(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20 with a long list of promises for his first 100 days. His record has been mixed. Here are the main issues he has confronted and what he has achieved ahead of Saturday’s 100th day.
A pledge to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy, was among Trump’s central 2016 election campaign promises. It is also one of the biggest failures of his first 100 days.
A bill in the House of Representatives was withdrawn in late March when Republicans could not muster enough votes for passage even though they control the chamber.
A reworked plan this week has drawn support from the House Freedom Caucus, the conservative bloc that helped sink the original bill. That improves the chances of a deal in the House though it is unclear if it can win enough support from moderate Republicans, and it would face tougher challenges in the Senate.
Trump repeatedly promised the biggest tax reform since the 1980s. This week he proposed legislation to slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, cut the top personal income tax rate to 35 percent, repeal the inheritance tax, and temporarily slash the rate on overseas profits repatriated to the United States. The plan, however, is vague and even senior Republican lawmakers described it as offering only “guideposts” for legislative changes.
Trump’s foreign policy has been marked by major shifts.
Russia: Trump spoke admiringly of Russian President Vladimir Putin during the campaign and indicated he wanted a rapprochement with Moscow. But the administration has not been able to fend off a controversy that has led to a congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including possible links between Trump’s campaign and Moscow. Trump has cooled considerably toward Putin. Putin condemned Trump’s decision in early April to launch cruise missile strikes on Syria in punishment for a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, and Trump said the relationship with Russia “may be at an all-time low.”
North Korea: A growing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea is perhaps Trump’s most serious security challenge. He has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020. Trump’s administration aims to push North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programs through tougher international sanctions and diplomatic pressure. He has pressed China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, to do more to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
NATO: Trump alarmed U.S. allies during the election campaign by calling NATO “obsolete.” In mid-April he lavished praise on NATO and said it is not obsolete.
Syria: Trump had vowed to avoid entanglements in Middle East conflicts and, in his first days in office, said he did not want the United States dragged deeper into the Syrian conflict. But he responded to the chemical weapons attack, which killed dozens of people, by ordering strikes on a Syrian air base. That won praise from allies in Europe and from U.S. lawmakers.
IMMIGRATION AND A WALL
Trump promised a crackdown on illegal immigrants entering the United States and the deportation of illegal immigrants living in the country, especially those with criminal records. He also pledged to build a wall along the border and to get Mexico to pay for it.
The approach and strong rhetoric have had an effect with the number of migrants caught trying to enter the country illegally hitting a 17-year low in March. The number of children traveling with a guardian and apprehended at the southern U.S. border plunged by more than 90 percent in March from December.
Trump insists he will build the border wall, but in order to lift the threat of a government shutdown, he gave way on his demand this week that Congress include full funding for it in a spending bill.
Trump campaigned on a promise to bar the entry of Muslims into the United States, casting it as part of the fight against the Islamic State militant group. On Jan. 27, he ordered a temporary ban on the entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria. He also indefinitely banned refugees from Syria and temporarily banned refugees from all other countries. A federal judge temporarily halted the ban, and a federal appeals court upheld that ruling. Trump issued a revised travel ban in early March, only to see it again blocked in federal court.
Similarly, a federal judge this week blocked his order to withhold federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities, which offer safe harbor to illegal immigrants.
This is one of Trump’s clearest wins. His promise to select a like-minded successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died early last year, was kept with the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. The Senate confirmed Gorsuch despite Democratic opposition, restoring a conservative majority on the court.
Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal just days after his inauguration, keeping a campaign promise.
Trump had both threatened to withdraw from or renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), blaming it for an exodus of U.S. jobs to Mexico. The threats of withdrawal had jolted financial markets at various times. On Thursday, Trump extended an olive branch, saying he would not terminate NAFTA after the leaders of Mexico and Canada asked him to work on a new trade deal.
Trump also ordered a review of the causes of U.S. trade deficits, such as dumping of products below cost; unfair subsidies; “misaligned” currencies; and “non-reciprocal” trade practices.
Trump had vowed to name China a currency manipulator, meaning the United States could then impose tariffs on Chinese goods. But in mid-April he changed course and said that China was not a currency manipulator.
Trump has acted aggressively on his promise to eliminate regulations that he said were hurting the U.S. economy. He issued a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. He also rescinded Obama-era climate change regulations, including the Clean Power Plan; a ban on coal leasing on federal lands; and rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production.
As part of a push to open up more federal lands to drilling, mining and other development, Trump ordered a review to identify national monuments that can be rescinded or resized. Legal challenges are expected.
His administration has approved a dozen measures rolling back regulations passed in the final months of the Obama administration on the environment, energy, education and financial services.
BUY AMERICAN, HIRE AMERICAN
Trump has pledged to keep U.S. companies from shipping jobs overseas. Before taking office, Trump used the muscle of his election victory to threaten companies about moving jobs abroad. He claimed victories with the Carrier unit of United Technologies Corp and with Ford Motor Co, though Carrier still cut hundreds of jobs in Indiana and Ford said it scrapped plans for a Mexican factory because of declining demand for small cars in North America. The jury is still out on how successful he can be in keeping jobs from going overseas.
Trump ordered a review of the H-1B visa program, which brings highly skilled foreign workers into the United States. He says he wants to modify or replace the current lottery system with a merit-based system for highly skilled workers.
‘DRAIN THE SWAMP’
This was one of Trump’s rallying cries during the campaign, saying he would change Washington by cracking down on the influence of special interests and political elites. He criticized Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for her paid speeches to Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs but has named several former Goldman executives to his inner circle. He did ban appointees of any executive agency from lobbying for five years after leaving government employment and permanently banned future former appointees from activity on behalf of any government or political party abroad.
(Reporting by Leslie Adler; Editing by Kieran Murray and Howard Goller)