The first 100 days has been the traditional yardstick of a president's early achievements since Franklin Roosevelt. But no candidate in history laid out a first 100-day agenda as explicit as the one President Trump announced last October.
In a speech on the hallowed ground of Gettysburg, Pa. just 18 days before his surprise victory, Trump gave one of the most important speeches of his presidential campaign — turning a vague campaign promise to "Make America Great Again" into a specific 100-day action plan.
The list of 28 campaign promises, he said, was "a contract between Donald J. Trump and the American voter."
At the time, his campaign called it "a game-changing plan for his first 100 days in office."
Now that Trump is nearing that 100-day benchmark, though, he's calling it "a ridiculous standard" to measure a president's accomplishments.
Perhaps that's because the scope of his 100-day plan was enormously broad, covering a constitutional amendment, regulations, trade, tax reform, health care and the military. And the timeframe was ambitious: He promised to take executive action on the first 18 points of his 100-day contract on the very first day.
Spoiler alert: He didn't.
He's also 0 for 10 on his promises to achieve his goals through legislation. Only one — a health insurance rewrite — has even been introduced, and that fell apart as Trump couldn't get the support of House conservatives.
Did Trump keep his contract with the American voter? Here's what has become of his promises:
On ethics and corruption
► Term limits: "A constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress."
There have been seven such amendments introduced in the House of Representatives this Congress, but none have gotten a hearing. The most popular, with 32 co-sponsors, is a measure proposed by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., which would limit representatives to three terms and senators to two terms. Trump himself has been silent on the issue since becoming elected, but constitutional amendments don't require his signature.
► Hiring freeze: "A hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition exempting military, public safety, and public health."
Trump signed a hiring freeze on the Monday after Inauguration Day but then lifted it this month. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the administration was replacing the across-the-board hiring freeze with "a more surgical plan.” It's not yet clear what effect the hiring freeze had on overall federal employment.
► Deregulation: "A requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated."
Trump signed the "one in, two out" executive order in January.
► Lobbying ban: "A five year-ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service, making a fortune."
Trump’s ethics executive order addresses only executive branch officials. The only bill introduced to address congressional officials is sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio — a Democrat — and has only three co-sponsors.
The order fails to meet an earlier promise Trump made — not tied to his first 100 days — to expand the definition of "lobbying." And it retains his ability to grant secret waivers to the rule.
"He started with something more robust and then moved into something less robust," said Maggie McKinley, a Harvard University fellow who studies lobbying and ethics. "On paper, he has begun to fulfill his promises. But with his lack of commitment to that executive order and his waivers of it — creating loopholes and exceptions — he hasn’t come close."
► Foreign lobbying ban: "A lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government."
Trump’s ethics executive order contains this provision.
► Foreign lobbyist contributions: "A complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections."
No Trump executive order has addressed this, and it's unclear whether legislation would be constitutional. Foreign governments and political parties often hire U.S. citizens to lobby on their behalf, and Trump himself accepted contributions from these foreign agents — and some Trump campaign and administration officials have admitted lobbying for foreign governments themselves.
On trade, energy and environment
► Renegotiate NAFTA: "I will announce my intention to totally renegotiate NAFTA — one of the worst deals our country has ever made — signed by Bill Clinton, or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205."
Even though this was another promise for his first day in office, Trump has not yet formally filed to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement. The White House has blamed the delay on a number of factors, including the delay of getting his nominee for U.S. trade representative confirmed in the Senate and the complex legal mechanisms for reopening the treaty.
"Like we want to start to negotiate with Mexico immediately, and we have these provisions where you have to wait long periods of time, you have to notify Congress, and after you notify Congress, you have to get certified, and then you can’t speak to them for 100 days," Trump said last week in Kenosha, Wis. "The whole thing is ridiculous."
And on Tuesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross offered a new explanation, saying the administration needed trade promotion authority from Congress in order to fast-track the renegotiated agreement.
► Withdraw from TPP:"I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country."
