As you may know, last Saturday was President Trump’s 100th day in office, and while the media has a habit of overhyping the 100-day mark in a new President’s term, it does provide a good opportunity to reflect on the pace of the President’s accomplishments and his commitment to keeping his promises.
Overall, I am happy with President Trump’s track record to date. After eight years of failed leadership, the people of Idaho demanded change, and we are starting to get the kind of conservative change the people of Idaho want and deserve.
The most important achievement was President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. On so many issues – from abortion to marriage, from immigration to health care – the Supreme Court is truly a co-equal branch with Congress and the White House. Last year, Candidate Trump promised to nominate justices in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the greatest justices of all time. Based on everything I’ve seen and read, Justice Gorsuch will be a worthy successor to Justice Scalia and make the people of Idaho proud.
But the President’s accomplishments don’t stop there. When it comes to the economy, he has shown passion, focus, and determination. Specifically, he is using a record number of executive orders to shrink government power over the economy and unleash free enterprise. Among other things, President Trump has approved permits for the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines, stopped his predecessor’s “Clean Power Plan” that was significantly harming America’s energy industries, and created an Office of American Innovation to streamline government with business ideas.
Congress is doing its part too. So far in 2017, the House has used the long-dormantCongressional Review Act (CRA) over a dozen times to repeal last-minute Obama administration regulations, most of which would be detrimental to the economy. These include a “stream protection” rule that threatened one-third of the nation’s coal mining jobs; an oil and gas rule hamstringing development of domestic energy; and a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that advantaged foreign competitors over U.S. energy companies. I voted for every CRA bill that has been signed into law.
These actions are already having an impact. In a recent interview, Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, noted that President Trump – working with the Republican Congress – “has unleashed the animal spirits of American investors, consumers and businesses. Consumer confidence is at a 10-year high. The stock market is up 10 percent since his election. And major manufacturing companies are responding by choosing to invest at home rather than abroad.”
The issue of health care has been – and always will be – a complicated one, given that health care covers one-sixth of the U.S. economy. But when it comes to Obamacare specifically, President’s Trump’s campaign promise was a simple one: He would “repeal and replace” it. I’ve made that same promise to the people of Idaho, and I take that promise seriously. That’s why I opposed the first version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) because it didn’t go far enough in keeping our promises.
Over the last few months, I have been working to improve AHCA, joining with my colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus and negotiating directly with the Trump administration. I met with the President at the White House and had multiple conversations with Vice President Pence. These negotiations have led to a better bill although it still needs to be improved. The work continues, and I personally will not rest until we fully repeal Obamacare because that’s what I promised the people of Idaho.
The President has also made important strides on immigration. He is starting to halt federal funding to “sanctuary cities” (which are in violation of federal law), while increasing the number of immigration enforcement personnel. In addition, his budget includes much-needed money for a southern border wall. Since Trump took office, illegal border crossings have fallen to a 17-year low.
On foreign policy, President Trump’s work has been mostly positive. This in part because he has surrounded himself with a stellar team, led by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster – who literally wrote the book on the Vietnam War - and no-nonsense Defense Secretary James Mattis. Trump and his team are showing more U.S. assertiveness globally, accelerating bombings against ISIS in Afghanistan so we can end that conflict sooner and working with directly with China to contain the monstrous regime in North Korea. This is in sharp contrast to the “lead from behind” philosophy of President Obama.
We still have a lot of work to do, but President Trump is off to a good start, and I hope to see even more progress going forward.
When things got tough for Trump last year, I stood with him. Now that he’s President, I want to do everything I can to help him succeed.
Town Halls in Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene
Rep. Raúl R. Labrador will host town hall meetings in Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene on Friday, May 5. The public and news media are welcome to attend. The full schedule is below.
Friday May 5
11:00 AM PT
Silverthorne Theater (Administration Building)
Lewis-Clark State College
500 8th Avenue
Lewiston, ID 83501
6:30 PM PT
Lake City High School Auditorium
6101 Ramsey Road
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815