GUEST COLUMN: Woodall takes stock of success in the first 100 days
The big things take time. They always do. We all prefer immediate results that align exactly with our own notion of what’s best, but such scenarios rarely exist — if at all — and certainly not when building consensus in a place like Washington, D.C.
That said, in the first 100 days of President Trump’s presidency, we’ve seen a great deal of forward progress. Now I read the same newspapers you all do, and I see the same striking absence of these success stories, but that is not because there aren’t any to report.
From confirming a conservative Constitutionalist such as Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, to repealing 13 Obama-era regulations that grew federal government and stifled economic growth, to saving taxpayers $18 billion annually by eliminating federal red tape, America has come a long way in a short time.
Those successes include more legislative activity in the first 100 days than any other president since Truman — 28 measures signed by the president, to be exact — and center on the idea that folks deserve a yes or no answer. Inevitably that will produce agreement at times and disagreement at others but the level of certainty that comes from clarity yields a positive result.
We’ve already seen this phenomenon in job growth and consumer confidence since President Trump took office. American consumer confidence is at its highest level in 16 years, and that is not because everyone is in lockstep agreement with him on every issue. Rather, the confidence stems from the positive economic reaction to certainty.
Whether it’s the certainty demonstrated through rapid approval of crucial projects such as the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines or $728 million saved in one single contract negotiation on the F-35 project, American workers and taxpayers know exactly where this Administration stands — not in words, but in action — and that matters.
It took longer for the Obama Administration to ultimately deny the Keystone Pipeline than it did to construct the entire Hoover Dam from start to finish. The 500,000 new jobs created during the first 100 days aren’t benefitting a political party, they’re changing the lives of American families.
As was stated in the Wall Street Journal, “The Trump Order is a promise in the bank for the voters who elected the president because he promised to focus on jobs and revving up the economy.” It is certainly true that the president campaigned on that promise, and it is also true that he’s following through with it.
It’s an approach that sends a clear message to the American people, but they’re not the only ones paying attention. The world is watching and taking note of Washington’s new tone.
From a national security perspective that is vitally important, and in fact, is almost assuredly responsible for the 61 percent decrease in illegal border crossings during these first 100 days. With the decrease, those working so diligently to enforce our borders are better able to focus their time and efforts on ensuring the bad actors are kept from smuggling drugs, weapons, and God forbid, weapons of mass destruction into the country.
The national security impact doesn’t stop there, however.
After eight years of drawing red lines and failing to enforce them, the last three months alone have presented a much different foreign policy approach from the White House. We’ve had 25 Iranian entities sanctioned in the wake of continued bad behavior, a strategic strike on the Syrian government air base used to launch a chemical weapons attack on its own people including women and children and a remarkably successful air strike on confirmed ISIS combatants in Afghanistan – in which there were no civilian casualties. When America does not lead, it leaves a void to be filled by others, and I believe that makes our country and the world less safe. I have been encouraged to see the president reassert American leadership on the world stage.
The first 100 days alone don’t define success or failure for a new administration, but during this time there is a clear indication of how a former candidate will actually govern, and the latter is much more difficult than campaign rhetoric. What we’ve seen from the Trump Administration is a team dedicated to empowering American job-creators and workers.
It is a team that is committed to working with Congress to ensure America is leading from the front. It’s a vision consistent with what the American people were promised, and I’m proud to partner with anyone working to make America better and safer.
The work is far from done, and the road hasn’t been without bumps along the way, but I believe we have a great opportunity to continue moving America forward, and I’m excited to continue doing just that.