Trump signed a memorandum formally withdrawing from the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal on his first Monday in office.
► Chinese currency:"I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator. China is a currency manipulator," he said. "I blame our politicians for letting this take place. So easy to stop."
The Treasury Department's annual report on foreign exchange policies on April 14 conspicuously failed to label China — or any other country — a currency manipulator. In an apparent reversal, Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview, "they're not currency manipulators."
Trump defended his failure to take action on Twitter: “Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?” he said April 16.
► Unfair trade practices: "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."
Trump signed that executive order March 31.
► "Unlock" energy: "Very importantly 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 and we will put our miners back to work."
On March 28, Trump ordered agencies to "immediately review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy." The order also revoked a number of Obama regulatory executive actions on climate and energy production. The president is expected to sign executive orders on energy and the environment this week as part of a sprint to the 100-day finish line.
► Pipelines: "I will lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks that allow for this vital energy infrastructure projects to forward. We have roadblocks like you've never ever seen. Environmental blocks, structural blocks, we're going to allow the Keystone Pipeline and so many other things to move forward. Tremendous numbers of jobs and good for our country."
In his first week in office, Trump signed presidential memoranda moving forward the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and formally approved the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline March 24.
► Climate change: "We are going to cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America's water and environmental infrastructure. We're paying billions and billions and billions of dollars. We're going to fix our own environment."
An advance summary of Trump's proposed 2018 budget "eliminates the Global Climate Change Initiative and fulfills the president’s pledge to cease payments to the United Nations’ climate change programs." But that budget has not been passed — nor has the infrastructure plan that would earmark climate money to infrastructure.
On law, immigration and security
► Obama executive actions. "First, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama."
This promise begs the question of which Obama executive orders Trump believes were unconstitutional. Obama signed 276 executive orders and a record-breaking 257 presidential memoranda. Trump has explicitly revoked only a handful of them.
Revoked Obama orders include executive orders on government contracting, climate change, ethics, historically black colleges and universities, the creation of the White House Rural Council and the order of succession in the Justice Department. Trump has also revoked presidential memoranda on international abortion funding, climate change and national security, power plant pollution, wetlands mitigation,
► Supreme Court nomination: "Begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice (Antonin) Scalia. ... From one of the 20 judges on my list, you know we're going to make great decisions from twenty outstanding judges on a list that we submitted who will uphold and defend the constitution of the United States."
Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, one of the judges on his pre-election list, to the Supreme Court on Jan. 31. He was confirmed April 3 and sworn in as an associate justice April 10. Conservative groups, including the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, count his appointment as a promise kept.
► Sanctuary cities: "We will cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities."
A Jan. 25 executive order directed the attorney general to “take appropriate enforcement action” against jurisdictions that fail to respond to federal requests for information about undocumented immigrants in their custody. The Justice Department began to take steps against nine jurisdictions last week, threatening to withhold grant funds unless they certify their compliance with a federal law requiring them to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. But a federal judge blocked those attempts Tuesday, saying any strings on federal grants must be attached by Congress.
The order also required the Department of Homeland Security to compile “a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens” and any local law enforcement agencies that released them from their jails. ICE produced the first report on March 20, but “temporarily suspended” the reports three weeks later because they were riddled with errors.
► Deportations: "We will begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country these are drug dealers, gang heads, gang members, killers, and cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take them back."
A Washington Post analysis of federal data found that immigration-related arrests were up 32.6% in the first weeks of the Trump administration, and detainer requests — or “holds” on immigrants to be deported — were up 75%. But actual deportations — which can often take months to process — were down 1.2% in the first three months of the year.
But it's not just criminals being targeted. A USA TODAY analysis found that 26% of those arrested in the first immigration raids under Trump had no criminal record. Under Obama, it was just 10%.
Trump’s immigration dragnet has also stepped up enforcement against “DREAMers,” those who came to the United States as children and who were allowed to stay indefinitely under a 2012 Obama program. But Trump has deported at least 43 childhood arrivals in his first month after revoking their status for criminal activity.
