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Less Than Half of 100-Day Promises Met 04/25 06:16

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sure enough, the big trans-Pacific trade deal is toast, 
climate change action is on the ropes and various regulations from the Obama 
era have been scrapped. It's also a safe bet President Donald Trump hasn't 
raced a bicycle since Jan. 20, keeping that vow.

   Add a Supreme Court justice --- no small feat --- and call these promises 
kept.

   But where's that wall? Or the promised trade punishment against China --- 
will the Chinese get off scot-free from "the greatest theft in the history of 
the world"? What about that "easy" replacement for Obamacare? How about the 
trillion-dollar infrastructure plan and huge tax cut that were supposed to be 
in motion by now?

   Trump's road to the White House, paved in big, sometimes impossible pledges, 
has detoured onto a byway of promises deferred or left behind, an AP analysis 
found.

   Of 38 specific promises Trump made in his 100-day "contract" with voters --- 
"This is my pledge to you" --- he's accomplished 10, mostly through executive 
orders that don't require legislation, such as withdrawing the U.S. from the 
Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

   He's abandoned several and failed to deliver quickly on others, stymied at 
times by a divided Republican Party and resistant federal judges. Of 10 
promises that require Congress to act, none has been achieved and most have not 
been introduced.

   "I've done more than any other president in the first 100 days," the 
president bragged in a recent interview with AP, even as he criticized the 
marker as an "artificial barrier."

   In truth, his 100-day plan remains mostly a to-do list that will spill over 
well beyond Saturday, his 100th day.

   Some of Trump's promises were obviously hyperbole to begin with. Don't hold 
your breath waiting for alleged Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl to be dropped out 
of an airplane without a parachute, as Trump vowed he'd do at many of his 
campaign rallies. China's leader got a fancy dinner, complete with "beautiful" 
chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago this month, not the promised "McDonald's 
hamburger" and humble pie.

   But many promises were meant to be taken seriously. Trump clearly owes his 
supporters a Mexico border wall, even if it doesn't end up being a foot taller 
than the Great Wall of China.

   One page of his 100-day manifesto is devoted to legislation he would fight 
to pass in 100 days. None of it has been achieved.

   The other page lists 18 executive actions and intentions he promised to 
pursue --- many on Day One. He has followed through on fewer than a dozen, 
largely through the use of executive orders, and the White House is boasting 
that he will set a post-World War II record when he signs more this week.

   That's a change in tune.

   "We need people in Washington that don't go around signing executive orders 
because they can't get people into a room and get some kind of a deal that's 
negotiated," he declared in New Hampshire in March 2015. "We need people that 
know how to lead, and we don't have that. We have amateurs."

   Efforts to provide affordable child care and paid maternity leave, to make 
college more affordable and to invest in urban areas have been all but 
forgotten. That's despite the advantage of a Republican-controlled Congress, 
which the White House failed to pull together behind Trump's first attempt to 
repeal and replace "Obamacare."

   An AP reporter who followed Trump throughout the presidential campaign 
collected scores of promises he made along the way, from the consequential to 
the fanciful. Here are some of them, and his progress so far:

   ___

   ENERGY and the ENVIRONMENT:

   --- Lift President Barack Obama's roadblocks on the Keystone XL and Dakota 
Access pipelines.

   Done. Keystone XL is revived and construction of the Dakota Access is 
completed.

   --- Lift restrictions on mining coal and drilling for oil and natural gas.

   Done. Trump has unraveled a number of Obama-era restrictions and initiated a 
review of the Clean Power Plan, which aimed to restrict greenhouse gas 
emissions at coal-fired power plants.

   --- Cancel payments to U.N. climate change programs and pull out of the 
Paris climate accord

   Nope. Trump has yet to make a decision on Paris. His aides are torn.

   ___

   ECONOMY and TRADE:

   --- Pass a tax overhaul. "Just think about what can be accomplished in the 
first 100 days of a Trump administration," he told his supporters again and 
again in the final weeks of the campaign. "We are going to have the biggest tax 
cut since Ronald Reagan." He promised a plan that would reduce rates 
dramatically both for corporations and the middle class.

   Nowhere close. Trump has scrapped the tax plan he campaigned on, and his 
administration's new package is in its early stages, not only missing the first 
100 days but likely to miss a new August deadline set by Treasury Secretary 
Steve Mnuchin. Some details may emerge this week.

   ---Designate China a currency manipulator, setting the stage for possible 
trade penalties because "we're like the piggy bank that's being robbed. We 
can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're 
doing."

   Abandoned. Trump says he doesn't want to punish China when it is cooperating 
in a response to North Korean provocations. He also says China has stopped 
manipulating its currency for unfair trade advantage. But China was moving away 
from that behavior well before he took office. Also set aside: repeated vows to 
slap high tariffs on Chinese imports.

   ---Announce his intention to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American 
Free Trade Agreement.

   Backtracked, in essence. A draft of his administration's plan for NAFTA 
proposes only a mild rewrite. But in his AP interview, he threatened anew to 
terminate the deal if his goals are not met in a renegotiation.

   --- Direct his commerce secretary and trade representative to identify all 
foreign trading abuses that unfairly hurt American workers.

   Done. Trump has initiated plenty of studies over the past 100 days.

   --- Slap a 35 percent tariff on goods from companies that ship production 
abroad. Force companies like Apple and Nabisco to make their products in the 
U.S.

   Nope.

