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Trump Tactics: What Can The New President Accomplish On His Own
01/10/2017 Inauguration Andrew S
keywords: Trump Tactics

As inauguration day approaches, many wonder how President Trump will enact his controversial agenda. While his party will have trouble overcoming a Democratic filibuster in Congress, he can use executive powers to pass many of his intended policies, including:

Overturning Obamacare

Trump has vowed to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While only Congress can completely abolish the law, he can use executive orders to severely weaken it. The easiest way to do this would be to order an end to an appeal that President Obama had filed against a Federal District Court ruling. The court determined that the president was using unauthorized funds to reimburse insurers for covering high-risk patients. If Trump drops the appeal, the court’s ruling will stand and insurers will not receive their funding.

Besides dropping the lawsuit, Trump could order the IRS not to prioritize fining people who do not sign up for insurance. This would effectively kill the individual mandate, which is crucial to the affordability and effectiveness of Obamacare.

Undoing DACA

Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order gave temporary relief from deportation to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants. As president, Trump could reverse this order and then use the information that DACA enrollees provided to identify and deport them. This will only work, however, if Congress fails to pass a law protecting those immigrants.

Trade Terms

Trump was highly critical of NAFTA and the TPP during his campaign. As president, he could immediately withdraw the United States from both treaties, or he could use the threat of withdrawal to renegotiate the agreements on what he views as more favorable terms. He could also withdraw from the World Trade Organization if he decides it is a threat to his protectionist policies.

Restricting Regulation

Trump promised during his campaign that he would reduce the regulatory burden on US businesses, and while he cannot overturn regulations on his own, he can control how they are enforced. The Dodd-Frank financial regulations, for example, require the president to identify large banks for government scrutiny. Trump could refuse to name any new banks.

Limiting LGBTQ Rights

While Trump’s position on LGBTQ rights is unclear, if he decides to side with his party’s hardliners, he can undo many of the protections that President Obama put in place. Obama used executive orders to ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination among Federal contractors and to require public schools to let transgender students use the restrooms of their choice. Trump could undo all of this.

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