What Trump promised to do on his first day in the White House

Will he "make America great again"?


By Su Fen Tan

What Trump promised to do on his first day in the White House

All eyes will be on America tonight (noon in Washington D.C.) as Donald Trump takes the oath of office outside the U.S. Capitol – and no amount of protest will stop it from happening. It has been quite the journey for Trump, and gathering from the many bold promises he made in the rallies and speeches en route to his presidency, he will have a very busy first day at work. Although he officially becomes president today, his first full workday in the White House will take place on Monday, 23 January—that’s when the work really starts.


According to Trump’s advisers, his initial plans are to undo many of President Obama’s executive actions, before focussing on launching his new Trump vision. However, expectations for Day One will be high as America (and the world) weighs in on his tall order of campaign promises about what he would do on his first day in the White House. 



Deporting illegal immigrants was Trump’s first priority and arguably the driving force behind his victory. In August, he said: “They’re going to be out of this country so fast, your head will spin.” And in October: “Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone.” Since the election, however, he has quietly dropped the ambitious (and near impossible) call to remove all undocumented immigrants from the U.S.


Instead, in his first televised interview after his win, he vowed to deport up to three million illegal immigrants with criminal records in one of his first acts in office. His other Day One immigration-related vows include suspending immigration from terror-prone regions, to strip federal funding from “sanctuary cities”, and “eliminate every unconstitutional executive order” related to immigration. 



Only Congress can repeal Obamacare, but Trump could reverse some of the executive enforcement actions by the Obama administration, such as ending mandated insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and therapy or surgery for gender transition. He has promised to begin dismantling the health-care plan by asking Congress to “immediately deliver a full repeal” on his first day.


This could happen as Congress is already taking the required procedural steps to open up the process for a full repeal-and-replace measure. As for the potential replacement policy, it remains unclear, but Trump claimed that he will provide “insurance for everybody”. 


Defeat ISIS

Trump promised to hold a meeting with his military generals on his first day, where he will ask them to devise a plan to defeat ISIS within 30 days. In September last year, he said: “I am also going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction: They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for defeating ISIS.”



In his “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again”, Trump vowed to kick off his first day as president with seven measures to “protect American workers”. The plan includes: to renegotiate the North American Free Trade agreement with Canada and Mexico or withdraw from the deal, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and to name China a currency manipulator—acts that will no doubt draw significant consequences, for both U.S. and the countries involved. 


Reform Washington

In the same “100-day action plan”, Trump also made a Day One promise to clean up the corruption in Washington by proposing a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress, a five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service, and a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health), amongst other potential reforms. 


Gun control

Trump also made the radical vow to eliminate gun-free zones at schools on his first day. “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, you have to, and on military bases,” Trump said at a Vermont rally in January 2016. “My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.” To do so, he will have to repeal a 27-year-old federal law. 


These are but some of the promises that the soon-to-be-president vowed to keep. Will Donald Trump follow through on all his Day One promises?  We’ll soon see. 


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