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Columns
In my first 100 days, I kept my promise to the American people

One hundred days ago, I took the oath of office and made a pledge: We are not merely going to transfer political power from one party to another, but instead are going to transfer that power from Washington, District of Columbia, and give it back to the people.

In the past 100 days, I have kept that promise—and more.

Issue by issue, department by department, we are giving the people their country back. After decades of a shrinking middle class, open borders and the mass offshoring of American jobs and wealth, this government is working for the citizens of our country and no one else.

The same establishment media that concealed these problems—and profited from them—is obviously not going to tell this story. That is why we are taking our message directly to America.

We have opened the White House doors to listen, engage and act. We’ve invited in labor leaders, factory owners, police officers, farmers, veterans and Democrats, Republicans and independents.

The change began with the termination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a 12-nation pact that would have shipped millions more jobs to other countries.

But leaving the TPP was only the beginning. We have also launched an investigation into foreign trading abuses and taken steps to protect the production of American steel and aluminum. After years of federal contracts going to foreign bidders, we are ensuring that government agencies enforce “Buy American” rules and give preference to American companies—and that American companies hire American workers.

Crucially, to bring back our jobs, we are going to pursue a complete renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement: We’ve lost nearly a third of our manufacturing jobs in the 23 years since that terrible deal was approved.

At the center of our economic agenda, we’ve undertaken the most far-reaching effort in history to remove job-killing regulations. I’ve ordered that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. We’ve signed a record 13 Congressional Review Act resolutions to scrap job- crushing regulations, and I’ve signed 29 pieces of legislation in total—a mark not surpassed in the first 100 days since Harry S. Truman.

Those newly enacted laws include Veterans’ Choice legislation—which became law while at the same time we’ve increased by 42 percent the number of veterans approved to see the doctor of their choosing. And we’ve provided transparency by publishing all wait times at the Veterans Affairs health system online, backed up by a new Veterans Affairs Office of Accountability.

On energy, the change has been profound. We’ve canceled restrictions on the production of oil, natural gas and clean coal.

What we’ve accomplished on immigration and criminal enforcement is nothing short of historic. After decades of unending illegal immigration and mass uncontrolled entry, we’ve turned the tide as never before—illegal border-crossings are down 73 percent. Visa processes are being reformed to substantially improve vetting and screening, and we’ve launched prototypes and bidding for the border wall to stop the scourge of drugs, human trafficking and illegal immigrants from coming into our country.

Federal law enforcement has begun a crackdown on sanctuary cities that harbor criminal aliens—because we know the first duty of government is to protect American citizens.

The Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State, and the director of national intelligence, have formed an inter-agency group for the express purpose of dismantling transnational criminal cartels. The handcuffs have been removed from our prosecutors, and they’re targeting the drug dealers and gang members who prey on our citizens—and they’re working to eradicate the violent cartel MS-13.

The change on defense has been profound as well. The Defense Department has begun to rebuild and restore our military readiness. We’ve reasserted American leadership by holding the Bashar Assad regime in Syria accountable for its monstrous use of banned chemical weapons against helpless, innocent civilians. Our successful missile strike enforced the red line that the previous administration drew but ignored, thus restoring our credibility with our friends and our deterrence with our foes. Finally, NATO countries are starting to pay billions of dollars more since I have made clear that the United States expects all of its allies to pay their fair share.

I delivered on one of my biggest promises, appointing and confirming a new justice to the Supreme Court who will be faithful to the U.S. Constitution. This is the first time a new justice has been confirmed in the first 100 days in 136 years.

As we’ve made these changes—on the border, on our economy, on our security—confidence has soared. And a survey of manufacturing reveals record-breaking optimism in the future. Consumer confidence hit a 16-year high. Thousands of new jobs are being re-shored back to America—including jobs at Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Sprint, Intel and so many more.

We are proving that Buy and Hire American isn’t just a slogan—it’s now the policy of the U.S. government. It, along with the many other things we are doing, will Make America Great Again.

