By Michael A. Memoli, LA Times
President Trump’s unorthodox quest for the White House was fueled by his disregard for convention and the nagging sense that he — and ultimately his supporters — were underestimated and disrespected.
Now sworn in to office as the 45th president, Trump and his team are determined to deliver quickly on promises — on the economy, healthcare, tax reform and immigration — that critics told him he could not possibly fulfill.
During his campaign, Trump embraced the notion of a first-100-day flurry in which he would quickly put his stamp on Washington. In a major speech in Gettysburg a few weeks before the election, he articulated three broad priorities: ending “corruption and special-interest collusion” in Washington, protecting American workers and restoring security and “constitutional rule of law.”
On his first day in office, he said he would take more than a dozen specific actions to advance priorities: introducing a constitutional amendment to impose congressional term limits, starting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and canceling federal money going to so-called sanctuary cities, among others.
Other legislative priorities would require congressional support: simplification of the tax code, a major infrastructure bill and tax credits for child and elderly care.
“If we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by, and for the people,” he said.
Trump’s transition team developed what it calls a Day 1, Day 100 and Day 200 action plan for campaign promises, devised by 14 implementation teams that Trump aides say devoted 135,000 hours to the task.
Building a border wall with Mexico — one of the new president’s signature campaign pledges — alone required multiple agency action plans because of the complexity of the endeavor. The transition made priorities of four other broad areas: “Buy America,” women and children, intellectual property and currency manipulation.
Separately, the new administration has been coordinating with Republican leaders on how to take advantage of the congressional calendar to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, start the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and later push tax and entitlement overhauls and ramp up immigration enforcement through the appropriations process ahead of a late-April deadline.
“That’s a first 100 days that I’m not sure any other conservative president has hit those kind of major milestones,” said James Wallner, vice president of research for the Heritage Foundation, which has consulted closely with the Trump team.
Trump takes office in a far different environment than President Obama encountered eight years ago. Then, an economy still in free fall required an urgent response on multiple fronts — preparing an economic stimulus package, debating a rescue of the auto industry and devising a response to the housing crisis, among other domestic priorities.
Trump inherits a relatively stable and growing economy and no crises demanding his immediate attention, giving him and his team more freedom to roll out an agenda on their own terms.