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National Govt & Politics
Despite controversy, Trump grinds out some progress in first 100 days
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Despite controversy, Trump grinds out some progress in first 100 days

Despite controversy, Trump grinds out some progress in first 100 days
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Despite controversy, Trump grinds out some progress in first 100 days

As both parties and the White House do their very best to spin the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, it has been an at times tumultuous political start in the White House for President Donald Trump, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been able to make progress on some fronts in the opening weeks of his time in office.

Let's take a look at where Mr. Trump has been able to push the ball down the field in his first 100 days - and where things have not gone according to plan.

1. Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court. When you talk to Republicans about the start of the Trump Administration, many GOP lawmakers eagerly cite this nomination. "We cannot miss that we have nominated and confirmed Neal Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court," said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). "Confirming Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in his first 100 days was a 30 year victory for President Trump," said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). We won't know for many years where Gorsuch ends up on the ideological spectrum of the Court, but certainly there is no denying how important this was for Trump, and for Republicans who support him. "And I got it done in the first 100 days," Trump said earlier this month. "You think that's easy?"

2. Tough talk and enforcement leads to immigration slowdown. While President Trump certainly has not fulfilled all of his promises to crack down on illegal immigrants (DACA is still in effect, for example), his policy changes on immigration law enforcement seem to have had an impact, as the number of people trying to get across the southern border of the United States has clearly slowed. In December, over 16,000 families were stopped at the border - that was down to 1,100 in March. Overall in March, the number of people apprehended at the border is down 64 percent from where it was a year earlier. "These numbers are lower because we've shown we're serious about border security and enforcing our immigration laws," said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

3. Trump, GOP try to reverse federal regulations. Whether through executive actions, or efforts within federal agencies to rewrite major rules and regulations, President Trump has certainly taken a step to fulfill his promise of overturning regulations. And Congress has chipped in as well, sending the President 13 different measures to overturn a regulatory rule of the Obama Administration. "We’ve lifted one terrible regulation after another at a record clip, from the energy sector to the auto sector. And we have many more to go," Mr. Trump said as he signed an executive order last week. Whether you think these changes are good or bad isn't the point - rolling back red tape and regulations is something Republicans have talked about a lot - now Mr. Trump is in position to deliver.

4. Trump follows through on tough trade rhetoric. During his campaign, President Trump made clear that he felt that American workers and businesses were getting the shaft when it came to trade agreements, and he's continued to press that case during his time in the White House. Just this week, Mr. Trump railed against Canada, and demanded a re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, while holding out the threat of simply terminating that agreement. "It's been very good for Canada, it's been very good for Mexico, but it's been horrible for the United States," the President said. Tough talk on trade - whether NAFTA, or Chinese steel or other items is popular with many Trump supporters - and with Rust Belt Democrats as well. Don't underestimate how well this issue plays for the President.

5. Shaking up Washington, D.C. If there was one message that I heard maybe more than any other out on the campaign trail in 2016, it was the desire of supporters of President Trump to send a message to the political establishment - of both parties. They wanted to vote for him, because he was going to shake things up in Washington. Well, he certainly has succeeded in doing that. Again - as in other examples - you may not agree with what he's done, or how he has gone about doing it, but he certainly has introduced a different dynamic in the nation's capital. Obviously, there is room for argument about whether shaking things up actually leads to progress.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

While progress has been made on some of his goals, there are certainly other issues where the President and Republicans in Congress have not been able to push ahead and fulfill their campaign promises.

Some of those include:

+ Health care - The legislative effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law remains hung up in the House, and even if a bill gets approved there, it's not clear what the Senate would be able to do, as Republicans remain at odds on the best way forward. The GOP was trying to get a vote in the House before the President's 100th day, but had to abandon that plan on Thursday night. They will try again next week.

+ Infrastructure - President Trump talked a lot about how he would spur new job growth by pushing a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, using a public-private partnership to trigger work on new roads, bridges and more. But the White House has not unveiled any official proposal, and there is no momentum on it in the Congress. How do you pay for it? That was the big hangup in the Obama Administration as well.

+ Border wall money - The White House wanted money in a stop gap budget plan to help build a wall along the border with Mexico, but basically hit a wall in Congress. First, Democrats are in no mood to help him, and there are a number of Republicans who don't think much of the issue either. This will be a flashpoint again later this year.

+ Tax reform - While the President unveiled an outline of a tax reform plan this week, many details were still To Be Determined, and that doesn't bode well for fast action in the Congress on a tax bill. Back in 1985, President Reagan delivered a full legislative bill to Congress on reform, and that was used as the basis for action. This time, the GOP has a one page flyer from the President. Lawmakers like to have some political cover, and the President has offered little.

+ Expectations - While President Trump grumbled a bit this week about the 100 day measurement, he set the bar pretty high on his own last year during the campaign, vowing to get ten major initiatives through the Congress. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen, but when you look back from this point, it's important to realize how much energy it takes - even with one party control of the White House and the Congress.

