As Donald Trump approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency, now is a good time to review what he has accomplished so far. Last week, Trump said, “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.” It has been a bumpy and eventful ride so far. Since the Franklin Roosevelt Administration, the first 100 days have been heralded as the first test of a president’s success or failure. So how does President Trump stack up? Let’s start with what he has done so far, and then address the initiatives that may soon come to fruition.
What Trump has done so far
1. New bills: Trump has signed 28 bills into law, 13 aimed to reverse Obama policies. Many of these have been minor housekeeping bills. But no major pieces of legislation have yet been enacted.
2. Executive orders: To date, Trump has signed 24 executive orders, 22 presidential memorandums, and 20 proclamations. These numbers are not unusual when compared to past administrations.
3. Lagging appointments: While Trump has deservedly received high marks for his high-profile appointments, he is lagging in filling dozens of positions. Even Senate-confirmed positions remain unfilled. To his credit, the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, won approval and wide acclaim.
4. Foreign policy: The airstrikes in Syria and tougher stands against North Korea and Iran are a refreshing dose of presidential leadership that has been sadly lacking for the past eight years. Clearly, to Mr. Trump, red lines mean something. Still uncertain, however, is how this new posture will play out on a most complicated world stage.
What to watch for in the next 100 days
1. Health care: It appears congressional Republicans may finally be getting their act together, and a major health care reform bill may be passed soon.
2. Border wall: A centerpiece to his presidential campaign, the famous wall may be coming online soon. While many uncertainties remain, the wall is slowly making progress.
3. Tax reform: Tax cuts seem imminent. How will they be paid for? Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the plan will “pay for itself with growth.” In his argument, he promises that reducing business and individual tax rates will unleash so much economic growth that the lost revenue will be almost completely recouped. Predictably, this view is not met with support across the political divide.
While it is clear that the Trump Administration has failed to enact significant legislation, the fault must be shared with congressional Republicans, who must put laws on his desk, and congressional Democrats, who would oppose legislation that guarantees world peace and wipes out hunger everywhere – if it was proposed by Republicans. Trump can chalk up great victories in the make-up of his cabinet and his Supreme Court nominee. He should also receive credit for his posture on the world stage, especially in the face of tyrannical leadership around the globe.
Trump has enjoyed many great achievements so far. Most importantly, he is keeping his promises to the American people. He is actually doing the things he was elected to do. But when history looks back at the Trump Administration, these first 100 days – though significant – will matter far less than the next 1,361 days.