The Washington Examiner newspaper has investigated if there were any achievements in the first year under President Trump. Because of media attention on the Russia investigation, many of the milestones have gone relatively unreported. This has led to confusion among some voters who are wondering if anything is getting done in Washington. By its count, the Examiner has tallied 81 major policy accomplishments and with very few exceptions, Trump has made good on a wide range of campaign promises.
“And along the way, President Trump even outdid his own expectations and slashed at least 11 major legacy items of former President Barack Obama, including cracking down on the open border, slowing recognition of communist Cuba and effectively killing Obamacare by ending the mandate that everyone have health insurance or face a tax,” Paul Bedard Paul Bedard with the Examiner writes.
The unofficial list helps to counter the impression in the mainstream media and among congressional Democrats that outside the approval of Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch and passage of the tax reform bill little was done.
Administrations typically tout their achievements broadly at the end of each year, but Trump plans to list jobs added, regulations killed, foreign policy victories won, and moves to help veterans and even drug addicts.
And in a sign of support for conservatives, the White House also is highlighting achievements for the pro-life community.”
If politics comes up on Christmas in your family gathering, part of the conversation may swirl around the notion that President Trump has failed in his first year. In such a fast-paced news cycle, it’s sometimes difficult to remember every achievement that has been accomplished. Regardless if you are a Trump supporter or not, a lot got done. Below are the 12 categories and 81 wins cited by the Examiner.
Jobs and the economy
- Passage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate. See how it affects you.
- Increase of the GDP above 3 percent.
- Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent. Black unemployment at a 17 year low.
- Saw the Dow Jones reach record highs.
- A rebound in economic confidence to a 17-year high.
- A new executive order to boost apprenticeships.
- A move to boost computer sciences in Education Department programs.
- Prioritizing women-owned businesses for some $500 million in SBA loans.
Killing job-stifling regulations
- Signed an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one creates. He beat that big and cut 16 rules and regulations for every one created, saving $8.1 billion.
- Signed 15 congressional regulatory cuts.
- Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of environmental regulations.
- Signed an Executive Order cutting the time for infrastructure permit approvals.
- Eliminated an Obama rule on streams that Trump felt unfairly targeted the coal industry.
- Made good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- Opened up the North American Free Trade Agreement for talks to better the deal for the U.S.
- Worked to bring companies back to the U.S., and companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open U.S. plants.
- Worked to promote the sale of U.S products abroad.
- Made enforcement of U.S. trade laws, especially those that involve national security, a priority.
- Ended Obama’s deal with Cuba.
Boosting U.S. energy dominance
- The Department of Interior, which has led the way in cutting regulations, opened plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.
- Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.
- Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama.
- Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
- EPA is reconsidering Obama rules on methane emissions.
Protecting the U.S. homeland
- Laid out new principles for reforming immigration and announced plan to end “chain migration,” which lets one legal immigrant to bring in dozens of family members.
- Made progress to build the border wall with Mexico.
- Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants.
- Boosted the arrests of illegals inside the U.S. with particular focus on those who have committed crimes while in the U.S.
- Doubled the number of counties participating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement charged with deporting illegals.
- Removed 36 percent more criminal gang members than in fiscal 2016.
- Started the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.
- Ditto for other amnesty programs like Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.
- Cracking down on some 300 sanctuary cities that defy ICE but still get federal dollars.
- Added some 100 new immigration judges.
- Justice announced grants of $98 million to fund 802 new cops.
- Justice worked with Central American nations to arrest and charge 4,000 MS-13 members.
- Homeland rounded up nearly 800 MS-13 members, an 83 percent one-year increase.
- Signed three executive orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions created new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes.
- Trump has nominated 73 federal judges and won his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
- Ordered ethical standards including a lobbying ban.
- Called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch.
- Ordered an overhaul to modernize the digital government.
- Called for a full audit of the Pentagon and its spending.
- First, the president declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency on opioids.
- His Council of Economic Advisors played a role in determining that overdoses are underreported by as much as 24 percent.
- The Department of Health and Human Services laid out a new five-point strategy to fight the crisis.
- Justice announced it was scheduling fentanyl substances as a drug class under the Controlled Substances Act.
- Justice started a fraud crackdown, arresting more than 400.
- The administration added $500 million to fight the crisis.
- On National Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency collected 456 tons.
- In his first week, Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy that blocks some $9 billion in foreign aid being used for abortions.
- Worked with Congress on a bill overturning an Obama regulation that blocked states from defunding abortion providers.
- Published guidance to block Obamacare money from supporting abortion.
- Signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
- Signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act.
- Signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, to provide support.
- Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
- Created a VA hotline.
- Had the VA launch an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
- With VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, announced three initiatives to expand access to healthcare for veterans using telehealth technology.
Promoting peace through strength
- Directed the rebuilding of the military and ordered a new national strategy and nuclear posture review.
- Worked to increase defense spending.
- Empowered military leaders to “seize the initiative and win,” reducing the need for a White House sign off on every mission.
- Directed the revival of the National Space Council to develop space war strategies.
- Elevated U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command.
- Withdrew from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration, which Trump saw as a threat to borders.
- Imposed a travel ban on nations that lack border and anti-terrorism security.
- Saw ISIS lose virtually all of its territory.
- Pushed for strong action against global outlaw North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons.
- Announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens support for U.S. forces at war with terrorism.
- NATO increased support for the war in Afghanistan.
- Approved a new Iran strategy plan focused on neutralizing the country’s influence in the region.
- Ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase used in a chemical weapons attack.
- Prevented subsequent chemical attacks by announcing a plan to detect them better and warned of future strikes if they were used.
- Ordered new sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela.
Restoring confidence in and respect for America
- Trump won the release of Americans held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders.
- Made good on a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
- Conducted a historic 12-day trip through Asia, winning new cooperative deals. On the trip, he attended three regional summits to promote American interests.
- He traveled to the Middle East and Europe to build new relationships with leaders.
- Traveled to Poland and on to Germany for the G-20 meeting where he pushed again for funding of women entrepreneurs.