► Travel ban: "We're going to suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. ... All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting. We will be very careful."
Trump’s first executive order on Jan. 27 was held up by several federal courts, prompting him to rewrite it on March 6. But enforcement of that order, too, has been legally blocked — most notably by a federal judge in Hawaii — and the issue could be headed to the Supreme Court.
The administration has also conceded that it has not developed procedures for the “extreme vetting” of refugees.
Unlike his promises on executive orders, which he intended to issue on day one of his presidency, Trump's legislative proposals had a 100-day timeline. In Gettysburg, Trump said he would "work with Congress to introduce" 10 key pieces of legislation, and "fight for their passage within the first 100 days."
By that measure, press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday, Trump has lived up to his promise. "I think we're going to continue to work with Congress — as he says in that document, 'I will work with Congress' to achieve these things; we are going to continue to work with Congress to achieve those."
Here's the status of his legislative wish list:
► Trump's promised Middle Class Tax Relief and Simplification Act would give the typical middle-class family with two children a 35% tax cut, reduce the number of tax brackets and simplify tax forms. The business rate would be lowered to 15% — and 10% for offshore profits brought back to the United States.
Trump said he plans to release the outlines of a tax plan on Wednesday.
► The Offshoring Act would enact new tariffs on companies that move operations overseas and then try to ship their products back to the United States. "They leave the United States and fire all of their employees," Trump said. "So we will establish tariffs that when they do that there will be consequences."
The bill has not been introduced.
► The American Energy & Infrastructure Act would spend $1 trillion in infrastructure on bridges, highways, hospitals, schools, airports and other capital projects, through a combination of federal money and private investment. He also promised that the plan would be "revenue neutral," meaning it won't add to the deficit.
In Wisconsin last week, Trump said a proposal is coming soon. "Infrastructure is coming, and it’s coming fast," he said.
► The School Choice and Education Opportunity Act would provide taxpayer support to parents who want to send their children to private, charter, religious or home schools. It would also prohibit federal support of common core standards and support vocational education, Trump said.
No Trump-endorsed bill has been introduced, but a bill introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., the Ending Common Core and Expanding School Choice Act, would accomplish many of the same aims. That bill has no cosponsors and has been referred to committee.
► The Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act was Trump's name for a hypothetical, all-encompassing health care overhaul bill, including a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, expansion of health savings accounts and expedited drug approvals.
This was supposed to be a slam dunk, as Republicans have railed against the health care law throughout Obama's presidency. For procedural reasons, Congress is tackling the issue in phases, but its first attempt at phase one — the American Health Care Act — failed after conservatives withheld their support.
► The Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act would allows taxpayers to deduct childcare and elder care expenses and give employers more incentives to provide on-site child care.
The bill has not been introduced.
► The End Illegal Immigration Act would provide congressional funding the Mexican border wall "with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall." The proposal would establish a 2-year prison sentence for those who illegally re-enter the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year sentence for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanors or two or more deportations. "So when somebody comes in, we send them out. They come back, they go to prison for quite a while," he said. "Once you do that, they will stay out."
The bill has not been introduced. And the funding for the border wall appears to be delayed, as Trump now says he might push the battle over getting funding for a border wall until the 2018 fiscal year.
► The Restoring Community Safety Act would increase training and assistance to local police and provide funding to "dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars or out of our country."
The bill has not been introduced.
► The Restoring National Security Act would eliminate the budget "sequester" under the 2011 Budget Control Act, which limits increases in federal spending and keeps domestic spending on pace with defense. "Also, we are going to protect our vital infrastructure from the new thing, cyberattack," he said.
The spending issues would likely be addressed in the annual budget and spending bills. No standalone bill has been introduced.
► The Clean up Corruption in Washington Act would codify the ethics standards in Trump's executive order and extend them to members of Congress and their staff, banning them from lobbying for five years after leaving government — and change the definition of a lobbyist to "close all the loopholes."
Various ethics reform proposals have been introduced in Congress, but Trump has not formally endorsed any of them.
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