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The Presidential Preview

What to Expect from a Trump Administration’s Policies

Matt Goldan | 12/15/16 6:33pm
| Updated 12/15/16 6:33pm

Matt A.J. /

In the wake of the Election Day surprise that saw Donald Trump elected to the nation’s highest office, many have wondered exactly what a Trump presidency will look like. Here’s your outlook for the upcoming four years of Trump administration policies.

Campaign Promises

While Trump’s campaign was rarely grounded in specific or detail-oriented policies, he campaigned on broad issue stances and even released a 100 day plan outlining his first actions as president, including the repeal of Obamacare, the deportation of two million undocumented Americans and withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP already seems to be dead as the Obama Administration has stopped pursuing the trade deal. As for other crucial aspects of his 100 day plan, Trump has already implied that multiple provisions of the Affordable Care Act will not be removed, and it seems unlikely that much of the law will be repealed if those provisions remain. In the case of immigration, Trump is insistent that immediate deportations will take place, but Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has stated that the federal government would be focusing on border security over deportations. It remains to be seen whether Trump’s policy will match his campaign rhetoric.

Drain the Swamp?

One of Trump’s main messages leading up to the election was that he would “drain the swamp” upon arriving in Washington. This campaign message called for an end to the days of Washington insiders and lobbyists setting the agenda of federal government policy, signaling potential danger for Republican party stalwarts such as Paul Ryan and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. But following the election, Trump named Priebus his Chief of Staff and recruited a large number of Republican strategists, public officials, think tank analysts, and even lobbyists for his transition team, which is tasked with shaping the federal government for the new administration. And for the time being, it looks as if Ryan’s job as Speaker is safe as well. Trump in the White House might mean business as usual for the GOP.

Reshaping the Supreme Court

As president, Trump will be appointing at least one Supreme Court justice due to the vacancy caused by Antonin Scalia’s death. In September, Trump released a list of 21 candidates he’s considering for the position, and while some choices were unusual, such as Utah Senator Mike Lee (R), most were traditional conservative candidates. For the foreseeable future, such a conservative justice would create a similar court makeup to that of the court before Scalia passed, with a slight conservative lean and moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy representing the swing vote in 5-4 decisions. However, liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, and Stephen Breyer, 78, could potentially retire within the upcoming presidential term, giving the Trump administration the reins to completely shape the court in a conservative direction. These judicial changes could arguably affect U.S. laws more than any Trump policy, as the court could drastically affect social issues such as marriage equality and abortion, and would likely halt any potential changes to campaign finance and climate change laws.