By Kyle Gasaway
WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump spent much of his 17-month long campaign criticizing President Barack Obama, calling him an ineffective leader. Now, teed to up take the his oath of office on January 20, he will soon have the authority to dismantle Obama’s policies he spent the stretch chastising.
When Obama and Trump met at the White House Thursday they talked domestic and foreign policy, Obama said following the meeting while sitting beside Trump in the Oval Office. Obama said that it was his priority to facilitate a smooth transition into a Trump administration, because the United States government is a democracy and the voters chose Trump.
“There are a lot of questions that are, of course, raised about what impact the outcome of the election will have on the policies that this administration has prioritized over the last eight years,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.
While some polices will take Congressional action to change, others won’t. Here’s some of what President Trump could do:
Trump throughout the campaign called the Affordable Care Act “disaster” and a “catastrophe,” and on Thursday said he plans to work with the Republican controlled Congress “to look very strongly at health care.”
It’s not that Congress would all together repeal the ACA, leaving some of the more popular provision — like allowing people to stay on their parents’ health insurance up to age 26 — but gut other aspects.
As laid out in the ACA, the Health and Human Services secretary, an appointed position, has considerable discretion on how to implement the law.
The law essentially guarantees Medicaid coverage for all low-income Americans, so long as the state accepts federal funding. Republicans want to turn this funding into a block grant for each state. Republicans also want get rid of the mandate that all Americans buy insurance, and eliminate requirements on what health insurance plans must offer — like birth control.
In a 2012 tweet Trump characterized climate change as a hoax “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
Trump’s advisor for transitioning into control of the Environmental Protection Agency is Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. Ebell has fought the idea of human-caused climate change.
Trump has pledged to “cancel,” or at least “renegotiate” the Paris climate agreement, which went into effect just days go. He could do this, though it could take years.
Beyond building a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump has said he would undo Obama’s executive actions creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows the children of undocumented immigrants who arrived after 2007 at age 16 or younger to receive two-year work permits and exemption from deportation.
Trump also promised to repeal the 2014 executive orders that expanded DACA and created a similar program for undocumented parents.
“For those here illegally today who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only. To return home and apply for re-entry like everybody else under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined today,” Trump said in October at a rally in Arizona.
Trump has said he would undo Obama’s executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence. The actions expanded background checks for gun purchases, allocated additional funds to treat mental illness, required that guns lost in transit between a manufacturer and a seller be reported to federal authorities, among other provisions.
“There’s an assault on the Second Amendment,” Trump said before Obama signed the order. “So he’s going to sign another executive order having to do with the Second Amendment, having to do with guns. I will veto. I will unsign that so fast.”
Trump has said he would dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act, of the mindset that the big banks are over regulated. As president he will appoint the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve.
Trump has criticized the current chair of the Federal Reserve, Janey Yellen, for creating what he described as a “false stock market” by keeping interest rates low in order to boost Obama’s legacy.
He’s said he would take power away from the Federal Reserve and allow Congress to audit its decision making.
Trump, who has campaigned on an anti-free trade platform, has urged that the U.S. not pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement that Obama has championed between a dozen Pacific rim countries.
“The TPP would be the death blow for American manufacturing,” said Trump at a June rally in Pennsylvania. “It would give up all of our economic leverage to an international commission that would put the interests of foreign countries above our own. Not only will the TPP undermine our economy, but it will undermine our independence. The TPP creates a new international commission that makes decisions the American people can’t veto.”