By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, January 20, New York billionaire and reality TV star Donald J Trump (R) will be sworn in as President of the United States. The controversial and divisive administration of President Barack H. Obama (D) has come to an end. Inauguration events begin as early as 8:00 am. The actual swearing in ceremonies commence at 10:30 and will be widely covered by television and cable news outlets.
At age 70, Donald Trump is the oldest man to ever be inaugurated for his first term as President, passing a record set in 1981 when Ronald W. Reagan (R) was sworn in for his first term.
Trump was elected promising to “Make America Great Again.”
The divisive rhetoric during the campaign has diminished little during the transition. At least 50 Democrats in Congress, including Alabama’s Representative Terri A. Sewell (D from Selma), are boycotting today’s inauguration.
President-elect Donald Trump has made an effort to reach out to the nation’s Black community, the group whose feelings were perhaps most upset by the tone of the campaign.
Trump’s Alabama campaign co-Chair former State Representative Perry Hooper Jr. (R-Prattville) said, “President Elect Trump met with TV and Radio Star, Steve Harvey and Montgomery Alabama Businessman, Greg Calhoun at Trump Towers on Friday to discuss Inner City issues, Economic Development and the importance of creating American made products and American jobs. This meeting is a great indication how President Trump will bring all Americans together to Make America Great Again.” Rep. Hooper is one of 20 candidates that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) has interviewed for the US Senate seat of Jeff Sessions. Donald Trump has nominated the popular Sen. Sessions to be US Attorney General. The far left and civil rights groups are urging the Senate to oppose Sessions’ confirmation.
The change in administration’s promises a number of changes in policy. Trump is demanding that Congress repeal and replace the disastrous Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare), which even former President Bill Clinton (D) attacked during the campaign. Trump is also expected to roll back the growth of the federal regulatory state which he says is harming business. The controversial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement appears like it will never be ratified. Pres. Trump is also expected to end Pres. Obama’s controversial executive actions granting amnesty to illegal aliens in this country and importing more refugees and other immigrants. Trump has promised to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to make it more difficult for illegal aliens to simply walk across the border. Trump has promised to end Obama’s “war on coal” which has contributed to the loss of over 85,000 mining jobs in the last eight years.
A Trump Administration also means changes for the defense sector. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has already introduced a plan to raise defense spending $51 billion a year. Trump has promised to restore much of American military might after cuts by the Obama Administration and is expected to adopt the McCain plan or something similar. Trump has also questioned the cost and effectiveness of the much delayed Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II program and has suggested replacing the expensive F-35 with a new variant of the more affordable and battle tested Boeing F/A-18.
On foreign policy, Trump has vowed to end the controversial Iran deal (which was never ratified by the Senate), support Israel, destroy ISIS, renegotiate trade deals and build warmer relations with Russia.
According to original reporting by the Hill’s Alexander Bolton, staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy. The Hill is reporting that under the Trump 2018 budget: the departments of Commerce and Energy would see major cuts in both spending and responsibilities as will the departments of Transportation, Justice and State. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized and the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would finally be eliminated. Trump’s team wants to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years. The Republican Study Commission (RSC) has already recommended many of these changes. Alabama Congressmen: Gary Palmer (R from Hoover) and Bradley Byrne (R from Montrose) are both on the RSC steering committee.
The Trump budget is expected to be released sometime in April.
One of President Trump’s biggest decisions will be whom to appoint to fill the Supreme Court opening created by the death of Antonin Scalia, whom many conservative scholars consider to be the greatest Supreme Court Justice of our lifetimes. Trump recently interviewed US Appeals Court Judge Bill Pryor for that opening. Pryor, like Sessions, is a former Alabama Attorney General. Due largely to Republican Senators delaying Obama appointments, Pres. Trump has over 100 federal judiciary vacancies to fill. Trump also has to appoint new ambassadors and US Attorneys, including three her in Alabama.
The Obama’s have purchased several mansions, including one in Obama’s native Hawaii and one in Washington, DC. Pres. Barack Obama is expected to break with tradition and be a much more active participant in public affairs than other past Presidents.