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News

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  • Kevin Hunter Jr., the son of talk show host Wendy Williams and her estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, has reportedly been arrested after punching his father at a store in New Jersey. “Entertainment Tonight” reported that officials with the West Orange Police Department confirmed Hunter Jr. was arrested. >> Read more trending news  According to police, the 18-year-old college student was charged with simple assault Wednesday. “Kevin Jr. was a bit aggressive towards his father and his father tried to control the situation,” an unnamed source said of the incident, according to “Entertainment Tonight.” “Kevin Jr. then punched his father in the face and the cops were called sometime later. Kevin Sr. and Kevin Jr. have always had a great relationship. Not everything is as it appears and Kevin Sr. looks forward to moving past this.” Related: Wendy Williams divorcing husband, manager Kevin Hunter amid rumors of affair “(Kevin Hunter Jr.) was arrested and charged with assault yesterday by the West Orange police. He was given a summons,” a spokesperson for Essex County Family Court told Us Weekly in a statement. “Basically this is a matter that will be handled in family court. … He was processed in West Orange and then released to appear on a summons at a later date.” In a statement to TMZ, Hunter Sr. said, “I love my son very much and I will not be pursuing this matter legally. Things are not always how they appear.” TMZ provided more details on the alleged incident, claiming that unnamed sources said Hunter Sr. and Hunter Jr. were arguing over Hunter Jr.’s demand for spousal support. According to the website, Hunter Sr. put his son in a chokehold and Hunter Jr. punched him in the nose to break away. Related: 'Trying to right some wrongs': Wendy Williams' estranged husband Kevin Hunter issues apology Williams filed for divorce from Hunter Sr. in April, citing “irreconcilable differences between the parties which have caused the breakdown of the marriage for a period of six months” and “no reasonable prospect of reconciliation,” according to “ET.” The divorce came after months of speculation that Hunter Sr. had an affair and rumors that he has a child with his mistress.  Related: Wendy Williams says she’s dating again, ‘rediscovering’ her love of men On her talk show, Williams has spoken about dating again, saying she’s “rediscovering” her love of men and living in New York, where her show is filmed. “I am working on my divorce pleasantly,” she said on her May 14 show.  “You don’t just throw away 25 years lock, stock and barrel. I’ve gotta tell you something right now, as a mature single -- almost single -- woman, I will tell you this: We do have our son, and he is away at college and he’s home right now. He’s home for college break. He sees me, he sees his dad.”
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  • A man accused of stealing $80,000 from a woman he met on a dating website was arrested Tuesday in Tennessee. John Martin Hill, 34, allegedly told the Alpharetta, Georgia, woman he was a millionaire and convinced her they were in love. Within a week of meeting on Match.com, they agreed to marry, according to officials with the Gwinnett County Police Department. The money was was purportedly going toward the purchase of their first home. Police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said that once the money changed hands, the woman did not hear from him again. Police released a photo of Hill on Tuesday morning and asked for the public’s help to locate him. Before the day was out, he was behind bars in Franklin, Tennessee, Pihera said in a Wednesday news release. Hill faces a charge of theft by deception in Gwinnett County. Since announcing the charge, Pihera said police have heard from a few other women who said they were in a relationship with Hill or knew another woman who was. >> Read more trending news  Police are hoping the Alpharetta woman’s misfortune will be a cautionary tale for others who seek love online. “When meeting someone online, be very cautious sharing personal information, financial information, or cash with someone in the early stages of a relationship,” Pihera said in a statement. “These types of con men are very good at manipulating their victims. They tend to say everything that a woman wants to hear.” According to investigators, the scheme started March 27. Hill and the Alpharetta woman exchanged messages on the dating site and arranged to meet in person later the same day. The proposal came next. “During their short romance, he convinced her that they were in love and wanted to buy a house together,” Pihera said. “They went house hunting and selected a home they were interested in.” Related: Man meets Georgia woman on dating site, defrauds her out of $80K, police say The woman thought her $80,000 contribution would help with a down payment on the home and buy the couple some furniture. Police said she didn’t know Hill was already living in an apartment in Duluth, Georgia, with another woman and a child.  Investigators learned Hill has changed his name more than five times in the past three years and is accused of committing similar acts in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. They did not quantify the number of cases connected to Hill.  According to officials with the Franklin Police Department, officers tracked Hill to a Marriott hotel Tuesday night, acting on a tip. When they confronted him, Hill allegedly darted into a hotel conference room and hid under a table. He came out on officer’s orders and was arrested.  Hill, who also has a listed address in South Carolina, is being held in the Williamson County Jail in Tennessee in lieu of a $500,000 bond, according to Franklin Police Department officials. He is expected to be extradited to Georgia, officials with the department said.  “By sharing this story, it is our hope that he is not able to victimize any other women using this scam,” Pihera said in a statement. “We are thankful that the victim in our case came forward and reported this crime,” she said. “If any other women have been victimized by Hill, we encourage them to contact their local police department.”
  • A Chicago-area high school is reprinting its yearbooks after students appeared to show hand gestures associated with white supremacy in more than a dozen photos. >> Read more trending news  Students made the upside-down “OK” gesture in 18 photos of the Oak Park River Forest High School yearbook, Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt-Adams said in an email sent after a specially called school board meeting Monday night. The school will pay $53,794 to reprint the yearbooks, The Chicago Tribune reported. The gesture started as part of the “circle game,” a juvenile “made-you-look” game, according to the Tribune. Students making the hand gestures in the yearbook were of “various races, ethnicities, genders and grades,” Pruitt-Adams said. However, the gesture has recently been appropriated by white supremacists. Among those who have publicly flashed the symbol is the suspected gunman in the March 15 New Zealand mosque attack that left 51 people dead, the Tribune reported. School officials worried the gesture will become more closely associated with white supremacy, and could harm students when they’re applying to colleges or jobs. “My understanding is [yearbook staff] followed protocol,” she said. “Things in this country change so rapidly. I don’t want anyone to think we are accusing our students of anything. For us, it was the impact of what the publication could have on the student body.” Options like cutting pages out of the yearbook or placing stickers over the photos were considered, but deemed infeasible, Pruitt-Adams said. It’s expected to take three to four weeks to receive the new yearbooks. In the meantime, the school has ordered 2,200 autograph books for students to collect signatures in.