In Embracing Its Vision, Heritage Ranks Trump's First Year Better Than Reagan's

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 8:15 AM

During his first year in office, President Trump has carried out or embraced a significant number of policies that reflect those put forth by the Heritage Foundation.

In conducting a review of his governing thus far, the conservative think tank determined that nearly two-thirds of their ideas were taken up by Trump—exceeding former President Ronald Reagan’s first year in office.

“There is so much noise in this town that I think it obscures the real work that’s being done,” said Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James, reports The New York Times. “This administration is doing quite well in terms of advancing a conservative agenda — clearly, quite well.”

Still, there is room for improvement, including nominations by the White House. There are still 245 vacancies across the executive branch, the group notes.

As eight years of a Democratic administration drew to a close, Heritage began developing in 2016 a list of 334 policy prescriptions that a new Republican administration could adopt. It included a variety of actions, like reimposing work requirements for welfare recipients, ending the program that shields young immigrants brought here illegally as children, withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and eliminating certain gender identity protections.

Heritage said that 64 percent of those items were enacted by the administration either through executive order or another means of enforcement, or included in Mr. Trump’s budget, which has not been voted on by Congress.

In Reagan’s first year, only 49 percent of Heritage’s wish list items were embraced by the president or enacted. At the time, Heritage identified a familiar problem for why the administration’s policies were wanting. In almost every federal agency, Heritage said in November 1981, “delayed appointments, unqualified or misqualified appointments, or the appointment of individuals who are not committed to the President’s goals and policies” had delayed or thwarted policy changes. (NYT)

While James acknowledged the president’s tweets, language and blunders may be off-putting at times, overall he is following through on his promises to conservatives, which is what truly matters. 

“So say what you will, I think the other side of the aisle would be salivating to find their version of a Donald Trump — someone who came in, kept their promises and did what they said they were going to do,” she told the Times.

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