   ---Embark on a massive $1 trillion effort to rebuild the country's 
infrastructure, including airports, roads and bridges.

   Not yet.

   __

   SECURITY, DEFENSE and IMMIGRATION:

   --- Immediately suspend the Syrian refugee program.

   Trump tried, but the first version of his travel ban was blocked by the 
courts. A revised version dropped references to Syrian refugees entirely. That 
was blocked, too. And he has yet to mention another campaign pledge: to deport 
Syrian refugees already settled in the U.S.

   --- Inform his generals they have 30 days to submit a new plan for defeating 
the Islamic State group.

   Trump did indeed order up a plan. It's unclear what it is since it has yet 
to be made public.

   --- Suspend immigration from "terror-prone regions" where he says vetting is 
too difficult.

   Trump's effort to bar immigration temporarily from some Muslim-majority 
countries has been stymied by courts.

   --- Implement "extreme" immigration vetting techniques.

   In progress. The Homeland Security Department is considering a number of 
measures, like asking for visitors' phone contacts and social media passwords.

   ---Build an "impenetrable physical wall" along the length of the southern 
border, and make Mexico pay for it.

   The government has been soliciting bids and test sections could be built as 
soon as this summer. Mexico is not paying for this work.

   ---End federal funding to "sanctuary cities" --- places where local 
officials are considered by Washington to be insufficiently cooperative in 
arresting or detaining people in the country illegally.

   The Justice Department has threatened to do so, but there are legal limits.

   --- Immediately deport the estimated 2 million "criminal aliens" living in 
the country, including gang members, in joint operations with local, state, and 
federal law enforcement.

   Deportations have not increased. Arrests of people in the U.S. illegally are 
up and illegal border crossings are significantly down.

   ---Cancel visas for foreign countries that won't take back criminals 
deported by the U.S.

   There's been no discussion of this yet.

   ---"Immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive 
amnesties," one of which allows young people brought into the country as 
children to stay and work.

   Trump has made no effort to end the program, even though it would take a 
single phone call. In fact, he told AP these young people can "rest easy" and 
not fear deportation.

   ___

   GOVERNMENT and the SWAMP:

   --- Ask agency and department heads to identify job-killing regulations for 
elimination.

   Done.

   --- Propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members 
of Congress.

   Nope.

   --- "Drain the swamp."

   On his pledge to curb the power of special interests, Trump has so far used 
an executive order to prohibit political appointees from lobbying the 
government for five years after serving in his administration and to ban 
outgoing officials from representing foreign governments. But he's 
discontinuing the Obama-era practice of releasing White House visitor logs, 
restoring a shroud over what special interests are getting in his gates. He's 
also issued at least one waiver to his lobbying ban, allowing a White House 
budget adviser to go advocate for a business trade group

   --- Impose a hiring freeze on federal employees, excluding military and 
public safety staffers.

   This was one of Trump's first actions. But the freeze has since been lifted.

   ---Require that two regulations be eliminated for each new one imposed.

   Trump signed an order requiring agencies to identify two existing 
regulations for every new one imposed --- though there is nothing in the order 
that requires the two to be eliminated.

   ___

   FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

   --- End the strategy of nation-building and regime change.

   Trump's foreign policy posture is still in its early stages, though he has 
already intervened in Syria and has escalated rhetoric against North Korea.

   --- Move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

   The administration says it is studying the issue.

   --- Negotiate the release of all U.S. prisoners held in Iran, even before 
taking office. Renegotiate or leave the Iran nuclear deal.

   No prisoners have been released. The administration is studying the nuclear 
deal and Trump told AP "it's possible" the U.S. will withdraw.

   --- Create a safe zone in Syria for refugees, paid for by the Gulf states.

   Not yet.

   ___

   HEALTH CARE, COURTS and GUNS:

   ---"My first day in office, I'm going to ask Congress to put a bill on my 
desk getting rid of this disastrous law and replacing it with reforms that 
expand choice, freedom, affordability. You're going to have such great health 
care at a tiny fraction of the cost. It's going to be so easy."

   The bill to replace "Obamacare" was pulled from Congress because it lacked 
enough support. He will try again with a revised plan.

   --- Begin selecting a new Supreme Court judge to fill the court's vacancy.

   Done. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch and the Senate approved him.

   --- Eliminate gun-free zones in schools and on military bases.

   Nope.

   ___

   REALLY?

   --- "I promise I will never be in a bicycle race."

   So far, so good. Trump's vow came after John Kerry, then secretary of state, 
broke his femur in May 2015 while riding a bicycle. He was not in a bicycle 
race.

   ---Bar his generals from being interviewed on television.

   Never mind that. Army Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, as Trump's national security 
adviser, recently appeared on a Sunday news show. Several senior military 
officers have done Pentagon news conferences in the past few months that are 
taped by the networks. Gen. John Nicholson, the top general in Afghanistan, 
appeared at a news conference Monday.

   ---No time for play.

   Most weekends as president, Trump has broken his pledge to avoid the golf 
course, after years of criticizing his predecessor for playing the game. 
"Because I'm going to be working for you, I'm not going to have time to go play 
golf," he told a Virginia rally in August. "Believe me."

   ---Season's greetings.

   "If I become president, we're gonna be saying Merry Christmas at every 
store. ... You can leave 'happy holidays' at the corner."

   As president-elect over the holidays, he sent a "Merry Christmas" tweet. So 
did President Obama. And both sent Happy Hanukkah wishes.


(KA)

 
 
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