Donald Trump crafted a hefty list of things he intended to do “on day one” throughout 2016. Instead, he hasn't accomplished much in terms of legislative accomplishments.
Many had anticipated Trump fulfilling his promise to get started right away. After all, that’s what both he and his transition team have used as a reason Trump is not having as many inaugural events, balls and other festivities.
Here is a big, beautiful list of everything on Trump’s to-do list for “day one” he never was able to achieve:
1. Fire all of the ambassadors:
Trump has told all of those hired by President Barack Obama to serve as envoys to the United States that their service is finished on January 20. That leaves hundreds of people scrambling to figure out their situation in less than a month, as they were told just days before Christmas.
While the “firing” is a common practice, most ambassadors are given a little bit of a grace period so that their children and families can take care of their affairs. Many of the ambassadors are scrambling to secure visas in the countries they’re currently in because they want their children to be able to finish the school year, Reuters reported.
There are many career civil servants that don’t fall under Trump’s edict, but he has yet to name anyone to fill these roles, so there will likely be some offices without heads for several months.
2. Repeal and replace Obamacare:
House and Senate Republicans are primed and ready to kill Obamacare. In fact, Trump has said that this is the “first thing” he’ll do on “day one.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), on the other hand, has said he has no deadline for the repeal.
The problem, however, is that there’s nothing to replace it with. One would have thought that at some point in the last six years between those 80 votes to repeal the bill they would have come up with something.
It’s unclear how quickly the repeal will actually happen once a law is passed. Republicans have promised they won’t kick off all 30 million people the following day. They’ll have at least the next year to figure something out.
3. Begin deporting all undocumented immigrants:
The three million people in the United States without documentation will begin to be rounded up on Trump’s “day one,” according to the president-elect’s claims. In fact, Trump promised that this will be done in his “first hour” of his first day. This is the one thing he’ll presumably do after the speech and before the parade, but after repealing Obamacare, since that was the “first thing” he plans to do.
The motorcade should probably drive really slowly.
4. “Clean house” and fix the Department of Veterans Affairs:
Vice President-elect Mike Pence told a Virginia crowd this past September that on “day one” they’ll clean house at the VA. It’s unclear what “clean house” means, but doctors, nurses and case workers that have dedicated their lives to helping veterans through the VA should probably start looking for a new job.
If Pence’s promise is any indication, they’ll be packing their boxes on Trump’s “day one.” It’s also unknown who will be doing the work at the VA once the house is cleaned. Trump and Pence would have to hire as many people as soon as they fired them. Those people would then have to learn their jobs and get up to speed on balls that had been dropped.
Ironically, the only “insider” Trump has nominated to serve in his cabinet was from the VA. If he curses it so much, he has still chosen to hire one of its officials.
Trump has also pledged to “start taking care of our … military,” but given his other promises, it’s unknown how this will manifest.
5. Start work on “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall”:
Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” must also begin on his first day in office. Laws are in place to decide which firms will score the contract to build the wall, however. So, each of those companies should have their proposals ready to go so that Trump and Pence can decide who will begin the project and they can break ground on Friday before the close of business.
In that same vein, Trump has also promised he’d be meeting with his Homeland Security officials to discuss ensuring the southern border is impenetrable. So far, Trump is claiming he's building the wall, but the reality is nothing more than a handful of corporations erecting prototypes. After the GOP passed it's tax bill, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) explained that they were out of money and might not be able to fund the children's health insurance program. Theoretically, this also means they can't fund Trump's border wall.
6. Demand the Pentagon and intelligence agencies come up with a plan for ISIS:
Trump intends to put the Pentagon on notice that they must have a plan in place to get rid of ISIS within 30 days. Presumably, there is already a plan in place for this, but Trump isn’t likely to support it since he has spent the last two years attacking it. Trump has also said that he knows more about ISIS than the generals, so the generals could just encourage Trump to come up with his own plan, since his will be “smarter” than theirs.
If they've come up with "the plan" it certainly hasn't been shared with the public.
7. Pull out of NAFTA and renegotiate it:
Like the TPP, NAFTA is on the chopping block for Trump. In a speech to North Carolina voters in September, Trump explained that he plans to notify partners of his intention to pull out of the trade deal. Trump also believes that those jobs will come right back to the U.S.
8. Kill gun-free zones:
Trump went above and beyond the call of duty for the National Rifle Association endorsement. He not only pledged to protect the Second Amendment, he promised to pass laws that protect guns in every situation. That includes a 35-year-old law that allowed schools and military bases to be “gun free zones.” His Secretary of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos is already arguing Trump’s case, saying that guns are needed in schools because of bears.
“My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones,” Trump said last January. The law he intends to sign must be passed by Congress and the Senate first, however. They haven't passed the law.
9. Stop Syrian refugee resettlement and build “safe zones” in the region:
“I am also going to notify all countries that refuse to take back dangerous illegal immigrants who have committed crimes in this country that they will lose access to our visa programs if they continue to do so,” Trump said in a September speech. “This is the measure that is called for under current law, and I will enforce it.”
