Six months in: Trump and his campaign promises
Six months into his presidency, here is where the 45th occupant of the White House stands in fulfilling some of the most notable promises in his ambitious agenda:
BUILD A WALL ALONG THE SOUTHERN BORDER, MAKE MEXICO PAY FOR IT
Trump issued an executive order on January 25, five days after taking office, directing the Department of Homeland Security to identify and allocate funding for “planning, designing, and constructing” the barrier along the US-Mexico border.
The anti-illegal immigration project has been stalled, however, by Mexico’s refusal to pay for the wall and reluctance in Congress to dedicate funding for the barrier, which could cost as much as $20 billion according to some estimates.
PULL US OUT OF PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE ACCORD
Trump annnounced on June 1 that the United States will withdraw from the 196-nation Paris agreement on climate change and seek to negotiate a new global deal.
Declaring that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” the US president complained that the accord signed under Barack Obama was giving other countries an unfair advantage over US industry and destroying American jobs.
Because of the wording of the agreement, the earliest possible date for an official US withdrawal from the accord is November 4, 2020 — just one day after the country’s next presidential election.
STATUS: PROMISE KEPT
REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE
Trump pledged to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — within the first 100 days of his presidency.
But he was thwarted this week when the Republican-controlled Senate failed to come up with the votes to overturn the health law.
The White House insisted, however, that the fight was not over and Trump said he intended to “let Obamacare fail” and come up with a new bill.
STATUS: PROMISE BROKEN
NAME A CONSERVATIVE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE
Trump promised during the campaign to nominate a conservative Supreme Court justice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, a right-wing icon on the court who died in February 2016.
Trump named federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, a Scalia disciple, to the vacant seat and Gorsuch was confimed 54-45 by the Senate.
STATUS: PROMISE KEPT
BLOCK ENTRY OF MUSLIMS INTO THE US
During the campaign, Trump controversially called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” until US lawmakers “can figure out what is going on.”
Since taking office, however, his efforts to temporarily ban entry into the United States of citizens from six Muslim-majority countries have met with repeated challenges from lower courts.
But Trump secured a partial victory as the Supreme Court approved a temporary ban on nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who cannot prove that they have close family relations in the United States.
STATUS: PROMISE PARTIALLY KEPT
TRADE: PULL OUT OF TPP, RENEGOTIATE NAFTA
Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the trade agreement with 11 Pacific nations — within days of taking office.
Formal talks with Canada and Mexico on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement could begin as early as August, according to The Washington Post.
STATUS: PROMISE KEPT
RENEGOTIATE THE NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN
During the campaign, Trump derided the 2015 agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions as “the worst deal ever.”
The United States imposed fresh sanctions on Iran on Tuesday over its ballistic missile program, but Trump has not followed through so far on his threat to force Tehran to renegotiate the accord.
Trump pledged during the campaign to crush the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and the Pentagon presented him in February with the outlines of a plan to do so.
Since then, IS fighters have been driven out of Mosul and Raqa, the capital of the so-called caliphate, is under seige.
IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA
Trump repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin while on the campaign trail and said he would improve US relations with Russia if he was elected president.
But Trump’s fledgling administration has been dogged by charges that members of his campaign may have colluded with Russia to get him elected. A special prosecutor is looking into the allegations.
Trump met face-to-face with Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg this month and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said they had “clear positive chemistry” during “very constructive” talks.
What comes of it remains to be seen.
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