Hire More Veterans at the VA
Curiously, this specific promise was missing from the Trump campaign's official position statement on veterans affairs reform.
In August 2017, Trump signed S. 114 - the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 - into law. Although not done in a way as originally promised, the act directs the VA to establish a program for hiring recently discharged military medical personnel.
Allow Legal Immigration Based on Merit
Trump spoke before Congress in February 2017 and called for a merit-based system, doubling down on his campaign promise but lacking in specifics.
In August 2017, Trump announced his support for the RAISE Act, introduced by Republicans in Congress in February. The Act would institute a points-based system while reducing the number of immigrants admitted over ten year's time.
Not Use the Presidency to Enrich Himself
So far, Trump has taken incomplete measures to create a "blind trust" and assign it to his family, effectively leaving Trump as a direct participant and beneficiary of his business empire. Meanwhile, decisions made by Trump have already resulted in contracts and payments from government agencies to Trump businesses to support his unusual split-residence situation. Of particular note is the ongoing cost of providing security to Trump Tower in New York City where Melania and Barron Trump reside and the U.S. military leasing space in TrumpTower to support "mission requirements" in anticipation of future Trump visits there. The latter differs from previous president's requirements for government use of space near private residences in that Trump owns the property being leased and is the ultimate recipient of the lease funds.
In early February, 2017, controversy over boycotts of Trump's daughter, Ivanka's, line of clothing and shoes by major retailers led administration officials Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway to address the issue directly, flirting with violating ethics rules by endorsing or supporting products while in a formal capacity.
Also in February, after initial jabs sent to China over the South China Sea and trade, Trump changed course and endorsed the "one China" policy, a unification theme maintained by mainland China with reference to Taiwan. Curiously, several days later China approved a 10-year trademark for construction services in China under Trump's name - one of dozens of such trademarks currently pending approval in China. regardless of whether the two events were directly correlated, this incident highlights the ethical conflicts of Trump maintaining direct ties to his businesses while in public office.
In May 2017, relatives of Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump, gave a presentation to investors in China that allegedly promised EB-5 "immigrant investor" visas to anyone who invested in Kushner 1, a New Jersey project presented to investors, also known as One Journal Square. Apparently Kushner has worked with EB-5 investors before joining the White House when, as chief executive of his family’s real estate company, Jared Kushner raised $50 million from Chinese EB-5 applicants for a Trump-branded apartment building in Jersey City.
The full extent of Trump and his administration's profits from being in government are not completely known, but many such entanglements are covered in this promise.
Lead a Coalition to Defeat "ISIS"
"ISIS" suffered major territory and battlefield losses from late 2016 into mid-2017, but it is not at all clear that the campaigns in Mosul and Raqqa deviated in any way from plans set in motion under Obama or that the role of coalition forces changed in any way under Trump. Even with major military setbacks, ISIS could still cause trouble as a terrorist organization; as of Summer 2017 no apparent administration policy or plan to deal with this transition - let alone build a coalition - has become apparent.
Cancel Executive Orders Issued by Obama
The wording of this promise is vague and can be interpreted in several ways. For instance, it could mean all Obama's Executive Orders, or it could just mean ones that Trump personally deems unconstitutional, leaving a lot of room for interpretation.
As of 21 January, 2017, after a full 24 hours in office, this promise had not been addressed. However, over the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, he did sign a number of executive orders aimed at Obama-era orders:
- An order reviewing an Obama order that designated or expanded 554 million acres of land as protected national monuments;
- An order changing the DOJ order of succession;
- An order directing federal agencies to rescind any existing regulations that "unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources," and that also rescinds four of Obama's executive actions, two of his reports, and tells the Environmental Protection Agency to review Obama's landmark Clean Power Plan;
- An order revoking an Obama order requiring federal government contracts over $500,000 go to companies that haven't violated labor laws;
- An order directing federal agencies to revise the Clean Water Rule;
- An order directing the Labor Secretary to review the "fiduciary rule," ordered by Obama;
- An order that loosened some ethics restrictions that Obama put in place.
Whether any of these could be called unconstitutional or if these represent "every" unconstitutional order is open to interpretation.
Introduce Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act
Congress is unlikely to be able to repeal the entire law without a supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate, but it can eliminate parts of the law with a simple majority. Experts say repealing just select parts of the law could lead to market chaos and an estimated 22 million Americans would lose coverage.
After an initial meeting with outgoing president Obama in November 2016, Trump said he would like to keep the provision forbidding discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and to allow young Americans to remain on their parents' healthcare plans. His subsequent appointment of Tom Price - an outspoken opponent of the ACA - as Health & Human Services secretary appears to double-down on his campaign promise.
On his first day in office, Trump signed an executive order aimed at the Affordable Care Act that pushes agencies to target provisions that impose a "fiscal burden" on a state or a "cost" or "regulatory burden" on individuals or businesses. Although it is not a direct action to void the ACA, his action could erode certain core features of the law while it is simultaneously being considered in Congress.
As of his 100th day in office, the Trump administration has introduced no legislation in this or any other matter. However, House Republicans introduced and passed a repeal bill in May 2017, a bill that Trump said he would support. Efforts in the Senate into Summer 2017 failed to move a health care bill forward, leading Trump to declare "we’ll let Obamacare fail," which appears to be a signal that he would neither repeal nor replace any time in the near future.
Prevent Immigrants from Using Welfare for at Least Five Years
Trump made this promise, apparently, without realizing that his promise was already law. In 1996, then president Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which prevents immigrants from receiving federal benefits, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and Social Security for five years after entering the country.
Modernize the Veterans Administration
In June 2017, Trump signed S. 1094 - Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 - which grants the Secretary the authority to "reprimand or suspend, involuntarily reassign, demote, or remove" any employee for misconduct or performance issues.
No other "modernization:" efforts have been announced to date.
Increase Treatment for Drug Addicts
Although not part of any legislation proposed by Trump himself, the health care plan introduced in the House in March 2017, which Trump supported, would have, beginning in 2020, eliminate an Affordable Care Act requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, allowing them to decide whether to include those benefits in Medicaid plans. This change would have effectively removed millions from coverage for addiction and reduced the amount of money spent on treatment, not increased. The act was pulled in Congress on March 24th 2017 during a contentious week of negotiations that failed to gain enough support to pass.
The Senate version of the bill, unveiled in June 2017, contained the same Medicaid cuts in the House bill that are expected to adversely affect treatment programs for as many as 2.5 million patients that receive addition treatment under Medicaid with very little offered to offset the cuts.
On March 29th, 2017, Trump signed an executive order forming a commission on drug addiction that is tasked to report back to Trump by the end of June 2017. The efficacy of the plan is questionable given that studies have already been performed under the previous administration and that doubling-down on "supply side" techniques that are widely considered ineffective on their own. At their first meeting in late June 2017, the commission's members spent the bulk of their time criticizing the House's healthcare bill and pressing for more Medicaid spending in the Senate's version.
Although not part of any legislation proposed by Trump himself, the American Health Care Act introduced in the House in March 2017 provided for the transition to a “per capita allotment” for states to manage Medicaid funds. The Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the Republican plan that estimated that it would cut $880 billion in federal funds from Medicaid over the next 10 years, causing 14 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage in 2026. Trump supported this Act, but the act was pulled in Congress on March 24th 2017 during a contentious week of negotiations that failed to gain enough support to pass.
The House passed a revised version of the AHCA in May 2017 which retained the cuts to Medicaid. Trump expressed his full support of the bill after it's passage. The Senate version of the bill, released after a contentious period of secrecy in June 2017, also included major cuts to Medicaid.