Creating so-called “safe zones” would make refugees sitting ducks for whoever wanted to bomb them. If Trump intends to create these safe zones, he’ll have to get reassurances from other countries that air raids would stop attacking civilians. Secondly, Trump would have to ensure some kind of security force to protect these zones and make them safe. It’s unclear if he intends to send in U.S. ground troops to achieve this. Thus far, he's only made international enemies.
Ironically, in the United States, Trump wants to end so-called “safe zones” that are gun free but it’s his solution for refugees in Syria.
10. Stop all wasteful spending:
Trump pledged that his first day in office he plans to instruct all federal agencies to look for examples of wasteful spending that can be cut. But “wasteful” is in the eye of the beholder. The Obama administration, for example, has programs that help spur growth in the solar and wind energy industry. Since Trump prioritizes oil and coal, his administration might make those cuts.
While Trump has had trouble hiring staff, he hasn't exactly "cut waste." Instead, he started paying Omarosa Manigault-Newman the top salary a government staffer could make to plan her own wedding while "working" in the White House.
11. End the so-called “war on coal”:
Trump has promised coal miners and the coal industry that under his administration coal will make a comeback. The problem with Trump’s claim is that the coal industry didn’t die because of some environmentalist plot to kill it. The free market killed coal. As fracking garnered cheap results from oil and natural gas the cost of coal power has gone up while the price of oil has dropped.
The only way Trump could bring back coal jobs is by taxing the oil and gas industry to such a massive extent that coal becomes more affordable. The oil industry isn’t likely to let that happen. So far, nothing has been done and those in coal country aren't happy about it and "futures remain bleak," according to Reuters.
12. Tell countries who won’t take back criminals that they can’t ever come to the US:
In his September 2016 speech, Trump promised that he’d be notifying “all countries that refuse to take back dangerous illegal immigrants who have committed crimes in this country that they will lose access to our visa programs if they continue to do so.”
No one really knew what that meant at the time or if Trump understands what the consequences would be. So far, while there have been major threats, it hasn't exactly happened.
13. Call companies and threaten his 35 percent tariff:
Trump has already been doing some of these calls. He has celebrated the companiesthat claim work is staying in the United States, even if the information isn’t entirely accurate. He’s also attacked other companies that have plans in countries other than the United States. His threat is that he’ll slap a tax on all imports not made in the United States. If your 32 GB iPhone 7 costs $649, Trump would increase the price by $222.15 with his 35 percent tariff.
Thus far, the public hasn't heard anything about it.
14. Fight to end abortion rights and Planned Parenthood:
Incoming VP Mike Pence swore that a major component of the Trump/Pence administration will be overturning Roe v. Wade and defunding Planned Parenthood.
“The days of public funding for Planned Parenthood are over when a Trump-Pence administration arrives in Washington, D.C.,” Pence said.
The right-wing has been on a crusade to stop access to affordable OB-GYNs, birth control, abortion and more since Roe v. Wade was decided. Preventing women from controlling their own bodies and their health care has shown to increase both infant mortality and maternal mortality. It also increases teen pregnancy, poverty and crime. At the same time, it doesn’t end abortions. Data shows it increases the cases of “unsafe abortions.”
While the war is definitely on against women's clinics and the global gag rule has been reinstated, thus far it Planned Parenthood is still being funded. For now.
15. End all regulations:
“Furthermore, I will direct every agency in government to begin identifying all wasteful job-killing regulations and they are going to be removed – this will include lifting the restrictions on American energy,” Trump said.
Republicans have long argued that regulations are bad, but many regulations on things like clean water and clean are what have helped the United States from suffering some of the environmental problems that China is now facing. If regulations on lead in drinking water are relaxed, for example, it would no longer be illegal for a company to have contaminants in water. Every town could become Flint, Michigan.
Thus far, Trump's FCC has nixed net neutrality, despite the popularity of the regulation. No other regulations have been nixed. Instead, scientists at the EPA are just being fired or quitting, so the regulators are becoming few and far between.
16. Learn pretty much everything he doesn’t already know:
In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, Trump confessed he doesn’t actually know everything. Like the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas — and why the difference matters. But on “day one” Trump promises that he’ll figure it all out.
“So the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas does not matter to you yet, but it will?” Hewitt asked Trump.
“It will when it’s appropriate,” Trump said. “I will know more about it than you know, and believe me, it won’t take me long. But right now, right now, I think it’s just something that, and you know what, if you ask these candidates, nobody’s going to be able to give you an answer. I mean, there may be one that studied it because they’re expecting a fresh question from you. But believe me, it won’t matter. I will know far more than you know within 24 hours after I get the job.”
It's unclear how much Trump has learned thus far, however, he does spend four to eight hours each day watching cable news. Perhaps he's learned something from that.
It sounded like a lot for the first day in office. However, Trump never managed to get to it in the year he's been in office. Sad.