On the campaign trail, President Trump vowed to change Washington dramatically in his first 100 days.
Since taking office on Jan. 20, the New York real estate mogul has indeed shaken up politics with a slashing and unpredictable style, but his major accomplishments on policy have been limited.
So far, Trump’s biggest three achievements have been filling a vacant Supreme Court seat, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and dismantling various Obama-era regulations.
Some of his bigger plans for repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting taxes and building a border wall on hold for now, while other achievements are either smaller in scale or have yet to be tackled.
In many ways, it’s too soon to tell how Trump’s presidency will go. There are 1,461 days in the term he is currently serving, which leaves a lot of time for him to achieve his campaign goals before the next inauguration.
Here’s a look at Trump’s three biggest accomplishments during his first 100 days.
Appointing a Supreme Court Justice
Trump’s biggest achievement as president so far was set in motion before he was elected. When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in early 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the upper chamber would not fill his seat until a new president took office. To reassure conservatives, Trump released two lists of potential Supreme Court nominees.
Less than two weeks into his presidency, Trump chose 49-year-old Neil Gorsuch, a federal judge in Colorado. Due to opposition from Democrats still smarting over McConnell’s blocking of Obama’s choice for the seat, Republicans ultimately had to invoke the “nuclear option” and change Senate rules to allow confirmation by a simple majority.
Gorsuch helped cement a conservative majority on the court and could serve for decades, while the rule change will make future Supreme Court nominations easier, making this by far the most significant accomplishment of Trump’s time in office so far.
Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Trump’s “America First” campaign broke with decades of Republican orthodoxy on multinational trade agreements. One of his first actions in office was to officially cancel a pending 12-country regional free trade agreement that the Bush and Obama administrations had argued would help the U.S. compete with China.
On his third day in office, Trump signed an executive action withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Congress had not ratified the trade deal, and campaign rival Hillary Clinton had also criticized it, but the withdrawal signaled a major shift in how the U.S. approaches global economics.
Going forward, Trump has also talked about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, signing more bilateral trade agreements and changing the rules on imports from Canada and Mexico, but so far ending the TPP remains his biggest achievement.
Dismantling Obama-Era Regulations
Like many Republican candidates, Trump campaigned by criticizing federal regulations. In office, he has methodically rolled back a number of recent Obama-era regulations by executive action and the bills passed under the Congressional Review Act, which allows faster review of rules finalized late in the previous administration.
Among other things, Trump has reversed policies: requiring federal contractors disclose and correct serious safety violations, requiring internet service providers get permission from customers before sharing personal data like their web-browsing history, blocking some people with mental illnesses from buying guns, issuing a permit for Keystone XL pipeline.
These accomplishments were tailor-made for Trump’s first 100 days, since Obama’s executive orders could be overturned by the same process, but the Congressional Review Act period ends in early May, so there may not be many more coming.
- Exclusive: The Making of the U.S. Military's New Stealth Bomber
- Your Next House Could Be Made on an Assembly Line
- The Legal Implications of the Debate Over Whether 'Extreme Racism' Is a Mental Illness
- Why European Countries Are Giving Teens Free Money To Spend on Books, Music, and Theater
- Republican Skepticism of Trump Has Never Been Higher
- Column: The U.S. Prison System Doesn't Value True Justice
- How Green Is the Qatar World Cup’s Outdoor AC?
- 16 Funny and Whimsical White Elephant Gifts Under $25
- The 5 Best New TV Shows Our Critic Watched in November 2022