Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Trumps First 100 Days: Putting America First
TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS: PUTTING AMERICA FIRST
This past weekend marked President Trump’s first 100 days in office. After eight years of stifling overregulation, cuts to our military and open-border policies, President Trump is now putting America first.
President Trump has put together a top-notch team—including my friend and fellow Oklahoman Scott Pruitt at the EPA, and longtime friend Jeff Sessions as attorney general. I was also thrilled with his choice of Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court and am pleased the Senate has already confirmed him.
A number of President Trump and our Republican-led Congress’s accomplishments have come from two important tools. The first is the executive order, which are policy changes that the President directs within the Executive Branch. President Trump has signed 33 major executive orders since he has taken office and has issued two dozen other presidential directives.
The second, lesser-known tool is the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval. The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to review and reject regulations within 60 days of being put in the federal register. Before President Trump was sworn into office, this tool had been used successfully one time in 2001. In February, President Trump signed his first CRA, which was one I authored repealing a burdensome Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation impacting the oil and gas industry. Since then, Congress has passed a total of 13 CRAs and two more are in the works.
So far this Congress, the President’s executive actions and the Congressional Review Act have led to an estimated total of $67,022,960,000 in regulatory relief for Americans.
Below you will find a summary of what we have accomplished so far and how those accomplishments benefit Oklahoma.
Military Funding: President Trump has made it clear that following eight years of defense budget cuts, his administration understands that the time is now to rebuild our hollow forces. Readiness levels across all services are approaching historical lows, and the world situation is as dangerous as I have ever seen it. Trump’s commitment to increasing defense spending shows that he will prioritize the defense of our nation, as the Constitution clearly requires.
Airstrikes in Syria: Last month, President Trump responded to Bashar al-Assad’s indiscriminate and heinous chemical attack on Syrian civilians, authorizing the use of 59 Tomahawk missiles (TLAMs) targeting Syria’s Shayrat Airfield. This immediate and proportional airstrike was a justified and appropriate response to the Assad regime. Through this strike, President Trump signaled to Assad, Russia and the rest of the world that egregious violations of international law and norms of behavior will not go unanswered by the new administration. The United States, under the Trump administration, will play an emboldened leadership role worldwide; and as I have said before, the days where our enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us are over.
MOAB use in Afghanistan: In April, the U.S. military dropped a GBU-43B, a 21,000-pound conventional bomb—the largest U.S. non-nuclear bomb—in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan The decision to drop the MOAB sent a clear message that the United States is committed and determined to defeating ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. This strike supports our Afghan partners and their fight against these terrorist groups.
Iran: In February, the Trump administration announced new sanctions on Iran which, according to UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), is not to undertake activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. I have long been critical of the Obama administration’s treatment of Iran and while the country claims a ballistic missile test carried out in January is not in violation of the UNSCR, Iran has a history of violating international laws, treaties and the UNSCR. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism and the Trump administration has shown that with these additional sanctions future UNSCR violations will not be tolerated.
Stopping Illegal Immigration: Because of Trump’s strong rhetoric for enforcing our laws, illegal border crossings have seen a decline of over 60 percent since the beginning of his administration. This country is and has been a place where those who wish to enter our country legally can find freedom and prosperity. In working to curb illegal immigration, Trump is protecting the rights of all Americans and legal immigrants.
Energy Independence Executive Order: For eight years, President Obama waged a war on fossil fuels and pushed a relentless agenda to regulate carbon dioxide. At the end of March, President Trump signed an Energy Independence executive order that directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to repeal Obama’s climate change legacy item, the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and address other burdensome environmental regulations. The Energy Independence executive order is a perfect example of the Trump administration’s efforts to reign in the regulatory stronghold on American taxpayers and industry and create an environment in which federal agencies are better able to work with, not against, industry.
Click here to watch my speech on undoing Obama’s climate legacy.
WOTUS Executive Order: President Trump has also signed an executive order that begins to repeal the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule and reaffirms his commitment to the country’s hard working farmers and ranchers. The WOTUS rule is one of the worst examples of federal overreach and would have been detrimental to the farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma. I have long been working to repeal this regulation; seeing President Trump begin work to undo it was refreshing. I attended the White House signing ceremony for this occasion, and you can watch that here.
Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines Executive Order: President Trump signed an executive order in March to move forward with the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. These pipelines will both significantly benefit domestic energy producers, our economy and our national security. Building out our nation’s energy infrastructure is a big win for Oklahoma.
Cafe Standards Executive Order: President Trump has begun to roll back the red tape that has hindered American innovation and economic growth in the auto industry by signing an executive order to ensure that EPA will participate in the midterm review of the CAFE standards with DOT as promised by the previous administration to automakers. By taking this action, Trump has prevented the loss of over one million manufacturing jobs.
SEC Rule CRA: The first piece of legislation that President Trump signed was a bill that I authored to help our Oklahoma energy producers. S. J. Res 9, a CRA resolution of disapproval, eliminating the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) rule on resource extraction issuers under section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which put U.S. energy producers at a disadvantage against foreign competitors.
As promised during his campaign, President Trump made an outstanding pick in selecting Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the bench of the Supreme Court. I met with Gorsuch prior to his confirmation and he is beyond criticism both as a legal scholar and as a man. His respect for the high court and the Constitution is unparalleled and his educational background speaks for itself. I was truly pleased to vote for Neil Gorsuch to join the bench of the Supreme Court and applaud the President’s pick.
Last week, President Trump signed an executive order that created Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs. As you in Oklahoma know, my commitment to our veterans has been unwavering and I am pleased to see that the president is prioritizing our veterans as well by creating this office of accountability. While this Congress I plan to introduce a number of pieces of legislation that will increase access to resources and care for veterans, I am glad to have a President who is already tackling this issue and making sure our vets are prioritized.
In response to wildfires in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas—which I saw firsthand—President Trump authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow the emergency grazing of cattle by ranchers who are facing the ruination of their herds due to lack of sufficient grazing land. The losses in this area of Oklahoma have been truly devastating for cattleman and ranchers and this measure on behalf of the Trump administration allows folks to move their herds to land that has not been badly burned and will allow these hard working Oklahomans to get back on their feet.
Teacher Shortage CRA: In March, the President signed a CRA resolution to block the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) final rule relating to teacher preparation programs under the Higher Education Act. Oklahoma has for too long suffered from high teacher shortages and this rule would have in increasing this number. By signing this CRA, Trump has protected both our students and our teachers from the effects of increasing teacher shortages.
CRA to Keep Accountability Standards Local: The President also signed a CRA to strike DOE’s rule regarding accountability and state plans. The rule would have forced state and local school districts to comply with a one-size-fits-all accountability plan and by signing this CRA, Trump has kept Oklahoma education in the hands of Oklahomans.
I am extremely happy with President Trump’s first 100 days in office and I look forward to seeing what the next 100 days will bring. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and with the administration to ensure that Oklahomans are reaping the benefits of our work here in Washington.