Anticipating Supreme Court nomination, major tax reform in Trump’s first 100 days

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 5, 2017

The first 100-day period after a new President takes office is a pivotal time for any administration. The plans that are put in place during these days have earned attention since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and they can set the tone early for a President’s term.

President-elect Trump has already put forward bold ideas for his first days in office, including the repeal of Obamacare. In keeping with the Constitution’s separation of powers, Congress will have to play a key role in turning these ideas into law. The repeal of Obamacare, for example, will start in the legislative branch, where Congress can use a process called “reconciliation.” I hope Congress will replace the law with market-driven policies that go back to what was promised to the American people: more health-care choices and lower costs. Although repeal of Obamacare can happen immediately, putting a better health-care plan in place will take time. No one who relied on what the law required should be hurt by this transition.

President-elect Trump’s agenda has also emphasized eliminating government waste and getting rid of bureaucratic red tape. Other items that could get an early start under the Trump Administration include:

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• Filling the Supreme Court vacancy. President-elect Trump is expected to pick a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia sometime around Inauguration Day. The new justice must then be confirmed

by the Senate, which has a constitutional duty to provide “advice and consent” for most presidential nominations, including Mr. Trump’s picks for his Cabinet.

• Reversing executive overreach. President-elect Trump has announced he will work to roll back harmful federal rules. The excessive power grabs of the Obama Administration have not helped the environment or improved the lives of average Americans. Instead, they have stifled jobs, hurt small businesses, and discouraged innovation. Unnecessary regulatory costs and uncertainty should not stand in the way of job creation.

• Reforming the tax code. One of President-elect Trump’s promises during the campaign was tax reform. Our tax code needs to be simplified, and loopholes should be closed. We need a tax reform plan for the 21st century – one that makes America competitive globally while generating economic activity and jobs here at home. America currently has the highest corporate tax rate among the world’s developed countries. Lowering this rate would be good for the economy, U.S. businesses, and American workers.

January 20 to April 29 will be an important period for the Trump Administration to get the ball rolling on policies for economic growth and job creation that actually make a difference in people’s lives. Americans voted for a change in direction, and lawmakers should fulfill their wishes. The new President and Congress have an opportunity to focus on local communities, jobs, and the livelihoods of Americans. This should be the mission of the first 100 days.

By U.S. Senator Roger Wicker