KQED is asking “What issue are you interested in following through the first 100 days and why?” Read about the ways you can become active in the discussion through KQED and engage in the conversation.
The First 100 Days
Blame President Franklin D. Roosevelt for getting so much done in his first 100 days in office back in 1933. Thanks to his now-legendary productivity (15 major bills passed, total banking collapse avoided), the clock starts ticking for presidents as soon as they’re sworn in and doesn’t stop until the end of April. Rightly or wrongly, a new president’s first 100 days are seen as a time to start fulfilling major campaign promises, buoyed by a post-election wave of goodwill. How much a president accomplishes–or fails to get done–follows him throughout his term in office and even into the history books, as a quick search of “recent president’s name + first 100 days” reveals.
While Donald Trump entered office with the lowest approval rate in recent history, he and his administration, with the help of the Republican-dominated Congress, have already tackled several items on the list he outlined in the Contract with the American Voter, released shortly after the election.
Trump has already pulled the United States out of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement known as TPP and enacted a hiring federal hiring freeze that leaves thousands of government jobs unfilled. He has also taken the first steps to start work on a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and address the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he has vowed to renegotiate. He signed an executive order to “waive, defer, grant exemptions or delay” any part of the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) that creates a burden for consumers or the health-care system. This move is widely viewed as a strategy to destabilize the state insurance health exchanges, a key component of the ACA. In another executive action, Trump advanced approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline, currently the site of protests on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
Other well-known campaign promises, such as completely rolling back Obamacare and a massive spending plan to improve American roads, bridges and other infrastructure, will need congressional approval to move ahead. The Republican-controlled Congress, voting along party lines, has already taken steps to begin repealing the ACA, though there is currently no plan to replace the law.
With Congress firmly in the Republican camp, resistance to Trump’s 100-day agenda has come primarily from statehouses and voters themselves. Many governors, Republicans among them, are concerned that Obamacare’s repeal will send their budgets into a tailspin as they scramble to cover healthcare costs without federal support. And the day after the inauguration, women’s marches on all seven continents drew millions of people into the streets to protest Trump administration policies. Collectively, the estimated 500 marches in this country alone may have been the largest mass protest in U.S. history.
Whether you are protesting or cheering Trump’s policy agenda, tell us what issue you care about most and what you plan to follow through his first 100 days.