WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As soon as the votes are counted and a winner is declared, the promises made on the campaign trail have to be turned into action. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have made plenty of promises while attempting to court voters.
Based on those promises and issue-based plans posted to their websites, here’s what each candidate’s first 100 days in office might look like:
While President Trump has listed his priorities for a second term in office, it’s difficult to know which areas he’ll tackle first.
One thing that is likely: stimulus relief for states, cities, businesses and everyday Americans. Unable to come to terms with Democrats on a major relief package ahead of the election, this is expected to be one of the first items he’d focus on following a potential November victory.
Based on a list of 50 objectives lined out for his second term in office, a few items jump out as items he’d want to focus on in his first 100 days.
Among them, a plan to develop a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020. With a “COVID cure” still looming, you can bet the Trump administration will do everything possible to get a vaccine approved and distributed. By doing so, he’ll be able to accomplish another listed objective of “return to normal in 2021.” Health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, have noted it will take months to return to normalcy once a vaccine is approved. The clock will be ticking on this one.
Trump has also pushed a plan to create 10 million new jobs in 10 months. Certainly, it’s an ambitious goal that would need attention from day one. Along with that objective is a plan to create one million new small businesses over his next four years in office. Small businesses are the nation’s top employer. The more new businesses his administration is able to get off the ground, the more jobs he’ll be able to produce.
Another listed Trump priority is ending the country’s reliance on China. The president wants to “hold China fully accountable for allowing the virus to spread around the world.” How does one accomplish this? Trump hopes to end federal contracts for companies who outsource to China. Certainly, this is a quick action that could accomplish his previous goal over his first 100 days of a second term.
Healthcare will be another priority as Trump looks towards 2021. In the final month leading up to the election, the president took steps to cut prescription drug prices and hopes to do even more moving forward. One would imagine an Affordable Care Act replacement will also be on his agenda. During the campaign season, Trump has promised to cover all pre-existing conditions and end surprise billing.
While other Trump priorities in the second term include school choice, new congressional term limits and ending illegal immigration, it’s likely protecting law enforcement will remain a priority in his first 100 days. A few objectives listed on his campaign website include funding and hiring more law enforcement officers, increasing federal penalties for assaulting officers and bringing Antifa and related groups to “justice.”
Trump is also expected to act on his campaign promise to “bring our troops home.” In mid-October, Trump tweeted he would pull all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Christmas.
If Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump next month, his priority over the first 100 days will be on a difficult transition.
Biden will have to show that his team can better handle the coronavirus pandemic. He also will have to contend with what Democrats say is the damage the Trump administration has done to the bureaucratic machinery in Washington, as well as low morale throughout the civil service.
“This will be one of the most important, most difficult and yes most costly transitions in modern American history,” Chris Korge, the Democratic National Committee’s finance chair, warned donors in a recent letter obtained by The Associated Press. “There is so much work to do.”
According to the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit organization that advises presidential candidates on the transition, Biden will have to name more than 4,000 political appointees to fill out his administration, including more than 1,200 requiring Senate confirmation. There are 700 key executive branch nominations that must go through Senate confirmation, 153 of which are currently vacant.
Chris Lu, executive director of President Barack Obama’s 2008 transition, said there are vacancies in some of the departments that will be key to addressing the country’s standing globally and the climate crisis.
“There’s a lot of expertise that’s just gone now — in particular, when you look at places like the State Department and the gutting of the Foreign Service or, you know, in climate agencies like EPA or Interior,” he said.
Chief among Biden’s priorities would be moving quickly to address the pandemic. He is considering swift announcements of Cabinet picks that would be key in the response, according to people involved in transition planning who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
Those roles include leaders of the treasury and health and human services departments and the director of the National Economic Council.
Biden is expected to look to some of his former opponents and those he vetted as his potential running mate for top Cabinet positions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.