by Countable | 11.10.16
Donald Trump will be sworn-in as president on January 20, 2017 and if his plans are any indication, that’s going to be an incredibly busy 24 hours for the president-elect and the new Republican Congress. With two short months before he enters the White House, Trump has already laid out what he plans to do on day one, in a document released last month, which you can read about below.
Included in the document is Trump’s plan for the first full 100 days of his presidency, though the legislation that he suggests he will introduce in those first few months is much less specific in many cases than his plans for day one, likely because he will need to coordinate with Congress. The 100 Day plan includes repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it, but does not lay-out what a replacement would look like and funding construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. You can read more about the 100 day proposals on his website.
Several of Trump’s ideas for day one correspond to bills that are already being considered in Congress. You can click on the bills below to vote on them and tell your reps what you think. For those without corresponding legislation, you can click "take action" to contact your reps about those and other issues.
FIRST, propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress.
Adding term limits for members of Congress would require a constitutional amendment, which is no easy task. (You can read about how that process would work here). There are five active bills in Congress to add term limits for members, that make different decisions about how long representatives and senators would be able to serve. They are:
SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health).
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), who is retiring at the end of this year, introduced legislation last year to reduce the number of federal employees. The bill instructs federal agencies to do that through attrition (allowing people to quit/retire without replacing them) and/or through hiring freezes. It also leaves some wiggle room for the president, allowing him to lift the restrictions or freezes in case of war or "an extraordinary emergency threatening life, health, safety, or property."
THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.
Congress had considered a "one-in, two-out" rule in 2013, but that legislation went nowhere. So in 2015, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) changed his plan and introduced the One In One Out Act, to eliminate one federal regulation for each new one added. But that hasn’t gotten a vote in the House or Senate either. Should it? Tell your reps.
FOURTH, a five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.
This proposal hasn’t made it to Congress yet. Should your reps take it up? Let them know.
FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
This proposal hasn’t made it to Congress yet. Should your reps take it up? Let them know.
SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
Although Congress is considering legislation to crack down even more on the possibility of foreign individuals and entities making contributions to American political candidates, this proposal goes much further than anything Congress has proposed so far.
FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205.
This proposal hasn’t made it to Congress yet. Basically, NAFTA is a trade agreement to lower tariffs on imports between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. It was negotiated by President George H.W. Bush, passed with bipartisan support in Congress and then signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. (The International Business Times has great, in-depth background on NAFTA here). Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s ready to discuss NAFTA and potentially renegotiate with Trump. Whatever, if any, agreement they come to, it’ll need Congress’ approval.
SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Congress hasn’t yet had a chance to vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP, a trade deal between the U.S. and 11 other pacific nations). They did, however, grant President Obama the authority to make the deal, passing legislation that prevents Congress from making any alterations to the final TPP agreement through amendments when they finally get a chance to approve or disapprove of it. Trump has said that he’ll pull the U.S. out of the deal, but Obama could give it to Congress before he takes office. At that point, your reps will have to decide whether to support the deal as-is, reject it entirely, or refuse to vote on it until Trump is sworn-in. (You can read more about the TPP at the BBC).
THIRD, I will direct the Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator.
Trump doesn’t need Congress for this one; he can label China a currency manipulator on his own. This is an idea that Mitt Romney had on his day one plan as well. But as Foreign Policy wrote at the time, it’s not clear what that would actually change. The U.S. has labeled China a currency manipulator before (in the early 90s), but that merely sets up negotiations with China over its exchange rate; something we’re already doing. Congress could pass legislation to punish China and other nations that the U.S. deems "currency manipulators," however. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who is on Trump’s transition team and could join the cabinet, has legislation to do just that.
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.
Trump doesn’t need Congress for this one, though they could come in to help enforce and pay for decisions made by the new administration.
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.
Because these are largely regulations put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump can do a lot of this on his own as well. Congress hasn’t looked at any legislation that would be nearly this comprehensive, but they have introduced numerous bills to prevent the EPA from protecting more bodies of water, to delay the EPA’s clean power plan, etc.
SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward.
Congress passed legislation approving of the Keystone Pipeline in early 2015, but didn’t have enough support to override President Obama’s veto of that bill. With Republicans still in control of Congress in 2017 and Trump in the White House, that bill or another authorizing construction should pass easily.
SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.
Congress is already considering legislation to prevent the U.S. from contributing any more money to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund, though it hasn’t gotten a vote yet. The Obama administration sent $500 million of a $3 billion planned investment in the fund by 2020 earlier this year, which angered members of Congress who have the constitutional power of the purse. (The State Dept. said it took the money out of a general fund already approved by Congress for the U.N. fund because Congress didn’t explicitly prohibit them from doing so).
FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama.
Trump does not need congressional approval for this one, though if Congress supports any of the executive actions, they could pass legislation similar to those orders, but that would need either Trump’s signature or sufficient support to override a veto. Examples of these executive orders include the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and setting the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour.
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 U.S. Constitution.
Trump’s SCOTUS nominee(s) would have to approved by the U.S. Senate. Here is his list.
THIRD, cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities.
This is another area where Trump would need congressional approval, since they control funding. Congress is already considering legislation to remove federal funding from sanctuary cities (which prohibit law enforcement officers from complying with federal immigration laws).
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.
Congress doesn’t currently have legislation specifically targeting unauthorized immigrants with criminal backgrounds for deportation, though there is obviously some support in the Capitol for that kind of plan. Trump could authorize the Department of Homeland Security and other federal law enforcement to do so on his own, but it’s likely that Congress would need to approve federal funding to support such an effort.
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."
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has already introduced legislation to suspend visas for individuals coming from 34 "high-risk" countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. The House has also passed legislation to require the Dept. of Homeland Security to consider “terrorism risk” when granting visas to foreign citizens interested in entering the U.S. That bill has not yet gotten a vote in the Senate.
Tell your reps what you think of Trump’s plans for his first day in office. Should they get to work passing (and/or writing) some of these bills in January or should they oppose them? Let your reps know what you think.
— Sarah Mimms
Photo by Michael Vadon/Flickr
Written by Countable