress and Trump plan on being very busy.
Those opposed to Trump’s agenda, or just opposed to Trump, are not going to just sit around and watch.
The deportation of criminal illegal aliens will be opposed by the very sanctuary cities Trump intends to defund. The leaders of sanctuary cities have declared they will protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. Students, professors, alumni and others at colleges and universities including Harvard, Yale and Brown have signed petitions asking their schools to protect undocumented students. Even religious congregations, including churches and synagogues, are declaring themselves “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants fleeing deportation.
Nor will opponents let repeal of the ever unpopular Obamacare pass easily, President Obama will meet with Congressional Democrats about how to shield Obamacare from Republican efforts to dismantle it. Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders will host a so-called “day of action” on Jan. 15 to raise grass roots support for shielding social safety net programs.
That’s not all. Obama has also taken a number of actions to protect some of his legacy items and stymie Trump’s agenda before Trump takes office.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are plotting resistance to Trump. Leaders of the group told Politico they have already discussed strategies to deal with Trump and any of his policies they oppose — from public school funding to low-income housing to voting rights.
Then there are the Democrats’ efforts to obstruct Senate confirmation of Trump’s cabinet picks. The Washington Post reports that Democrat senators plan to aggressively target eight of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees in the coming weeks and are pushing to stretch their confirmation votes into March — an unprecedented break with Senate tradition.
Thanks to the Senate rules change pushed through by Harry Reid and Democrats in 2013, Trump’s non-Supreme Court nominees will need only a simple majority to be confirmed. Given Republicans’ 52-vote majority, that means they can lose as many as two votes even if Democrats succeed in keeping their members in line on opposing nominees.
There will be plenty of opposition to Trump’s agenda. I wouldn’t sell Trump short. He proved by winning the presidency that he never ceases to surprise and over perform expectations the Political Establishment hold of him.
Whether Trump the Outsider is able to overcome the inertia of the Political Establishment and accomplish his agenda for the first hundred days of his presidency will tell us if he is likely to be a successful president.