Trump’s First 100 Days: The Granite State Impact
President Trump’s first 100 days have been marked by legislative failure, entitlement, and ethical violations. Early in his presidency, it is clear that there is no Tweet too crazy to send, no bill short enough to read, and no promise important enough to keep.
The minute Trump stepped into the Oval Office, he traded in his populist, “drain the swamp” act for a Cabinet full of Goldman Sachs executives and billionaires. His policies have been nothing more than a poorly thought out and executed version of a George W. Bush agenda with an air of alt-right social conservatism. Walking hand-in-hand with Trump has been our own chief executive, ardent Trump backer Governor Chris Sununu who is beginning to look more like Trump every day.
100 days in, it’s clear that Trump’s policies will do great damage to the country and Granite Staters will be hit hard by the impact.
President Trump’s budget proposal is a disaster waiting to happen for every New Hampshire community.
The Berlin Daily Sun called the budget a “stab in the back” to North Country residents, as it would cut federal programs for low income weatherization and fuel assistance while gutting funding for the Northern Borders Regional Commission.
The Seacoast would see cuts to the Great Bay reserve and the New Hampshire Sea Grant, both of which are integral industries to the area. Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other environmental agencies would weaken our ability to combat climate change.
In the Upper Valley, the Trump budget would cut funding for affordable housing like Twin Pines and slash the federal flood insurance program. We would also see cuts to higher education funding, like grants to Colby-Sawyer College and research funding at Dartmouth College.
Even if President Trump ignores the specifics, federal programs of all shapes and sizes are incredibly important to helping New Hampshire thrive. Trump would cut them without a second thought. And yet, the only thing Republican Governor Chris Sununu could say about the budget proposal is that he is “encouraged” by Trump’s cuts to the EPA.
The American Health Care Act was perhaps the biggest policy disaster of his first 100 days. The bill, which failed in the Republican-led House with of Trump’s lack of leadership, would have kicked tens of thousands of Granite Staters off their insurance, while increasing premiums for the rest. The worst premium hikes would have come for seniors, who would have seen their premiums balloon to five times the current rate. Trump’s plan would have also phase out Medicaid Expansion, which helps thousands of Granite Staters with drug treatment programs in the midst of a statewide opioid crisis. Of course, Governor Sununu waited and hedged before offering a vague, delayed criticisms of the bill, only after Republicans came out against it.
Meanwhile, Governor Sununu is taking leadership lessons from President Trump. They have both earned “lazy” perceptions from allies. Both have failed miserably at convincing the legislature to pass a single policy priority, with Sununu becoming the first Governor in recorded history to fail to oversee the House pass a budget, this despite his party having a 53-seat majority and complete control of state government. Sununu and Trump have both made evidence-free claims of Massachusetts residents busing into the state to commit voter fraud. Governor Sununu has also developed a habit of appointing unqualified nominees to head his departments, giving New Hampshire a carbon copy of Betsy Devos with Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. Trump and Sununu have developed a penchant for promoting their family businesses through official government channels.
Governor Sununu has also notably defended Trump on a number of his policy positions. The governor says he has “no personal opinion” on transgender rights, which Trump stripped at the federal level. Sununu has said Trump’s Muslim Ban is “not un-American” and praised a theoretical Trump health care plan before it came out.
For all of the chaos in Washington, we are lucky to have a stabilizing force on Capitol Hill in the form of our Congressional delegation, the first all-Democratic all-female delegation in the history of the United States.
Our delegation has been a powerful voice rejecting Donald Trump, his lies, and his dangerous agenda. They have stood up and spoken out against both Muslim Bans as un-American, unconstitutional, and immoral. Our two Democratic Senators have held Trump’s cabinet nominees’ feet to the fire. Senator Jeanne Shaheen has led the effort to combat Trump’s Muslim Ban and push for an independent and thorough investigation of Trump connections to Russia. Senator Maggie Hassan made national news by calling out Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, who didn’t seem to know whether Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was a federal law or not, and didn’t seem to care. DeVos became the first cabinet nominee in history to require a tie-breaking vote from the Vice President for confirmation.
Senator Shaheen spoke out on the Senate floor against nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price while Senator Hassan did the same against nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. All told, the two have voted “NO” on eleven unqualified nominees for Trump’s cabinet. We’re dismayed by the lack of experience and preparation of Trump’s nominees, but we’re grateful for our two great Democratic Senators holding Trump accountable in Washington.
Congresswoman Annie Kuster and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter have been also been a powerful check on President Trump in the House of Representatives, leading us in the defeat of Trumpcare and standing up for issue like women’s reproductive rights and climate action, serving as much needed champions for New Hampshire issues in Washington.
We’ve already seen lies, Russian ties, religious tests for immigration, healthcare that even the GOP can’t get behind, strained relationships with our allies, and unqualified cabinet members. It’s only been 100 days. We’re certainly in for a long fight, but with energy, facts and history on our side, President Trump and the Republicans are in for a wake up call in 2018. Keep fighting.