House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), while taking his cue from President-elect Donald Trump, said today that the House of Representatives as part of a “unified Republican government” he forsees once Trump is inaugurated, will move forward with legislation to fund the federal government through March rather than pursuing a measure to fund it throughout the fiscal year. In addition, Ryan said that to put into effect Trump’s promised draining of the “swamp” in Washington, the Republican-controlled House is re-thinking its priorities. “I think the new incoming government would like to have a say so on how spending is allocated in 2017,” Ryan said today. “We’re going to do just that because I think we’ve got a lot of priorities that we would like to see changed relative to the Obama funding priorities. It’s just that simple.”
 

Restore the Constitution, Drain the Swamp

 
Ryan said, moreover, “We're going to be spending the first quarter of 2017 figuring out just how we can make sure that we restore the power of the purse to the legislative branch to hold the unelected executive branch accountable." He added that Congress will embark on "restoring the Constitution, restoring the separation of powers. We're restoring accountability to the government. When we say ‘drain the swamp, that means 'stop giving all this power to unelected people to micromanage our society, our economy our lives and restore the constitution.’ That's what this debate about."
 
House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) will begin drafting the bill to avert a partial government shutdown when the current stopgap funding measure expires on December 9 and keep the government funded through March 31, 2017.
 

Contract with American Voters

 
Donald Trump spoke at the Gettysburg battlefield on October 22 and presented what he called his Contract with the American Voter, which is an outline of his 100-Day plan. It features three principal areas of attention, including foreign trade, immigration, and tax reform. Among the specifics of "draining the swamp" in Washington, Trump is calling for term limits on members of Congress and addressing the role of lobbyists; eliminating Obamacare; renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement; the construction of a wall on the southernmost border of the country; investment in national infrastructure; and increased military spending. Here follow a number of actions promised by Trump in the area of immigration and tax reform.
 
 “Cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama.” 
 
“Cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities.” 
 
Remove the more than “2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take them back.” 
 
“Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.” 
 
“Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act.” Trump is promising a plan to see economic growth of 4% percent per year and the “creation of 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy.” The largest tax reductions are foreseen for the middle class, while the “business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.”
 
“School Choice And Education Opportunity Act.” Trump plan would affirm parents’ right to send their children to the “public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice.” 
 
“Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act.” His plan would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and let states manage Medicaid funds. 
 
“Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act.” Trump affirmed that this would allow making tax deductions for childcare and elder care, while also giving incentives to businesses to provide on-site childcare services, as well as creating “tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.”
 

Actions during the First 100 Days

 
Among the other actions that Trump can take as president would be to eliminate the provision of visas for the citizens of any country that will not take back their own citizens who have been convicted of crimes in the United States.
 
Also, those persons currently given temporary permission to remain in the United States under President Obama under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may immediately be liable for deportation. As of 2014, federal immigration authorities had granted DACA status to more than 500,000 individuals.
 
Trump would not be able to defund abortion-provider Planned Parenthood (which receives in excess of $500 million per year in federal funds) by himself, but would have to get approval from both the House and Senate.
 
Also, terminating federal revenue sharing to cities that give “sanctuary” to illegal aliens would be difficult without approval from Congress, but Trump could easily terminate federal grants to those cities and ask Congress, through the appropriations process, to target cities such as San Francisco and Seattle.
 
As for Obamacare, the Republican-controlled Congress sent a bill repealing the program to President Obama. He vetoed it. Trump would be favorable to such legislation.
 


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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