April 28, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 73 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST ONE HUNDRED DAYS; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 73
(Senate - April 28, 2017)
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[Pages S2637-S2638] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST ONE HUNDRED DAYS Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, tomorrow will be President Trump's 100th day in office. This week, we Democrats have spent each day highlighting how this President has broken or failed to fulfill promise after promise to the working men and women of America on issue after issue-- on jobs and the economy, on healthcare, and on draining the swamp. Earlier today, my colleagues talked about how the President's budget is another example of his tendency to promise one thing and then do another. Despite promising to address the issues of education, infrastructure, and scientific research, the President's budget takes a meat ax to the funding for NIH and NSF, vital school programs, and transportation grants. This morning, I want to touch on a few examples of the broken promises that characterize the President's first 100 days, broken promises to the working men and women of America. In the campaign, he ran as a populist against both the Democratic and Republican establishments. He is governing from the special interest- laden hard right--far, far away from where the American people want him to go. In the President's scramble to show some progress before his 100th day, he has rushed to make progress on the wall, healthcare, and taxes. This desperate sprint has only left these three efforts more damaged than before. First, on the wall, we were progressing nicely on a bipartisan agreement to keep our government open and running until the President stepped in to muck up the process by insisting on funding for his wall on the Mexican border. This is a huge broken promise. Every time he mentioned this wall on the campaign trail, he insisted that Mexico would pay for it. This week he demanded that the American taxpayers pay for it and threatened to shut down the government over it. The Americans know that $50 billion--if that is what the wall will cost--is far better spent laying broadband throughout America, rebuilding our roads and bridges--doing things that help Americans, not some ideological issue. Thankfully for the American people, the President failed. Second, on healthcare, breaking his promise of insurance for everybody and lowering costs yet again, the President's healthcare bill rose from the dead and moved further to the right. It is hard to think of a bill worse than the first, but TrumpCare 2.0 has all the terrible aspects of round one, with even more cruelty placed on the American people. TrumpCare 2.0 would still leave millions without coverage, raise rates dramatically on 50- to 64-year-olds, and also take us back to the day when insurance companies could deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions. Once again, the President failed. Finally, the President's tax plan was another huge broken promise. As a candidate, Trump promised to lower taxes for middle-class Americans, but his Secretary of Treasury can't even guarantee the plan will do so. The President could have worked with Democrats on taxes, but he chose to focus on the wealthy instead of the middle class. To be clear, the President's tax plan is a wish list for billionaires, not a serious proposal. The Trump tax plan is designed to cut Trump's taxes, those of his Cabinet, and those people of his wealth, not the taxes of the middle class. Thankfully, this plan is yet another dead-on-arrival Trump proposal that has been panned by both Democrats and Republicans. The Trump tax plan pretty much sums up the dynamic of the first 100 days--promise for the working class; deliver for the wealthy. Frankly, it is why he has made such little progress. These three actions this week, in the President's rush to try to prove that the 100 days isn't as bad as everybody is saying--the wall, TrumpCare, and the Trump tax plan--have made our point that his 100 days have been a failure better than we ever could. President Trump could have chosen to spend his first 100 days working with Democrats to find consensus on issues like jobs, trade, outsourcing, and infrastructure--issues on which we have some common ground. I told him many times that if he governed from the middle, his Presidency would have some success. Instead, he abandoned his campaign populism in favor of a hard-right, special interest-driven agenda and chose to go at it alone without consulting or so much as considering the minority party. That is why he has been unable to make any progress on healthcare. That is why he has been unable to make any progress on his wall. That is why he has been unable to achieve any significant piece of legislation. In fact, of the 10 pieces of legislation the President promised in his first 100 days, he has achieved none of them. These are the bills the President promised to get done in his first 100 days--not a one. The President's achievements to date consist of Executive orders-- something he repeatedly derided during the Obama administration as an ineffective way to govern--and several bills passed under the Congressional Review Act. Keep in mind that many of these Executive orders simply direct Federal agencies to study issues. They are messaging tools that don't achieve anything. And many of the CRAs only benefit powerful special interests. Compared to Franklin Roosevelt's first 100 days in which FDR passed 76 pieces of legislation, this can hardly be considered a record of effectiveness. And the contrast between the President's boasts and his actual record through the first 100 days is even starker when you consider just how much this President promised to deliver all these things. There is an air of unreality when he says it is the best 100 days ever--compared to Franklin Roosevelt? Come on, give me a break. In fairness, candidates make a lot of promises. That is the nature of campaigning. We know that. But this President has made particularly outlandish promises to working Americans, summed up by a line he said in his campaign. He said to his supporters: ``I will give you everything.'' President Trump promised working Americans a cherry pie, but after 100 days, he has delivered only crumbs. If the President wants his next 100 days to be better than his first, he needs to abandon the ``my way or the highway'' approach, abandon his special interest-driven, pro- wealthy agenda, and start pursuing policies that actually help the middle class and those struggling to get there. We are willing to work with him if he does. But if he stays on his current path, abandoning the working people of America for the very wealthy, the next 100 days will be just like the first: a series of broken and unfulfilled promises and very few results for America's working families. Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor. [[Page S2638]] I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll. Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. ____________________