Donald Trump's dearth of legislative accomplishments will make it much easier for President-elect Joe Biden to dismantle most of his policies — even if Democrats do not control the Senate.
"All that stuff was done administratively through the [president's] executive authority, and so a new executive can basically reject those and start from scratch," a source told CBS News on Wednesday.
According to the Washington Post, Biden is planning quick action to reverse executive actions taken by Trump.
As a candidate in 2016, Trump bragged that he was an expert dealmaker who would get along with "just about everybody" in Congress. He promised sweeping legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with something "terrific" that would cover everyone, massively cut taxes on the middle class, and rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure.
But though he began his presidency with a House and a Senate both controlled by Republicans, he accomplished little beyond a tax bill that mostly benefited the wealthy and big corporations. His signature health proposal failed to get even a simple majority in the Senate, and his promised and oft-delayed "Infrastructure Week" for Congress to reach an agreement on rebuilding became a national joke.
After the blue wave of the 2018 midterm elections gave Democrats a majority in the House of Representatives, Trump again suggested that he could achieve bipartisan deals, especially on infrastructure. "Nancy Pelosi and I could work together and get a lot of things done," he told reporters.
But that did not happen either. Angry that the Democratic majority was exercising oversight, Trump walked away from a $2 trillion infrastructure deal last May, telling Democratic leaders, "I want to do infrastructure ... but you know what? You can't do it under these circumstances, so get these phony investigations over with."
Instead, Trump relied on what he once called "the easy way out" — unilateral executive orders — for the vast majority of his policy agenda.
Breaking a campaign promise to "to do away with executive orders for the most part," Trump issued more than 190 of them. Through those and other executive actions, he attacked Muslims, immigrants, environmental protections, LGBTQ people, health care, abortion rights, workers — and hijacked billions of dollars from other allocations to build a massive border wall that Congress had not approved.
Biden has made clear that his positions on the issues are the opposite of Trump's. Because the actions taken over the past four years were not carried out with congressional approval, Biden can wipe most of them out quickly. Thanks to Trump's legislative failures, most of his policies could be gone within days of Biden's inauguration.
One prominent Pennsylvania Republican lamented this reality on Sunday. "What Trump built in 4 years," former Lehigh County Commissioner Dean Browning tweeted, "Biden will destroy in 4 months."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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