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Should They Win, Candidates Plan Their First 100 Days in Office

  • VOA News

Every journey starts with a single step and every American presidency is measured by the first 100 days. The term is used to measure the successes and accomplishments of a president in the time when his or her power and influence is at its peak.

The term was first used in a radio address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. Since then presidential hopefuls have outlined their vision of what they hope to achieve in the first 100 days. This year’s candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, are no different.

Over the months of campaigning they have laid out plans on how they will tackle issues such as the economy, immigration, the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court and tax reform.

Hillary Clinton

On the economy: Clinton says on her website that in her first 100 days as president she’ll seek approval of the "biggest investment in American infrastructure in decades," creating tens of thousands of jobs.

The infrastructure proposal is expected to cost $275 billion.

The plan includes fixing roads and bridges, expanding public transit, enhancing seaports and airports, connecting all Americans to high-speed, affordable broadband and modernizing power grids. It also calls for enforcing existing trade laws so they protect American businesses and workers, while rejecting trade deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that do not put U.S. job creation first.

On immigration reform: Clinton has vowed to work with Congress on an immigration bill that would offer “a path to citizenship” while also fixing the family visa backlog and bring millions of people into the formal economy.

She also plans to create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs, support affordable integration services through $15 million in new grant funding for community navigators and similar organizations.

The plan includes ending detention for parents and children who arrive at the U.S. border in desperate situations and close private immigrant detention centers.

On the Supreme Court appointment: Clinton said she wants to appoint justices who would defend women's right, back LGBT rights, reverse the Citizens United decision that allowed corporations to spend freely on elections and uphold Roe v. Wade, which protects a woman’s decision to end a pregnancy.

Clinton said she wanted a court to "stand on the side of the people" rather than wealthy donors and corporations.

On tax reform: Clinton is proposing higher taxes on Americans who make more than $250,000, including a 4 percent “fair-share surcharge” on incomes over $5 million a year. She also plans to limit the ability of the rich to lower their tax bills by eliminating tax loopholes that favor them.

She would also require a minimum effective tax rate of 30 percent on incomes over $1 million -- the Buffett Rule, named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who declared it isn't right that his secretary should pay a higher tax rate than he does.

Clinton’s website says she will make companies that move overseas pay a new “exit tax” so they think twice about avoiding paying their fair share, and we will make companies pay us back when they take tax breaks and then ship jobs abroad.

Donald Trump

On the economy: Just days before the election, Trump announced a series of measures for his first 100 days in power, including plans to repeal and replace the affordable Healthcare Act, allow the controversial Keystone Pipeline, revive the coal industry and stop the "billions and billions" of dollars the U.S. is giving the United Nations to fight climate change.

He also plans to dismantle or radically renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and pull out of the TPP talks.

"When you look at China, when you look at every country, every trade deal we have is horrible," he said.

On immigration reform: Trump opposes any pathway to legal status for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. They would have to return to their home countries and apply for legal entry should they wish to come back. He has not said what would happen to those who choose to stay, but said they are subject to deportation. Trump has also called for an end to “birthright citizenship,” currently granted to anyone born in the United States.

The centerpiece of Trump’s immigration plan is a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico. Trump has said he will extend a huge wall across the vast majority of the 2,100-mile border and has promised to make Mexico pay for it.

By his own admission, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's plan to combat the threat of Islamic extremism by banning all Muslims from entering the United States has "morphed" into "extreme vetting."

On the Supreme Court appointment: Trump says the overturning of the landmark Supreme Court decision giving women the right to abortion "will happen, automatically," if he is elected president and gets to appoint justices to the high court. He said that if the ruling were to be reversed, laws on the legality or illegality of abortion would "go back to the individual states" to decide.

Trump has also said his choice to fill the vacancy on the highest court will “uphold the Second Amendment ((the right to bear arms)) ... which is under absolute siege."

His website also says he wants to "empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves," although there are no details how.

On tax reform: Trump has also touted tax relief legislation.

“A middle-class family with two children will get a 35 percent tax cut, and that money will go back into the economy,” he said. And he has promised to reduce corporate taxes as well, from 35 percent to 15 percent, to encourage business growth.

On his website, Trump promises to “eliminate special interest loopholes, make our business tax rate more competitive to keep jobs in America, create new opportunities and revitalize our economy.”

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