Republicans lack success in first year of Trump administration


By Alex Massoud ’20

The Republicans had the majority. In both houses and the oval office. Going into February of last year, the potential power of the Republicans was striking fear into the heart of lead Democrats.

Then, the year passed. Democrats were surprised. The Republican majority in the Senate had persistently pressured and declared that “groundbreaking” conservative legislation was going to be passed. However, looking back, not many “groundbreaking” pieces of legislation were actually successful.

Trump nominated a potential Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to replace Antonin Scalia on the bench. This nominee was approved by the Senate, which was seen as a great accomplishment for Trump.

However, nearly 10 months have passed since that decision, and little more has occurred. Trump, about midway through last year, attempted to dedicate nearly all his influence on the passing of an act that would eliminate DACA, the famous Dreamers’ Act that was responsible for the citizenship of tens of thousands of Mexican Americans. Controversy over this bill, specifically, as well as other immigration bills, led to a government shutdown after Democrats refused to budge on the issue earlier in February.

Trump’s other “major” accomplishment through his first 13 months in office, supposedly, is his tax plan. Republicans fought for this for nearly a decade and as a result of Trump’s guidance, or so the White House claimed, the tax plan finally became a policy. However, this accomplishment may be the opposite of that. The time it took to pass the tax plan derailed nearly all other Republican efforts of 2017. Furthermore, the new tax plan will reportedly add $1 trillion to the deficit, going against previous promises by both Republicans and Trump to shrink the deficit.

With a Republican-controlled White House, House of Representatives and Senate, the overlying presumption was that legislation would be dominated by conservative legislation. However, when you really dig in to the past year, not much has been done to show Republican progress. Rather, a struggling GOP even with the majority may be a sign of future struggles for the party as a whole.