Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
April 24, 2017
This Saturday, April 29, marks the 100th day of the Trump presidency. While critics are quick to point out what the administration and Congress haven’t gotten done so far, we must not overlook what they have gotten done—including the most significant regulatory relief since the Reagan administration, a renewal of America’s energy strength, and the addition of an outstanding new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
President Trump and the Republican majorities in Congress were elected on calls to shake up Washington and jolt our economy back to life. Neither goal can be fully accomplished in 100 days, but our leaders have made progress on both. And with Congress returning from a two-week break, there is an opportunity to finish the first 100 days with a fresh burst of momentum.
The new government should be proud of its fast and efficient work to roll back the Obama administration’s regulatory onslaught. Congress has used the Congressional Review Act to rescind 12 harmful rules on issues ranging from labor requirements to broadband privacy to federal contracting. President Trump has made equally effective use of his executive authority, ordering the review of regulations stemming from Dodd-Frank and Obamacare and even creating regulatory reform officers in each federal agency.
Some of the most important deregulatory victories have been in the field of energy. The new government has advanced permitting decisions for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, begun to withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule, repealed restrictions on fracking on federal lands, erased the Department of the Interior’s anti-coal Stream Protection Rule, and more. President Trump has signaled a strong commitment to fostering American energy independence.
The president’s appointment—and the Senate’s confirmation—of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is another move that fulfills a campaign pledge and will pay dividends for many years to come. Justice Gorsuch is a champion of the constitutional principles of limited government, and his early appearances on the bench have proven that he was an excellent choice.
As members of Congress return to Washington, they must build off of these early successes and recommit to tackling the toughest issues before us. President Trump has reaffirmed his commitment to getting health care reform passed, and now Congress must overcome its differences to forge meaningful consensus. Then it needs to move forward with a tax code overhaul and infrastructure modernization. As our leaders tackle this daunting to-do list, they should commit to expanding on the successes—and learning from the setbacks—of the first 100 days.