President Trump complained Friday about the “ridiculous standard” of judging an administration’s ability to govern based on its first 100 days — a checkpoint he will reach a week from Saturday.
As his 100th day in office fast approaches, Trump has signed executive orders at a frenetic pace but does not have a major legislative accomplishment — despite having a Republican-controlled Congress. But Trump lashed out at the press for supposedly belittling his many successes, apparently bracing himself for the deluge of news reports assessing his record to date.
No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017
His early-morning tweet alludes to perhaps the biggest accomplishment of his new administration: confirming Neil Gorsuch as the late Antonin Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court.
But two of Trump’s biggest policy moves have come up short. Federal courts blocked both versions of his controversial executive order suspending the U.S. refugee program and barring people from several Muslim-majority countries. And the American Health Care Act, which would have begun the process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare), was withdrawn from consideration before it reached a vote.
Shortly after his election victory in November, the Trump team published a video in which he elaborated on his policy plans for the first 100 days of his administration. He has, in fact, followed through on many of the promises that can be effected through executive orders. These include withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and reducing regulations for coal-mining companies.
Trump is not the first to complain that the hundredth day is an arbitrary benchmark, but it’s become common practice for gauging effectiveness since President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the concept as a way of evaluating his New Deal. In that time, Roosevelt managed to get 15 bills through Congress as the nation struggled to lift itself out of the Great Depression.
The 100-day measure didn’t seem ridiculous to Trump during the campaign. While vying for the White House, Trump unveiled his “Contract with the American Voter,” in which he vowed to get 10 legislative measures through Congress within the first 100 days of his administration: Middle Class Tax Relief and Simplification Act, End the Offshoring Act, American Energy and Infrastructure Act, School Choice and Education Opportunity Act, Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act, Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act, End Illegal Immigration Act, Restoring Community Safety Act, Restoring National Security Act and Clean Up Corruption in Washington Act. None of these have been enacted yet, but Trump has been advancing toward several of these goals through executive actions.
Trump's Contract With The American Voter made big promises for his first 100 days. pic.twitter.com/CG4vv98Ofr
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) April 21, 2017
Though Trump is wont to blame the media for the perception of any shortcomings, even White House press secretary Sean Spicer struggled to name a single legislative victory of the young presidency. At Wednesday’s press briefing, Spicer was asked if he could set aside executive orders and name one piece of legislation from the president’s agenda that he’s proud to have gotten through Congress.
“Well, a few things on that. Number one, we’re not done. We’ve got a little ways before we hit the 100-day mark,” Spicer said. “So I think what you’ve seen out of this White House is a very robust agenda of activity. There’s a lot of executive orders that I think the President has been pleased with.”
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