No longer will we listen to the same failed voices of the past who brought us nothing but war overseas, poverty at home and the loss of companies, jobs and our wealth to countries that have taken total advantage of the United States.

The White House is once again the People’s House. And I will do everything in my power to be the People’s President—to faithfully, loyally and proudly champion the incredible citizens who love this nation and who call this God-blessed land their home.


Columns
Stapilus: Does he run?

Political question of the week in Boise seems to be: Will Raul Labrador run for governor?

There’s been a lot of presumption, even as Labrador has held off declaring one way or the other, that he will. He has expressed interest, and since the seat will be open, 2018 would be a time to move.

He may run for it; the decision, of course, is his exclusively. If he does, he’d certainly be a strong contender. But I sense a majority opinion now of political observers who would be less surprised if he passes than if he runs.

Here’s what I might say if I were offering friendly career political advice.

First, Labrador is relatively young (he’s 49) for positioning for the higher offices; not too young, of course, but young enough that he can and should consider more than just the next election cycle or two.

If he runs for governor, he might lose. Large-population primary contests in low-turnout elections can be highly unpredictable, and he would face a candidate with strong establishment support (Lieutenant Governor Brad Little), one who has been campaigning and developing support since 2013 (Russ Fulcher) and a wild card businessman (Tommy Ahlquist) who already has put a good deal of money into name-I.D. direct mail campaigns. I wouldn’t risk any betting money on a race like this. And you never know: Labrador has shown himself to be a smooth and competent campaigner, but people do make mistakes. Labrador got into the House in large part because a 2010 primary opponent made so many of them. And a loss in a gubernatorial race would cut into his political strength.

Labrador also could win; he would bring a significant base of support, and credibly could take the lead in the primary with it. He might serve as governor four years, or eight (12 is of course possible, as the incumbent shows, but unusual). He’d still have time to do something else in politics after that, but what? If you’re a retired governor in Idaho, your options—if you’re not ready to retire—may not seem that attractive after where you’ve been and what you’ve done. And of course, as governor, Labrador would get nowhere near the national attention he’s gotten up to now as a member of Congress.

Or.

He could be on a glide path to the top rung in politics short of the presidency. Odds are he could stay in the House and be re-elected easily for the next several terms. Word is that Senator Jim Risch is unlikely to run for a third term when his current one is up in 2020, and Senator Mike Crapo may not want to serve much longer. Idaho’s other House member, Mike Simpson, has passed on Senate options before. Labrador could slide right in from the U.S. House to the U.S. Senate, a position of larger impact and of elections only every six years.

Besides which, Labrador has not shown much of an interest in running things. The governorship is an executive job, and it might be a less comfortable fit with the kind of legislative mindset Labrador has developed. He wouldn’t be the first legislator-turned-executive to find that the two are quite different.

None of this is to say conclusively that Labrador won’t run for governor. He alone will decide that, and if that’s what he really wants, if nothing else will do, then he can go for it.

But the long pause in signaling his intentions does seem suggestive of second thoughts.


Mailbag
Letter: Misdirected anger

In response to Dan Quall's April 20 letter, "Time for a recall":I don't know where to begin with your letter. What exactly do you think the city council does? They handle city government. They enact local laws and ordinances — they don't handle crime and punishment.

Problem with your water bill or tax rates? City council. Problem with refugee center? Talk to your congressman because that is federally funded. Problem with crime and punishment? That would be the chief of police of Twin Falls, county sheriff, prosecutor Grant Loebs, and the Idaho Judicial Council. Or do you just want them to shake their fists and say crime is bad? Because that is all they can do. They can't shut down the refugee center; it is not within their power nor are they responsible for punishment those boys have received.

Want change? Vote out Grant Loebs and get a prosecutor that you agree with. Disagree with the punishment? Go to the Idaho Judicial Council and have the judge in that girl's case taken off the bench. You have a voice, so use it in the right direction. To say city council has power over the things you say they do is like yelling at a cop because your mail was lost at the post office.

I will say good luck to you in this endeavor. You'll need it to get anyone voted out of this state that has the R behind their name.

Andrew Smith

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