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Where Trump can act on his own, his record is excellent
So who exactly is the problem in Washington?
The Beltway crowd is always wringing its hands about something, and these days you’re hearing a lot about how President Trump and congressional Republicans are heading into the summer without any major legislative achievements to show.
I’d dispute that, actually. The rollback of regulations via the Congressional Review Act has been a boon to the productive sector of the economy. But it’s true that we’re still waiting on tax cuts, ObamaCare repeal and a lot of other things.
Many are quick to blame the president for this. They say he doesn’t know how to work with Congress and how to deal with the bureaucracy, and he’s too bogged down with things like the Russia story.
This, we’re told, is why we haven’t seen more legislative achievements.
Well, let’s consider that. A president has the authority to do certain things on his own. Other things require the approval of Congress. If you really want to identify who is making things happen and who is holding things up, you need to look at the record of each party when they’re able to act on their own authority.
Here are some of the major decisions President Trump had the authority to make on his own:
- He approved the Keystone XL pipeline.
- He reversed the Obama bans on oil drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
- He reversed the Obama détente with Cuba.
- He pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accord.
- He approved the missile defense system tests that last week successfully shot a moving missile out of the sky.
- He ended the Obama-led assault on the coal industry.
- He convinced Egypt to free Aya Hijazi.
- He ended enforcement of the ObamaCare individual mandate.
These are just some of the highlights. We might also add his excellent choice of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, although in fairness, that one did require Senate approval.
But the larger theme here is that, when the president has the authority to act on his own, he has consistently made very good decisions. He has also been decisive and quick in doing so.
Now, contrast that with the Congress, which has stumbled out of the gate on major legislative initiatives like health care and taxes. I understand these are complicated issues, and that it takes time to get them right. I have urged caution on this and I still do. It’s more important to get them done right than to get them done quickly.
But some things just require that a good decision be made, and when President Trump has the authority to make such a decision, he’s been consistently excellent in exercising good judgment and getting things right.
So tell me again why the dysfunction in Washington is the fault of Donald Trump? He’s only been there four months, and in those four months he’s used his authority effectively wherever he could. Meanwhile, those who have been there for decades are engaged in a nonstop freakout over trivial matters.
There’s a problem here, all right. And if you really look at it, it’s not hard to see who the problem is. And who it isn’t.
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