Pres. Donald J. Trump recently celebrated his first 100 days in unique fashion. He held a rally in Harrisburg, PA, while skipping the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner and traditional festivities. While the president touted his accomplishments before a partisan crowd in late April, many Americans may be asking: “What have you done for me lately?” Here is a rundown of Trump’s executive actions during the month of April.
Confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch
The president’s nomination won a narrow Senate confirmation process on April 7, that mostly followed party lines, 54-45, and ended the usage of filibusters against Supreme Court nominations. Gorsuch was sworn in April 10, 2017, and his appointment restores the four-member SCOTUS conservative block.
NATO Allies Increase Spending
On April 12, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that allied spending had increased by $10 billion as a result of President Trump’s outspokenness on the issue. It has been widely reported that only five of the NATO countries have met their 2 percent GDP obligation to date, including the United States.
Illegal Immigration Is Down
Politifact concurred with President Trump that illegal Southwest border crossing attempts hit a 17-year low and stand approximately 73 percent lower than the previous administration in mid-April. The statistics are culled from routine U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrest figures along the Mexican border, consistent with previous metrics. However, under the Trump Administration, ICE agents have arrested and removed fewer illegal immigrants than in 2015 and 2016 during the first four months of the year. In 2016, ICE removed 59,938 illegal immigrants. In 2015, 62,062 were deported in during the same period.
NAFTA and Tariffs
The Trump Administration has agreed to renegotiate the trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico in conjunction with each country’s leaders. The proposed talks come as Trump indicated a potential withdrawal from NAFTA. The U.S. also leveled trade sanctions in the form of a tariff against Canadian softwood lumber that effects approximately $5.6 billion worth of imports. The two countries also have a running dispute over dairy distribution and pricing. Trump vowed to terminate NAFTA if renegotiation proves fruitless in terms of furthering American interests.
During the month of April, Pres. Trump signed a variety of Executive Orders that include:
- A review of offshore oil and gas exploration. The order reverses the previous administration’s Arctic Leasing Ban.
- Forming the new Office of Accountability for the Veteran’s Administration. The VA has been under fire from whistleblowers claiming abuses that include subverting facts about veteran health care waits periods, among other issues.
- A review of national monuments designations. Past presidents set aside millions of acres of land under the 1906 Antiquities Act. President Obama used this act to federalize 1.35 million acres in Utah late in his tenure despite opposition by state officials including Sen. Orin Hatch.
In early April, Pres. Trump ordered a strike against Syrian forces in response to a chemical weapons attack reportedly perpetrated on civilians. American warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting resources at a Syrian airbase. A military assessment reported that 58 of 59 missiles destroyed their intended targets in the surgical strike.
Approximately one week later, the U.S. military dropped M.O.A.B, nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs. After deploying the 21,600-pound bomb that killed nearly 100 insurgents in Afghanistan and key infrastructure, it came to light that Pres. Trump has directed the nation’s military leaders to conduct such strikes based on tactical field assessments without his pre-authorization.
President Trump certainly has been busy in April, but not all citizens agree with the choices he has made. What are your thoughts on them? Please, tell us below, in the comments.