Editor’s Note: This post was written by Michael Mills.
Throughout the first weeks of the new Trump administration, it has become clear that there are some areas in which the administration will excel in facilitating change and others in which it will struggle. The administration enters with the advantage of controlling all three branches of government, most notably a majority in both chambers of Congress, which opens the door for many opportunities for Trump to sign legislation and create executive orders.
One of the areas where success appears most likely is in Trump’s ability to follow through on his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. To clarify, this not an evaluation of whether or not that it is a good idea to repeal this act, just simply that Trump will have success in doing so. This was one of Trump’s main messages throughout the campaign, as he consistently denounced this legislation that was passed under President Obama, citing rising premiums as one of the many reasons he believed it should be repealed. Trump should be able to follow through on this promise in large part due to the Republican-controlled Congress. This bill has been a high priority for Republicans to repeal ever since it was passed. High-ranking Republicans, such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, have labeled the repeal as a high priority. This widespread support among the Republican Party should allow for Trump to make good on his pledge with relative ease.
However, even with the control that the Republican Party has of the government, the Trump administration will still have a few challenges that it may face. One of these challenges comes from the more liberal ideas that Donald Trump promotes. For example, Trump often proposes very liberal spending plans. Generally, conservatism supports small government and reduced government spending. However, Trump has occasionally proposed high-cost expenditures, opposing basic Republican ideology. One such expensive proposal which he may face opposition in fulfilling is his infrastructure plan. Trump has called for the rebuilding of American infrastructure on multiple occasions. The amount of these plans has ranged from $500 billion to $1 trillion. While some Republicans have been open to investing some more money into infrastructure, many have expressed concern over these high amounts. For example, North Carolina Representative Mark Walker “expressed reservation about such a large price tag.” While it appears that Trump will be able to secure some funding for his infrastructure plan, it may present a challenge to his administration to secure funding for the massive package he has called for. Overall, however, the current Republican domination of the government will allow opportunities for Trump to have large success in passing many of his campaign promises. However, the Republican leaders of Congress may pull in the reigns if he veers too far from typical conservative ideology.